Shippensburg Wins PSAC-Best Sixth Dixon Trophy

From left, Mark Maciejewski, assistant football coach; Jeff Michaels, acting director of athletics; Tim Verge, acting assistant director of athletics; President Bill Ruud; Steve Spence, men's and women's cross country head coach; Dr. Roger L. Serr, vice president for student affairs; Dave Springer, men's basketball coach; Bill Morgal, interim sports information director; Carrie Michaels, acting associate director of athletics/SWA; Anna Kinard, swimmer and president of Shippensburg University SAAC; Rocky Rees, head football coach; and Dave Osanitsch, men's and women's track and field head coach.

Shippensburg University has earned a record sixth Dixon Trophy, the annual award that honors the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference's most successful athletic program, and set a record for most points in the process.

The award, announced Tuesday morning, is the university's first since the 2004-05 academic year. Shippensburg totaled 161.5 points to edge California University of Pennsylvania by two points. Kutztown (152.5), Bloomsburg (148.5) and West Chester (146) rounded out the top five.

"This award is a fitting end to an outstanding year for Shippensburg, both athletically and academically," said Shippensburg President Bill Ruud. "Our student-athletes excelled on the playing fields and in the classroom. We're proud that Ship has the highest graduation rate in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and we're proud that our teams were able to earn our sixth Dixon trophy with outstanding performances by our many successful teams."

The F. Eugene Dixon Trophy is awarded by the conference to the member institution whose athletic program earns the best overall finish between conference championships and regular-season play. During the course of the academic year, points are awarded based on an institution's finish in the 22 conference sports. Only a school's best 12 finishes, six men's and six women's, are used in the final calculation. The Dixon Trophy is named in honor of F. Eugene Dixon Jr., former chair of the PASSHE Board of Governors. The first Dixon Trophy was awarded following the 1995-96 academic year.

"Winning the Dixon Trophy is a great accomplishment for our university and the Shippensburg University athletics department," said Jeff Michaels, acting director of athletics. "I truly appreciate all of the efforts made by everyone associated with our athletics program to reach the kinds of success we've achieved over the past year."

The award was clinched Saturday when both the men's and women's outdoor track and field teams won PSAC championships. It is just the third time that SU won outdoor PSAC titles on the men's and women's side in the same year, and the first since 1993. The men's and women's cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field programs accounted for 91 of Shippensburg's 161.5 Dixon points this year.

Additionally, the Lady Raider program became the first in PSAC history to achieve a Triple Crown by winning the cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field championships in the same calendar year since the PSAC began sponsoring an indoor championship in 2002. In 1998, Shippensburg won PSAC titles in cross country and outdoor track and field along with the ECAC indoor championship under the direction of Galen Piper.

Shippensburg finished this year with five PSAC championships, including the football title, its first since 1981. Overall, SU posted the second-highest point total of the 16 conference institutions for men's and women's sports. Only California (92 points) had more than the 88 points compiled by the women's programs (field hockey, swimming and volleyball also contributed points) while IUP (76) was the only school with more than 73.5 points among men's programs (swimming and basketball also contributed points).

The Raiders' six Dixon awards is a record followed by Lock Haven (three) and Bloomsburg (two) as the only other multiple winners. Seven schools overall have achieved the award. The 2009-10 athletic calendar marked the second year in which the PSAC has had 16 member institutions.

"I am most proud of my 15 member colleague presidents and their universities and my 16th associate member colleague and their university for being in the PSAC," Ruud said. "It is absolutely a pleasure to be in this conference where we collaboratively compete and we know the true meaning of a student-athlete."


Men's Sports:

Football (16)
Outdoor Track and Field (16)
Cross Country (14)
Indoor Track and Field (13)
Swimming (10)
Basketball (4.5)

Women's Sports:
Cross Country (16)
Indoor Track and Field (16)
Outdoor Track and Field (16)
Field Hockey (14)
Swimming (13)
Volleyball (13)

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