Following one of the most successful all-around sports seasons in the university’s history, Ole Miss Athletics has been rewarded with a program-record 22nd-place finish in the final 2020-21 Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings, as announced Friday.
With points awarded based on the institution’s finish in NCAA Championships, Ole Miss scored 824.5 points en route to the No. 22 finish, strengthened by the first outright NCAA team title in school history by the women’s golf team. Of Ole Miss’ 18 varsity sports, 17 advanced to the postseason.
The ranking marks the highest finish ever for a school from Mississippi by a wide margin, with the previous best being the Rebels’ No. 38 rank following the 2017-18 campaign. Ole Miss was also 39th in 2016-17.
“In a year filled with adverse circumstances, this ranking is a tribute to the hard work of our student-athletes and coaches and our department’s commitment to competing for and winning championships,” said Keith Carter, Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics. “While we’re proud of what our teams accomplished in this landmark season, we want this to be the floor for our programs moving forward and achieve new levels of success across all of our sports.”
Leading the charge for Ole Miss was the women’s golf squad, which secured its first national title following a magical season. The Rebels were led by the All-American duo of Julia Johnson and Kennedy Swann, and head coach Kory Henkes was named WGCA National Coach of the Year after a superb postseason run that included NCAA Match Play victories over Texas, Arizona, and finally a bombastic 4-1 win over Oklahoma State for the national title.
Ole Miss also received another historic run from its rifle team, which finished atop the NCAA podium in third place – one of just 10 national top-four finishes by an Ole Miss program. Marsha Beasley was named CRCA National Coach of the Year after leading the Rebels to a No. 1 overall ranking and a share of the Great America Rifle Conference regular season crown, while also coaching four student-athletes who were named All-Americans.
Also contributing to Ole Miss’ overall point total were: men’s indoor track & field (67.5 points, 10th place), baseball (64 points, NCAA Super Regional), soccer (64 points, NCAA Sweet 16), men’s tennis (64 points, NCAA Sweet 16), women’s indoor track & field (55 points, 19th place), women’s cross country (54 points, 12th place), men’s cross country (54 points, 12th place), softball (50 points, NCAA Super Regional), football (45 points, Outback Bowl Champions), men’s outdoor track & field (43 points, T-30th place), women’s outdoor track & field (38 points, T-33rd place), women’s tennis (25 points, NCAA Regional) and men’s golf (16 points, NCAA Regional).
For just the second time in the history of the Directors’ Cup, an institution other than Stanford walked away with the title as Texas wound up as 2020-21 champions at 1,252 total points. Among SEC schools, Florida led the way in the fifth position, followed by Alabama seventh, Arkansas eighth, Georgia 10th, Kentucky 12th, LSU 15th and Texas A&M 19th. Ole Miss was followed by Tennessee at No. 26, South Carolina No. 42, Missouri No. 48, Auburn No. 50, Vanderbilt No. 56 and Mississippi State No. 59.
The Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today.
NCAA Division I Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup • Team Standings
Women’s Golf – 100 (NCAA Champions)
Rifle – 85 (NCAA Podium Finish, 3rd Place)
Men’s Indoor Track & Field – 67.5 (10th Place)
Baseball – 64 (NCAA Super Regional)
Soccer – 64 (NCAA Sweet 16)
Men’s Tennis – 64 (NCAA Sweet 16)
Women’s Indoor Track & Field – 55 (19th Place)
Women’s Cross Country – 54 (12th Place)
Men’s Cross Country – 54 (12th Place)
Softball – 50 (NCAA Super Regional)
Football – 45 (Outback Bowl Champions)
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field – 43 (T-30th Place)
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field – 38 (T-33rd Place)
Women’s Tennis – 25 (NCAA Regional)
Men’s Golf – 16 (NCAA Regional)
Men’s Basketball – 0 (NIT First Round)
Women’s Basketball – 0 (WNIT Runners-Up)
Volleyball – 0
TOTAL: 824.5 (22nd place)
Courtesy of Ole Miss