Fresno State Continues to Set Standard of Excellence

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    2010 Women's Basketball WAC ChampsBy Stephen Trembley / Fresno State Athletics Communications

    Over the past eight seasons, the Western Athletic Conference has tracked the performance of each of its member schools through a race for an annual Commissioner's Cup based on the collective achievements in each of the 18 WAC-sponsored sports.

    The concept is simple: each sport contributes a designated number of points based on the ranking of the sport in conference contests and/or WAC tournament competition.

    Throughout this period, Fresno State has consistently demonstrated their drive for excellence, with back-to-back first-place finishes in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years and an average finish of 2.375, by far the highest of any current WAC institution.  The next closest competitors, Boise State and Nevada, have placed an average of 3.63 and 3.88, respectively, in Cup rankings over the eight seasons.  Overall, the 'Dogs own a WAC-best 679.5 points for a clip of 84.94 points per academic year.

    2010 WAC Baseball ChampionsThe WAC announced today that Fresno State finished a close second to Boise State in the 2009-10 race, which marked the third time in eight seasons that the Bulldogs grabbed runner-up honors.

    Fresno State is also one of three institutions, along with Boise State and Rice University (a former WAC member during the first three years of the Cup), to have won the award twice.  The 'Dogs, however, are the only program to have scored at least 80 points in six of the eight Cup contests and top three finishes in seven of the eight academic years of the Cup.

    Take a look at the numbers of each of the current WAC schools throughout the eight Commissioner's Cup rankings, as ranked by per year average point totals:

    RANK INSTITUTION 2009-10 Cup  Total Points Since 2002 AVG/Yr.
    1 Fresno State 83.75 679.5 84.9375
    2 Boise State 92.25 642.25 80.28125
    3 Nevada 76.5 639 79.875
    4 Utah State 74 371.5 74.3
    5 Hawai'i 68.5 561.25 70.15625
    6 New Mexico St. 80.75 342.5 68.5
    7 Louisiana Tech 57.5 442.25 55.28125
    8 Idaho 68 270.5 54.1
    9 San Jose State 51.75 421.25 52.65625

    In 2009-10, the Bulldogs won three team championships as the baseball team captured its fourth regular season title in the past five years, the women's basketball completed a perfect 16-0 mark in league play en route to its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance and the men's tennis team finished in a tie for first place through WAC action and won its first NCAA Tournament match since 2003.

    Men's Tennis - 2010 WAC TournamentThose achievements just highlight the feats of the more than 450 student-athletes, who shattered countless personal, school and conference records while competing against some of the nation's elite competition.

    By embracing the heart of champion, the Bulldogs fueled their collective competitive fire when representing their institution with class, dignity and sportsmanship by joining as one team that symbolizes the best in the Western Athletic Conference and a formidable force on the national level.

    This is a great time to reflect on the core principles and mission of Fresno State Athletics:

    --- Provide a distinctive educational and life-skill development experience for young men and women with exceptional athletic abilities

    --- Support gender equity, promote diversity and focus on the well-being of its student-athletes on the field and in the classroom

    --- Aid the institution with the engagement of the region, development of the campus community and pursuit of national recognition and prestige for Fresno State.

    --- Cultivate the foundation of a nationally respected and competitive NCAA Division I FBS athletics program that is conducted in such a manner that it remains a highly visible source of pride while protecting the integrity of the institution at all costs.

    Every year, Fresno State student-athletes demonstrate a distinct focus to bring home championships and earn their diplomas.  The hard work and passion of these individuals is nurtured daily by dedicated coaches and staff, who foster the growth of young men and women at a pivotal stage of life.

    Fresno State is truly the WAC's standard bearer of excellence in program performance and shines a source of pride in the San Joaquin Valley and across the nation for the loyal Red Wave.

    Stephen Trembley is a member of the Fresno State Athletics Communications staff.  He can be reached at strembley@csufresno.edu.

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