SFA has clinched its first-ever Southland Conference Commissioner's Cup in 2009-10.
May 17, 2010
FRISCO, Texas - Despite the Southland Conference baseball race yet to be decided, the Stephen F. Austin Athletics Department has already accumulated enough points to clinch the 2010 Southland Conference Commissioner's Cup title, awarded annually to the top overall athletics program in the SLC.
Not only has SFA clinched its first-ever Commissioner's Cup, but it has also secured enough points to take the Southland Conference Men's and Women's All-Sports Awards to make it just the second institution in the Cup's history to sweep all three awards. The only other to do so was UT-Arlington in the 1997-98 season, the first year the Cup was awarded.
"This award is a credit to our coaches, staff and, most importantly, our student-athletes for being able to balance not only athletics, but their academic responsibilities as well," SFA Director of Athletics Robert Hill said. "They have been able to concentrate on doing two things that we strive to do at SFA - win championships and graduate our student-athletes."
In a banner year for SFA Athletics, the Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks combined to win five league titles including football, women's basketball, softball and women's indoor and outdoor track and field. The five titles are the most for SFA since the 2005 campaign.
Entering the final weekend of the baseball season, SFA has totaled 149 points in the Cup standings, 24 points ahead of second-place UTSA. SFA has already surpassed the highest point total for any school under the current scoring system with baseball's points still to be added, and with the Lumberjacks having clinched no lower than a fifth-place finish on the diamond, SFA is assured of the largest margin of victory in the award's history.
Four of SFA's five titles have come on the women's side in 2009-10, helping the Ladyjacks take the Women's All-Sports crown for just the second time. This ends a run of nine straight women's titles by Texas State, dating back to the 1999-2000 year, SFA's first women's all-sports trophy.
Most recently the Ladyjack outdoor track and field team claimed its second consecutive title over the weekend in Arlington, setting a new women's meet record with 201.5 total points to run away with the championship. That came on the heels of the Ladyjack softball team's first-ever conference title just one week prior, as well as the indoor track and field title and Ladyjack basketball's 15th conference title earlier in the season.
The men's season was highlighted by the re-emergence of the Lumberjack football team as J.C. Harper led SFA to its third Southland Conference title and the second round of the FCS Playoffs. The Lumberjack basketball team enjoyed another successful year as well, finishing second in the SLC and just missing a three-peat while advancing to the finals of the Southland Conference Tournament.
In all, 11 of SFA's 13 completed sports finished in fourth place or better in the league in 2009-10 with the SFA baseball team currently holding the fourth spot in its league standings entering the final weekend of play.
"We are all very appreciative of the support of the university administration, especially Dr. Baker Pattillo, as without his support none of this would have been possible," Hill said.
In addition to accolades on the field of competition, SFA also had the most student-athletes in the Southland Conference selected to the Commissioner's Honor Roll in the fall semester. Three student-athletes have been named academic all-district this season, while five student-athletes have been named academic all-SLC to this point as well. The women's cross country team as also named to the 2010 USTFCCCA all-academic team.
The Southland Conference All-Sports Trophies are awarded annually for men's and women's competition based on a 12-point system for all conference sports. Point values are 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1, pending place of finish.