June 12, 2014
For the second consecutive year, Oklahoma Baptist University earned recognition as the nation's top NAIA athletics program.
OBU completed a set of Learfield Sports Directors' Cup trophy case bookends Tuesday with the award being announced Tuesday morning. OBU is the fourth school in the NAIA to win back-to-back honors.
The 2013-14 award comes with the bonus of knowing OBU student-athletes also raised their GPA since the last Cup arrived on campus.
"Winning this recognition last year energized our coaches and athletes this year," said Robert Davenport, OBU director of athletics. "Repeating as winners of the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup is a remarkable accomplishment. I am proud and excited for our student-athletes, coaches, the department and OBU. The fact that we achieved this award while raising the bar academically is important."
Oklahoma Baptist finished with 907.50 points and scored in the maximum 12 sports, including national championships in both women's and men's swimming & diving and women's indoor track & field, second in women's outdoor track & field, fourth in men's indoor track & field and baseball, seventh in women's cross country, ninth in women's tennis, 10th in men's golf and men's outdoor track & field, 11th in softball and 14th in men's cross country. The Bison had three scores omitted due to the six maximum allowed for women's and men's sports –- men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball.
Oklahoma City finished as the runner-up for the title with 763.25 points. The Stars scored in 11 total sports and finished the spring with a 3rd place finish in softball while also scoring points in baseball. This marks Oklahoma City's second time finishing as the runner-up.
Lindsey Wilson took home third place with 756 points. The Blue Raiders scored in all 12 sports, including fifth in softball. Lindsey Wilson's best finishes for the season were third place in men's and women's soccer and women's tennis.
Embry Riddle (Fla.), with 748.50 points, finished in fourth place. The Eagles scored in the maximum 12 sports and had two scores omitted due to the six maximum allowed for women's and men's sports –men's basketball and men's cross country. Embry Riddle's best scores came from second place finishes in both men's and women's tennis.
Rounding out the top five is Olivet Nazarene with 741.75 points. The Tigers scored in 12 sports, including ninth in softball. Olivet Nazarene also finished fifth last year.
The Sooner Athletic Conference finished with three institutions ranked in the top 10 –- Oklahoma Baptist (1st), Oklahoma City (2nd) and Wayland Baptist (6th). WBU had 648 points.
St. Gregory's was 62nd with 226.5 points, followed in the SAC by Northwood in 76th at 184.5, Texas Wesleyan in 92nd at 148, John Brown in 116th at 108 and USAO and Southwestern Assemblies of God tied for 173rd at 25. There were 189 scoring NAIA teams.
The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 12 sports -- six women's and six men's.
OBU won the award last year with 964 points, including four NAIA titles in one day –- men's and women's swimming and diving and men's and women's indoor track and field.