For a record 14th time, Denison University is the recipient of the Dennis M. Collins All-Sports Championship presented annually by the North Coast Athletic Conference.
Denison finished 2013-14 with 172 points across the NCAC’s 23 sponsored sports. For the second consecutive year, the All-Sports runner-up was DePauw University with 165 points. This marked Denison’s highest overall point total since 2006, and the fifth-most points scored by Denison athletics in the all-sports race since the trophy’s inception in 1984-85.
Denison led the race wire-to-wire thanks to a 49.5 point fall season, a 46 point winter and a 76.5 point spring season. There were five NCAC Championships earned during the 2013-14 academic year. They came from field hockey, women’s soccer, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, and men’s lacrosse. Fourteen of Denison’s 23 varsity sports logged top-3 finishes in the conference standings, and 19 sports placed in the top-5.
The Dennis M. Collins All-Sports Championship is given to the athletic program that performs the best across the NCAC’s 23 varsity sports. Ten points are awarded for a first-place finish, nine for a second, eight for a third, and so on. Since the award’s inception in 1985 Denison has won a record 14 All-Sports Awards, highlighted by a streak of nine consecutive titles that spanned 1998 through 2006.
This spring, DU pulled away from the competition by placing in the top-3 in 8-of-10 spring sports. Men’s lacrosse led the ground by winning the program’s 12 NCAC title. Women’s tennis placed second, and third-place finishes were posted by baseball, women’s golf, women’s lacrosse, softball, men’s tennis, and women’s outdoor track and field.
In the winter, men’s and women’s swimming & diving captured their sixth consecutive NCAC championships. Women’s indoor track & field was second, and women’s basketball checked in third.
The fall sports season saw field hockey and women’s soccer finish in ties for their respective conference championships. Volleyball logged its second-straight 20-win season and tied for second in the league. Football enjoyed its best season since 1986 at 7-3 which was good enough for a fourth-place finish. Women’s cross country also finished fourth at their conference championship in November.
While Denison outdistanced DePauw by seven points, third place belonged with Wittenberg with 145.5 points. Fourth place was occupied by Ohio Wesleyan (140.5), and fifth place was taken by Kenyon (133). Allegheny was sixth (123), followed by Wooster (119), Oberlin (118), Wabash (69.5), and Hiram (44.5)
Denison has placed either first or second in the All-Sports standings in 24 of the conference’s 30 years of existence. In the race for all-time team championships, Denison’s five titles in 203-14 kept them in second place with 129 NCAC championships since 1984-85.