UT sports 8th nationally

The University of Tennessee athletic departments combined for an eighth-place finish in the 2004-05 Sports Academy Directors' Cup standings, released Wednesday. It marked Tennessee's best showing in the 12-year history of the competition.

The award is presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), United States Sports Academy and USA TODAY to the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country.

The Lady Vols were named the 2005 Southeastern Conference women's all-sports winner by the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group. They claimed league titles in cross country, indoor track & field, soccer and volleyball during the 2004-05 academic year. Additionally, basketball and volleyball also claimed SEC tournament championships.

"This has been a terrific season for us," said Joan Cronan, women's athletics director. "All 11 of our sports were represented in NCAA postseason competition, which is a testament to the quality of our talented coaches and student-athletes."

The men's athletic department had a good year athletically, with eight of nine teams advancing to their respective NCAA events and seven of nine teams ranking among the top 20 in the country.

"I'm certainly proud of the accomplishments of our teams and coaches this season," said Mike Hamilton, men's athletics director. "We feel we've dedicated the resources to allow our teams and coaches to be successful. None of this would be possible without the support of our great fans and donors."

Developed as a joint effort between USA TODAY and NACDA, the United States Sports Academy Directors' Cup program is the only all-sports competition that recognizes institutions in each of the three NCAA divisions and NAIA with the best overall athletics program.

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