MEDFORD - Boosted by NCAA team championships won by Men's Lacrosse and Softball in the spring, the Tufts University varsity athletics program finished ninth among NCAA DIII schools in the final release of the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings.
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 18 sports -- nine women's and nine men's.
Tufts earned its seventh top 10 finish overall in the Directors' Cup this year. Jumbo teams accumulated a 766.25 total score with a high of 313 from the spring, 260.5 in the fall and 192.75 in the winter.
Head coach Mike Daly's Men's Lacrosse team and head coach Cheryl Milligan's Softball team both earned 100 Director's Cup points for winning their respective 2015 NCAA championships. Head coach Josh Shapiro's Men's Soccer team also scored 100 for their national championship in the fall.
The Tufts Women's Lacrosse team, coached by Courtney Farrell, advanced to the third round of the NCAA's and earned 64 Director's Cup points in the spring. Men's Track junior Mitchell Black won the NCAA Outdoor 800 meters title to help Tufts place 24th at the meet for 49 Cup points. Four spring teams overall contributed to the total.
In addition to Men's Soccer, three other Jumbo teams posted NCAA seasons in the fall. Women's Cross Country, coached by Kristen Morwick, ran 16th at their national championship to score 58.5 points. Coach Ethan Barron's Men's Cross Country squad added 52 to the score with a 22nd-place effort at the NCAA Championship race. Under the direction of head coach Cora Thompson, Volleyball advanced to the second round and scored 50 Directors' Cup points.
Three Jumbo winter teams competed in NCAA events. Head coach Carla Berube's Women's Basketball team advanced to the "Final Four" for the second straight season and scored 83 Director's Cup points. The Men's Track & Field team guided by Coach Barron earned 59.25 points for a 15th place finish at the NCAA Championships, where Black was the Indoor 800 meters winner as well. Head coach Adam Hoyt's Men's Swimming & Diving team scored 50.5 Cup points for a 23rd place team finish at NCAA's.
This marks Tufts' fourth straight year in the Director's Cup top 10. The Jumbos earned their third-best finish in Directors' Cup history last year (2013-14) with a seventh. The program was eighth for 2012-13 and seventh in 2011-12. The Jumbos finished sixth in the 2005-06 year, sixth for 2009-10 and 10th for 2008-09.
The NCAA's Division III includes more than 400 schools.