By Matthew Lee
Stanford earned its 23rd consecutive Division I Director’s Cup this year, accepting the trophy with 1,536 points compared to runner-up Ohio State’s 1391.751.
Established in 1993, the Director’s Cup recognizes athletic programs based on a tally of NCAA championship achievements across all men’s and women’s sports. Stanford has won every single cup since the University of North Carolina clinched the the very first cup. Stanford has managed to capture the award every year since. The Director’s Cup is an award that honors a university’s entire athletics department, taking into account the achievements of every single sport and student-athlete.
Men’s soccer coach Jeremy Gunn accepted the trophy at the yearly meeting of the National Association of Collegiate Directors in Orlando, Florida, on June 14.
Jenna Gray ’20, a setter on the championship-winning women’s volleyball team, said she appreciated that the award recognized the entire athletics department instead of just the first-place teams.
“I like that they recognize our whole entire athletics team and department,” Gray said. “There’s so many teams that I know were in the Final Four and the championship, but I think that all teams deserve to be recognized because everyone works so hard every single day.”
Stanford’s push for the 2016-2017 kicked off the season with national championships in women’s volleyball and men’s soccer.
Grant Fisher ’19, a cross country student athlete and 1,500 meter champion said that seeing people he knew from his dorm and classes winning championships encouraged him to train hard and fight for a title this season.
“Right off the bat: in the fall and the winter, teams were winning national championships very quickly this year, and I think just seeing that was definitely motivation for everybody,” Fisher said.”
In the spring, the Cardinal added national championships in women’s swimming and water polo. When asked about what makes this sustained success possible, Fisher attributed Stanford’s achievements to the coaching staff and administrators investing a lot of time and cultivating encouraging environments.
“I think something unique about Stanford is that the administrators really, really trust the coaches and let them have a lot of autonomy in doing their day-to-day routines and what they feel is best for their team,” he said.
Contact Matthew Lee at 18matthewl ‘at’ students.harker.org