UW Oskhosh Presented With 2009-10 Deb Vercauteren Division III Program of the Year Award

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

October 20, 2010   

NEW ORLEANS – Sam Seemes, CEO of the USTFCCCA, presented the Deb Vercauteren Division III Women’s Program of the Year Award to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Saturday afternoon in a ceremony held in conjunction with the cross country team’s Brooks Invitational. Representing UW Oshkosh was Athletics Director Darryl Sims, Head Coach Pat Ebel, and Vercauteren along with other members of the department’s administration and the women’s track & field and cross country teams.

In what was an extremely close finish between UW Oshkosh, MIT, and Calvin, the Titans pulled out the Program of the Year victory via their second-place team finish at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. In the meet, UW Oshkosh with 53 held off MIT’s third-place showing (37) and Calvin’s fifth-place finish (35).

In the final Program of the Year standings, UW Oshkosh ended with 17 points (13 cross country, 2 indoor track & field, 2 outdoor track & field), MIT had 18 points (5 XC, 10 ITF, 3 OTF) and Calvin notched 19 points (3 XC, 11 ITF, 5 OTF). Last year’s Program of the Year winner, Wartburg – who won the NCAA indoor track & field team title in 2010 – was fourth with 21 points.

“We are very excited about winning the USTFCCCA’s Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award,” said then-Interim Head Coach Pat Ebel. “It shows that we had the best balance of any school in the sports of cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field.  The award is special for us as Deb serves as my assistant coach in track and field while serving as our school’s head cross country coach. The student-athletes in our cross country and track and field program are passionate about their sport.  We appreciate their hard work and dedication.  Without them, this award wouldn’t be possible.”

The NCAA Division III Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award is named after USTFCCCA Hall of Famer and former UW Oshkosh women’s head coach Deb Vercauteren. Her Titans have won a combined 18 NCAA national titles and her student-athletes have combined to earn over 345 All-American performances. Vercauteren has won an impressive 36 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles (15 cross country, 11 indoors, and 10 outdoors).

Vercauteren and her husband John Zupanc has been responsible for 24 of UW Oshkosh’s 42 national championships, announced earlier this month that they will retire from their coaching, teaching and administrative positions with the school in January. Zupanc coaches the Titan men’s progam.

The NCAA Division III Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year Award is awarded annually to the most outstanding NCAA Division III women’s cross country/track & field program.  The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution’s finish at the NCAA Division III Championships.

In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for the NCAA Championships. Scoring is based on the team’s finish at each NCAA Division III Championship in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field (i.e. 1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient. Ties among schools split points for positions taken.