ARLINGTON, Texas -- Despite sponsoring four fewer sports than the league maximum, the UTA athletic program fell just two points shy of winning the 2016-17 Bubas Cup, the Sun Belt Conference’s all-sports award that recognizes competitive success.
The Mavericks compiled 117 total points in their 14 intercollegiate sports to finish in third place, just 1.5 points behind in-state rival Texas State and two behind winner South Alabama. The Bobcats sponsor 16 sports, while the Jaguars maintain 17 of the league’s 18 sponsored sports. In 2017-18, UTA will officially compete in women’s golf for the first time in program history.
Arkansas State and league newcomer Coastal Carolina tied for fourth place in the 12-team league with 102.5 points, 14.5 points behind UTA.
“I am very pleased with the performance of our student-athletes this year, both on and off the field,” said UTA athletic director Jim Baker. “Competitively, our teams are succeeding at a level that is among the highest in program history. We had 30 student-athletes earn all-conference honors and seven who qualified for NCAA championship competition. Three of our coaches won Sun Belt Coach of the Year honors, while John Sauerhage’s Mavs won the track & field's Triple Crown and Kevin Hervey was named the Sun Belt Male Student-Athlete of the Year.”
“Away from the playing field, our student-athletes give selflessly to the community and are graduating at one of the highest success rates of any Division I institution in the state of Texas. We have a great program that UTA alumni, supporters, parents and the entire community should be proud of.”
UTA won four regular season Sun Belt titles this season, including men’s cross country, men’s basketball, men’s indoor track and men’s outdoor track. Baseball claimed a West Division title, while women’s indoor track and women’s basketball each registered league runner-up honors.
UTA’s third place finish equaled their best finish in a conference all-sports competition since 2004, when it was a member of the Southland Conference. The Mavericks won three SLC Commissioner’s Cup trophies.
UTA’s four conference titles this season gives its athletics program a total of 94 league regular season championships since the mid-1960s when the program was a member of the Southland Conference. During the last 50 years, UTA has appeared in 73 NCAA national postseason championships in three different athletic conferences – the Southland, Western Athletic and Sun Belt.
Points for the Bubas Cup are awarded based on regular season finish for sports that have a regular season conference schedule. Points are awarded based on Sun Belt Championship finish if that sport does not have a regular season conference schedule. Points are awarded based on the number of schools sponsoring the sport. Institutions not sponsoring a sport do not receive points in that sport. Institutions tying for positions split the combined points of their positions. For sports that have both a regular season schedule and a conference tournament, one additional point will be awarded to the winner of the conference tournament. For sports with divisions, the conference records of all teams are ranked and points are awarded regardless of divisional finish.
2017-18 Vic Bubas Cup Standings
1. South Alabama – 119
2. Texas State - 118.5
3. UTA - 117
T-4. Arkansas State - 102.5
T-4. Coastal Carolina - 102.5
6. Georgia State - 101
7. Troy - 95
8. Louisiana - 90.5
T-9. Appalachian St. - 85
T-9. Georgia Southern - 85
11. Little Rock - 62.5
12. ULM - 48
About the Bubas Cup
The Sun Belt Conference’s annual all sports championship trophy, the “Bubas Cup,” is named after the conference’s first commissioner.
A native of Gary, Indiana, Vic Bubas graduated from Gary Lew Wallace High School in 1944. Bubas was a two-time All-Conference selection at North Carolina State, helped the Wolfpack win four Southern Conference titles, and played in the 1950 NCAA Final Four.
He graduated in 1951 and stayed on as an assistant coach at North Carolina State until 1959, at which time he was named the Head Basketball Coach at Duke University. He took the Blue Devils to the Final Four in 1963, 1964 and 1966. Duke was ranked in the top fifteen of the nation in eight of his 10 seasons as head coach. Bubas posted a career record of 213 wins and 67 losses, winning an astonishing 76.1 percent of his games. He served as a Duke administrator from 1969-1976, including the last three years as Vice President of the university.
On October 6, 1976, Bubas was named the first Commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference. He was named by the NCAA to the prestigious Division 1 Basketball Committee in 1979 for a six-year term and served as chair of the prestigious group for the 1984-85 season. Bubas served as Sun Belt Conference Commissioner for 14 years until his retirement in 1990. He led the conference during a period in which its membership increased from six to eight and the number of sports sponsored grew from four to ten.
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