Virginia’s 2016-17 Year in Review

Virginia’s third consecutive NCAA men’s tennis championship helped the Cavaliers to a 19th-place finish in the final 2016-17 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup competition, announced Thursday (June 29) by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

Virginia placed in the top 20 for the 11th consecutive year and is one of 12 schools to rank in the top 30 of the final Directors’ Cup standings in the 24-year existence of the program.

Points in the Director’s Cup standings are awarded by a school’s finish in each sport in which it competes in NCAA postseason play. Each school may count its highest finishes in 10 men’s sports and 10 women’s sports.

“It’s not easy to achieve consistent success in intercollegiate athletics and the streak of top 20 and top 30 Directors’ Cup finishes speaks to the hard work of our student-athletes and coaches and the support of our University administration, donors, and fans over a long period of time,” Virginia director of athletics Craig Littlepage said.

“In addition to tracking our progress in the Directors’ Cup ranking, we have set ambitious 10-year goals which include winning 12 NCAA championships and 70 ACC championships by the spring of 2022. At the mid-point of this period, while we recognize it will be a challenge to reach these goals, we remain focused to achieve them. Our `All In For Excellence’ fundraising initiative plays an important part in our effort to reach these goals as it is designed to provide the necessary resources to put our student-athletes in the best position to compete for championships. I invite all of our supporters to join this effort.”

Since the fall of 2012, UVA has won 24 ACC titles and six NCAA championships. The All In For Excellence fundraising initiative is designed to generate necessary resources to support Virginia’s pursuit of the 10 year goals. The fundraising target for this year, ending in December, is $24.2 million, including an annual fund goal of $19.2 million. The Virginia Athletics Foundation is responsible for all fundraising activities and more information about the All In For Excellence initiative can be found at

In addition to Virginia’s third consecutive NCAA men’s tennis championship, men’s track and field placed a program-best third nationally and men’s golf placed a program-best 10th. Field hockey advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals and rowing placed 11th nationally. Women’s swimming and diving placed 12th at the NCAA Championships and the men’s and women’s soccer programs each made NCAA Sweet 16 appearances.

UVA captured three Atlantic Coast Conference championships and its 76 conference titles since the spring of 2002 are the most of any ACC school during that time. In 2016-17, UVA won ACC championships in field hockey (1st in program history), men’s tennis (12th overall) and rowing (eighth consecutive and 17th in 18 years).

Individually, Filip Mihaljevic (Livno, Bosnia and Herzegovina) captured NCAA titles in the men’s shot put and discus at the outdoor championships. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski claimed the NCAA men’s tennis singles championship and field hockey junior midfielder Tara Vittese repeated as the Longstreth/NFHCA National Player of the Year.

Jimmy Stanger (men’s golf), Georgia Ratcliff (rowing), Mihaljevic (track & field) and Kwiatkowski (men’s tennis) earned ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors.

Additional highlights of Virginia’s 2016-17 athletics year included:

  • 19 of UVA’s 25 athletics programs advanced to NCAA postseason competition.
  • Wrestling finished 15th at the NCAA championships, marking its second-highest finish in program history
  • Men’s soccer qualified for its 36th consecutive NCAA Tournament (Division I men’s soccer record) and advanced to the third round
  • Men’s soccer head coach George Gelnovatch matched his predecessor Bruce Arena for the program record with his 295th win as Virginia’s head coach
  • Women’s soccer advanced to NCAA Round of 16 for the 12th consecutive season and Alexis Shaffer was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year, ACC Midfielder of the Year and Hermann Trophy semifinalist
  • Volleyball’s Jasmine Burton earned AVCA honorable mention All-America honors
  • Football’s Quin Blanding (Sporting News – 2nd team) and Micah Kiser (Football Writers Association of America) earned All-America accolades
  • Taquan Mizzell became the first player in ACC football history with at least 1,500 career rushing and 1,500 career receiving yards
  • The men’s cross country team made the NCAA championships for the fifth consecutive yea
  • Women’s lacrosse head coach Julie Myers captured her 300th win
  • Jordan Young was named ACC Men’s Field Indoor Performer of the Year
  • Filip Mihaljevic was named ACC Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year
  • Men’s basketball advanced to its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1981-84, led the nation in scoring defense (56.4 ppg) and recorded its school-record fifth straight season with 23 or more wins.
  • Women’s basketball won 20 games and earned the ACC’s automatic bid to the WNIT Tournament
  • Wrestler George DiCamillo became UVA’s first national finalist since 2000 (3rd all-time) and was named ACC Wrestler of the Year
  • Jimmy Stanger won the ACC men’s golf individual championship and became the first PING first-team All-American in program history
  • Women’s golfer Anna Redding was selected as an individual competitor at the NCAA Regional
  • Under the direction of first-year head coach Joanna Hardin, softball won 22 games, its most since 2012, and qualified for its first postseason since 2013
  • Rowing head coach Kevin Sauer was elected to the Women’s Collegiate Coaches Hall of Fame
  • Baseball competed in the NCAA Tournament for 14th straight season (fourth longest active streak in Division I baseball)
  • Pavin Smith and Adam Haseley were selected seventh and eighth, respectively, in the MLB Draft, marking the first time position players from the same school were taken in the first round since 1988
  • 323 student-athletes were named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll

Academic Summary

Virginia student-athletes registered an outstanding academic performance during the Spring 2017 semester. The overall GPA for UVa’s 604 student-athletes in Spring was 3.102, the highest spring semester mark since 2003.

A total of 86.6 percent of UVa’s student-athletes earned a GPA of 2.5 or better with 62.8 percent recording a mark of 3.0 or better.  The overall GPA for the 2016-2017 academic year was 3.043.

A total of 12 student-athletes earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average during the semester.

A total of 322 Cavalier student-athletes were named to the 2016-17 ACC Academic Honor Roll, including 42 who were recognized for the fourth time during their careers.

Of UVa’s 25 athletics programs, 16 earned a GPA of 3.0 or better during the semester. The women’s swimming & diving team recorded the highest GPA (3.462) among women’s programs and the men’s tennis team recorded the highest GPA (3.368) to lead men’s programs.

There were 17 teams that improved their team GPA from Spring of 2016 to Spring of 2017. That group included the sport programs of Baseball, Men’s Cross Country, Football, Men’s Golf, Men’s Lacrosse, Men’s Soccer, Men’s Swimming, Men’s Tennis, Men’s Track, Wrestling, Women’s Crew, Field Hockey, Women’s Golf, Softball, Women’s Swimming, Women’s Track, and Women’s Volleyball.

Nine Cavalier athletic programs recorded their highest cumulative GPA in the last 13 years. That group features the MFB, MGO,MSW, MTE, MTR, WCR, WFH, WSW and WTR.