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Villanova Finishes 2009-10 Academic Year Ranked No. 51 in Learfield Sports Directors' Cup

Aug. 4, 2010

Final Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Standings

CLEVELAND--One of the best academic years in the storied history of Villanova Athletics concluded with the Wildcats ranked No. 51 in the final rankings of the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup. This ranking places Villanova second among all non-FBS football schools and fourth-highest in the BIG EAST Conference. During the 2009-10 academic year, the Wildcats won two team national championships and had a total of five teams earn points for advancing to national postseason play.

Headlining the many success stories for Villanova over the past year were team national championships for the women's cross country and football programs. The 17th and 18th national titles in Wildcat history came less than one month apart during a tremendous fall season for Villanova. The national championship for the women's cross country program was the eighth in the team's history, while the football team captured the FCS national title for the first time with a thrilling championship game victory over previously unbeaten Montana.

The men's cross country team also reached the NCAA Championships as a team thanks to a second place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional. At the national championship meet, the Wildcats turned in a strong team effort to secure an 11th place finish in the country.

Another fall sport to have a great deal of success was the women's soccer team, which qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in the last nine years. Along the way, Villanova marked its 11th consecutive year with a winning record and at least 10 victories and finished the season on a strong note with its NCAA appearance.

During the winter season, the men's basketball team reached the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive year, a streak that can only be claimed by the Wildcats and Pittsburgh among BIG EAST teams. Villanova wrapped up another highly successful regular season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, finishing the year with a sparkling 25-8 overall record.

Villanova's final ranking at No. 51 marks the second straight year and eighth time in the 17-year history of the Directors' Cup that the Wildcats have placed among the top 60 overall programs. The BIG EAST Conference currently has eight of its programs ranked in the top 70, with only Notre Dame (#27), West Virginia (#37) and Louisville (#41-tie) coming in ahead of Villanova.

The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. The program honors institutions for maintaining a broad-based program and for achieving success in many sports, including both men's and women's programs. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports - ten women's and ten men's. The program was started in 1993-94 for Division I and was expanded in 1995-96 to include Division II, III and the NAIA.

Villanova's 2009-10 Academic Year Accomplishments

National Championships
Women's Cross Country

Conference Championships
Women's Cross Country
Women's Indoor Track & Field

NCAA Tournament Team Appearances
Men's Basketball
Men's Cross Country
Women's Cross Country
Women's Soccer

Conference Tournament Team Appearances
Women's Soccer
Men's Soccer
Men's Tennis

Individual Highlights
Two National Coaches of the Year

Four Conference Coaches of the Year

18 All-Americans
40 All-Conference Selections

Academic Success
Student-Athletes have posted a GPA of better than 3.0 for 13 consecutive semesters
21 sports ranked above the national average within their sport in the Academic Progress Rate (APR)
Nine sports received public recognition for ranking within the top 10 percent of their sport in the APR
Five sports have achieved a perfect multi-year APR score of 1000

  • Men's Lacrosse, Men's Swimming & Diving, Men's Tennis, Women's Basketball, Softball

Will Thompson (football) received NCAA Elite 88 Academic Award
Nicole Schappert (women's cross country/track & field) received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
273 BIG EAST Academic All-Stars
Seven football student-athletes on CAA All-Academic Team
Six members of the women's track & field team named USTFCCCA Scholar-Athletes
Four water polo student-athletes on MAAC All-Academic Team

Read more about the academic awards recently won by Villanova