Aug. 25, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Highlighting its all-staff meeting, the Ohio State Department of Athletics received the 2010-11 Learfield Directors’ Cup second-place trophy Thursday morning at the Ohio Union. The second-place finish marked the highest in the history of Ohio State athletics.

Presenting the trophy was Tom Stevens, Vice President of Business Development of Learfield Sports, while Liz Sullivan, a senior on the women’s soccer team and men’s volleyball assistant coach Tim Embaugh received the award for the department.

“The accomplishments of Ohio State’s total athletic program are a testament to the outstanding efforts of our student-athletes and coaches,” Ohio State Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Gene Smith said. “Ohio State is a magnificent institution that attracts exemplary students with a multitude of talents, including national-caliber athletes. This year’s academic and athletic achievements by our student-athletes continue a rich and proud history of success.”

Leading the Buckeyes last spring were a first-place finish in men’s volleyball, a third-place finish in men’s tennis, a fifth-place finish in men’s golf and topped that with a 10th-place showing at the NCAA rowing championships. Other Big Ten schools with Top 15 finishes included Penn State (11th) and Michigan (14th).

Under the direction of 2011 AVCA Division I-II Men’s National Coach of the Year Pete Hanson, the men’s volleyball team captured its first NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship, becoming only one of three squads outside the West to do so, and finished the season as the No. 1 team in the AVCA Men’s Division I-II Top-15 Poll for the first time in program history. OSU entered the NCAA championship as the event’s No. 3 seed, knocking off host and No. 2 seed Penn State, 3-1, in the tournament semifinals before securing a dramatic 3-2 victory over No. 4 seed UC Santa Barbara in the title tilt.

The men’s tennis team, led by head coach Ty Tucker, finished third nationally after going 34-3 with Big Ten regular season and tournament titles before falling to top-ranked Virginia in the NCAA quarterfinals. The 34 wins marked the fourth-most in program history.

The men’s golf team posted a fifth-place finish behind PING All-Midwest Region selections Bo Hoag and Brad Smith. Under the direction of head coach Donnie Darr, the Buckeyes finished in sixth place after stroke play competition before falling to top-ranked Oklahoma State on its home course in the NCAA quarterfinals.

The rowing team, under the direction of head coach Andy Teitelbaum, finished 10th at the NCAA championships in Gold River, Calif. Ulrike Denker and Claudia Schiwy were each named second team CRCA All-Americans en route to the Buckeyes’ 11th Top 10 finish in program history.

Other Top 10 finishes by Buckeye teams this year included women’s soccer (3rd), field hockey (3rd), football (5th), fencing (5th), men’s gymnastics (7th), men’s soccer (9th), women’s volleyball (9th), women’s basketball (9th) and men’s basketball (9th).