Building Champions. When the new slogan for Texas A&M athletics was unveiled after the arrival of Director of Athletics Bill Byrne, some, including some A&M fans, laughed.
But just five years after taking over the reins of the "sleeping giant" in Aggieland, as Byrne put it, he's built the winningest athletic department in the Big 12.
The Aggies have won more conference titles than any other Big 12 program in each of the last two seasons and on Thursday, they found out that they finished 12th in the nation in the final standings of the 2007-2008 U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup.
The Aggies finished with 1,031 points, and were just just 10 points shy of cracking the top 10. (ninth-place Penn State finished with 1,041 points). Stanford placed first with 1,461 points. A&M was second among Big 12 Conference schools.
A&M's best previous finish in the Directors' Cup was 16th (714 points) in 2003-04. The Aggies placed 18th last year with 881 points.
"This has been a tremendous year for Texas A&M athletics," Byrne said in a statement released on Thursday. "I'm extremely proud of the way our teams competed in the Big 12 and nationally. We enjoyed our success but we are far from satisfied. We will continue to work diligently to climb higher in the standings and to achieve our ultimate goal of winning national championships."
The final standings include results from baseball and men's and women's track. The Aggies received 64 points for baseball, which advanced to the NCAA Super Regional. The women's track team garnered 85 points for its third-place finish at the NCAA Championship while men's track received 75 points for placing fifth.
A&M received top 20 points in 15 of the 19 sports in which it competes. The Aggies finished in the top 10 in nine sports and in the top five in five events. Teams placing in the top 10 were softball (2nd), women's track and field (3rd), women's swimming and diving (4th), men's track and field (5th), women's basketball (5th), women's golf (6th), women's indoor track and field (7th), baseball (9th) and men's indoor track and field (10th).
Other teams finishing in the top 10 were men's golf (12th), men's swimming and diving (13th), men's basketball (17th), women's soccer (17th), women's tennis (17th) and men's tennis (17th).
After posting a school record with seven Big 12 Championships in 2006-07, the Aggies set a new mark with eight conference titles in 2007-08. A&M led the league in championships both years.
FINAL 2008 U.S. SPORTS ACADEMY DIRECTORS' CUP STANDINGS
1. Stanford - 1461.00
2. UCLA - 1182.00
3. Michigan - 1154.50
4. Arizona State - 1146.00
5. Texas - 1129.50
6. Florida - 1126.75
7. California - 1120.00
8. LSU - 1085.00
9. Penn State - 1041.00
10. Georgia - 1040.00
11. Ohio State - 1034.75
12. TEXAS A&M - 1031.00
13. USC - 1011.25
14. North Carolina - 978.50
15. Florida State - 971.50
OTHER BIG 12 SCHOOLS
23. Oklahoma - 714.00
31. Nebraska - 619.75
33. Oklahoma St. - 588.25
38. Missouri - 560.50
42. Baylor - 477.50
44. Texas Tech - 447.50
50. Colorado - 399.00
54. Kansas - 380.75
58. Iowa State - 363.25
71. Kansas St. - 286.00
Aggies finish 12th in Director Cup standings
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