SOU sixth in overall athletics in NAIA
ASHLAND — Despite a slight slip in the standings with only three teams in action during the spring, the 2014-15 season culminated with Southern Oregon University at No. 6 in the NAIA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup — the best finish for a Cascade Collegiate Conference school and the top finish by a state school.
The Directors' Cup was introduced to the NAIA in 1995-96 as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USA Today. Points are awarded based on institutions' finish at the NAIA Championships in up to 12 sports — six men's and six women's — and the final totals were released Thursday.
SOU's top standing was previously 18th after the 2012-13 season, and the Raiders were 32nd last year. SOU spent seven consecutive seasons outside the top 40 prior to 2010-11.
Nine of 11 Raider teams scored this season by advancing to their respective NAIA championships.
Concordia previously owned the top final standing by a CCC school at ninth, achieving that finish for the third time in seven years in 2014-15. The Cavaliers will be joining the NCAA Division II level beginning with the 2015-16 season.
Behind SOU and Concordia in the CCC, Eastern Oregon placed 27th, College of Idaho was 30th and Oregon Tech was 48th.
The Raiders amassed 696.5 points — 297 in the fall, 292 in the winter and 107.5 in the spring. Oklahoma Baptist won its third straight Directors' Cup with 854.5 points.
SOU held the No. 1 spot through the fall and winter after scoring in football (first place, 100 points), men's cross country (second, 90), wrestling (second, 90), men's basketball (fifth, 70), women's basketball (ninth, 53), volleyball (13th, 51), women's cross country (18th, 56), men's indoor track and field (29th, 44) and women's indoor track and field (38th, 35).
In the spring, the Raiders got points from men's track and field (12th, 64.5) and women's track and field (28th, 43).