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Brenau University earns spot among top NAIA athletic programs
0625Brenau
Brenau’s Allison Gunn high fives her Golden Tigers teammates in a NAIA Softball Championship qualifier game against Georgia Gwinnett College on May 18. - photo by For The Times

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics listed Brenau University’s athletics program as one of the best in the Southern States Athletic Conference in its 2015-16 Learfield Sports Director’s Cup final rankings.

NACDA and USA Today rank institutions based on their teams’ final standings across 12 sports. Brenau University, with 242 points overall, is the fourth-highest rated SSAC school on the list and is ranked No. 60 out of 190 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics programs.

“It demonstrates a commitment across the board for all of our sports,” said Brenau athletics director Mike Lochstampfor. “We’re not just very good at one or two sports. We have a consistent degree of performance in everything we compete in.”

Brenau earned 37.5 points for its No. 21 nationally-ranked softball program, 70 points for its No. 5 tennis program, 49.5 points for its No. 24 track and field program and 85 points for its third-ranked swimming program.

Brenau’s placement is even more noteworthy considering the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup rankings include the final point tallies across six men’s programs and six women’s programs.

With just three out of the 12 sports factored into the scorecards, Brenau still managed to outrank dozens of schools with co-ed athletics programs.

Another remarkable thing about Brenau’s athletics, Lochstampfor said, is that many of the university’s programs are still fairly young. The bulk of Brenau’s 10 current athletics programs, which includes both varsity and junior varsity teams, have been around for less than 15 years.

“It takes a while to build a successful program. But in a short amount of time, we’ve not only been able to be competitive, we’ve been able to rise to the top,” Lochstampfor said.

The university’s athletics program will expand with two new sports, indoor track and field and lacrosse, over the next two years.

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