Sacred Heart’s Department of Athletics won the Northeast Conference Brenda Weare Commissioner’s Cup June 2, earning the highest honor for overall athletic excellence for the sixth time in nine years.
Sacred Heart also captured its ninth Joan Martin Commissioner’s Cup for excellence in women’s sports, with 123.99 points. The Pioneers have earned that honor in back-to-back years and for the eighth time in 10 years. The men’s team finished second in the chase for the cup, just 8.51 points behind Bryant University (95.20 points to 86.69 points).
“Congratulations to our student-athletes, coaches and staff on earning the Brenda Weare Commissioner’s Cup for the sixth time in nine seasons, and to our women’s programs on earning a record ninth Joan Martin’s Commissioners Cup,” said Bobby Valentine, executive director of athletics. “Our continued success on the playing fields is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of these young men and women, and I am humbled to be associated with them.”
The Pioneers accrued 210.68 points on the strength of conference championships in women’s cross country, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and bowling, and a regular season women’s basketball championship. The men’s basketball and baseball teams placed second in their regular seasons, while the women’s golf team and men’s cross country finished second in their respective conference championships as well.
Pioneer women’s teams finished more than 15 points clear of runner-up Saint Francis University. Adding to the women’s point total was a third-place finish from the tennis team, as well as NEC tournament appearances from volleyball and lacrosse.
“I am thrilled about this tremendous achievement by our student-athletes,” said John J. Petillo, University president. “I am even more proud of their successes outside of the public eye–in the classroom and in the community. Our student-athletes embody the spirit of SHU.”
Sacred Heart’s student-athletes combined for an academic year GPA of 3.31 during the 2015-16 season. Over the two semesters, there were 54 perfect 4.0 semesters and 537 Dean’s List honorees. During the year, Pioneer student-athletes recorded 8,392 hours of community service, taking part in events such as Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, the CT Challenge Bike Ride, MS Walk and reading to school children in Bridgeport.