SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Behind a record-setting six spring Northeast Conference Championships, the Bryant University Athletic Department captured its first-ever Brenda Weare Commissioner's Cup, announced the NEC on Tuesday. The Bulldogs also finished first in the NEC Men’s Commissioner’s Cup standings, as well.
In just its second year of full Division I eligibility, Bryant put together an unprecedented spring season in which it saw six of its team advance to the NCAA Tournament, a feat never before accomplished by an NEC school.
“We are grateful to the NEC for inviting us into their family six years ago,” said Bryant Director of Athletics Bill Smith. “We are proud to have won the Brenda Weare Commissioner’s Cup in just our second year of Division I eligibility, and this reflects the hard work and dedication of our coaches and student-athletes.
“Brenda Weare was instrumental in giving Bryant an opportunity to compete at the Division I level,” added Smith. “To win this recognition named in her honor makes this achievement all the more meaningful.”
The Black and Gold racked up 208.37 total points over the course of the 2013-14 academic year, finishing nearly 15 points higher than Saint Francis U., who earned 193.93 points to finish just outside the top spot. On the men’s side, the Bulldogs procured 110.20 points, 20 more than any other school, in a runaway victory. On the women’s side, Bryant finished in fourth place overall with 98.17 points behind Saint Francis U., LIU Brooklyn, and Sacred Heart.
After a solid start to the 2013-14 season, the Bulldogs stood in fifth place in the overall cup standings heading into the spring season thanks to an NEC Championship appearance by men’s soccer, a second-place finish from women’s cross country, and top-four finishes from men’s and women’s basketball.
The 2014 spring season quickly became the season of the Bulldog with a record-setting six Bryant teams (men’s tennis, men’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball, and baseball) capturing NEC Tournament Titles en route to six NCAA Tournament appearances and the school’s first-ever Commissioner’s Cup honor.
The six championships were the most in a single season in NEC history, surpassing the five won by UMBC (2000) and Monmouth (2007), and one shy of the calendar year mark shared by Fairleigh Dickinson (1991-92), UMBC (1999-00) and Monmouth (2006-07). The Bulldogs also finished in the top-three of the NEC regular season standings in eight of the ten round-robin sports the school offers.
After a historic run by the men’s lacrosse team in which they won two NCAA Tournament games, including a first round upset over #2 seeded Syracuse, the Bryant baseball team will look to add to its outstanding 2014 season when it opens NCAA Regional action vs. Houston, Friday night in Baton Rouge, La. (8 p.m. EST)
About the Brenda Weare
The NEC Commissioner’s Cup was instituted during the 1986-87 season with Long Island winning the inaugural award. Fairleigh Dickinson and Monmouth lead all NEC schools with six Cups to their credit. Cup points are awarded in each NEC sponsored sport. For men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, football, women’s bowling, softball, field hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and baseball, the final regular season standings are used to determine Cup points. In all other sports, points are awarded based on the finish at NEC Championship events.