(June 1, 2010) - For the third-striaght season, Sacred Heart University has won the Brenda Weare Commissioner's Cup announced today by Northeast Conference (NEC) Commissioner Noreen Morris. Sacred Heart also concluded the 2009-10 athletic season as the Joan Martin Women's Commissioner's Cup champion for the fourth-consecutive season. The Pioneers finished second to Monmouth in the NEC Men's Commissioner Cup race as the Hawks claimed the cup for the eighth time in the last nine years.
Sacred Heart racked up 221.96 Cup points on the year, the third-highest total in the history of the award. The Pioneers also posted the second-best ever Women's Cup tally with 132.95 points. Sacred Heart had established the overall (244.07) and women's (140.85) Cup records during a spectacular 2008-09 campaign. The Pioneers captured NEC Tournament Championships in women's bowling and women's lacrosse in 2009-10. The Pioneers also finished in the top four in the league standings or at NEC championships in men's and women's cross country, women's volleyball, men's and women's indoor track & field, women's outdoor track & field, women's basketball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis and baseball on the year.
In the closest Men's Cup race in conference annals, Monmouth finished with 89.96 points to edge out the Pioneers, who finished with 89.01. Since the Men's Cup was established in 1997-98, Monmouth has won the award ten times in 13 years.
"Winning the Commissioner's Cup is a special honor, especially when the achievement is matched against the efforts and quality of so many quality institutions in the Northeast Conference," said Don Cook, Sacred Heart Executive Director of Athletics. "Winning the overall Cup three consecutive years, with our women winning the last four, is a wonderful tribute to all who have had a stake in Sacred Heart's success - the University administration, including Athletics, our coaches and most of all the terrific student-athletes who sacrificed much on and off the field to make it happen. Adding the Commissioner's Cup to the NCAA-SAAC Award of Excellence for community service work makes this year extra special because it symbolizes a balanced sense of perspective in that winning comes in many forms and shapes on the field and in the community. We're proud of all of it."
Sacred Heart outpaced second place Monmouth (200.57 points) by over 20 points in the overall standings. Long Island finished in third place for the second straight season and set a new school mark with 179.15 points. Robert Morris improved from seventh place in 2008-09 to a fourth place finish this past year with 166.61 points. Saint Francis (PA) took fifth (165.95 points), followed by Central Connecticut State in sixth place (163.21). Mount St. Mary's (156.55) edged out Quinnipiac (156.32) for seventh place with Fairleigh Dickinson in ninth place (128.09) and NEC newcomer Bryant (113.70) in the tenth spot. Wagner (102.64) ended the year in 11th place and St. Francis (NY) (86.68 points) in 12th. The Terriers' point total was the highest for the program since 2000-01.
"Congratulations to the student-athletes, coaches and administrators at Sacred Heart University and Monmouth University for their Commissioner's Cup awards this year," said Morris. "Reaching this level of success requires tremendous dedication and commitment from all corners of campus, and the entire University community should take part in celebrating these accomplishments. This recognition is especially significant this year, as the Commissioner's Cup was named in honor of former NEC Commissioner Brenda Weare last May, just one month before she succumbed to her long and courageous battle with cancer."
Weare, who passed away in June, 2009, made a lasting impact in her three years as Commissioner of the NEC. In that time, she introduced a number of new programs aimed at upgrading the caliber of the league's championship sports and enhancing the opportunities and experiences for the more than 4,000 student-athletes that compete in the conference. In addition to securing Bryant as the NEC's 12th full-time member, Weare was instrumental in the NEC gaining automatic access to the NCAA Division I Football Championship beginning in 2010, spearheading the conference's new Strategic Plan and implementing a new leaguewide sportsmanship policy.
The NEC Commissioner's Cup was instituted during the 1986-87 season with Long Island winning the inaugural award. Fairleigh Dickinson and Monmouth lead all NEC schools with six Cups to their credit. Cup points are awarded in each NEC sponsored sport. For men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, football, women'ss bowling, softball, field hockey, women's lacrosse and baseball, the final regular season standings are used to determine Cup points. In all other sports, points are awarded based on the finish at NEC Championship events.
About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 29th season, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 12 institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to four of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Pittsburgh (#23), Baltimore (#26), and Hartford/New Haven (#30). Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 22 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic or play-in access to 13 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Central Connecticut State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Long Island, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary's, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis (NY), Saint Francis (PA) and Wagner. Bryant will become the NEC's 12th member upon completion of the NCAA Division I reclassification process in 2012. For more information on the NEC, visit www.northeastconference.org.
2009-10 Brenda Weare Commissioner's Cup Overall Standings
1. Sacred Heart 221.96 2. Monmouth 200.57 3. Long Island 179.15 4. Robert Morris 166.61 5. Saint Francis (PA) 165.95 6. Central Connecticut State 163.21 7. Mount St. Mary's 156.55 8. Quinnipiac 156.32 9. Fairleigh Dickinson 128.09 10. Bryant 113.70 11. Wagner 102.64 12. St. Francis (NY) 86.68
2009-10 NEC Commissioner's Cup Men's Standings
1. Monmouth 89.96 2. Sacred Heart 89.01 3. Central Connecticut State 82.36 4. Mount St. Mary's 74.08 5. Robert Morris 68.90 6. Saint Francis (PA) 65.32 7. Long Island 59.23 8. Quinnipiac 58.05 9. Fairleigh Dickinson 55.05 10. Wagner 47.55 11. St. Francis (NY) 48.69 12. Bryant 45.42
2009-10 Joan Martin Commissioner's Cup Women's Standings
1. Sacred Heart 132.95 2. Long Island 119.92 3. Monmouth 110.61 4. Saint Francis (PA) 100.63 5. Quinnipiac 98.27 6. Robert Morris 97.71 7. Mount St. Mary's 82.47 8. Central Connecticut State 80.85 9. Fairleigh Dickinson 73.04 10. Bryant 68.28 11. Wagner 55.09 12. St. Francis (NY) 37.99