History has been made again by UK Athletics.
The final 2021-22 Learfield Directors’ Cup standings have been released, which have UK checking in at No. 9 overall, the highest finish in school history. The previous record was a No. 10 finish in 2016-17.
When you look back at all of the success various UK programs have had over the last year, it’s no surprise to see this record-breaking finish. It was highlighted by a national championship in rifle, an NCAA runner-up finish in men’s tennis, a third-place national finishes by women’s indoor and outdoor track & field, and a 10-3 season for the football team that included a Citrus Bowl win over a top-15 Iowa team.
This marks the fifth-straight year of UK finishing in the top 20 and 10th straight in the top 30, not including the 2019-20 school year when there were no standings kept because of the cancellation of winter and spring sports championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Directors’ Cup began in 1993-94, and the best eight finishes in school history have been under current UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, all of which have come in the last nine years.
“We’re grateful to our teams, athletes, coaches and staff for the achievements which have led to this unprecedented ranking. I also want to thank the Big Blue Nation, whose support is the foundation of our program,” Barnhart said in a press release.”
“The Directors’ Cup is a measure of success in the arenas and fields of competition. At the same time, our young people have maintained success in the classroom – school records this year for graduation rates and total number of graduates from athletics, along with extending our streak of 20 consecutive semesters with a department-wide 3.0 GPA.
“We will celebrate those successes, yet we will never be satisfied. Undoubtedly, there remains room for growth as we continue our quest of being among the elite athletics departments in the nation.”
The Directors’ Cup measures competitive success for 358 Division I schools. For each NCAA-sanctioned sport, points are awarded based on NCAA championship participation.
This year, 18 of UK’s 22 eligible teams reached postseason play and scored points toward UK’s final Directors’ Cup tally.
Here are the national finishes and Directors’ Cup point totals for each sport:
- Rifle – first, 100 points
- Men’s tennis – second, 90 points
- Women’s indoor track and field – third, 85 points
- Men’s indoor track and field – third, 85 points
- Gymnastics – ninth, 66.75 points
- Men’s soccer – ninth, 64 points
- Women’s swimming and diving – 12th, 64.5 points
- Football – 15th, 60 points
- Volleyball – 17th, 50 points
- Softball – 17th, 50 points
- Men’s indoor track and field – 21st, 52 points
- Men’s swimming and diving – 31st, 43 points
- Women’s cross-country – 32nd, 27 points
- Men’s Basketball – 33rd, 25 points
- Women’s Basketball – 33rd, 25 points
- Men’s outdoor track and field – 36th, 37 points
- Women’s golf – 37th, 33.5 points
- Men’s golf – 49th, 22 points