Penn Athletics ties all-time best finish in Learfield Directors’ Cup

Out of more than 350 Division I institutions, Penn finished 60th, which ties the University’s best ranking in the history of the Directors’ Cup.

Penn Athletics tied for its best-ever finish in the Learfield Directors’ Cup, which measures broad-based national success in Division I college athletics. Out of more than 350 Division I institutions, Penn finished 60th with 406.5 points. That ties the University’s best ranking in the history of the Directors’ Cup, previously attained in 2015-16.

“We are thrilled to tie for our best-ever finish in the Director’s Cup Standings,” says Alanna Shanahan, the T. Gibbs Kane, Jr. W’69 Director of Athletics and Recreation. “In our first full year of competition following the pandemic, our student-athletes and coaches achieved significant national success, including individual national champions in men’s track & field and women’s swimming; a team and individual national runner-up by men’s squash; and NCAA team qualification from fencing, men’s lacrosse, women’s rowing, wrestling and men’s tennis.”

Men’s lacrosse was the highest point-earner for Penn, compiling 70 points after advancing to the NCAA quarterfinal round. Fencing earned 66 points, followed by women’s rowing (57), women’s swimming (54), wrestling (47), and men’s swimming (46). Men’s track & field earned 41.5 points followed by men’s tennis with 25. The women’s rowing and men’s tennis teams advanced to NCAA Championship competition for the first time in program history, and Penn had individual NCAA champions in two different sports for just the second time in history (also 1971-72).

Penn finished one spot ahead of Kansas in the final rankings and beat Power Five institutions West Virginia, Clemson, Indiana, Vanderbilt, and Syracuse, among others.

Overall, 19 sports are counted in the final D-I standings, four of which must be women’s volleyball and basketball and men’s basketball and baseball. The next highest (15 max.) sports scored for each institution, regardless of gender, are used in the standings.

The Learfield Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution’s finish in NCAA Championships.