Athletics places 22nd in Learfield Sports Directors' Cup

July 2, 2010

With six teams scoring among the Top 10 nationally this year, including a pair of Top 4 finishes in the spring, Arizona State University has accumulated 792.25 points in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup to finish the 2009-10 academic year 22nd among the nation’s NCAA Division I institutions, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced Thursday. Fifteen Sun Devil squads contributed points toward the overall total in the Cup standings, which is presented annually to the top all-around athletic department in the nation.

The overall winner was Stanford, who scored 1,508.50 points with the remaining teams in the Top 5 consisting of Florida (1,310.25), Virginia (1,253.25), UCLA (1,124.00) and Florida State (1,087.50). The Pac-10 Conference had 8-of-10 institutions in the Top 30 and all 10 in the Top 79 on a list of 278 NCAA Division I schools that scored this year. The five Conference teams ahead of ASU all placed in the Top 15, including No. 1 Stanford, No. 4 UCLA, No. 9 California (1,013.50), No. 13 USC (906.50) and No. 14 Oregon (878.50). Download Full Image

Two Sun Devil squads concluded their seasons in the Top 5 nationally with Melissa Luellen’s women’s golf team and Greg Kraft’s men’s outdoor track & field team both placing fourth at their respective championship events to earn 80 points for the department. Baseball, under the direction of first-year head coach and 2010 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Tim">">Tim Esmay, scored 73 points with their seventh-place finish while Kraft’s men’s indoor track & field squad also finished seventh to earn 72 points. The final two teams in the Top 10 both finished ninth overall, including Randy Lein’s men’s golf team and Clint Myers’ softball squad, who collected 68.25 and 64 points, respectively.

Three teams opened the scoring with points in the fall championships, including both cross country teams and the women’s soccer team. Louie Quintana’s harriers collected 62 total points as his men placed 19th (36 points) and his women finished 24th (26 points) while Kevin Boyd’s soccer team was 33rd overall to add 25 points. Following the fall, the Sun Devils ranked 64th overall with 87.0 points.

ASU climbed to 40th overall by the end of the fall with 351.0 points scored as five other teams added to the point total. Along with the men’s indoor track & field team, points were earned by gymnastics, both swimming & diving teams and the wrestling team. First-year swimming head coach Dorsey"> Tierney-Walker, along with 12th-year head diving coach Mark">">Mark Bradshaw, led the women’s team to a 22nd-place finish (51.5 points) while the men were 24th (50 points) following the NCAA swimming and diving competitions. Another first year coach, Shawn">">S... Charles, led the wrestlers to a 30th-place finish to add 44 points while John">">John Spini, who recently completed his 29th year with the gymnastics program, saw his women finish 25th overall for 46.50 points earned.

As is the case each year, the spring sports is where the Sun Devils scored much of their points as seven of the eight eligible teams advanced to postseason action and scored in the Cup standings. Along with both golf teams, men’s outdoor track & field, baseball and softball, the Sun Devils added points from women’s tennis and women’s outdoor track & field. Sheila McInerney‘s tennis team finished 17th overall (50 points) as her squad competed in the NCAA event for the 23rd year in a row in her 25 years at ASU while Kraft’s women finished tied for 46th in the nation to collect 26 points.

ASU has finished between fourth and 22nd in each of the past five years with finishes of 22nd (2009-10), 12th (2008-09), fourth (2007-08), 10th (2006-07) and 13th (2005-06).

The Cup, which has carried the names of several different sponsors, was started in the early 1970’s by the Knoxville Journal with the newspaper awarding points based upon finishes in the national meets and tallying three standings: men, women and combined. Under that format, ASU climbed its way into the Top 5 on several occasions as a combined program, finishing second in 1981 after placing third in 1976, 1977 and 1978. When USA Today took over compiling the numbers in the late 1980’s, the Sun Devils finished in the Top 10 on several occasions as a combined program with their highest finish coming in 1990 when they finished fourth after the men were fourth and women fifth in their separate divisions.

Arizona State in the Directors’ Cup Final Standings
2009-10 - 22nd
2008-09 - 12th
2007-08 - 4th
2006-07 - 10th
2005-06 - 13th
2004-05 - 11th
2003-04 - 17th
2002-03 - 10th
2001-02 - 15th
2000-01 - 9th
1999-00 - 11th
1998-99 - 12th
1997-98 - 12th
1996-97 - 13th
1995-96 - 21st
1994-95 - 12th
1993-94 - 10th

2009-10 Directors’ Cup Top 5 & Pac-10 Finishes
1. Stanford (1,508.50)
2. Florida (1,310.25)
3. Virginia (1,253.25)
4. UCLA (1,124.00)
5. Florida State (1,087.50)
9. California (1,013.50)
13. USC (906.50)
14. Oregon (878.50)
22. Arizona State (792.25)
24. Washington (770.75)
30. Arizona (683.05)
68. Oregon State (284.50)
79. Washington State (217.50)

Sun Devil Teams Scoring in the 2009-10 Directors’ Cup
80.00 - Golf (W) - 4th place
80.00 - Track & Field (M/Out) - 4th
73.00 - Baseball - 7th
72.00 - Track & Field (M/In) - 7th
68.25 - Golf (M) - 9th
64.00 - Softball - 9th
51.50 - Swimming & Diving (W) - 22nd
50.00 - Swimming & Diving (M) - 24th
50.00 - Tennis - 17th
46.50 - Gymnastics - 25th
44.00 - Wrestling - 30th
36.00 - Cross Country (M) - 19th
26.00 - Cross Country (W) - 24th
26.00 - Track & Field (W/Out) - 46th
25.00 - Soccer - 33rd

ASU awarded $6 million for biofuel research

July 2, 2010

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Arizona State University a $6 million grant as part of a program focused on algae-based biofuels.

The program supports the development of a clean, sustainable transportation sector – a goal of DOE's continued effort to spur the creation of a domestic bio-industry while creating jobs. This round of DOE funding totals $24 million for three research groups to tackle key hurdles in the commercialization of algae-based biofuels. Download Full Image

The ASU-led group, the Sustainable Algal Biofuels Consortium, will focus on testing the acceptability of algal biofuels as replacements for petroleum-derived fuels. The group will investigate biochemical conversion of algae to fuels and products, and analyze the physical chemistry properties of algal fuels and fuel intermediates. In addition to ASU, other core members of the consortium are the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colo., and Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque.

“ASU has been in the vanguard of algae research for more than 30 years and already knows how to make liquid transportation fuels from algae,” said Gary Dirks, chief executive of the consortium. “Now we need to answer the next question: How do we make it economical and help move our country into a more sustainable energy future?”

Dirks also is director of LightWorks, an ASU initiative focused on advanced solar-based energy and other light-inspired research.

The two other projects funded by the DOE program are:

The Consortium for Algal Biofuels Commercialization, San Diego, is led by the University of California, San Diego, and will concentrate on developing algae as a biofuels feedstock. DOE committed $9 million for this project.

The Cellana LLC Consortium, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, is led by Cellana LLC, and will examine large-scale production of fuels and feed from microalgae grown in seawater. DOE has committed $9 million for the project.  

“Partnerships such as these focus the creative powers of the public, private and academic sectors on key challenges facing the development of renewable energy for transportation,” said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Cathy Zoi, while announcing the awards. “The United States must find effective ways to hasten the development of technologies for advanced biofuels made from algae and other renewable resources to reduce our need for foreign sources of oil.” 

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications