The Arizona State University athletic department finished 18th in the 2012-13 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup, according to the final rankings released by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) on Thursday.
Arizona State finished with 852.08 points to finish in the top 20 out of 294 programs to score points in the annual competition, which is held to determine the top broad-based athletic program in the nation.
In the 20-year history of the program, the Sun Devils have placed in the Top 30 each season. This year's finish marked the highest for the department since the 2008-09 campaign, where ASU finished 12th overall.
Overall, Stanford won the competition with 1,261.25 points, followed by Florida with 1244.75 points. UCLA (1,227.25) Michigan (1,138.25), UCLA (1,127.25) and Texas A&M (1,131.50) rounded out the top five.
Among Pac-12 schools, ASU finished sixth behind Stanford (first), UCLA (third), USC (14th), Oregon (15th) and California (17th), though the program was less than 100 points behind USC. ASU finished ahead of Arizona (23rd) by over 50 points.
Arizona State added 50 points for their appearance in the regional round of the NCAA Baseball Tournament in the final rankings. That helped leapfrog over Minnesota to give ASU the 18th position in the final standings.
ASU's rise in the rankings was fueled by a spectacular season in the Spring sports.
The men's and women's golf teams headed the charge with both squads posting fifth-place finishes (earning 72.8 and 75 points, respectively) at their respective NCAA Championship events. The men's team reached the quarterfinals of match play despite entering the final week of competition as the No. 27 seed while the women achieved their best finish since 2010.
The Sun Devil softball team finished another impressive season with a seventh-place finish (73 points) in its third consecutive appearance in the Women's College World Series.
Arizona State's women's tennis team finished the season with a top-20 finish in 17th overall, earning 50 points toward the cause.
The ASU women's track and field team finished 10th overall at the NCAA Championships and earned 67.5 points towards ASU cause while the men's squad was 28th overall, earning 43 points.
Indoors, the women's track and field squad posted a seventh-place finish (71.25 points) as ASU's top point-earner for the Winter session of the rankings while the women's gymnastic program earned 13th-place points (59.33) for their solid season.
Both the men's (18th) and women's (23rd) swimming and diving programs finished in the top 25 nationally, garnering 55.5 and 51 points, respectively.
The Sun Devil football team earned 45 points with a 26th-place finish as the athletic department's top-earner during the Fall season.
The Cup, which has carried the names of several different sponsors, was started in the early 1970's by the Knoxville Journal with the newspaper awarding points based upon finishes in the national meets and tallying three standings: men, women and combined. Under that format, ASU climbed its way into the Top 5 on several occasions as a combined program, finishing second in 1981 after placing third in 1976, 1977 and 1978. When USA Today took over compiling the numbers in the late 1980's, the Sun Devils finished in the Top 10 on several occasions as a combined program with their highest finish coming in 1990 when they finished fourth after the men were fourth and women fifth in their separate divisions.
ARIZONA STATE IN THE FINAL LEARFIELD DIRECTORS' CUP STANDINGS
2012-13 – 18th
2011-12 - 30th
2010-11 - 27th
2009-10 - 22nd
2008-09 - 12th
2007-08 - 4th
2006-07 - 10th
2005-06 - 13th
2004-05 - 11th
2003-04 - 17th
2002-03 - 10th
2001-02 - 15th
2000-01 - 9th
1999-00 - 11th
1998-99 - 12th
1997-98 - 12th
1996-97 - 13th
1995-96 - 21st
1994-95 - 12th
1993-94 - 10th
2012-13 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Top 5
1. Stanford (1,261.25)
2. Florida (1,244.75
3. UCLA (1,227.25)
4. Michigan (1,138.25)
5. Texas A&M (1131.50)
18. Arizona State (852.08)
Sun Devil Teams Scoring in the 2012-13 Director's Cup
75.0 - Golf (W) - 5th
73.0 - Softball - 7th
72.8 - Golf (M) - 5th
71.25 - Track and Field (W/In) - 7th
67.5 - Track and Field (W/Out) - 10th
59.33 - Gymnastics - 13th
57.75 - Track and Field (M/In) - 16th
55.5 - Swimming and Diving (M) - 18th
51.0 - Swimming and Diving (W) - 23rd
50.0 – Baseball – 17th
50.0 - Tennis - 17th
45.0 - Football - 26th
43.0 - Track and Field (M/Out) - 28th
31.0 - Wrestling - 41st
25.0 - Soccer - 33rd
25.0 - Volleyball - 33rd
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