Penn State has 12th consecutive Top 5 Winter Finish in Learfield Directors’ Cup

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. For the 12th consecutive year, Penn State Athletics has placed in the Top 5 in the Learfield Directors’ Cup final winter standings.

Powered by the wrestling team’s sixth NCAA Championship in the past seven years, the Nittany Lions are No. 3 in the final winter standings, advancing four spots from the final fall rankings. Penn State’s 786 Directors’ Cup points are nearly 120 more than the 667.5 it had accumulated in the 2016 final winter standings.

The last time the Nittany Lions finished outside the Top 5 in the winter standings was in 2004-05. Penn State has finished in the Top 10 in the final winter rankings in 23 of the 24 years of the Directors’ Cup, with a total of 19 Top 5 finishes.

Penn State and Stanford are the nation’s only institutions to place in the Top 5 in the final winter Directors’ Cup standings in each of the past 12 years. Michigan is next with nine Top 5 finishes in the past 12 years. The Nittany Lions and Cardinal also are the nation’s only institutions to place in the Top 10 in the final fall Directors’ Cup standings in each of the past 10 years.

Stanford leads the Directors’ Cup and is followed by Ohio State (818 points), Penn State (786), Michigan (762.25), Wisconsin (692), North Carolina (664), Kentucky (660.25), USC (615.50), UCLA (610) and Notre Dame (599). The Big Ten leads all conferences with four schools in the Top 10.

A total of 15 Penn State teams have participated in their respective NCAA Championships thus far in 2016-17 and the Nittany Lion football team won the Big Ten Championship and played in the Rose Bowl. The men’s volleyball team meets Hawaii in the NCAA Tournament opening round on May 2 in Columbus, Ohio. Penn State is tied for the conference lead with six Big Ten Championships this year and has won eight conference titles overall in 2016-17.

Freshman Stephen Nedoroscik Wins NCAA Pommel Horse Title

In the latest compilation, the Penn State men’s gymnastics team earned 32.5 Directors’ Cup points by tying for seventh at the NCAA Championships. Led by Coach Randy Jepson, freshman Stephen Nedoroscik won the NCAA pommel horse title, becoming the 54th Nittany Lion men’s gymnast to win an individual national championship. Senior Leroy Clarke Jr. and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Sam Zakutney also earned All-America honors.

The Nittany Lion women’s gymnastics squad competed in the NCAA Regionals and garnered 46.25 Directors’ Cup points. Sophomore Sabrina Garcia and junior Briannah Tsang competed in the all-around at the NCAA Championships.

Record-Tying Five Champions Boost Nittany Lion Wrestlers to NCAA Crown

Led by an NCAA Championship record-tying five national champions, the Penn State wrestling team was dominant in winning its second consecutive and sixth NCAA title in the past seven years. Directed by Coach Cael Sanderson, the Nittany Lions scored a school record 146.5 points to easily surpass runner-up Ohio State’s total of 110, and earn 100 Directors’ Cup points.

Hodge Trophy winner Zain Retherford captured his second consecutive 149-pound crown, finishing the season 28-0 and earning the NCAA Championships Outstanding Wrestler. Jason Nolf (27-0) won the 157-pound title, and was joined by Vincenzo Joseph (165), Mark Hall (174) and Bo Nickal (184) as the Nittany Lions’ national champions.

In its fifth year as a varsity program, the Penn State men’s hockey team won its first Big Ten Tournament Championship and earned its initial NCAA Tournament berth. After defeating Union, 10-3, the Nittany Lions advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals, falling to eventual national champion Denver. Men’s hockey earned 60 Directors’ Cup points and was the only Big Ten team to reach the NCAA quarterfinals.

Guided by Coach John Gondak, the Penn State women’s track and field team captured its fourth Big Ten Indoor Championship and the men’s squad earned a program-best second-place Big Ten finish. The women’s team finished in a tie with Stanford for 10th at the NCAA Championships to earn 66.75 Directors’ Cup and combined with the men’s squad to earn 102.25 points.

The Penn State fencing team, under the direction of head coach Wes Glon, received 69 Directors’ Cup points for its seventh place finish at the NCAA Championships. Teodora Kakhiani and two-time NCAA Champion Andrew Mackiewicz earned All-America accolades.

The Nittany Lions also earned 45.5 points at the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Guided by Coach Tim Murphy, Olympian Shane Ryan completed his brilliant Penn State career with a pair of top 10 finishes to become a three-time All-American. Sophomore Ally McHugh earned two Top 16 finishes at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships to provide an additional 37.5 Directors’ Cup points.

The Nittany Lions earned their 10th consecutive Directors’ Cup Top 10 fall finish, placing No. 7. Penn State and Stanford are the nation’s only institutions to place in the Top 10 in the final fall Directors’ Cup standings in each of the past 10 years.

The Nittany Lions are among only nine programs nationwide to have finished in the Top 25 in all 23 Learfield Directors' Cup final standings.

Led by Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour, Penn State has one of the nation’s most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity programs (16 men’s, 15 women’s). Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 89 percent. The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 among all Division I schools with 195 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time and lead all conference schools with 5,730 Academic All-Big Ten selections since 1991-92.

The Nittany Lions’ 49 NCAA Championships all-time (77 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River. Penn State’s 30 NCAA titles since 1992-93 leads all Big Ten Conference institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 103 Big Ten Championships since capturing their first crown in 1992-93, including six thus far in 2016-17.

The Learfield 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 NCAA Championships.

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Last Updated April 27, 2017