June 30, 2003
Cullowhee, N.C. - Thanks to its solid finishes in the NCAA Baseball and Women's Golf Regionals, Western Carolina placed 171st in the 2002-03 National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Directors' Cup standings. The finish is the highest ever for the Catamounts and their first appearance in the standings since the 1996-97 season.
Developed in 1993-94, the NACDA Directors' Cup program is the only all-sports competition that recognizes the institution with the best overall athletics program by virtue of their finish in the various NCAA Championships. Of the 318 eligible colleges and universities in the NCAA Division I, a total of 268 (84 percent) scored points in the NACDA Directors' Cup competition. Complete final rankings on all of these institutions are available on NACDA's web site at www.nacda.com.
"The NACDA Directors' Cup is currently the only measurement of success we have on a national level," said WCU director of athletics Jeff Compher. "It is an honor to be ranked. Our final standing, as well as our return to rankings after a five-year absence, is a sign our programs are going in the right direction. Our ranking was based on us getting two teams in the NCAA Regionals and we are working for all our teams to reach that goal."
The Catamount baseball team received 50 points for reaching the NCAA Wilson Regional championship, falling to North Carolina State in 14 innings, and the women's golf team earned 26 points for its 16th-place finish at the NCAA East Regional.
Western Carolina trailed only Furman (106th), Georgia Southern (129th) and the College of Charleston (142nd) among the Southern Conference schools in the 2002-03 NACDA Directors' Cup standings. Other SoCon teams to participate in the NCAA Championships and make the list were Appalachian State (186th), East Tennessee State (188th), Chattanooga (198th), VMI (229th) and The Citadel (232nd). Western also did well among the institutions in the state of North Carolina, finishing ahead of App State, East Carolina (197th), Charlotte (205th), High Point (233th-tied), UNC Asheville (233th-tied) and Gardner-Webb (265th). Stanford won the NACDA Directors' Cup for the ninth consecutive season. Other schools of interest include North Carolina (8th), Duke (21st), Wake Forest (32nd), North Carolina State (43rd) and UNC Wilmington (127th).
The Catamounts' previous finishes in the NACDA Directors' Cup include placing 196th in 1993-94, which was the first year of the program, 219th in 1995-96 and 194th in 1996-97. Western's baseball team participated in the 1994 and 1997 NCAA Regionals, while the WCU men's basketball team played in the 1996 NCAA Championship.