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A Year to Remember wolfpack achieves best finish ever in directors' cup standings

NC State Athletics concluded a historic 2017-18 athletic/academic year, placing 15th in the nation in the Learfield Directors' Cup standings and reaching its organizational goal of Top 25 status for the first time in program history. The Wolfpack finished fourth overall among Atlantic Coast Conference institutions with 894.75 total points.

Over the last four academic years (2014-15 to 2017-18), NC State's average finish in the national standings is 26th. The 2017-18 finish of 15th is the best in NC State's history.

NC State began the 2017-18 season with a terrific start, as all six programs qualified for their respective postseasons to land the Wolfpack seventh in the final fall national rankings.

On April 5, NC State achieved its highest position ever in the standings, moving up to fourth in the nation.

Just a few weeks later, NC State ranked fifth in the Directors' Cup standings, which was the department's best position ever through the conclusion of the final winter sports.

On the year, NC State finished in the Top 11 of Directors' Cup rankings in 11 of the 13 rankings issued, showing remarkable consistency from the beginning of the year to the end. A total of 20 of 23 sports reached their respective postseasons, the highest mark in school history.

Academic Success

Academically, NC State student-athletes achieved a cumulative average GPA of 3.0+ for the first time in school history. Seventy-six Wolfpack student-athletes completed Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 with a 4.0 semester GPA and 20 student-athletes, represented by eight different sports, currently hold perfect 4.0 GPAs.

Graduation Success Rates (GSR) have also improved steadily at NC State. Over the last five reports, NC State has recorded its five highest GSRs in program history.

Conference Team Championships

For the third consecutive year, three Wolfpack teams won conference titles. NC State claimed top ACC honors in Women's Cross Country, Men's Swimming and Diving, and Gymnastics (EAGL).

Individual National Champions

NC State student-athletes claimed a total of 12 individual or relay national championships this year. Wrestler Michael Macchiavello (1) and men's swimmers Ryan Held (2), Anton Ipsen (1), Jacob Molacek (2), Justin Ress (2), Coleman Stewart (2), and Andreas Vazaios (2) all earned national championship honors for the Wolfpack.

Fiscal Responsibility

For the seventh consecutive year, NC State's final Directors' Cup ranking outperformed its financial expenditure ranking among Power 5 peers.

The Wolfpack also continues to responsibly increase both its annual operating expenses and revenue at a healthy and sustainable pace.

Coach of the Year Awards

For the second consecutive year, NC State claimed six Coach of the Year awards. Laurie Henes (Women's Cross Country), Braden Holloway (Men's Swimming and Diving), and Pat Popolizio (Wrestling) all earned top ACC honors.

Additionally, Henes was named the NCAA Southeast Region Cross Country Coach of the Year, Popolizio was a Dan Gable co-NCAA Coach of the Year (WIN Magazine), and Gymnastics head coach Kim Landrus was named the NACGC Southeast Region Coach of the Year.

Directors' Cup Points

Nineteen NC State programs scored points in the Directors' Cup this year. Men's Swimming and Diving (80 points), Wrestling (77.5), Women's Cross Country (70.5), and Women's Basketball (64) were the top four point scorers for NC State.

Gymnastics (59.25), Men's Cross Country (57), Women's Swimming and Diving (56), and football (51) were the next highest point accumulators.

Women's Soccer, Volleyball, and Baseball all scored 50 points for the Pack, while Men's Golf accumulated 49.

Men's Indoor Track and Field scored 35.5 points for NC State, while Men's Soccer, Men's Basketball, and Women's Tennis each earned 25.

Men's Tennis scored 25 points, while Women's Golf (23) and Women's Indoor Track and Field (22) also contributed to the historic Directors' Cup finish.

From the Pack to the Pros

Under the leadership of head coach Dave Doeren, the NC State football program set a school record with seven players selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. Defensive end Bradley Chubb was the top Wolfpack pick in the draft, going fifth overall to the Denver Broncos to become NC State's 16th player to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Under the leadership of head coach Elliott Avent, the NC State baseball program also set a school record with four players drafted during the first 10 rounds of the 2018 MLB Draft.

Thank you for your support, Wolfpack Nation!

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