Award History
NCAA DI Program of the Year

Arkansas, BYU Named NCAA Division I Programs of the Year

NEW ORLEANS – A competition year unlike any other at the NCAA Division I level wrapped up this past weekend with the completion of the 2021 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Athletes and coaches had to navigate a trying year on all fronts, especially competitively, as they had the NCAA Indoor Championships and NCAA Cross Country Championships within days of each other in March and then focused on a whirlwind of an outdoor season, capped by a record-breaking four days that we all saw transpire on the hallowed grounds in Track Town, USA.

When the dust settled, Arkansas and BYU stood above their peers based on each of their combined success at the NCAA Championships and were named NCAA Division I John McDonnell Men’s Program of the Year and the NCAA Division I Terry Crawford Women’s Program of the Year, respectively, on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

NCAA DI Program of the Year – Final Standings

Men’s Programs
Points
Women’s Programs
Points
Arkansas
40
BYU
18
BYU
40.5
Arkansas
26
Ole Miss
53
Alabama
29.5
Iowa State
54
Florida State
46
Notre Dame
75.5
NC State
55.5

The USTFCCCA Program of the Year 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 Championships.

In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA Championships. Scoring is based on the team’s finish at each NCAA 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 winner. Ties among schools split points for positions taken.

Men’s Story

For the third time in award history, Arkansas was named the NCAA Division I John McDonnell Men’s Program of the Year. The Razorbacks, who previously earned the award in 2013 and 2017, have finished among the top-3 programs in seven of the past eight years dating back to 2013.

Arkansas got a leg up on the competition back in March when it snagged top-10 finishes in both cross country (fourth) and indoor track & field (tied for seventh). That gave the Razorbacks a 10-point lead, at the time, and while they only finished in a tie for 28th this past weekend, they had enough wiggle room to hold off a late charge from BYU to win by 0.5 points: 40 to 40.5.

BYU finished second in the final standings, just as it did in 2019. This year, the Cougars took seventh in cross country, tied for 16th in indoor track & field and ended up 17th outdoors.

Ole Miss settled in at third, matching its best finish in program history. The Rebels were consistent as possible in both cross country and indoor track & field – taking 12th and 10th, respectively – before tying for 30th place at the outdoor meet.

Iowa State and Notre Dame rounded out the top-5 in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Women’s Story

For the first time in award history, BYU was named the NCAA Division I Terry Crawford Women’s Program of the Year. This is the first time that the Cougars finished top-3 in the final standings for the prestigious honor, which has been around since 2009.

BYU athletes starred in a big way in 2021, especially during the busy weekend in March. The Cougars finished seventh at the NCAA Indoor Championships and then turned around to win their fifth national title in program history at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Fast forward a few months and BYU cemented its strong year at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a 10th-place finish, just two points out of ninth.

Indoor champion Arkansas finished runner-up in the final standings with 26 points after a 10th-place effort in cross country and a 15th-place showing at the outdoor meet. This is the sixth time in the past seven years that the Razorbacks have finished among the top-3 programs.

Alabama ended up a clear third with 29.5 points, following an eighth-place finish in cross country, tying for 16th place indoors and then tying for the final podium spot outdoors.

Florida State and NC State rounded out the top-5 in fourth and fifth, respectively.