TALLAHASSEE – Since the 2008-09 academic year, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has been recognizing the top comprehensive programs nationally with the presentation of the John McDonnell and Terry Crawford Program of the Year Awards, for men and women, respectively.
Eligibility for the award requires a school must most qualify its teams for the NCAA Championships in cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field. The winners and final standings are based on the team’s final finishing position at each NCAA Championship meet, with the lowest total score for all three seasons determining the champion.
One of only 10 Division I schools to qualify both its men and women for the awards, Florida State’s men tied for sixth and the women were 10th in the final standings. FSU was one of six schools to claim top-10 finishes for both genders.
“The Program of the Year is always one of our top goals every year, as we pride ourselves on being one of the most successful all-around programs in the country,” said FSU coach Bob Braman. “Very few schools have both men’s and women’s teams in the top 10 nationally, so this is certainly an honor for our athletes and coaches.”
This is the first time since the 2014-15 academic year that both the Seminole men and women were eligible for the awards. Only 15 men’s and 16 women’s programs qualified for the honor.
The FSU men, who won back-to-back John McDonnell Program of the Year honors for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years, posted their best finish since placing fourth in the final standings for 2012-13. This was the seventh top-10 finish in program history for the men.
Eligible for the Terry Crawford Program of the Year Award for the first time since 2014-15, the Noles women registered their eighth top-10 finish. FSU posted its best finish – second – in 2008-09, and have finished in the top five, five times.
“We’ve won the men’s award twice, and I believe we’re going to have a chance to win the overall award for each gender next year,” said Braman, who has been at the helm of both programs since 2004. “We’re loaded in both genders for all three sports next year. It’s going to be really exciting to watch our kids try and chase down these titles next year.”
The men tied Arkansas for sixth place with 54.5 points after placing 31st in cross country, tying Texas Tech for sixth at the indoor championships and placing 17th last week at the outdoor championships.
Stanford won the McDonnell Award for the first time with 14.5 points and was followed by BYU (24), Wisconsin (32), Oregon (46) and Texas (50).
Florida State’s women backed up their share of 10th place at last week’s outdoor championships, with a 35th-place finish indoors and a 26th-place showing in cross country. The Noles finished with 75 points. Oregon won its 10th Crawford Award in 11 years with 11 points, followed by New Mexico (15) and Arkansas (16).
Stanford, Oregon, Arkansas, BYU and Texas were the only other schools to place in the top 10 for both men and women.