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App State Wins 34th SoCon Commissioner’s Cup

A second-place showing in indoor track and field helped lift Appalachian State to its 34th Southern Conference Commissioner's Cup as the league's top overall men's sports program. Courtesy: Meghan Gay via App State Athletics
A second-place showing in indoor track and field helped lift Appalachian State to its 34th Southern Conference Commissioner’s Cup as the league’s top overall men’s sports program. Courtesy: Meghan Gay via App State Athletics

May 28, 2014. For the 34th and final time, Appalachian State University athletics has won the Southern Conference’s Commissioner’s Cup, which is awarded annually to the league’s top all-around men’s sports program.

The Commissioner’s Cup is Appalachian State’s ninth-straight, 22nd in 23 years, 29th in 33 years and 34th in 42 total years in the SoCon. No other school has claimed the Commissioner’s Cup more than five times since it was first awarded in 1970.

Despite not winning any SoCon championships in 2013-14, Appalachian State placed fifth or higher in seven of 10 men’s sports to earn the Commissioner’s Cup with 70 total points, four better than second-place Chattanooga and five more than third-place Furman.

The Mountaineers clinched the title in the final regular-season event of the year, when senior Tyler Zupcic’s(Charlotte, N.C./Providence) two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted App State baseball to a 6-5 win over Furman on May 17. Had the Mountaineers lost that game, the shift in the SoCon baseball standings would have pulled Furman even with Appalachian atop final Commissioner’s Cup tally at 67.5 points apiece.

“We’re proud to win the Commissioner’s Cup for the 34th time,” Appalachian State director of athletics Charlie Cobbsaid. “It is a feat that has been the result of many factors over the past four decades, not the least of which has been the ability to fund all 10 sports that the SoCon offers on the men’s side. Therefore, I’d like to thank Appalachian State students, alumni and fans, both past and present — especially those that support the Yosef Club — for all that they have done to make us successful in this regard.”

The 34th Commissioner’s Cup title brings Appalachian State’s 42-year run in the SoCon to a triumphant close. Appalachian officially joins the Sun Belt Conference on July 1, 2014.

“Winning the Commissioner’s Cup is a special achievement and one that shouldn’t be discounted,” Cobb said. “As great as winning it is, though, it was a disappointing year overall from a competitive standpoint. We had a great meeting with all of our coaches earlier this month and we talked about the need for all of us to improve as we step up to the Sun Belt Conference. I am confident that the commitment needed to improve and succeed is here.”

On the women’s side, App State placed fifth in the race for the Germann Cup (SoCon’s top all-around women’s sports program) with 60 points. Furman won the 2013-14 Germann Cup with 78.5 points.

Appalachian State’s 10 Germann Cups in 28 years since the award’s inception in 1987 are the second-most in SoCon history, behind only Furman’s 13.

Appalachian remains the only school to win the Commissioner’s and Germann Cups in the same academic year, a feat that it achieved nine times, including as recently as last year (2012-13).