University Of California-Davis Claims Third Sears Directors' Cup
As of June 13, 2000
DAVIS, Calif. - The University of California-Davis reclaimed its title as the best athletics program in NCAA Division II competition by capturing its third Sears Directors' Cup, the prestigious award presented annually by Sears, Roebuck and Co. and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) to the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country. The 1999-2000 Sears Directors' Cup winners were announced today at the NACDA Convention in Orlando, Fla., and the four winning institutions, one in each of the NCAA Divisions -- I, II, and III, and the NAIA, were awarded with their Sears Directors' Cups and scholarships.
"Each year our student-athletes and the UC-Davis athletics department strive to win the Sears Directors' Cup, the measuring stick for college athletics," said UC-Davis Athletics Director Greg Warzecka, who was on hand to accept his university's coveted award. "Through the Sears Directors' Cup program, our student-athletes, coaches and support staff are rewarded for their dedication to excellence in all sports."
After placing second for the past two years in the race for Division II, UC-Davis reclaimed the Sears Directors' Cup this year, an accomplishment the Aggies achieved in 1996 and 1997. UC-Davis accumulated 670.5 points, edging out runner-up North Dakota State University by 87 points. Warzecka, the UC-Davis athletics director, took the university's third award home to the West Coast.
Although UC-Davis did not win any national championships during the 1999-2000 season, the Aggies sealed the Sears Directors' Cup win with 10 impressive top 10 finishes in softball (3rd), men's indoor track and field (3rd), men's swimming and diving (4th), football (5th), men's soccer (5th), women's tennis (5th), women's outdoor track and field (7th), men's golf (8th), and men's cross country (10th). The women's swimming and diving (12th), women's cross country (13th) and men's basketball (17th) teams also scored points for the Aggies. UC-Davis scored in five women's and the maximum of seven men's sports.
"Sears proudly supports participation and excellence in college athletics," said John Lebbad, Sears director of event marketing and sales promotion. "The Sears Directors' Cup program is pleased to once again reward UC-Davis for its continued dedication to achieving athletics and academic success, reflected in the university's third win."
Developed as a joint effort between USA Today and NACDA, the Sears Directors' Cup program is the only all-sports competition that recognizes the institution in each of the four categories with the best overall athletics program. The Sears Directors' Cup is part of the Sears Collegiate Champions program which annually awards more than 2,200 conference and sport champion trophies and a quarter-of-a-million dollars in academic scholarships.
While UC-Davis took home the Waterford Crystal Sears Directors' Cup for NCAA Division II competition, the 1999-2000 winners in the other categories include: Division I - Stanford University; Division III - Williams College [Mass.]; NAIA - Simon Fraser University [B.C.].
Through the Sears Directors' Cup program, Sears and NACDA annually award $100,000 in postgraduate academic scholarships. Five $5,000 scholarships in each division assist students who support their institution's athletics departments, including team managers, athletics trainers, band members, cheerleaders, assistant coaches, sports information assistants, facility staff and academic support personnel. For each category, four outstanding recipients are selected by a nationwide nomination process, administered by NACDA, while the fifth recipient is a student at the institution that wins the Sears Directors' Cup.
"The scholarship component of the Sears Directors' Cup program recognizes the dedicated students who support their colleges' athletics programs behind the scenes," said Lee McElroy, chair of the Sears Directors' Cup Committee and director of athletics at American University. "By rewarding academic and athletics success, the Sears Directors' Cup program encourages students to excel both on and off the playing fields."
Sears and NACDA also awarded each of the second through fifth place institutions in all four divisions with Sears Directors' Cup plaques, commemorating their program's dedication to athletics greatness. This year's runner-up institutions in the NCAA Division II include: North Dakota State University, University of North Dakota, Florida Southern College and Western State College of Colorado.
Of the 323 eligible colleges and universities in the NCAA Division II, a total of 189 (59 percent) scored points in the Sears Directors' Cup competition. Complete final rankings on all of these institutions are available on NACDA's Web site at www.nacda.com.
NACDA, now in its 35th year, serves as the professional and educational association for more than 6,100 collegiate athletics directors, associates, assistants and conference administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of nearly $40 billion. The company serves families throughout the country through approximately 860 department stores, more than 2,100 specialized retail locations, and a variety of online offerings accessible through the company's Web site, www.sears.com.