SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Appalachian State has won its ninth straight Commissioner’s Cup and Furman has won its 13th overall Germann Cup as the Southern Conference announced its all-sports trophy winners for the 2013-14 academic year on Tuesday.
The Commissioner’s and Germann cups are awarded annually to the Southern Conference schools fielding the league’s best all-around men’s and women’s sports programs, respectively. Schools earn points based upon their regular-season finishes, with two bonus points going to the teams that win their respective conference tournaments.
The Mountaineers’ Commissioner’s Cup win is their 34th overall, all of which have come in the last 37 years. Furman’s Germann Cup victory is its first since winning 12 straight from 1992-2004.
In the men’s race, Appalachian State edged winter leader Chattanooga, 70-66. The Mountaineers clinched the Commissioner’s Cup on the final day of the baseball regular season, as its win over Furman that day prevented the Paladins from forcing a tie with App atop the cup standings. Furman finished third in the standings with 65 points.
The Mountaineers won the all-sport trophy without the benefit of a single league title in 2013-14. Appalachian State was buoyed by strong showings from its cross country (second), indoor track and field (second) and outdoor track and field (third) teams. Appalachian State also saw its wrestling and tennis teams finish fourth in the league.
Chattanooga finished second in men’s golf in the spring, but, without fielding a baseball team, saw Appalachian State pass it with the conclusion of the final spring sport. The Mocs, who won the wrestling tournament, posted regular-season titles in football and wrestling and second-place finishes in basketball and golf.
Furman, which led the fall standings after championships in football and cross country, got a second-place showing from its men’s tennis team this spring and came tantalizingly close to its first Commissioner’s Cup since 1990-91, as it could have tied Appalachian State for the cup lead with a win over the Mountaineers on the final day of the baseball regular season, with the two bonus points for the baseball tournament still up for grabs. Still, the Paladins registered their second third-place showing in the last three years.
Davidson finished fourth in the Commissioner’s Cup standings with 61 points, highlighted by a regular-season men’s basketball title and a second-place showing in baseball. Samford, which won the outdoor track and field title and a share of the football crown, was fifth with 58 points, while Western Carolina (54.5), despite not fielding a men’s tennis team, jumped up four spots in the spring to finish sixth on the strength of a regular-season baseball crown and a runner-up finish in outdoor track and field. The Catamounts also won the indoor track and field crown in the winter.
Wofford, which won the regular-season title in soccer and the basketball tournament, finished seventh in the cup standings with 54 points, followed by UNCG (50.5) and tennis regular-season and tournament champion Elon (50). Georgia Southern (45), which won the golf and baseball tournaments, and The Citadel (40.5) rounded out the standings.
Furman was the wire-to-wire winner of the Germann Cup, finishing with 78.5 points. Titles in women’s soccer and women’s cross country highlighted the Paladins’ fall success, while a second-place finish in basketball kept Furman on top through the winter standings.
The Paladins added a regular-season tennis title and a second-place showing at the golf championship in the spring to cap an extremely consistent year, as six of their nine women’s sports finished second or better on the academic year and another finished third. Furman’s finish was its highest since a second-place showing in the Germann Cup standings in 2007-08.
Samford made up significant ground on Furman in the spring, winning the outdoor track and field title and finishing second in tennis, third in golf and fourth in softball to vault from fourth in the winter standings into the runner-up spot. The Bulldogs wrapped up the year with 74.5 points.
Elon finished third with 69.5 points. The Phoenix turned in a third-place in outdoor track and field and was fourth in tennis and earned a pair of bonus points for its tennis tournament win.
Chattanooga, which finished strong with tournament titles in golf and softball, finished fourth with 66 points, jumping three spots from the winter, when it won the basketball regular-season and tournament crowns. Appalachian State followed in fifth with 60 points, with UNCG in sixth with 55. Softball regular-season champion Georgia Southern, which also won the volleyball regular-season and tournament titles, was seventh with 54.5 points, followed by indoor track and field champion Western Carolina (53.5), Davidson (37), Wofford (29.5) and The Citadel (15).
The Commissioner’s Cup was inaugurated in 1970 and the Germann Cup was first awarded in 1987. The latter is named for former SoCon Commissioner Ken Germann, who served as commissioner of the league from 1974-86 and spearheaded the effort to introduce women’s athletics to the conference.
Appalachian State has won the Commissioner’s Cup 34 times in the last 37 years, interrupted only by East Tennessee State in 1982-83, Furman in 1990-91 and Chattanooga in 2004-05.
Just five schools have ever won the Germann Cup. Furman has a league-best 13, while Appalachian State won the first six and has 10 total. Former SoCon member College of Charleston won the first of its three titles in 2004-05, while Chattanooga won in 2007-08 and Samford in 2009-10.
Commissioner’s Cup (final)
1. Appalachian State 70
2. Chattanooga 66
3. Furman 65
4. Davidson 61
5. Samford 58
6. Western Carolina 54.5
7. Wofford 54
8. UNCG 50.5
9. Elon 50
10. Georgia Southern 45
11. The Citadel 40.5
Germann Cup (final)
1. Furman 78.5
2. Samford 74.5
3. Elon 69.5
4. Chattanooga 66
5. Appalachian State 60
6. UNCG 55
7. Georgia Southern 54.5
8. Western Carolina 53.5
9. Davidson 37
10. Wofford 29.5
11. The Citadel 15