NCAA championships in men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse propelled Virginia to an eighth-place finish in the final 2018-19 Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup competition, announced Friday (June 28) by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Virginia posted its sixth top-10 finish in the decade and placed in the top 25 for the 13th consecutive year. UVA is one of 12 schools to rank in the top 30 of the final Directors’ Cup standings in the 26-year existence of the program.
Points in the Director’s Cup standings are awarded by a school’s NCAA postseason finish in 19 sports, four of which must be men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and volleyball.
“Our top-10 finish in the Directors’ Cup reflects the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes, coaches and staff,” Virginia Director of Athletics Carla Williams said. “We had a fantastic athletics season, highlighted by a pair of NCAA championships. Our fans gave us incredible support, and we look forward to ensuring our sports programs are a source of great pride for the University, the community and the Commonwealth.”
In addition to the pair of NCAA championships, 21 other UVA teams – or programs with individuals representing their teams – appeared in postseason competition.
Women’s swimming and diving finished sixth at the NCAA Championships and men’s tennis and women’s lacrosse each advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight. Men’s swimming and diving and rowing each placed 10th at the NCAA Championships, while men’s soccer, women’s soccer and field hockey each advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. Women’s golf placed 14th at the NCAA Championships.
UVA captured two Atlantic Coast Conference championships and its 81 conference titles since the spring of 2002 are the most of any ACC school during that time. In 2018-19, UVA won ACC championships in men’s lacrosse (18th overall and first since 2010) and rowing (10 consecutive and 19th in 20 years).
Individually, Jordan Scott became the first ACC male competitor to win the indoor national title in the triple jump, while wrestler Jack Muller was the runner-up at the NCAA Championships in the 125-pound weight class. Tony Bennett (men’s basketball), Andres Pedroso (men’s tennis), Lars Tiffany (men’s lacrosse) and Bryan Fetzer (men’s outdoor track & field) earned ACC Coach of the Year honors.
Additional highlights of Virginia’s 2018-19 athletics year included:
• Football participated in back-to-back bowl games for the first time since 2004-05, capturing the Belk Bowl with a 28-0 win over South Carolina
• Men’s basketball captured its first NCAA title, earned a share of its ninth ACC regular-season championship and won a school-record 35 games
• Men’s lacrosse won its sixth NCAA title and first since 2011
• UVA posted a graduation rate of 92 percent in the NCAA’s annual Graduation Success Rate for incoming student-athletes from 2008 to 2011. It is the highest mark for Virginia since the report was launched in 1998
• Seven UVA teams earned Public Recognition Awards for the NCAA for academic excellence after scoring in the top 10 percent of the most recent NCAA Division I Academic Progress Report. Team recognized were men’s golf, women’s basketball, women’s golf, women’s
lacrosse, women’s track and field, women’s swimming and diving and volleyball
• Virginia announced The Master Plan to transform the athletics precinct on North Grounds.
• The demolition of historic University Hall was started in November and the building was imploded on May 25
• Virginia defeated Virginia Tech 12.5 to 9.5 in the Commonwealth Clash All-Sports competition between the two schools
• Baseball pitcher Chesdin Harrington, softball pitcher Erika Osherow and swimmer Rachael Politi received Weaver-James-Corrigan postgraduate scholarships from the ACC.
• Long-time head coach and sport administrator Jane Miller announced her retirement after 35 years of service to the athletics department.
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