ACU athletes win on and off the field
The remarkable success of ACU student-athletes over the years is a tribute to the athletes, the coaches and the tradition of winning that permeates the program. The Wildcats have won 62 national team titles, including 55 NCAA national championships – fourth-most in history behind only UCLA, Stanford and USC.
The internationally recognized track and field program has led the way, producing several hundred all-America performers, 20 world records, 35 Olympians and two Olympic gold medalists. The program was named "Texas Sports Dynasty of the Century" by Texas Monthly magazine in November 1999.
Notable achievements from the 2008-09 seasons:
- ACU finished fourth in competition for the Directors' Cup, recognizing the best all-around sports program in NCAA Division II. Abilene Christian is the only university in Division II to finish in the top 15 in each of the 13 final Director's Cup standings and has been runner-up four times.
- Wildcat athletics programs have won 148 Lone Star Conference titles since joining the LSC in 1973, more than twice the number won by its closest competitor.
- Abilene Christian has produced 27 NCAA post-graduate scholarship honorees since 1966, the fifth-highest total in the state, trailing only The University of Texas at Austin, Trinity, Rice and SMU. In 2008-09, 70 Wildcat student-athletes were named academic all-conference, three were LSC academic Player of the Year in their respective sports, five were academic all-district and two were academic all-America.
- One hundred Wildcats earned all-LSC honors in 14 sports. Ten earned LSC post-season honors and 20 were named to all-region teams. Two of those were regional MVPs. Four coaches were honored as LSC coaches of the year in their respective sports, and two were named regional coaches of the year (Sam Burroughs in cross country and Chris Thomsen in football). Forty-six student-athletes were named all-America.
- Running back Bernard Scott became the first Wildcat to win the Harlon Hill Award as the top player in NCAA Division II football. He received the third-highest number of votes in the 22-year history of the award. Scott led ACU to an 11-1 record and the national quarterfinals, becoming the only player in Lone Star Conference history to rush for more than 2,000 yards twice in a career. Offensive lineman Sam Collins became the first Wildcat to win the Gene Upshaw Award, given annually to the best lineman in NCAA Division II, and the Dave Rimington Award as the top center.
- ACU had more players selected in the 2009 NFL Draft than traditional NCAA Division I football powers Notre Dame, Tennessee, Florida State and Miami (Fla.) Wide receiver Johnny Knox (Chicago Bears, fifth round) and Bernard Scott (Cincinnati Bengals, sixth round) were chosen. Knox joins former ACU defensive back Danieal Manning, a mainstay on the Bears' defense since his rookie year in 2006, when Chicago played in Super Bowl XLI.
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