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Weber State claims 2018-19 Big Sky Presidents' Cup

FILE: Rashid Shaheed was second in the nation in kickoff returns last season.
FILE: Rashid Shaheed was second in the nation in kickoff returns last season.

OGDEN — Weber State University Athletics has claimed the 2018-19 Big Sky Conference Presidents’ Cup, the league announced Sunday.

The Presidents’ Cup promotes the Big Sky’s commitment to academics and recognizes a member school’s overall success both in the classroom and in competition.

This is Weber State’s fifth Big Sky Presidents’ Cup title, which is now the most in league history.

"Weber State excels at promoting the success of our students in their academic and extracurricular activities and the Big Sky Conference Presidents’ Cup is another manifestation of that,” said WSU president Dr. Brad Mortensen. “I'm very proud of the effort put forth by our student-athletes, coaches, athletics department staff and broader-range of faculty, staff and boosters in the Weber State family for contributing to this great recognition."

The Presidents’ Cup is awarded annually to the program that succeeds both academically and athletically, as measured by a variety of categories. Regular-season team standings in eight of the league’s 14 sports make up the athletic tier of the Presidents’ Cup criteria. Points are also awarded in men’s and women’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field and golf by virtue of finish at the Big Sky Championship. Teams are ranked according to average points per sport.

The academic tier measures the academic progress rate (APR) from the previous year and each team’s grade-point average (GPA) in Big Sky sponsored sports for the current year.

Since winning the first two Presidents’ Cups in 2003 and 2004, Weber State has captured a league-record five Presidents’ Cups in the 17-year history of the award.

"We are thrilled to win the 2018-19 Big Sky Conference Presidents' Cup," said Weber State director of athletics Tim Crompton. "This honor shows the tremendous commitment by our student-athletes both on the field of play and in the classroom. This award is shared by all of our amazing student-athletes, as well as our faculty, administration, coaches, staff and supporters. We could not achieve this success without all of their support. This is a terrific honor for Weber State University.”

During the past year, Weber State claimed Big Sky championships in football, soccer and softball. The WSU football and softball teams also both advanced to the NCAA championships.

Weber State had five other teams (men’s cross country, men’s golf, volleyball, women’s tennis and women’s outdoor track and field) finish in the top three in the league standings and had 10 top-five finishes.

The Wildcats also had nine student-athletes earn All-America honors and had nine Big Sky MVPs or conference champions. A total of 72 WSU student-athletes earned Big Sky All-Conference honors during the year.

Weber State edged out Montana State in the final Presidents’ Cup standings by half a point while Northern Colorado finished in third, one point behind the Bobcats.

The Wildcats finished second overall in the athletic standings and were also second in the academic standings with a 3.34 department-wide GPA. WSU had 167 student-athletes earn Big Sky Academic All-Conference honors during the year.

Graduate candidates take their seats at the start of Weber State University’s commencement at the Dee Events Center in Ogden on Friday, April 26, 2019.
Graduate candidates take their seats at the start of Weber State University’s commencement at the Dee Events Center in Ogden on Friday, April 26, 2019.
Spenser Heaps

“Winning the Presidents' Cup is a tribute out our entire institution,” said Dr. Norm Tarbox, WSU vice president of administrative services. “It can’t happen without the support of our faculty, staff, students and patrons.”

A total of 114 teams from across the conference recorded a 3.0 GPA or higher for the 2018-19 academic year with all 11 Big Sky members posting at least a 3.0 department-wide GPA.

“I would like to congratulate the student-athletes, coaches and administrators of Weber State for their outstanding efforts in the classroom and in their sport to earn the Presidents’ Cup Award for the 2018-19 school year,” said Big Sky commissioner Tom Wistrcill. “An award like this takes a team effort and they rose to the occasion.”

Weber State will showcase the Presidents’ Cup trophy on its campus for the 2019-20 school year.

WSU also claimed Presidents' Cup titles in 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009.