HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) _ William Carey University produced one of the most successful, across-the-board athletic years in school history.
Carey finished second in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ 2018-19 Learfield Directors Cup voting. Points were based on 12 sports, six men’s and six women’s.
Carey finished first nationally in women’s soccer, second men’s outdoor track and field and fourth in men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s basketball and men’s soccer. Of its 806 points, Carey led all NAIA institutions in spring sports scores with 426 ½.
"The 2018-19 year was truly a remarkable year for William Carey athletics," said WCU athletic director D.J. Pulley. "It all started in the fall with women's soccer winning our first national title in 50 years and men's soccer team making a final four run.
“The momentum carried over to men's basketball incredible postseason run and then in the spring we qualified seven sports for postseason play with men's outdoor track & field finishing second and men and women's tennis making semifinal runs.”
Other highlights included:
Eleven sports were ranked in the final NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 poll
Two track and field athletes, Malik Crandle and Aniekeme Etim, won two individual events each at the outdoor track and field national championship
Danny Owens was named national “Coach of the Year” after leading the Lady Crusaders to the national title
Thirty-six Carey athletes earned NAIA All-American honors
For a third consecutive season, Carey was awarded the Southern States Athletic Conference “Commissioner’s Cup” for a third consecutive season after winning regular-season championships in men’s basketball, men’s soccer, women’s tennis and women’s soccer.
Carey also collected postseason tournament titles in men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track and field, women’s track and field, men’s soccer and women’s cross country.
Eighty-six Crusaders were named first-team All-SSAC and another 31 earned second-team honors. Seventy-seven athletes earned SSAC All-Academic honors.
“I can never say enough about all the hard work our coaches and student-athletes put into this year,” Pulley said. “The 2018-19 year was definitely one for the record books."