HILTON HEAD ISLAND, 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, each winning for the fourth straight year. The winners will be honored at the league’s Honors Dinner on Wednesday evening at the Sonesta Resort in Hilton Island Head, South Carolina.
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. Scoring is conducted on a percentage basis, with only the top seven sports for each school counting toward its season total. The SoCon sponsors 22 total sports, with the league’s three co-ed rifle teams counting toward the Commissioner’s Cup standings and the two women’s rifle teams counting toward the Germann Cup.
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.
Second after both the fall and winter seasons, ETSU’s men overtook Furman with a strong spring that included regular-season and tournament titles in men’s tennis, a runner-up showing in men’s golf and a third-place showing in outdoor track and field. In the winter, the Bucs tied the Paladins for third in the men’s basketball standings and finished fourth in indoor track and field. Including a share of its first-ever football title and runner-up finishes in cross country and men’s soccer in the fall, ETSU finished with 62.21 points for an .889 percentage.
Furman’s men, seeking their first Commissioner’s Cup since winning their only one in 1990-91, finished just shy with 58.03 points and an .829 percentage. The Paladins counted two of their spring sports, finishing second in tennis and fourth in golf. Furman also turned in third-place finishes in men’s basketball and indoor track and field in the winter after winning the cross country and men’s soccer championships and a share of the football crown in the fall.
Wofford fashioned its best-ever finish in the Commissioner’s Cup standings, coming in third with 51.74 points and a .739 percentage. The Terriers, who won the men’s basketball regular-season and tournament titles and claimed a share of the football title, finished second in baseball and fourth in outdoor track and field and tennis. Wofford’s previous best Commissioner’s Cup finishes were fifth in 2014-15 and 2016-17.
Baseball regular-season champion Samford finished fourth with a .729 percentage. The Bulldogs posted runner-up finishes in indoor and outdoor track and field. Mercer, which won the men’s soccer regular-season championship, used the bonus points from its baseball tournament title to leap UNC Greensboro into fifth place, finishing with a .593 percentage. The Spartans, who won the men’s golf championship and tied for third in the baseball regular season in the spring and were runners-up in basketball in the winter, were right behind the Bears with a .589 percentage.
Wrestling regular-season tri-champion Chattanooga, which finished third in the golf championship and third in the tennis standings, landed seventh in the Cup standings with a .529 percentage. Western Carolina added an outdoor track and field title to its indoor crown to move up two spots from the winter to eighth, finishing with a .467 percentage. The Citadel was ninth with a .403 percentage, followed by VMI with a .386 mark.
In the Germann Cup race, Furman used a dominant spring to overtake winter leader Samford for its fourth straight all-sports title. The margin was razor thin, with the Paladins wrapping up the spring with 63.31 points for a .904 percentage and the Bulldogs totaling 63.09 points and a .901 percentage. The margin was the smallest since the move to the percentage scoring model in 2014-15.
In the spring, the Paladins claimed regular-season and tournament titles in women’s tennis and won their fifth straight women’s golf championship. Furman also won a share of the women’s lacrosse regular-season title to add to its cross country title from the fall and its runner-up finish in the basketball regular season.
Samford, which was seeking its first women’s all-sport title since 2014-15 and third overall, won the outdoor track and field championship and finished second in the softball regular-season standings in the spring. The Bulldogs also claimed the indoor track and field championship in the winter and the regular-season women’s soccer title and volleyball tournament title in the fall. Samford finished second in the volleyball regular season.
ETSU finished third with 55.74 points and a .796 percentage. The Bucs finished second in the tennis regular season and fourth in the outdoor track and field championship in the spring after winning the volleyball regular-season championship in the fall and finishing third in basketball and indoor track and field in the winter.
Finishing fourth was Mercer, which won a share of the women’s lacrosse championship and the tournament title in the spring. The Bears, who claimed the basketball regular-season and tournament titles in the winter and tied for third in the volleyball regular season, finished with a .735 percentage.
Softball regular-season champion UNCG finished fifth with a .633 percentage. The Spartans also finished second in the women’s soccer regular season and won their second straight women’s soccer tournament title in the fall. Chattanooga, which won the softball tournament title and finished third in the regular season, came in sixth in the Germann Cup standings with a .628 percentage. The Mocs finished second in the cross country championship, tied for second in the golf championship and tied for third in the basketball regular-season standings.
Wofford finished with a .598 percentage for seventh. The Terriers had a strong spring, finishing second in the outdoor track and field championship and third in the tennis standings. Western Carolina, which was runner-up in the indoor track and field championship and third in the outdoor championship, finished with a .529 percentage. VMI, which fields just one women’s sport in the spring, finished eighth at .206, followed by The Citadel, which has just two women’s spring sports, at .181.
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 50-year history of the award, including current members ETSU (2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17, 2015-16 and 1982-83), Chattanooga (2014-15 and 2004-05) and Furman (1990-91).
Five schools have won the Germann Cup in its 33-year history. Among current schools, Furman owns a league-best 17, including 12 straight from 1992-2004. Samford has won two (2014-15 and 2009-10) and Chattanooga won in 2007-08.
Commissioner’s Cup (through spring sports)
1. ETSU .889
2. Furman .829
3. Wofford .739
4. Samford .729
5. Mercer .593
6. UNCG .589
7. Chattanooga .529
8. Western Carolina .467
9. The Citadel .403
10. VMI .386
Germann Cup (through spring sports)
1. Furman .904
2. Samford .901
3. ETSU .796
4. Mercer .735
5. UNCG .633
6. Chattanooga .628
7. Wofford .598
8. Western Carolina .529
9. VMI .206
10. The Citadel .181