The Wolverine

August 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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50 THE WOLVERINE AUGUST 2019 BY AUSTIN FOX Michigan's 2018-19 ath- letic campaign was filled with plenty of regular-sea- son success and memorable postseason runs, with the baseball squad's appear- ance in the College World Series Finals serving as the best example of the latter. Podium finishes by the women's swimming and diving, rowing and men's gymnastics teams, in addi- tion to the men's basketball squad's more-publicized trip to the Sweet 16, also personified the immense level of success that Maize and Blue squads enjoyed in 2018-19. No college enjoyed more overall suc- cess from its athletic department than Michigan according to CBS Sports' formula that ranked schools based on its football, men's and women's bas- ketball, and the two most successful Olympic sports teams. Here's a complete breakdown of what the Wolverines accomplished over the past year: DIRECTORS' CUP Michigan finished second nation- ally with 1,272.25 points (behind Stanford's 1,503.75) in the 2018-19 Learfield IMG Directors' Cup stand- ings, tying its highest finish ever (2003-04). The annual rankings take into account the top 19 sports from each school, with men's and women's basketball, baseball and volleyball automatically included, followed by each program's next 15 highest scores. U-M's baseball team unsurprisingly scored the highest, finishing second nationally and garnering 90 points after it made it all the way to the Col- lege World Series Finals. The women's rowing and swimming and diving teams weren't far behind, however, adding 85 points each after both placed third at the NCAA Championships. The Maize and Blue actually out- shined the rest of the conference by a wide margin in the final standings, with Ohio State checking in as the next highest league member at 12th nationally with 986 points. Michigan has now finished in the top six of the Directors' Cup standings each of the last four years, and 17 of the last 26. 1993-94 — 9th 1994-95 — 7th 1995-96 — 5th 1996-97 — 11th (tie) 1997-98 — 5th 1998-99 — 6th 1999-00 — 3rd 2000-01 — 4th 2001-02 — 6th 2002-03 — 4th 2003-04 — 2nd 2004-05 — 4th 2005-06 — 24th 2006-07 — 4th 2007-08 — 3rd 2008-09 — 5th 2009-10 — 25th 2010-11 — 15th 2011-12 — 10th 2012-13 — 4th 2013-14 — 13th 2014-15 — 19th 2015-16 — 3rd 2016-17 — 6th 2017-18 — 6th 2018-19 — 2nd THE BEST OF THE BEST Looking Back At Another Successful Year For Michigan Athletics MICHIGAN'S DIRECTORS' CUP FINISHES COACHES OF THE YEAR Male Sport Coach Of The Year — ERIK BAKICH, baseball: He took his Wolverines on the best postseason run of any Maize and Blue squad in 2018-19, leading his club all the way to the College World Series Finals (where they fell to Vanderbilt, two games to one). Michigan's stellar playoff performance earned him National Coach of the Year honors from two of the sport's most respected organizations — and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. One of the aspects that made Michigan's trip to the College World Series so incred- ible was how unexpected it was. U-M failed to take home either the Big Ten regular- season title (finished second to Indiana) or the conference tournament crown (fell in the semifinals to Nebraska, the eventual champion), and were actually one of the last four teams to even make the NCAA Baseball Tournament field. The highlight of their path to the season's final series in Omaha included the elimination of No. 1 overall seed UCLA in the NCAA Super Regional, while becoming the first Big Ten squad to play for the national championship since Ohio State in 1966. Bakich also led his Maize and Blue to a 50-22 record (including a 16-7 mark in league play), which was good for the most overall wins by the program since the 1987 crew went 52-12. In fact, the most triumphs Bakich had compiled in a season in Ann Arbor Erik Bakich was named the National Coach of the Year by both and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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