Bates places an all-time best 27th in final Directors' Cup standings

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Five days after capping the year with its first NCAA team championship in any sport, Bates College placed an all-time best 27th in the final 2014–15 Directors' Cup Division III standings, announced Thursday, June 4 by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. 

Out of more than 450 institutions in NCAA Division III, 322 earned Directors' Cup points for their participation in one of 18 NCAA championships (nine for men, nine for women). Bates scored 496 Directors' Cup points, 10 fewer than 26th-place Wisconsin-Stevens Point and 2.75 more than 28th-place Messiah College.

Recent history points to a positive trajectory for the Bobcats: the past four academic years are all among Bates' top seven all-time — Bates placed 46th in 2012, 38th in 2013 and 45th in 2014. The other three in the top seven were 2005 (33rd), 2000 (35th) and 2002 (45th).

Among peer New England Small College Athletic Conference, Bates repeats in sixth place out of 11 schools. The NESCAC has four colleges among the top 10 in Williams (1st), Amherst (5th), Middlebury (7th) and Tufts (9th). Bowdoin is 19th, followed in conference order by Bates (27th), Trinity (41st), Hamilton (95th), Colby (117th), Connecticut College (t-144th) and Wesleyan (188th).

Bates didn't earn any Directors' Cup points in the fall 2014 season, but surged to 37th place at the conclusion of the winter season, by scoring 285.85 points, with 68.25 from men's indoor track and field, 66 from women's swimming, 64 from men's basketball, 40 from skiing, 37 from men's swimming and 10.6 from women's indoor track and field.

For three of those teams, those are all-time best numbers — men's basketball played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time and tied for ninth place nationally; women's swimming placed 11th and men's swimming tied for 37th.

The spring season brought more firsts and netted 210.75 Directors' Cup points, with 100 for women's rowing, 57.75 for men's outdoor track and field and 53 for men's lacrosse.

Women's rowing concluded the spring season by winning the first NCAA team championshp in Bates College history, while men's lacrosse, like men's basketball previously, made the NCAA Tournament for the first time and tied for ninth place nationally by advancing to the Sweet 16.

Bates' finish is perhaps more impressive when considering some of the successes that occurred outside the scope of the Director's Cup. Four Bates varsity teams don't have the opportunity to play in NCAA championships: football, men's rowing and men's and women's squash. The year's extensive highlights from those programs included:

  • a CBB championship for football; 
  • NESCAC and New England Rowing Championship titles for men's rowing;
  • a No. 15 national ranking for women's squash;
  • and for men's squash, a No. 13 national ranking and the College Squash Association individual men's champion, junior Ahmed Abdel Khalek.

The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup program honors institutions maintaining a broad-based program, achieving success in many sports, both men's and women's. Begun in 1993–94 for Division I by NACDA and USA Today, it was expanded in 1995–96 to include Division II, III and the NAIA and, in 2011-12, expanded to Junior/Community Colleges.

2014-15 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Division III Final Standings