NAPERVILLE, Ill. - For the fourth and final year, Utah Valley won the Great West Conference Commissioner's Cup. The Cup is awarded to the institution that performed best overall in GWC sponsored sports.
This year, UVU tallied 56.5 points on its way to the sweep.
The Wolverines won seven Great West championships in 2012-13 - women's basketball, women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's cross-country, and men's and women's outdoor track and field - one better than the number of titles UVU claimed in 2009-10 and 2010-11. In addition, Utah Valley was the runner-up in men's and women's indoor track and field and women's golf. In 2011-12, the Wolverines enjoyed their best finish, winning 11 conference crowns.
The Wolverines' success exhibited by being the only winner in history of the GWC Commissioner's Cup is a fitting tribute to retiring Utah Valley Director of Athletics Mike Jacobsen, who has served at the helm for 29 years and led UVU in its transition to a successful NCAA Division I program.
"Behind the leadership of director of athletics Mike Jacobsen, Utah Valley has become a viable athletic program within the Division I ranks and has the framework, the support and the coaching staff to continue the upward climb," GWC Commissioner Ed Grom said.
"I congratulate Mike on the vision he had for moving Utah Valley up to the Division I ranks and wish him well in retirement. Every part of the athletic program at Utah Valley had a Mike Jacobsen fingerprint on it. He established quite a legacy in Orem and will not be forgotten."
Houston Baptist finished a close second in the Commissioner's Cup standings with 51.5 points as the Huskies shared the volleyball title and also won the men's and women's indoor track and field and women's golf championships. HBU had runner-up finishes in baseball, women's cross-country, women's soccer, and men's and women's outdoor track and field.
Texas-Pan American's 37 points ranked third in the standings due in part to the Broncs' runner-up finishes in baseball and men's basketball.
NJIT tallied 32.5 points for fourth place, while Chicago State rounded out the standings with 15 points. The Highlanders won the men's basketball title and had runner-up finishes in men's cross-country and women's basketball.
"This has been one of the most competitive years in the Great West, which is unfortunately our last in operation," Grom said. "Utah Valley set the bar in the GWC since the first year, and every institution has improved their athletic programs to close the gap over the past four years."
The GWC Commissioner's Cup is given each year to the Great West member which accumulates the most points in relationship to placement in conference-sponsored championships for its combined men's and women's athletic programs.
UVU, alongside fellow GWC members UTPA and CSU, will join the WAC for the 2013-14 season. HBU is slated to join the Southland Conference, while NJIT will compete as an Independent.
GWC Commissioner's Cup 2012-13 Final Standings
1. Utah Valley - 56.5 points
2. Houston Baptist - 51.5 points
3. Texas-Pan American - 37.0 points
4. NJIT - 32.5 points
5. Chicago State - 15.0 points
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.