For the first time in four years, the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Cup is returning to Huntsville for the sixth time. With Thursday’s league championship in baseball, the sixth for the department this year, the Bearkats claimed the top honor for athletic departments.
In addition to the Commissioner’s Cup, the Bearkats also won the Men’s All-Sports Trophy. The sixth cup win for the Bearkats now moves the department past Stephen F. Austin for most in Conference history.
“This is the ultimate award we strive for every year in this department,” said Director of Athletics Bobby Williams. “We set a goal every year to be the best athletic department in the Southland Conference and this is a recognition of what we have been able to accomplish on the field and on the court.”
The Bearkat men started the 2017-18 season strong, registering a second-place finish in football, a top finish at indoor track & field and a fourth-place finish in basketball. In the spring season, Sam Houston left no doubt, finishing first in golf, outdoor track & field and baseball for a final men’s sports tally of 82.0 – nearly 16 points ahead of second place.
Sam Houston State finished with 75.5 women’s all-sports points, led by top finishes at indoor track & field, outdoor track & field and a third-place finish in golf. The Kats also got a big boost from the tennis program, which finished in a tie for third, giving the program 157.5 total men’s and women’s points to secure this year’s Commissioner’s Cup.
“What is great about this, is every single athlete contributes to winning the cup,” Williams said. “Not only that, they take pride in it. Whether it is after a game or in the halls of the field house, I love when athletes come and ask me where we are in the cup.”
The Bearkat first won the cup in 2005, and followed that up winning the title again in 2006 and 2007, to become the first program to win three straight cups. It took six years before the cup returned to Sam Houston, with the Kats taking the title in 2013 and again in 2014.
The Commissioner’s Cup and All-Sports Awards will be presented at the Southland Conference Honors Dinner on Tuesday, May 22 at the Westin Stonebriar Hotel in Frisco, Texas. The Men’s and Women’s All-Sports trophies are awarded annually for men’s and women’s competition based on a 13-point system for all conference sports, with the Commissioner’s Cup being awarded to the program with the most combined all-sports points.
Points are awarded from 13 to 1 according to place of finish in final conference standings in sports with regular seasons, or placement in conference championships for sports without regular seasons. If teams are tied in standings or placement, points for the given spots are distributed evenly. Points are awarded regardless of the number of teams that sponsor a given sport.