Irish Surge To Fifth in Directors' Cup

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame athletics program has moved up four spots to fifth place in the latest Division I Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings after boasting strong performances by the women’s basketball, fencing, hockey, swimming and diving, and men’s indoor track and field teams.

Irish winter sports programs performed at the highest of levels, adding 382 points to their fall haul for a total of 622. The effort propelled Notre Dame to first among Atlantic Coast Conference members, one slot ahead of Virginia. Stanford tops the rankings, followed by Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State.

The Irish women’s basketball team — which won its sixth straight ACC regular-season championship and fifth conference tournament championship in six years — led the program after advancing to the NCAA Championship game.

The Irish fencing program finished third as a team at the National Collegiate Fencing Championships, boasting an individual champion in men’s foilist Nick Itkin, who won his second straight title. The Irish had four fencers finish in the top three nationally and swept the ACC Fencer of the Year awards after winning both men’s and women’s conference championships and all six individual titles at the conference meet.

Hockey advanced to its fourth consecutive NCAA tournament, marking the first time the program qualified for the field in four straight years. The Irish, who also won the Big Ten Tournament championship for the second year in a row, advanced to the Northeast Regional final, where they fell to eventual NCAA runner-up UMass.

The men’s indoor track and field program chipped in 52 points with a 20th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, highlighted by a national title from the men’s distance medley relay team of Dylan Jacobs, Edward Cheatham, Samuel Voelz and Yared Nuguse. 

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs combined for 55 points in the standings after finishing 36th and 41st at NCAA’s, respectively.

Notre Dame was in ninth place after the fall season when the Irish football team advanced to the College Football Playoff, men’s soccer went to the NCAA Championship quarterfinals and the women’s and men’s cross country teams each finished in the top 15 at the NCAA Championships.

The current standings reflect the addition of NCAA winter sports finishes, including men’s and women’s basketball, women’s bowling, fencing, men’s and women’s ice hockey, rifle, skiing, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, and men’s wrestling.