The Learfield Directors' Cup recognizes the top programs in each division of the NCAA as well as the NAIA and junior college.
ACU won four Lone Star Conference championships and three regional titles on its way to earning 584.50 points on the season. Nine of ACU's athletics programs reached the NCAA postseason with women's tennis reaching the national semifinals, while men's tennis and women's soccer advanced as far as the quarterfinals. The Wildcats' storied track and field program combined for four top-20 finishes, led by the men's fifth place finish at outdoor nationals.
However, those championships weren't enough for the Wildcats to overtake Grand Canyon (Ariz.), which topped eight-time defending champion Grand Valley State (Mich.), 925.50 to 894.00, en route to winning its first Learfield Sports Directors' Cup title.
Grand Canyon scored in the maximum 14 sports including a national championship in men's indoor track & field, third place in men's wrestling and women's golf, and fifth place finishes in women's swimming, men's swimming, women's outdoor track & field and men's tennis, sixth in women's indoor track & field and tenth in men's outdoor track & field. The Lopes also had two scores omitted due to the seven maximum allowed for women's sports - women's volleyball and women's soccer.
Grand Valley State scored in 13 sports and won both the women's outdoor track & field national championship and the women's indoor track & field national championship. The Lakers also finished second in women's soccer, third in women's cross country and sixth in women's swimming.
Ashland (Ohio), Augustana (S.D.), and Indianapolis (Ind.) rounded out the top five followed by Adams State (Colo.), UC San Diego, Chico State (Calif.) and ACU. Midwestern State was second among all Lone Star Conference schools with a 38th-place total of 343.00 points.
The Wildcats' 347.25 spring points were the second most of any school in the nation, vaulting them into the top 10 for the first time all year. ACU finished 30th in the final fall standings despite qualifying three teams and two cross country runners for postseason competition, and remained there throughout the winter helped only by the points earned by the indoor track and field squads.
Since the Director's Cup became a part of collegiate athletics, ACU has finished in the top three seven times, in the top 10 in 13 seasons and in the top 15 all 17 years of the standings. ACU, in fact, is the only NCAA Division II institution to finish in the top 15 in the final standings in each of the 16 years of the program.
Cal-Davis, which won six Director's Cups before making the move to NCAA Division I status after the 2002-03 academic year, appeared in the top five in all eight final standings while it was a Division II institution, and Cal State-Bakersfield appeared in the top 15 11 straight years before the Roadrunners made the move to NCAA Division I status.