Published on June 13, 2024  
SoCon Awards

For a second-straight year, Samford University was announced as the winner of the Commissioner's Cup, which goes to the top all-around men's athletics program in the Southern Conference, the Germann Cup, for the SoCon's top overall women's athletics program and the Graduation Rate Award when the awards were released by the league at its spring meetings Thursday.

"This is a testament to the hard work of our coaches, student-athletes and staff to work tirelessly to win championships in all aspects, both on the courts and fields and in the classroom," Samford Director of Athletics Martin Newton said. "It is also a true testament to the commitment from (Samford President) Dr. (Beck) Taylor and this institution and the gold standard that he sets for all aspects of our university."

This is the first time a school has swept all three awards in back-to-back years.

The Commissioner's and Germann cups are awarded annually to the Southern Conference schools fielding the league's best all-around men's and women's sports programs, respectively. Scoring is conducted on a percentage basis, with only the top seven sports for each school counting toward its season total. The SoCon sponsors 20 total sports, with the league's three co-ed rifle teams counting toward the Commissioner's Cup standings and the two women's rifle teams counting toward the Germann Cup.

Each sport is worth 10 points, with each spot in the standings given equal measure relative to how many schools sponsor that particular sport. For sports that determine a regular-season champion, a two-point bonus is awarded for winning the league tournament. Each school's total for the year is divided by 70, the maximum number of points possible when counting seven sports, to find its percentage.

Samford's men won the Commissioner's Cup for the second time, while the Bulldog women claimed their fourth straight Germann Cup and sixth overall. Combined, Samford claimed six SoCon titles in 2023-24 between men's and women's regular-season and tournament titles. The Bulldogs swept the all-sports trophies for the second consecutive year. The last SoCon institution to win both cups was Appalachian State in 2013.

Samford's men's programs won the outright regular-season title along with the tournament title in men's basketball. The Bulldogs won the indoor track and field championship for the fifth-straight year and claimed the outdoor crown for the fourth-straight season. Samford posted second-place finishes in cross-country, men's tennis and baseball, while finishing fifth in football to total 63.5 points toward the Commissioner's Cup. That was good for a .907 percentage.

In the Germann Cup race, Samford's women claimed SoCon titles in indoor and outdoor track & field in 2023-24. It was the ninth-straight indoor title and the fifth-consecutive outdoor crown for the respective programs. The Bulldogs finished second at the cross-country and women's golf championships. Samford completed the women's soccer regular season tied for second, while placing third in softball and fourth in volleyball.

The Commissioner's Cup was inaugurated in 1970 and the Germann Cup was first awarded in 1987. The latter is named for former SoCon Commissioner Ken Germann, who served as commissioner of the Southern Conference from 1974-86 and spearheaded the effort to introduce women's athletics to the league. View the full history of both awards.

For the 2023-24 academic year, Samford's student-athletes posted an overall grade-point average of 3.251, the highest on the SoCon. A total of 16 of Samford's 17 sports posted a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Samford finished with a graduation rate of 98 percent.

Commissioner's Cup: Men's Athletics Final Standings
School Score
1. Samford .907
2. Furman .787
3. ETSU .731
4. Chattanooga .658
5. Western Carolina .566
6. Mercer .554
7. Wofford .5410
8. UNCG .5406
9. VMI .467
10. The Citadel .373
Germann Cup: Women's Athletics Final Standings
School Score
1. Samford .865
2. ETSU .772
3. Furman .755
4. Wofford .729
5. Chattanooga .703
6. Mercer .670
7. Western Carolina .579
8. UNCG .482
9. The Citadel .294
10. VMI .246
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.