CLEVELAND, Ohio – The results of the 2016-17 NAIA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup were released last week with Midland University placing 31st among 199 qualifying institutions.
The position is the highest for Midland in the 23-year existence of the award. MU's previous best mark was 40th in 2013-14. Midland ranked fifth out of 10 qualifying Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) schools this year which is also a high-water mark.
Midland has finished in the top 50 percentile of the NAIA Directors' Cup standings in seven of the last eight years.
Midland collected a total of 451.5 points over the course of the fall, winter and spring seasons. The Warriors posted their highest point total in the winter with 251 points led by Midland's 2017 NAIA Competitive Dance National Championship.
Men's wrestling ranked 7th among NAIA schools in the winter and men's basketball (17th) also contributed to the winter point total.
Volleyball (3rd) and men's soccer (9th) accounted for the bulk of Midland's points in the fall, while baseball (20th) led the way in the spring. Men's track & field also contributed points in the winter and spring.
In total, Midland scored points in eight of the 21 categories in which it qualified for throughout the year.
Among its varsity sport offerings that do not factor into the Directors' Cup, Midland also excelled this past year in shotgun sports (National Champions), bowling (individual National Champion), powerlifting (individual National Champion) and men's hockey (national tournament appearance).
Already the largest athletic department in the state of Nebraska, Midland will officially offer 31 varsity sports beginning in 2017-18 with the addition of men's and women's swimming (NAIA sport). Last year, Midland added eSports and powerlifting to its offerings.
Oklahoma City University won its first-ever NAIA Directors' Cup in 2016-17 with a total of 982 points.
The Learfield Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today.
The complete 2016-17 NAIA Directors' Cup standings can be found, here.