In the Big Leagues—Again
For the sixth straight year—and tenth time overall—the Tufts varsity athletics program finished in the top ten of the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, ranking eighth out of 323 Division III colleges and universities for 2017-18.
The Learfield Directors’ Cup was developed jointly by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution’s NCAA finishes in up to eighteen sports—nine women’s and nine men’s. (See the final report [PDF].)
A total of fourteen Jumbo teams scored Directors’ Cup points for their performances in NCAA events during 2017-18. This spring, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball, women’s tennis, and men’s outdoor track and field scored for Tufts. Women’s basketball, men’s swimming and diving, women’s indoor track and field, men’s indoor track and field, and women’s swimming and diving gave Tufts five winter teams that contributed to the Directors’ Cup total. For the fall, women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball qualified for NCAA competition.
Tufts’ three-season total in the Director’s Cup was 787.5 points. They scored 220 in the fall, 301.5 in the winter and 266 in the spring. The Jumbos edged the Amherst College Mammoths (773.5) in the standings by 14 points.
For the spring season, head coach Casey D’Annolfo’s men’s lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals to score a season-best 73 Cup points. The NCAA regional finalist women’s tennis team coached by Kate Bayard added 64 points to Tufts’ total. Head coach Cheryl Milligan’s softball team and head coach Courtney Shute’s women’s lacrosse team both scored 50 points for their seventeenth-place NCAA finishes. Men’s outdoor track and field, coached by Joel Williams, contributed 28 points to the Jumbos’ spring total.
Tufts’ best season in terms of Cup points was the winter, led by four top-fifteen finishes in NCAA championship events. Head coach Carla Berube’s women’s basketball team earned 73 fifth-place points for advancing to the Elite Eight. The men’s swimming and diving team, coached by Adam Hoyt, also finished among the top ten in seventh place at their NCAA meet for 72 points. Morwick’s women’s indoor track and field placed eleventh at the NCAA championships for a 64.5 Directors’ Cup score. Williams’ men’s indoor track and field squad was thirteenth, adding 61.5 points to the Tufts total. Women’s swimming and diving, also led by Hoyt, contributed 30.5 points.
In the fall, head coach Josh Shapiro’s men’s soccer team scored the most points (73) after advancing to the NCAA tournament Elite Eight. The women’s cross country team, coached by Morwick, finished seventh at the NCAA championship race to score 72 Directors’ Cup points. Head coach Cora Thompson’s volleyball squad played into the second round and earned 50 points in the Cup standings. Head coach Martha Whiting’s team lost in the first round of the NCAA women’s soccer field, earning them 25 Cup points.
Last year—2016-17—Tufts placed third overall in the Learfield Directors’ Cup, and the year before that placed fourth.