SPARTANBURG, S.C. – With the completion of the spring seasons of league competition, ETSU’s men’s programs and Furman’s women’s programs have won the races for the Southern Conference’s all-sport trophies. 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.
ETSU, which was previously a member of the SoCon from 1978-2005 before rejoining the league in 2014, won its second Commissioner’s Cup overall and first since the 1982-83 academic year. Furman’s Germann Cup win was its 14th overall and second in the last three seasons.
The scoring system is modeled after the one used in determining the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. Scoring is conducted on a percentage basis, with only the top seven sports for each school counting toward its season total. The SoCon sponsors 11 men’s sports and nine women’s sports.
Each sport is worth 10 points, with each spot in the standings given equal measure relative to how many schools sponsor that particular sport. For sports that determine a regular-season champion, a two-point bonus is awarded for winning the league tournament. Each school’s total for the year is divided by 70, the maximum number of points possible when counting seven sports, to find its percentage.
ETSU, which fields eight men’s sports, jumped from third in the winter standings into the top spot thanks to conference championships from its tennis and golf teams in the spring. The Bucs won the regular-season and tournament titles in tennis for the second straight season and claimed their second consecutive golf title, as well. ETSU finished with 56.50 points in the standings, good for a percentage of .807.
Runner-up Furman improved four spots from its sixth-place finish last year and entered the baseball championship with a chance to tie ETSU for the Cup had it won the title. The Paladins amassed 54.50 points over the course of the year, good for a percentage of .779. Furman, which led the Cup standings through the fall and winter seasons before being overtaken by ETSU in the spring, won the cross country and soccer championships and finished third in the golf championship and basketball and tennis regular seasons.
Western Carolina finished third with 52.08 points and a .744 percentage. The Catamounts, who won the indoor track and field title, had a strong spring with championship wins in outdoor track and field and baseball.
Samford was fourth with a .645 percentage, followed by men’s soccer regular-season champion UNCG in fifth at .623. Chattanooga, which swept the basketball regular-season and tournament titles and won a share of the football and wrestling titles, finished sixth at .613, followed by baseball regular-season champion Mercer at .529.
VMI was eighth at .474, with Wofford (.468) and football co-champion The Citadel (.359) rounding out the standings.
In the race for the Germann Cup, Furman completed the wire-to-wire win, totaling 67.46 points on the year for a .964 percentage. The Paladins, who won SoCon championship titles in volleyball, soccer and cross country in the fall, won the golf tournament and the tennis regular-season crown to claim their second Germann Cup in the last three years.
Samford finished second with 61.42 points and an. 877 percentage. The Bulldogs, who won the soccer regular-season title and the indoor track and field championship, turned in a solid spring with a second-place finish at the outdoor track and field meet and regular-season and tournament titles in softball.
Chattanooga, which won the volleyball regular season, a share of the basketball regular-season title and its fourth straight basketball tournament, finished third at .803 (56.21 points), adding a runner-up finish in golf in the spring. ETSU, which claimed the tennis tournament crown, was fourth with 53.27 points for a .761 percentage.
Western Carolina finished fifth, moving up a spot from the winter standings on the strength of its outdoor track and field title. The Catamounts, who were also second at the indoor meet, finished with a .610 percentage.
UNCG was sixth at .538, followed by basketball regular-season co-champion Mercer (.490). Wofford was eighth at .389, followed by VMI (.222) and The Citadel (.119).
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 Southern Conference from 1974-86 and spearheaded the effort to introduce women’s athletics to the league.
Six schools have won the Commissioner’s Cup in the 47-year history of the award, including current members Chattanooga (2014-15 and 2004-05), ETSU (1982-83 and 2015-16) and Furman (1990-91).
Five schools have won the Germann Cup in its 30-year history. Among current schools, Furman owns a league-best 14, including 12 straight from 1992-2004. Samford has won two (2014-15 and 2009-10) and Chattanooga won in 2007-08.
Commissioner’s Cup (final)
1. ETSU .807
2. Furman .779
3. Western Carolina .744
4. Samford .645
5. UNCG .623
6. Chattanooga .613
7. Mercer .529
8. VMI .474
9. Wofford .468
10. The Citadel .359
Germann Cup (final)
1. Furman .964
2. Samford .877
3. Chattanooga .803
4. ETSU .761
5. Western Carolina .610
6. UNCG .538
7. Mercer .490
8. Wofford .389
9. VMI .222
10. The Citadel .119