Penn State moves into third in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings

Freshman Thad Lawson captured the NCAA individual title on the floor exercise. Credit: GoPSUsports.comAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Athletics continues to maintain its Top 5 position in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup, moving up to No. 3 in the latest winter rankings. The Nittany Lions are the highest ranked Big Ten Conference institution.

The Nittany Lions were No. 4 in the first winter update and the final fall 2014 standings, earning their highest fall finish since being ranked No. 5 in 2010-11. Penn State earned its eighth consecutive Top 10 finish for the fall sports season and 18th overall Top 10 fall finish in the Directors’ Cup.

Penn State is seeking its 11th Top 10 overall finish in the 22 years of the Directors’ Cup. The Nittany Lions were No. 5 in the 2013-14 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings. The final winter standings will be announced later this month.

Nine Penn State winter teams competed in their respective NCAA Championships. The men’s gymnastics team placed third at the NCAA competition to boost the Nittany Lions past Wisconsin into third place in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. The women’s gymnastics team participated in the NCAA regional at Oklahoma and their Directors’ Cup point total will be reflected in the final winter standings.

Penn State has earned 820 Directors’ Cup points so far in 2014-15 to rank No. 3, trailing North Carolina by just 3.5 points. Stanford leads the Directors’ Cup with 1,026.5 points and is followed by North Carolina (823.5), Penn State (820), Wisconsin (748.5), and UCLA (663). Ohio State, Texas, Notre Dame, Florida State and Virginia round out the Top 10.

The ACC (four), Big Ten (three), Pac-12 (two) and Big 12 (one) claimed the top 10 spots in the latest Directors’ Cup standings.

Penn State won the 2014 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship and has earned Big Ten titles in men’s gymnastics and women’s soccer so far in 2014-15.

Men’s gymnastics coach Randy Jepson led the Nittany Lions to a third place finish at the NCAA Championships and the Big Ten title. Freshman Thad Lawson captured the NCAA individual title on the floor exercise to become Penn State’s 53rd NCAA champion. Junior Trevor Howard and senior Matthew Felleman earned All-America distinction in the all-around. Leroy Clarke Jr., Alexis Torres, Tristan Duverglas and Felleman all earned All-America honors in individual events at the NCAA Championships.

Coach Jeff Thompson's women's gymnastics team was ranked No. 13 nationally and qualified for the NCAA regionals. The team posted its highest Big Ten Championships score in program history and Briannah Tsang was selected Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Year.

Coach Wes Glon directed the Penn State men’s and women’s fencing teams to second place at the NCAA Championships. Freshman Andrew Mackiewicz won the men’s sabre national title, Nuobo Bravo was second in the men’s foil and freshman Karen Chang was the runner-up in the women’s saber competition.

Led by senior Matt Brown, the 174-pound national champion, coach Cael Sanderson's Nittany Lion wrestling squad placed sixth at the NCAA Championships. Penn State’s string of four consecutive NCAA titles ended, but the Nittany Lions boasted five All-Americans and earned their sixth Top 10 finish in Sanderson’s six seasons.

In his first year as head coach, John Gondak directed the Penn State men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams to nine first team All-America accolades. The Nittany Lion men’s team earned the highest finish among Big Ten squads at No. 12 at the NCAA Championships, boosted by a runner-up finish in the distance medley relay.

Coach Tim Murphy guided the Penn State women’s swimming team to a 20th place finish at the NCAA Championships. The Nittany Lion men’s squad placed 24th at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

Penn State has won 26 NCAA Championships since 1993-94, its first full year in the Big Ten Conference, more than double every other Big Ten institution. The Nittany Lions have won 74 team national championships all-time, including three in 2013-14, and 91 Big Ten crowns since 1992-93.

Penn State is one of only nine programs nationwide to have finished in the final Top 25 in every Directors' Cup standings, joined by: Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, Southern California, Stanford, Texas and UCLA.

The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings were developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports -- 10 women's and 10 men's.

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Last Updated April 23, 2015