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June 18, 2002

Three Repeat Winners Claim Sears Directors' Cup; Oklahoma City University Wins First NAIA Award

Dallas, Texas - The Sears Directors' Cups, presented annually by Sears, Roebuck and Co. and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), were awarded today to the nation's top collegiate athletics programs in NCAA Divisions I, II and III and the NAIA. The awards were presented at the NACDA Convention in Dallas, Texas.

This year's winners are Stanford University (Div. I), University of California-Davis (Div. II), Williams College [Mass.] (Div. III) and Oklahoma City University (NAIA). Three of the four winners won the award for the third straight year, with Oklahoma City winning for the first time in the program's seven-year history at the NAIA level.

Each year, the Sears Directors' Cup program, presented in partnership by Sears, NACDA and USA TODAY, awards Waterfordâ Crystal trophies to the top athletics programs in NCAA Divisions I, II and III and the NAIA, and presents a total of $100,000 in postgraduate academic scholarships to students in all four collegiate categories.

Developed as a joint effort between USA TODAY and NACDA, the Sears Directors' Cup program is the only national awards and academic scholarship program to recognize all NCAA and NAIA championship sports for both women's and men's athletics.

Division I
The Division I race will be concluded on June 22, after the NCAA College World Series. However, Stanford University has already clinched the Sears Directors' Cup. Stanford Athletics Director Ted Leland accepted an unprecedented eighth consecutive Sears Directors' Cup.

The Cardinal clinched the Sears Directors' Cup with a total of 1429 points (to date), surpassing runner-up Florida by 351 points. Stanford won its eighth straight Sears Directors' Cup on the strength of four national championships (women's volleyball, women's tennis and men's and women's water polo), a total of 10 teams finishing among the top five in national competition, and 18 teams placing in the top 10. The Cardinal baseball team will add to those totals with its performance in the 2002 NCAA College World Series.

Stanford teams placing in the top 10 were men's swimming and diving (2nd), men's cross country (2nd), men's soccer (3rd), women's swimming and diving (3rd), women's indoor track and field (5th), women's cross country (5th), women's gymnastics (6th), men's gymnastics (6th), men's fencing (6th), women's outdoor track and field (7th), men's outdoor track and field (8th), and women's soccer (9th). The Cardinal recorded points in the maximum of 10 women's and 10 men's sports.

Division II
UC-Davis has finished either first or second in each of the seven years of Division II Sears Directors' Cup competition, winning the award in 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2002. UC-Davis accumulated 743 points, 56 points ahead of the runner-up, Grand Valley State (Mich.). Athletics director Greg Warzecka accepted the award for the Aggies.

Led by their national champion women's rowing team, the Aggies sealed the Sears Directors' Cup win with five top 10 finishes in women's cross country (3rd), football (3rd), men's cross country (5th), men's golf (8th), and men's swimming and diving (10th). UC-Davis scored points in six women's and the maximum of seven men's sports.

Division III
Williams College won its sixth Sears Directors' Cup in the last seven years by posting 989 points, 147 points ahead of runner-up Ithaca College. Williams College Athletics Director Harry Sheehy accepted the award.

The Ephs' won national championships in women's rowing as well as women's and men's tennis. Five additional teams recorded top 10 finishes: women's cross country (2nd), women's outdoor track and field (3rd), women's swimming and diving (4th), women's field hockey (9th) and women's volleyball (9th) . The Ephs scored in nine women's and seven men's sports.

Oklahoma City University won its first ever Sears Directors' Cup, snapping a five-year reign by Simon Fraser University (B.C.). The Stars, who finished second last year, tallied 771 points to beat runner-up Lindenwood (Mo.) by 66.5 points.

Three national championships sparked OKCU's triumph, including women's basketball, women's softball and men's golf. Six other teams placed among the top 10, including baseball (2nd), women's soccer (2nd), men's tennis (2nd), women's tennis (3rd), men's basketball (5th), and women's golf (7th).

$100,000 in Academic Scholarships Awarded
Each year, Sears and NACDA award $100,000 in postgraduate academic scholarships. Five $5,000 scholarships in each division assist students who support their institutions' athletics departments, including team managers, athletics trainers, band members, cheerleaders, assistant coaches, sports information assistants, facility staff and academic support personnel. For each division, 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.

Runner-Up Finishers
Sears and NACDA also will present each of the second through fifth place institutions in all four categories with Sears Directors' Cup plaques, rewarding their athletics programs' dedication to success. This year's runner-up institutions include: University of Florida, University of North Carolina, UCLA and University of Texas in Division I; Grand Valley State (Mich.), University of California-San Diego, Truman State University (Mo.) and Western State University (Colo.) in Division II; Ithaca College (N.Y.), the College of New Jersey, Middlebury College (Vt.) and Emory University (Ga.) in Division III; and Lindenwood College (Mo.), Simon Fraser University (B.C.), Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) and Malone College (Ohio) in the NAIA. (Note: Division I runners-up may change upon conclusion of the NCAA College World Series.)

The Sears Directors' Cup and the accompanying scholarships are part of the Sears Collegiate Champions program-a comprehensive trophy and academic scholarship program honoring men's and women's sports equally in all four-year collegiate divisions. Since the program's inception in 1993, Sears has presented more than 13,000 conference and sport champion trophies and more than two million dollars in academic scholarships.

Of the 1,312* eligible colleges and universities, a total of 982 (75 percent)* scored points in the four Sears Directors' Cup competitions. Complete final rankings on all of these institutions are available on NACDA's Web site at www.nacda.com.

NACDA, now in its 37th 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 broadline retailer with significant service and credit businesses. In 2001, the company's annual revenue was more than $41 billion. The company offers its wide range of apparel, home and automotive products and services to families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 870 full-line stores. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through its Web site, www.sears.com.

Contact:Laurie Garrison
  Assistant Executive Director, Communications
 440/892-4007 (Fax)
 E-mail: lgarrison@nacda.com
 Web Site: www.nacda.com