Recent success during the 2020-21 school year earned the Montreat College Athletic Department its highest ranking in the latest Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings, released earlier this month. The Cavaliers placed 41st in the rankings, marking the department’s best standing in program history.
The Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup is considered a crowning accomplishment in college athletics. The program honors institutions that maintain a broad-based department that achieves success in multiple sports, both men’s and women. The Directors’ Cup ranks the top athletic departments in the country at each athletic level of competition (NCAA DI, DII and DIII and NAIA).
To earn points in the standings, a school must have teams compete at national championship events or tournaments. Not only do appearances on the national stage garner attention, but the level of performance while at national events also contributes to the amount of recognition received in the rankings.
Vice President of Enrollment Management and Athletics, Jose Larios, spoke on the achievement, stating, “This ranking is a huge testament to the now frequent national appearances and the caliber of competition that the Cavaliers have competed at those championships.”
In the history of Cavalier athletics, Montreat had never cracked the top 185 NAIA colleges until recent seasons. Prior to 2020, the Cavaliers finished 122nd by virtue of men’s cross country, men’s track & field and men’s basketball.
This year the Cavaliers secured the 41st spot in the nation, the highest ranking in school history. Contributions from men’s and women’s tennis, women’s track & field and women’s cross country allowed Montreat to earn 322 points, besting its previous mark in 2018-19 by 214 points.
Larios added, “We continue to move our programs toward the top 15 percent of competitive programs in the country, and to do it with a Christ-centered focus is a testament to the recruiting work by our amazing coaches and the competitive spirit of our Cavaliers.”
The Cavalier athletic department now looks towards another impressive year as athletic events for the 2021-22 school year begin in August.