Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

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...

Calloway Student First in Speaking at FEA Regional

CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky. (10/30/14) — Clara Arnold, a junior at Calloway County High School, placed first in impromptu… Read More

UPDATE: Medical Examiner's Official Report Released in Quadruple Shooting Deaths

UPDATE: CADIZ, Ky. (10/29/14) — Kentucky State Police is continuing its investigation into the deaths of four people… Read More

Most Read This Week

October 29, 2014 9014

UPDATE: Medical Examiner's Official Report…

in Local (Lakes) Top News by Dennis Thomas
October 24, 2014 7829

Central City Man Charged with Sexual Assault on…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Chris Cooper
October 27, 2014 6173

Earlington Woman Charged With Burglary for…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 23, 2014 4653

Don Everly to be Part of Rock and Roll Hall of…

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
October 27, 2014 4410

Baptist Health Madisonville Performs Baptist…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Kristy Quinn
October 29, 2014 4241

UPDATE: Two More Arrested for Meth at Area Motel

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
October 28, 2014 4140

UPDATE: 'Runner' Ran Home; Family Happy

in Hopkins News by Lisa Crook
October 24, 2014 4037

Miners Turn Out in Madisonville for…

in Top News For All Sites by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
October 28, 2014 3479

UPDATE: Extended to Wednesday; Heaven's Gates and…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
October 29, 2014 3430

Central City Businessman Indicted by Grand Jury…

in Top News For All Sites by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

October 29, 2014 9014

UPDATE: Medical Examiner's Official Report…

in Local (Lakes) Top News by Dennis Thomas
October 29, 2014 4241

UPDATE: Two More Arrested for Meth at Area Motel

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
October 29, 2014 3430

Central City Businessman Indicted by Grand Jury…

in Top News For All Sites by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 29, 2014 2768

Hypodermic Needle Sticking Out of Jacket During…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 29, 2014 2594

Pennyrile Gymnastic Team to Perform on 'America's…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
October 30, 2014 2452

UPDATE: Missing Elderly Couple Found

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Chief William C. Crider
October 29, 2014 2357

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 29, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 29, 2014 2273

Huge Crowds Visit Uncle Lee’s First Day of…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 30, 2014 2190

Three Injured When Pickup Truck Overturns

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
October 29, 2014 1989

Trespassing Complaint Ends with Shoplifting Arrest

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department

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