Rider Athletics earns first-ever MAAC Overall Commissioner's Cup
Rider University Athletics has earned the Pepsi Zero MAAC Commissioner's Cup overall title for the first time in school history, the league office announced on June 10.
With the abbreviated 2019-20 athletic season, the best scores in two championships plus Men's Basketball (regular season) were accounted for on the men's side. On the women's side, the best scores in four championships plus Women's Basketball (regular season) were accounted for.
Rider's lone MAAC Commissioner's Cup came in the men's standings in 1997-98, the Broncs' first year in the league.
Under the formula utilized by the league office, Rider came away with 72.0 points in the overall standings, half a point ahead of Iona for the honor. The Gaels took the men's title (33.5 points), while Fairfield claimed the honor for the women's cup (56 points). Rider finished third on both sides with 25.5 points in the men's standings and 46.5 points in the women's standings.
"While this is not the way we wanted to, or anticipated, winning our first-ever overall MAAC Commissioner's Cup, it is a great way to acknowledge that our comprehensive competitive success this past year rivals any we have had in Rider Athletics' long history," says Rider Athletic Director Don Harnum.
Led by championship efforts from Women's Basketball, Women's Indoor Track and Field and Men's Swimming and Diving, the Broncs jumped out to a lead on the MAAC field. The MAAC Regular Season Championship was the first-ever for the Women's Basketball program, while Men's Swimming and Diving won its ninth-straight MAAC Championship. Meanwhile, Women's Indoor Track and Field earned its first MAAC Championship since 2007.
"I speak for the entire Rider community in recognizing and appreciating the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes and coaches," Harnum says. "It is also important to recognize that our two programs that do not compete in the MAAC, Field Hockey and Wrestling, also experienced great success."
Another strong fall season for the Broncs in which Men's and Women's Soccer and Volleyball each qualified for the MAAC Championships also helped Rider's cause, while Men's Indoor Track and Field also gave the Broncs positive points with a second-place finish. Men's Basketball was tied for third in the MAAC Regular Season Standings and women's swimming also accounted for points in the standings with a fifth-place finish at MAAC Championships.
Not counted toward the MAAC Commissioner's Cup Standings were strong seasons from Field Hockey (Northeast Conference) and Wrestling (Mid-American Conference). The Field Hockey team qualified for postseason play for the 20th-straight season, reaching the NEC Championship Game, while Wrestling won the MAC East Division Championship in its first year in the league. In addition, Men's Golf was picked to win the MAAC by the league's coaches, following a record-shattering Fall season, prior to Spring competition being halted.