June 3, 2021
Tar Heels Third After Fall and Winter Sports in Directors’ Cup Standings
CHAPEL HILL – The University of North Carolina is in third place in the 2020-21 Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings, which the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) released Thursday.
Carolina’s fall and winter sports amassed 696.50 points, most in the Atlantic Coast Conference and third most among all schools behind Stanford (770.00) and Michigan (769.50). Ohio State, Kentucky, BYU, Alabama, Minnesota, Arkansas and Florida round out the top 10.
The Directors’ Cup awards points based on NCAA postseason success. Each school may accumulate points towards the Cup standings in 19 sports – four of which much be baseball, men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball.
The Tar Heels’ fall sports compiled 371.00 points, most in the nation. The field hockey team won the national championship for the third consecutive season, men’s and women’s soccer both advanced to the national semifinals and tied for third, women’s cross country finished 14th and football was ranked No. 17 in the coaches’ poll to provide UNC’s 371 points.
The NCAA title was Carolina’s ninth in field hockey, which equals the most in the sport’s history. Women’s soccer advanced to the College Cup for an unprecedented 30th time and men’s soccer reached the national semifinals for the ninth time, including seven of the last 13 seasons. The women’s cross country team’s finish was its best since 2010 and football had its highest finish in a national poll in five seasons.
Eight different programs contributed points in the winter, led by a combined sixth-place finish by men’s and women’s fencing, the best in NCAA competition in school history. Women’s swimming and diving placed 12th (best since 2013), wrestling was 16th (best since 1995), men’s indoor track and field was 18th (best since 2002), men’s swimming and diving was 24th (best since 2015), and men’s and women’s basketball both played in the NCAA Tournament.
NACDA will release the final 2020-21 standings on July 2. The Tar Heels will gain additional points from at least six more sports, including at least five which placed in the top 10 at their respective national championships – third-place finishes by men’s and women’s lacrosse and women’s tennis, fifth by men’s golf and ninth by men’s tennis. Baseball and track and field are still competing in NCAA Championships.
Carolina has had 21 previous top-10 finishes in the 26-year history of the Directors’ Cup, including winning the inaugural trophy in 1993-94 (the standings were halted in 2019-20 due to the pandemic). UNC has the fourth-most top-10s behind Stanford (26), Florida (26) and UCLA (23).
Should Carolina maintain its current position (third), it would be UNC’s best finish in the Directors’ Cup since a second-place performance in 2008-09. In addition to winning the Cup in 1993-94, UNC has placed second four times, third once, fourth twice and fifth three times.