Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | 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.

Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

In Other News...

Hopkins Co. School Board Recognizes Employees and Students

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (8/18/14) — The Hopkins County Board of Education met tonight for their regular meeting. Tonight… Read More

Owensboro Police Conduct Investigations

OWENSBORO, Ky. (8/20/14) — Owensboro Police are conducting the following investigations: A report of theft by unlawful… Read More
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

August 17, 2014 3291

Greenville Police Conducting Traffic…

in Top Stories by Wes Miller
August 16, 2014 3253

Pogue's Automotive Annual Picnic Brings…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 18, 2014 2884

Man Injured in Early Morning WKP Accident

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 18, 2014 2549

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 18, 2014 2435

Madisonville Man Charged for Shoplifting,…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

August 18, 2014 2435

Madisonville Man Charged for Shoplifting,…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
August 16, 2014 1395

Non-Partisan Offices Deadline Passes -…

in Top Stories by Keenan Ratliff
August 16, 2014 1220

Madisonville Police Conducting Sobriety…

in Top Stories by Lt. Charles Young II
August 18, 2014 1197

Madisonville Firefighters Recognized for…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 19, 2014 846

Firefighters Battle Blaze Near…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

August 18, 2014 2549

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 18, 2014 2431

Unlawful Solicitation

in News by Sgt. J.D. Winkler
August 18, 2014 2367

RiverArtes Opening at OMFA

in News by Owensboro Museum of Fine Art
August 19, 2014 1723

Free Arthritis Exercise Program will be…

in News by Woody Maglinger
August 19, 2014 1410

Municipal Art Collection on Exhibit at…

in News by Mary Bryan Hood

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

August 17, 2014 3291

Greenville Police Conducting Traffic…

in Top Stories by Wes Miller
August 16, 2014 3253

Pogue's Automotive Annual Picnic Brings…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 18, 2014 2884

Man Injured in Early Morning WKP Accident

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 18, 2014 2049

Luke's Flea Market Vendors' Home Away…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 18, 2014 1999

'How Dry I Was'

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


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

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06