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Liberty Captures Second-Straight Sasser Cup

May 28, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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(l to r): Head track and field/cross country coach Brant Tolsma, head women’s basketball Carey Green, Senior Woman Administrator Meredith Eaker and Director of Athletics Jeff Barber accepted Liberty’s second-straight Big South Sasser Cup trophy at Thursday’s conference awards banquet.

(l to r): Head track and field/cross country coach Brant Tolsma, head women's basketball Carey Green, Senior Woman Administrator Meredith Eaker and Director of Athletics Jeff Barber accepted Liberty's second-straight Big South Sasser Cup trophy at Thursday's conference awards banquet.

Final 2009 Big South Sasser Cup Standings

For the second year in a row and the seventh time in the last 12 athletics seasons, Liberty has captured the Big South's George F. "Buddy" Sasser Cup, an award given annually to the top performing athletics department in the conference during each academic year.

Additionally, Liberty also won the Men's All-Sport Trophy for the second-consecutive year and the fourth time since the award was established six years ago.

The Sasser Cup was presented to Liberty, Thursday evening, at the league's annual Spring Meetings Awards Dinner and 25th Anniversary Banquet, which was held at McBryde Hall on the campus of Winthrop in Rock Hill, S.C.

Liberty averaged 11.35 Sasser Cup points in 17 championship sports and accumulated a total of 193.0 points based on its finish in conference championships, winning by 0.54 over second-place Coastal Carolina (10.81 average).

Liberty's athletics teams claimed six Big South team titles in 2008-09, winning league championships in football, men's cross country, volleyball, men's indoor track and field, women's basketball and men's outdoor track and field.

Aiding in Liberty's efforts to retain ownership of the Sasser Cup were five runner-up finishes, as women's cross country, women's indoor track and field, softball, women's tennis and men's golf each finished second in their respective sport standings.

Coastal Carolina finished second to Liberty again this season with a 10.81 average in 17 sports and totaled 183.75 points, 9.25 overall points behind Liberty. High Point was third in the Sasser Cup standings at 8.84, followed by Radford (8.51) and Winthrop (8.43).

The Flames earned the Men's All-Sports Trophy with their average of 11.28 (101.5 points overall in nine sports), ahead of Coastal Carolina's 9.91 average (79.25 points overall in eight sports).

Liberty won a combined five regular-season and tournament titles in men's competition to win its second consecutive Men's All-Sports Trophy and fourth overall. Radford was third in the Men's All-Sports race with its 8.97 average (71.75 total points in eight sports).

Coastal Carolina reclaimed the Women's All-Sports Trophy after finishing second last year. The Chanticleers finished with an average of 11.61 points and 104.5 overall points in nine women's sports, winning a combined five regular-season and tournament titles in women's competition in 2008-09.

Liberty narrowly missed the opportunity to make it a clean sweep of the league's top three awards, as the Lady Flames finished second with an average of 11.44 (91.5 points in eight sports). High Point was third in the Women's All-Sports race with its 10.21 average (71.5 total points in seven sports).

Liberty and Coastal Carolina have finished first and second in the chase for the Sasser Cup nearly each year for more than a decade. Liberty has won seven out of the last 12 Sasser Cup titles, while Coastal Carolina captured the five the Flames missed during the 12-year period. Coastal Carolina also won four-straight Cups from 1988 to 1991, making the Chanticleers the conference's most decorated program with nine total Sasser Cup titles.

The Sasser Cup trophy, named for former Big South Commissioner Buddy Sasser, is awarded to the Big South member institution with the most successful year athletically based on an average points system.

Points are awarded based on both regular-season and tournament finish in each of the league's 18 championships, based on the number of teams participating in the regular-season and tournament, respectively.

A school must be eligible to participate in a specific sport championship to receive Sasser Cup points in the sport. There is a weighted factor of 1.5 for those sports which only participate in regular-season play (football) or a tournament (cross country, track, golf), but not both. Teams tied in regular-season or tournament play split the points earned.

2008-09 Sasser Cup Standings
1. Liberty - 11.35
2. Coastal Carolina - 10.81
3. High Point - 8.84
4. Radford - 8.51
5. Winthrop - 8.43
6. VMI - 8.30
7. Charleston Southern - 6.31
8. Gardner-Webb - 6.19
9. UNC Asheville - 5.07
10. Presbyterian - 2.50

Women's All-Sports Award
1. Coastal Carolina - 11.61
2. Liberty - 11.44
3. High Point - 10.21
4. Winthrop - 8.28
5. Radford - 8.11
6. Charleston Southern - 7.83
7. VMI - 7.25
8. Gardner-Webb - 6.06
9. UNC Asheville - 5.00
10. Presbyterian - 2.50

Men's All-Sports Award
1. Liberty - 11.28
2. Coastal Carolina - 9.91
3. Radford - 8.97
4. VMI - 8.89
5. Winthrop - 8.59
6. High Point - 7.46
7. Gardner-Webb - 6.17
8. UNC Asheville - 5.14
9. Charleston Southern - 4.36
10. Presbyterian - 2.50

Annual Sasser Cup Champions
1985-86 - Winthrop
1986-87 - Winthrop
1987-88 - Coastal Carolina
1988-89 - Coastal Carolina
1989-90 - Coastal Carolina
1990-91 - Coastal Carolina
1991-92 - Campbell
1992-93 - Campbell
1993-94 - Campbell
1994-95 - UNC Greensboro
1995-96 - UNC Greensboro
1996-97 - UNC Greensboro
1997-98 - Liberty
1998-99 - Liberty
1999-00 - Liberty
2000-01 - Coastal Carolina
2001-02 - Liberty
2002-03 - Liberty
2003-04 - Coastal Carolina
2004-05 - Coastal Carolina
2005-06 - Coastal Carolina
2006-07 - Coastal Carolina
2007-08 - Liberty
2008-09 - Liberty

Women's All-Sports Award
2003-04 - Coastal Carolina
2004-05 - Coastal Carolina
2005-06 - Coastal Carolina
2006-07 - Coastal Carolina
2007-08 - Liberty
2008-09 - Coastal Carolina

Men's All-Sports Award
2003-04 - Liberty
2004-05 - Liberty
2005-06 - Coastal Carolina
2006-07 - Winthrop
2007-08 - Liberty
2008-09 - Liberty