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Virginia 11th, Virginia Tech 32nd In Learfield Directors' Cup

It would have been easy to dismiss or overlook the Learfield Directors' Cup rankings this year, coming, as they did, following a school year when there was no assurance that many sports would even be conducted.

Virginia and Virginia Tech finished 11th and 32nd respectively among Division I programs in competition for the 2020-2021 Learfield Directors' Cup rankings that reflect athletic success.

There was no Directors' Cup competition in 2019-2020 due to the coronavirus. Prior to that, Virginia was eighth at the end of the 2018-2019 season and the Hokies were 49th.

Texas won the 2020-21 Directors' Cup title, marking only the second time an institution other than Stanford has taken the title. 

The ACC had six teams in the top 25, compared to the Southeastern Conference with eight.

North Carolina was ranked fourth and led the ACC schools, followed (in order) by UVa, Notre Dame, Florida State Duke and N.C. State in the top 25.

One explanation for Virginia's drop was the inactivity this year of sports such as women's basketball, which played only five games, all before Christmas, after playing 30 games the previous year.

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College Notebook: Bryant Pushes UVa In Men's Lacrosse

One of Virginia's toughest challenges in the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament came in a first-round match-up with Bryant, where the score was 10-10 as late as the fourth quarter before the Cavaliers prevailed 13-11.

UVa coach Lars Tiffany was quick to praise his Bryant counterpart Mike Pressler, a 1982 graduate of Washington and Lee, where he was a four-year starter in football and lacrosse

Pressler later was the head coach at Ohio Wesleyan for five seasons before serving for 16 seasons as the head coach at Duke, where he was 153-82 and led the Blue Devils to three ACC titles and 10 NCAA bids.

"The competition in Division I lacrosse when you get to the month of May is intense," Tiffany said. "Bryant’s effort today did not surprise me at all.

"Having coached against Mike Pressler and the Bulldogs during the years we had together, we fully knew what to expect and that is a tenacious team that was going to be all over the contested groundballs."

Clearly, Bryant had a chance.

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FCS Playoffs Have Put Joy Into Trying Times For Stinespring

The prolonged Football Championship Subdivision playoffs have put some joy into some trying times for Bryan Stinespring, the assistant head coach for Delaware, which visits South Dakota State with hopes of moving on to the FCS title game.

Stinespring is in his first year at Delaware after coaching stints at Virginia Tech, James Madison and Old Dominion, where the hiring of new head coaches and staffs left him looking for a job.

He landed at Delaware, whose head coach, Danny Rocco, had been an assistant at Virginia when Stinespring was at Virginia Tech. While Stinespring coached offense and Rocco coached defense, they were also recruiting rivals.

There were some coaches on Rocco's staff whom Stinespring knew, including former Virginia Tech player Chris Cosh, who put in a good word in Stinespring's behalf.

Stinespring was gone for the next seven months due to COVID-19 but it also gave him the opportunity to return to Clifton Forge and spend time with his mother, who had Alzheimer's and eventually passed away.

"My brother and I took care of my mother and allowed her to stay at home, mostly because of my brother's efforts," he said. "We were able to do some things that, in another year, I wouldn't have been able to do. So, I'm actually thankful for that part of it.

"We were looking for silver linings a little bit and that, for me personally, was one. It's truly a devastating disease for everyone really."

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Ricky LaBlue

Ricky LaBlue

A longtime sports fanatic, Ricky is now channeling that passion into the world of sports media. Meet Ricky LaBlue.

Stephen Newman

Stephen Newman

The only things he loves more than following Virginia Tech and Washington sports teams are dogs. Meet Stephen Newman.

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