For the first time in the history of the school, Menlo College has cracked the top 100 of the NACDA Learfield Sports Director's Cup, a prestigious list based on department wide outstanding athletic achievement over the 2011-12 school year. Menlo comes in at 85th out of a possible 300 NAIA colleges, and was the highest ranked school in the California Pacific Conference.
"For the colleges and universities that are consistently in the top 100 this may not be as big of a deal, but for us it is confirmation that our strategic plan is working and that we have an amazing group of coaches, staff, and student-athletes," said Director of Athletics Keith Spataro on the historic accolade. "We have a plan and our coaches can use this as motivation as now they know we can compete with the best. Our alumni, administration, college staff, and students should be extremely proud of what this year's group has accomplished."
The National Association of College Directors of Athletics, or NACDA for short, officially ranks the top 195 NAIA schools based on their on-field success across the entire department. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 12 sports, six women's and six men's.
Menlo's best finish before this year was 123rd, coming back in both the 2008-09, and 2009-10 school year. Last year the department finished in 166th.
"This is truly a remarkable accomplishment, especially given our size," commented the aforementioned Spataro. "We are extremely proud of this honor and are excited about what the future holds."
The department flourished in 2011-12 under fourth year Athletic Director Keith Spataro. The mind popping numbers speak for themselves. 11 student-athletes were recognized as All-Americans, and 37 as All-Conference recipients including two Conference Player of the Year awards, four Conference Newcomer of the Year honors, and two Conference Coach of the Year awards. From a team standpoint, Menlo won a record three conference championships and seven teams qualified for the postseason, including a record six on the national stage. Additionally the department was also awarded as a Five Star Champions of Character for the third year in a row.
A foundation steeped in success and winning has been laid, and according to Spataro this is just the beginning. "I look forward to leading this amazing group of coaches and staff to a top 50 ranking next year," claimed the Oaks AD.