FRISCO, Texas (Press Release) – For the third-straight season, Stephen F. Austin can lay claim as the Southland Conference's top overall athletic department, capturing the 2016-17 Commissioner's Cup. It is the fifth overall Commissioner's Cup for SFA, tied for the most all-time since the competition was instituted in the 2002-03 season.
"To be recognized by the Southland Conference as the all-sports champion for the third year in a row is a testament to our incredible coaches, support staff, and of course, our student-athletes," said SFA Director of Athletics Robert Hill. "We are so fortunate to have an administration who believes in the importance of intercollegiate athletics, which makes our success even more meaningful. We work hard every day to bring pride and recognition to SFA."
SFA becomes just the second program in the conference's history to win the Commissioner's Cup three years in a row, matching the effort from Sam Houston State from 2005-07. The Lumberjacks and Bearkats are now tied for the most all-time Commissioner's Cup with five as SFA has taken home the trophy five times in the last eight years.
SFA finishes the 2016-17 season with 163.5 points, seven points better than Sam Houston State and 17.5 points ahead of third-place Lamar. SFA boasted a pair of SLC champions on the year in women's cross country and women's track and field while seeing six programs tally runner-up finishes (men's cross country, soccer, volleyball, men's basketball, men's golf and men's outdoor track and field).
In addition to the third-straight Commissioner's Cup, SFA also laid claim to the women's all-sports trophy for the fourth year in a row as the Ladyjacks have been recognized for the fifth time. Paced by the conference titles by women's cross country and track and field, SFA finished with 89 points on the women's side, defeating second-place Lamar by eight points while finishing 10.5 points ahead of third-place Central Arkansas.
On the men's side, SFA finished second in the men's all-sports trophy race to Sam Houston State, finishing four points back of the Bearkats with 74.5 total points while besting third-place McNeese by six points. The Lumberjacks posted another strong performance on the year, finishing second in the SLC in cross country, basketball, golf and outdoor track and field with the indoor track and field squad placing third.
Thanks to the efforts of the department as a whole, SFA had clinched the 2016-17 Commissioner's Cup following the completion of the track and field championships last week. The victory became official once baseball concluded its season Saturday.
The Southland Conference all-sports trophies are awarded annually for men's and women's competition based on a 13-point system for all conference sports. Point values are 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1, pending place of finish. Regular-season standings are used for sports that have a conference tournament. The Commissioner's Cup is awarded to the university compiling the highest combined total of men's and women's all-sports points.