Lone Star Conference champs
The 2008-09 athletics year boasted a football team that garnered national attention for its high-octane offense and some of the top players in the country.
ACU finished a remarkable 2008 campaign with an 11-1 record that included only the second perfect regular season (10-0) in program history and the program's first outright Lone Star Conference championship since 1973.
The Wildcats led the nation in points per game (more than 50 per game) and total offense (averaging more than 550 yards per game). In one playoff game against West Texas A&M, the Wildcats won by the astounding score of 93-68, a score and game that garnered national and international recognition. ACU's performance in the game was deemed one of ESPN Sports Center's Top 10 "Plays of the Day." In that game, ACU running back Bernard Scott set several records, including six rushing touchdowns, seven touchdowns overall and 42 total points scored. It was that game that probably wrapped up the Harlon Hill Award, which went to Scott as the Division II Player of the Year.
ACU quarterback Billy Malone finished his career as the LSC's all-time leader in virtually every passing and total offense category, becoming the first quarterback in the league's history to throw for more than 12,000 career yards and at least 100 touchdowns.
In volleyball, the Wildcats came within a couple of points in a five-set thriller of knocking off then-No. 4 West Texas A&M in the Lone Star Conference Post-Season Tournament championship match. The Wildcats' 26 wins were the most by a team coached by third-year head coach Kellen Mock, and with the returning talent in 2009, the Wildcats appear to be poised to make a run at their third LSC title and fourth NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament bid in the last six years.
The men's cross country team had another outstanding season, winning its 18th straight LSC championship and eighth NCAA Division II South Central Region championship in the last nine years. ACU went on to finish fourth at the national championship meet.
Wildcat fans can expect to see their spring sport teams dominate the competition as usual when those sports roll around. The baseball and softball teams both reached their respective NCAA Division II South Central Region tournaments last season, and both should be favored to make return trips in 2009. The men's and women's tennis teams will be among the nation's very best again, and the men's golf team should also make a run at a top 10 finish at the national tournament.
Then there's the Wildcat track and field team, a force like no other at the Division II level. The Wildcats return most of the key components from last year when both their men and women won NCAA Division II outdoor national championships, making them the favorite to repeat in 2009 at the meet in San Angelo.
Winners on and off the field
The remarkable success of ACU Wildcat student-athletes over the years is a tribute to the athletes, the coaches and the tradition of winning that permeates the program. ACU recruits its student-athletes for their academic and spiritual qualities, as well as their athletic abilities.
The Wildcats have won all-sports titles 24 of their 35 years in the rugged Lone Star Conference, including 13 straight from 1995-96 through the 2007-08 athletic year. ACU has four times recently finished runner-up in competition for the United States Sports Academy Directors' Cup, which recognizes the best all-around sports program in NCAA Division II.
The Wildcats were second in 2007-08, capping one of the best athletic years in school history. ACU is the only school in NCAA Division II athletics to finish in the top 15 in each of the 13 final director's cup standings. In addition to 62 national team championships, many individual student-athletes have been recognized as academic all-Americans and with many other individual honors.
The Wildcats have won 55 NCAA national team championships, which is fourth in NCAA history behind only UCLA, Stanford and USC. ACU's internationally recognized track and field program has produced world-record holders, more than 20 Olympians, several hundred all-America performers and two Olympic gold medalists.
'Texas Sports Dynasty of the Century'
In addition, the program was named the "Texas Sports Dynasty of the Century" by Texas Monthly magazine in November 1999. ACU athletics programs have also won 143 Lone Star Conference titles since joining the LSC in 1973, more than twice the number of titles won by its closest competitor.
ACU student-athletes are not only successful on the field of competition, but in the classroom. The women's basketball team was ranked No. 1 in the nation in terms of grade point average (3.666) during the 2001-02 school year and has been ranked in the nation’s top 25 in each year since.
Also, ACU has produced 27 NCAA post-graduate scholarship honorees since 1966, the fifth-highest total in the state of Texas, trailing only the University of Texas, Trinity, Rice and SMU.
When you add it all up, it's no surprise that we like to say that ACU is "Where Champions Are Made."
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