Westwood, MA --- For the second time in the eight-year history of the award, WPI has claimed the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men's Presidents Cup, as announced at the conference's annual meetings earlier this month.
The Crimson and Gray also took home the honor after the 2014-15 academic year and had placed second in all four years in between the two victories.
The 2019-20 academic year featured just the fall and winter seasons as the spring season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Engineers displayed amazing consistency in claiming this year's Cup, sharing a pair of NEWMAC regular season titles, playing second in two other sports and finishing third in the fifth sport. WPI outdistanced four-time defending champion MIT while Springfield and Babson tied for third and Coast Guard was just behind in fifth.
"We are very proud of our men's sports programs for being honored with the NEWMAC Presidents' Cup for their achievements this past year," said WPI President Laurie Leshin. "Our student-athletes and coaches continue to represent our institution with distinction and we applaud their hard work, dedication and success."
The fall season got the Boynton Hillers off to a lead they would not relinquish. Both Football and Men's Soccer shared NEWMAC regular season crowns, won postseason contests and dominated the conference's awards. Football won a school record 10 games, defeated Western Connecticut in the New England Bowl, and saw Sam Casey (Defensive Player of the Year), Sean McAllen (Offensive Player of the Year) and Chris Robertson (Coach of the Year) take home personal awards. Men's Soccer allowed the few goals per game in Division III, won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time since 1976, and had Jackson Conroy (Player of the Year), Ben Rickson (Defensive Player of the Year) and Brian Kelley (Coach of the Year) all take home top-billing in the conference's postseason awards.
Cross Country tallied important points as the all-conference foursome of freshman David Reynolds, sophomores Brian Brooks, Jake Scarponi and Logan Gaudette tallied program-low 42 points en route to the Engineers sixth straight second place finish.
Men's Basketball and Men's Swimming and Diving secured the Cup with strong winter showings. On the hard wood the Crimson and Gray finished second in the regular season, reached the NEWMAC Tournament title game for the third straight season and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016. Jake Wisniewski (Defensive Player of the Year) and John Lowther (Rookie of the Year) reeled in major NEWMAC awards while Garrett Stephenson was tabbed All-New England. In the pool, WPI secured a third place team finish at the NEWMAC Championships while Clayton Besch, Sid Williams, Kyle Staubi and the 800-yard freestyle relay logged second place showings.
"We are very excited for our men's teams to receive this honor as the NEWMAC is highly competitive year in and year out with some of the best athletic programs in the nation, "said Dana L. Harmon, WPI Director is Physical Education, Recreation & Athletics. "I am so proud of our coaches, student-athletes and everyone in our department who helped with this achievement as we continue to raise the bar for success in competition, the classroom and our community."
Success for WPI was not limited to the men's side as the women finished third in the 10-team conference. It marked the sixth straight top three placement for the Engineers, who were just one tenth of a point behind second place Babson. MIT was awarded the Cup for the seventh time in eight years while Wellesley finished fourth and Springfield fifth.
Women's Soccer and Field Hockey both placed third in the NEWMAC regular season with Women's Soccer reaching NEWMAC championship match and Field Hockey advancing the NEWMAC semifinals. Women's Cross Country and Women's Swimming and Diving each placed third at their respective championships while Volleyball and Women's Basketball qualified for their NEWMAC Tournaments.
The Presidents Cup is an all-sports award presented to the top overall men's and women's programs in the conference and is determined using a weighted points system based on the order of finish during both regular season and championship competition.