Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

UK Athletics Posts First Top-25 Finish in Directors’ Cup

uk logo1 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (6/27/13) – With another year in the books, the University of Kentucky athletic department continues to advance toward its goal of building a comprehensive program that excels in all areas.
 
On Thursday, word arrived that UK has attained its best finish ever in one of the most recognizable measures of athletic department success: the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup.
 
UK is 25th in the final 2012-13 Directors’ Cup standings, the first top-25 finish in school history. The previous record finish of 26th came in 1996-97. UK also tied a school record by placing sixth among Southeastern Conference schools even though the conference featured 14 teams for the first time this season. The SEC led all conferences with three institutions in the top 10: Florida (second), Texas A&M (fifth) and Georgia (10th).
 
The finish continues a pattern of consistent improvement in the Directors’ Cup during the Mitch Barnhart era. UK has now finished in the top 30 of final Directors’ Cup standings in three of the last four years after a 50th-place finish in 2002-03, the first year after Barnhart’s arrival. With that steady upward trend, Barnhart’s ambitious aim of finishing in the top 15 by 2015 as part of the 15 by 15 by 15 Plan introduced in 2008 seems attainable.
 
The Directors’ Cup was founded in 1993-94 as a result of a joint effort by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USA Today. Points are awarded by sport when teams advance to the postseason in sports sanctioned by the NCAA. Fifteen of UK’s 22 programs combined to score UK’s 748 points, led by rifle’s second-place finish, an Elite Eight appearance by women’s basketball and trips to the round of 16 by volleyball, men’s tennis and softball.
 
Rifle also brought home a conference championship in 2013, adding another tally toward Barnhart’s goal of 15 conference and national titles won before 2015. Now at 11 since 2008, UK needs four more championships in the next two seasons to reach its objective. UK student-athletes also reached Barnhart’s goal of a 3.0 department-wide grade-point average in both the fall and spring semesters for the first time in 2012-13, fulfilling the academic side of the 15 by 15 by 15 vision.
 
But even with all that success, improvement is on Barnhart’s mind.
 
"When you have 22 programs, you have some highs and some lows, some things that you wanted to do really, really well and some things that you want to do better," Barnhart said in a recent interview with Gary Graves of the Associated Press. "Sometimes, we take it for granted because we've been steady the last few years in consistent growth. But clearly, the sports that gather the most attention, rightly or wrongly, are ones we've got to get better in."
 
The sports about which Barnhart is talking are, of course, men’s basketball and football. Even though neither contributed toward UK’s record Directors’ Cup finish, there’s reason to believe they will both be doing so soon.
 
"It's been an interesting year in that we've had some things to celebrate, and that's been fun," Barnhart said. "Fans look at three or four sports, first and foremost, and it's interesting that while we might not have had the success that we've wanted or been used to, excitement for those sports is at an all-time high."
 
Barely a year removed from its eighth national championship, John Calipari’s men’s basketball program will welcome one of the top recruiting classes in history next season and could be in line for a preseason No. 1 ranking. Mark Stoops, meanwhile, has whipped Kentucky’s football fan base into a frenzy during his first seven months on the job. After UK signed an impressive class in February, 50,831 attended the Blue/White Spring game to help set the stage for what could be an even better 2014 class.
 
Barnhart is now challenging those teams to turn excitement into results during the next season and beyond and asking those that had success in 2012-13 to pursue even more.
 
This spring, he had t-shirts made and distributed to student-athletes, coaches and staff emblazoned with the phrase “Almost Isn’t Good Enough.” To put it another way, Barnhart is telling everyone involved in UK Athletics that pursuit of anything less than being the best is unacceptable.
 
"We've done a lot of great things in the last year and over the last decade," Barnhart said at the CATSPY Awards in April. "That's now just the foundation. We're on a new journey and much more is expected."
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by UK Athletics

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

GREENVILLE, Ky. (10/23/14) ― The following fines were recently handed down in Muhlenberg District Court. Ronald… Read More

Henderson-Daviess County Traffic Advisory

HENDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (10/23/14) — A contractor for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has added a 12 feet load width… Read More

Most Read This Week

October 20, 2014 6586

Uncle Lee's in Greenville is Closing Its Doors…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by www.unclelees.com
October 19, 2014 4397

Kentucky Energy Department Releases Virtual Solar…

in General News For All Sites by Dick Brown
October 21, 2014 3384

UPDATE: Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle on Shamrock…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
October 18, 2014 3343

Muhlenberg County Celebrates New Farmer’s Market

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 20, 2014 2822

Man Charged for Assaulting Pregnant Wife

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 21, 2014 2547

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 22, 2014 2535

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Hopkins News by Karen McKnight
October 23, 2014 2343

Resident Returns Home to People Using Drugs,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 20, 2014 2329

Hopkins County Sheriff's Arrest Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Sheila Hopper
October 22, 2014 2275

Failure to Signal Ends in Drug Arrest

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

October 23, 2014 2343

Resident Returns Home to People Using Drugs,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 23, 2014 1708

Man Arrested for Endangering Welfare of Minor

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 23, 2014 1398

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 23, 2014 1349

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 23, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 23, 2014 1259

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

in Hopkins News by Lisa Miller
October 22, 2014 1041

Build, Go and Grow Regional Entrepreneurship…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Patricia Wiles
October 23, 2014 841

America Should Not Go Greek in the Bathroom

in General News For All Sites by Dr. Glenn Mollette
October 22, 2014 815

Come Monster Mash at the Museum This Saturday

in General News For All Sites by National Corvette Museum
October 23, 2014 791

Vocational Rehabilitation Seeks Public Input Nov.…

in General News For All Sites by Kim Brannock
October 23, 2014 747

UPDATE: Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week –…

in Local (Hopkinsville) Top News by Paul Ray

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss