CSU won five league championships to claim the 2007-08 James McCafferty Trophy
CSU won five league championships to claim the 2007-08 James McCafferty Trophy
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Bolstered by spring championships in men's golf, men's tennis and women's softball, Cleveland State moved from fifth place after the winter sports season to claim the James J. McCafferty Trophy, which is presented annually by the Horizon League in recognition of the league's all-sport champion. The award was presented by the Horizon League office on Wednesday at the league's spring meetings in Marco Island, Fla.

Cleveland State also claimed the league's Men's All-Sports Award with Milwaukee earning the Women's All-Sports Award.

"The Horizon League is pleased to present this year's McCafferty Trophy and Men's All-Sports Award to Cleveland State University," Horizon League commissioner Jonathan B. Lecrone said. "The improvement in CSU's program during the past few years has been noteworthy and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of its administration, coaches and student-athletes. We congratulate Cleveland State on an outstanding season."

"Today is a great day to be a Viking," CSU Director of Athletics Lee Reed said. "We've talked for six years about building a total sports program at CSU and winning championships. This is the ultimate championship that the Horizon League offers and it is a wonderful feeling to know that it belongs to the Vikings.

"To reach this goal is a tribute to the commitment that the university administration, coaches, staff and student-athletes have made to CSU.

"This is the culmination of a six-year process in which we've changed the whole thought process towards intercollegiate athletics at Cleveland State. We are no longer going to be happy to finish second. The City of Cleveland, the CSU community and our fans deserve to have a university that they can be proud of so we are going to continue to strive towards being the best possible athletic program that we can be.

"Much of our success is due to the rebirth that the campus has enjoyed under president (Dr. Michael) Schwartz. Because of his vision, the projects that have been completed as part of the university's Master Plan have helped the campus to grow and improve, making it easier for our athletic programs to develop.

"Three years ago we were last in the McCafferty standings. Last year, we were seventh. I can't help but feel that this year, we only scratched the surface towards meeting our true potential," Reed added.

Cleveland State finished the year with 46 points to finish three points ahead of Milwaukee and Butler, who tied for second with 43 points each. UIC and Wright State were tied for fourth with 33 points each and Youngstown State and Loyola tied for sixth with 26 points. Green Bay (19 points) was eighth, Valparaiso (15) was ninth and Detroit (14.5) was 10th.

Heading into the spring season, Milwaukee appeared to be headed for its fifth straight McCafferty Trophy. The Panthers led all schools with 40 points with Butler ranking second with 31 points. CSU, which was fifth with 20 points, wasn't finished. In a span of 48 hours, the Vikings added team championships in men's tennis (April 27) and men's golf (April 29) to move into contention.

When the Viking softball team claimed the regular season Horizon League championship on May 5, CSU vaulted to the top of the McCafferty standings with only track and baseball left to play. Track, a sport whose points are given out after the indoor season and then adjusted following the outdoor meet, ended with no major point changes.

When Butler was eliminated from the baseball championship on May 20, Cleveland State was assured of the title.

"It was both nerve-wracking and fun to follow the championships during the last couple of weeks," Reed said. "As we were playing for team championships, every win also had implications in the McCafferty race."

The Vikings earned 25 of their 46 overall points in the men's sports to earn the Men's All-Sports Award for the first time. CSU received seven points each for winning titles in men's golf and tennis and five points each for finishing second in men's basketball and swimming. The final point came from a fifth place finish in baseball.

The 21 points on the women's side came from five sports. Volleyball and softball each earned seven points, women's basketball three and women's tennis and golf picked up two points each for fourth place finishes.

McCafferty Trophy Notes

Handed out every year since 1979-80, the McCafferty Trophy is named after James J. McCafferty, the former Xavier University men's basketball coach and athletic director who served as the league's first commissioner.

CSU becomes just the fourth current Horizon League member to win the award. Butler (6), Milwaukee (4) and UIC (2) have previously earned the honor. Former league members Notre Dame and Oral Roberts have each won the award a record seven times each.

CSU's best previous McCafferty finish was fifth in 1998-99.

CSU was ninth (of 9) in 2004-05, sixth in 2005-06 and seventh in 2006-07.

In 2001-02, the year before Lee Reed took over as Director of Athletics, CSU was last in the McCafferty standings, scoring just 9.5 points, the third lowest point total in trophy history.

Since joining the Horizon League for the 1994-95 season, CSU finished last in the McCafferty in seven of the 14 seasons.

CSU recorded five Horizon League championships this year. Volleyball, men's golf, men's tennis and women's basketball claimed post-season tournament titles while softball won the regular season crown.

CSU was first among the men's sports programs and third in the women's sports. In the women's sports, the Vikings claimed titles in three of the four priority sports.

Prior to this season, CSU had totaled just two sport championships in the last eight years. . . combined. Both (men's golf & men's swimming) came in 2005-06.

The titles by men's tennis, volleyball and women's basketball were the first championships in each program's history. The softball regular season title was also a first.

Points are passed out in all 19 Horizon League Championship sports with seven points going for first, five for second, three for third, two for fourth and one for fifth.

The results in the priority sports of baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, softball and volleyball are weighted with the regular season standings accounting for 60 percent and the post-season tournament for 40 percent. Indoor and outdoor track are considered one sport with 50 percent of the points coming from indoor and 50 percent from outdoor.

The points in the remaining sports are based entirely on the results from the respective Horizon League Championship events.

Schools count results from as many as 11 sports in four different sections:
-- Best three from the four women's priority sports (VB, WBK, SB & Soccer)
-- Best two from the three men's priority sports (Soccer, MBK, Baseball)
-- Best three scores from remaining men's sports
-- Best three scores from remaining women's sports

2008 McCafferty Trophy Standings

1. Cleveland State, 46.0
T-2. Milwaukee, 43.0
T-2. Butler, 43.0
T-4. UIC, 33.0
T-4. Wright State, 33.0
T-6. Youngstown State, 26.0
T-6.Loyola, 26.0
8. Green Bay, 19.0
9. Valparaiso, 15.0
10. Detroit, 14.5

Men's Sports
1. Cleveland State, 25.0
2. UIC, 22.0
3. Butler, 20.0
4. Milwaukee, 16.0
5. Wright State, 15.0
6. Loyola, 14.5
7. Youngstown State, 13.0
8. Detroit, 7.5
9. Green Bay, 5.0
10. Valparaiso, 3.5

Women's Sports 1. Milwaukee, 27.0
2. Butler, 23.0
3. Cleveland State, 21.0
4. Wright State, 18.0
5. Green Bay, 14.0
6. Youngstown State, 13.0
T-7. Valparaiso, 11.5
T-7. Loyola, 11.5
9. UIC, 11.0
10. Detroit, 7.0