The arrow is finally pointing up for the Iowa athletic department in the annual Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. Iowa finished 43rd with a 510 points — the most ever compiled by the Hawkeyes in the history of the competition.
“The Directors’ Cup is just one of a handful of tools our staff uses to measure success, so it’s exciting to see the hard work of our coaches and student-athletes has been rewarded by this achievement,” Iowa athletics director Gary Barta told HawkeyeSports.com. “The plan now is to take the momentum of this year and build on it.”
Iowa finished ninth among Big Ten teams after placing last (11th) in four of the previous five years. Northwestern was 46th and Purdue was 49th.
The Directors’ Cup awards points in up to 20 NCAA sports based on how teams finish in the postseason. Iowa was lifted in the standings by a handful of sports that did not score any points a year ago.
That includes women’s swimming (43.5), men’s swimming (36), and women’s indoor track (21). In addition the Big Ten Champion men’s track team scored 69.75 points in indoor and 25.5 in outdoor seasons after only tallying 9.38 points total last year.
Wrestling continued to help carry the day with 85 points after a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Men’s golf added 66¾ points by nearly making the final cut and placing 10th at the NCAA Championships.
Other contributors include football (45), women’s basketball (25), women’s gymnastics (46.5), and men’s gymnastics (46).
The point total beat the previous high set in 2009 of 474.3 points when Iowa finished 45th. Iowa has never placed higher than 39th (2005).
Stanford won its 17th straight Directors’ Cup with 1,550.25 points. Ohio State was second, and led the Big Ten, with 1277.05 points.
The rest of the Big Ten places: Penn State (13), Michigan (15), Illinois (23), Wisconsin (26), Indiana (28), Minnesota (29), and Michigan State (42). Nebraska, which joined the Big Ten on July 1, finished 33rd during its final season in the Big 12.
Iowa State finished 60th with 348.8 points — after placing 34th last year — and Northern Iowa was 148th with 102.5 points.
Directors’ Cup – Iowa history
Iowa’s national and Big Ten ranking in the Directors’ Cup standings in the past decade:
Year Nation Big Ten
2011 43rd 9th
2010 55th 11th
2009 45th 10th
2008 51st 11th
2007 68th 11th
2006 53rd 11th
2005 39th 9th
2004 48th 10th
2003 42nd 10th
2002 48th 10th