Missouri’s athletic program jumped 12 spots to 36th in the United States Sports Academy Directors’ Cup standings, released Thursday.
The rankings, which include Missouri finishes for fall and winter sports, are released 11 times during the Division I school year.
Missouri improved in the standings primarily because of the wrestling team’s 11th-place finish at last weekend’s NCAA Championships. Missouri was awarded 66 points for its finish.
The men’s and women’s indoor track teams’ NCAA Indoor Championship (34th and 64th) finishes were also included in the score. The three scores gave Missouri a score of 216.75, one spot ahead of Princeton’s 212.75.
Athletic department spokesmen Chad Moller said the improvement in the standings shows how the program has competed.
“We’re excited,” he said. “Any time we can see improvement, it’s something we can point out.”
The Director’s Cup rankings are compiled by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USA Today. The United States Sports Academy, based in Alabama, is in its second year of sponsoring the program.
The winner receives a trophy.
Each school is given points for finishes in 10 men’s sports and 10 women’s sports. A national championship earns the school 100 points.
The ranking gives the Tigers the fifth-best score in the Big 12 Conference. Texas is the top Big 12 team with a fourth-place ranking. Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma are also ranked above Missouri.
Last year, the Tigers were 46th. The program’s 37th-place finish after the 2002-2003 school year was its highest since the rankings began in 1993-94.
A final ranking will be released after the spring sports season.