NEW ORLEANS - Xavier University of Louisiana finished 50th, a school record, in the final NAIA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings of 2011-12.
It's the third time in four years that Xavier placed among the top 100. The previous best XU all-sports ranking was 83rd in 2009-10. Xavier is the first Gulf Coast Athletic Conference school to finish in the top 50 since Mobile was 46th in 2007-08.
The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today newspaper. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 12 sports - six women's and six men's. This is the 17th year of the NAIA all-sports standings.
Xavier scored 251 points after a tie for fifth place nationally in men's tennis, a tie for ninth in women's basketball, ties for 17th in men's basketball and women's tennis, a tie for 25th in women's volleyball, 30th in women's cross country, 31st in men's cross country and a tie for 46th in women's outdoor track and field.
Xavier was one of three HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) to record a top-50 finish this season. Lincoln (Mo.) placed 42nd and Saint Augustine's 48th in NCAA Division II.
"I can't say enough good things about the efforts of our coaches and our student-athletes this year," XU athletics director Dennis Cousin said. "Our success is the direct result of their hard work and the continued support of our administration. Our teams won five conference championships and two group championships. There should be no doubt that this was the greatest year ever for Xavier athletics."
The top three NAIA schools were Azusa Pacific with 918 points, Shorter with 856 and Embry-Riddle (Fla.) with 771.5.
Xavier in NAIA all-sports standings
2005-06 no teams (Hurricane Katrina)
2004-05 not in top 100
1999-2000 not in top 234