CLEVELAND – With the winter season complete, the latest round of the Learfield Sports Director's Cup rankings have been released. Great performances by wrestling and men's basketball have moved Johnson & Wales University up to 65th place.
The Wildcats are currently tied with the Coast Guard Academy with 171.50 points. The wrestling team picked up 73.5 points for their sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships while the men's basketball team garnered 25 points for its first round appearance.
MIT leads all Division III schools with 686.50 points. Johnson & Wales is tops amongst all GNAC institutions and is second behind MIT for all non-NESCAC schools in New England.
The 171.50 points are the most JWU has had through the winter season. Last year, Johnson & Wales accumulated 111 points after amassing 104 in 2016. That year, the Wildcats cracked the top 100 in the final standings for the first time in school history with 198.50 points.
Johnson & Wales knows it will surpass that number as it awaits points from men's golf and women's tennis, who hold their NCAA championships in the spring. In the last five years, no program has scored 200 points and finished outside the top 100.
The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was 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 18 sports -- nine women's and nine men's.