The University of Kentucky proved again in 2016-17 that it is home to one of the most well-rounded collegiate sports programs in America.
The Wildcats finished 10th in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings for the just-completed school year released Thursday.
The 10th-place finish was a record for Kentucky, whose previous best finish was 11th in 2013-14. UK finished among the top 30 for the seventh consecutive year.
The Directors’ Cup measures competitive success for all Division I schools. For each NCAA-sanctioned sport, schools are awarded points based on NCAA championship participation.
Stanford claimed first place with 1,563 points and was followed by Ohio State, Florida, Southern Cal and North Carolina. Rounding out the top 10 were Michigan, Texas, Penn State, Oregon and Kentucky.
The Wildcats compiled 1,025 points, which included 181 from fall sports, 478.50 from winter sports and 365.50 in the spring.
Twenty-one of UK’s 22 varsity teams reached NCAA play to score points toward Kentucky’s Directors’ Cup total, the most in school history. The rifle, women’s outdoor track and field, men’s basketball, women’s indoor track and field, softball and baseball teams gave UK six top-10 finishes. Only women’s soccer failed to secure points.
Kentucky finished behind only Florida among Southeastern Conference schools. The 12 other SEC schools all finished among the top 50 programs, with the exception of Vanderbilt. Here was the order of finish after Florida and Kentucky: Texas A&M (12th), Georgia (15th), LSU (18th), Arkansas (20th), South Carolina (21st), Alabama (25th), Auburn (28th), Missouri (33rd), Ole Miss (39th), Tennessee (46th), Mississippi State (49th) and Vanderbilt (64th).
Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart has stated a goal of finishing in the top five of the Directors’ Cup standings by the year 2022. His goals also include each UK team winning a conference or national championship by the year 2022 and continuing UK’s streak of 10 consecutive semesters with a cumulative athlete grade-point average of 3.0 or better.
Among other schools in Kentucky, Louisville claimed 26th place, Murray State was 130th, Western Kentucky was 155th, Northern Kentucky was 213th and Eastern Kentucky was 248th. Morehead State did not score.
A total of 293 Division I schools scored Directors’ Cup points.
Directors’ Cup standings
1. Stanford, 1,563.00
2. Ohio St., 1,343.75
3. Florida, 1,252.50
4. Southern Cal, 1,251.25
5. North Carolina, 1,154.00
6. Michigan, 1,133.25
7. Texas, 1,067.75
8. Penn St., 1,046.75
9. Oregon, 1,027.00
10. Kentucky, 1,025.00
26. Louisville, 767.50
130. Murray St., 125.50
155. W. Kentucky, 95.00
213. N. Kentucky, 50.00
248. E. Kentucky, 26.00
UK sport by sport
How UK compiled its 1,025 Directors’ Cup points, sport by sport:
Women’s outdoor track and field: Fourth, 80
Rifle: Fourth, 80
Men’s basketball: Fifth, 73
Women’s indoor track and field: Sixth, 73.5
Softball: Ninth, 64
Baseball: Ninth, 64
Gymnastics: 13th, 58.5
Women’s swimming and diving: 14th, 61.5
Men’s soccer: 17th, 50
Volleyball: 17th, 50
Women’s basketball: 17th, 50
Men’s tennis: 17th, 50
Women’s tennis: 17th, 50
Men’s indoor track and field: 22nd, 50
Women’s cross country: 30th, 30
Men’s cross country: 32nd, 26
Men’s swimming and diving: 37th, 32
Men’s golf: 39th, 33.5
Football: 50th, 25
Men’s outdoor track and field: 59th, 12.5
Women’s golf: 61st, 11.5