The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) final standings (formerly the Sears Cup) saw Union finish in a tie for 57th place among the nation's 278 Division III institutions that scored at least one point. The finish was the College's best, improving upon last season's final placement of 60.
The NACDA's “Director's Cup” is a program which honors institutions maintaining a broad-based program, achieving success in many sports, both men's and women's. The program began in 1993-94 for Division I by NACDA and USA Today, and was expanded in 1995-96 to include Division II, III and the NAIA.
Each institution is awarded points in a pre-determined number of sports for men and women. The overall champion is the institution that records the highest number of points in their division's NACDA “Directors' Cup” standings. The winner receives a Waterford crystal trophy.
Which Division III Sports Are Included?
- Division III — 18, nine men's and nine women's
- Team Sports Include–field hockey, football, women's and men's soccer, women's volleyball, women's and men's basketball, women's and men's ice hockey, baseball, women's and men's lacrosse, softball and women's and men's tennis.
- Individual Sports Include–women's and men's cross country, women's and men's swimming, women's and men's indoor and outdoor track and field, men's wrestling, women's and men's golf and women's rowing.
- An institution's finish in conference championships or ranking in national polls, with the exception of the I-A football poll (USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches' Poll), will not count toward the point tally in the NACDA Directors' Cup standings. All points are based on an institution's finish in the NCAA or NAIA championships.
Contributing to Union's success in the NACDA Cup race were the following teams:
- Women's soccer, which earned 50 points by winning its opening game and finishing 17th in the country;
- Women's volleyball, which earned 25 points by qualifying for the NCAA tournament and finishing 33rd in the country;
- Men's swimming, which earned 61.5 points while capturing 14th place on the strength of Elliot Seguin's two All-American finishes and six other honorable mention finishes;
- Men's indoor track, which picked up 31 points and placed 42nd nationally as Sean Washington finished 5th in the 55-meter dash Justin Sievert qualified for the shot put, and
- Softball, which earned 64 points by finishing ninth in the country.
Justin Sievert's eighth-place finish in the discus gave the outdoor track team 66th place in the country, but he did not earn any Director's Cup points due to the track and field guidelines that allow either indoor OR outdoor results to be counted, using the highest score of the two. Because Union had Sean Washington and Sievert scoring points at the indoor meet, those points (31) were used.
As was the case last year, Union finished third among its Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association rivals (St. Lawrence and Hobart/William Smith finished ahead of Union in 2001-02). Hamilton (which ended 52nd with 255.5 points) and St. Lawrence (54th with 247.5 points) finished ahead of the Garnet this year. Hobart/William Smith was next (71st with 191 points), followed by Rochester (82nd with 172), Rensselaer (106th with 140), Skidmore (138th with 104) and Vassar (139th with 103 points). Clarkson did not have a team or student-athlete qualify for NCAA competition and was not listed.
Union, which ended the 2001-02 season in ninth place among its NESCAC rivals, placed seventh this year. Williams, which won its seventh Director's Cup in the last eight years, scored 1,158.25 points to top the 1,000-mark for the first time. Emory (GA) was a distant second with 779 points. Amherst placed 11th with 502.5 points followed by Middlebury (12th with 499.5 points), Tufts (28th with 321.5), Bowdoin (40th with 288), Bates (50th with 259.5), Trinity (56th with 239.5) and then Union. NESCAC teams finishing behind the Garnet were Colby (84th with 170.25), Connecticut College (128th with 113.5), and Wesleyan, which ended up in 164th place with 85 points.
The Dutchwomen and Dutchmen teams retained their sixth-place showing against neighboring New York colleges. Ithaca, which was second in 2001-02, was again the top-ranked program within the state as the Bombers finished this year in ninth place with 550.5 points. Cortland (15th with 481.5), NYU (30th with 311.5), Hamilton
and St. Lawrence ended the year above Union. Nazareth, which placed 66th with 222.5 points, was the next highest New York State college.
The end of the 2001-02 season saw Union 12th among New England teams, fourth among New Jersey colleges, and third among Pennsylvania schools. This year the Garnet finished 10th among its New England rivals, fourth against the New Jersey programs, and third among its neighbors from Pennsylvania.
“The Director's Cup is a great way to measure the success of the entire department versus the other Division III schools in the country,” Belmonte explained. “We are happy to be among the top 20% in this year's final standings, but we are not satisfied with our finish. All of our programs strive to be the best that they can be and our goal is to get to the point where we are among the top 20 in the Director's cup each year. With the student-athletes, coaches and commitment to excellence that we have I know this is a realistic goal for the very near future.”