EMU makes Mid-American Conference history with eight championships
YPSILANTI - Winning a single Mid-American Conference championship would be cause enough for celebration.
Two championships in the same season, well that is remarkable.
But what about eight in one season? Only one word comes to mind…history!
“We have known for some time that our students-athletes, coaches and our athletics program are special,” said Dr. John Fallon, president of EMU. “The entire University is proud of what they do in the classroom and in their respective sports.”
“By any measure for any of our institutions, the competitive success is impressive,” said Rick Chryst, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. “It is not only indicative of the competitive depth of the conference, but is reflective of the real energy I see at Eastern.”
“Two weeks ago, we were excited when we discovered that we had tied the all-time school record by winning five championships,” said Derrick Gragg, EMU’s athletic director. “We were hoping to capture at least one more championship, but since that time we have added an additional three MAC crowns to our total. This is truly an outstanding accomplishment!”
This year, EMU has won (in order): men’s cross country, women’s swimming, men’s indoor track, men’s swimming, women’s gymnastics, men’s golf, men’s outdoor track and softball.
According to research by EMU’s Sports Information Department, the University’s previous best was five titles in one year, which it has done three times (1997-98, 1990-91 and 1987-88).
During 1997-98, EMU claimed the trophy in: men’s basketball, men’s indoor track, men’s swimming, women’s tennis and men’s outdoor track. During 1990-91, EMU won men’s cross country, men’s swimming, men’s basketball, men’s outdoor track and women’s outdoor track. Finally, during 1987-88, EMU won football, men’s basketball, men’s swimming, men’s outdoor track and women’s outdoor track.
The previous league record for most conference titles in one year was six, set by Central Michigan in 2003-04 and Western Michigan in 1984-85.
EMU’s history-making season isn’t finished yet. The Eagles baseball team won the MAC West Division title May 19 and will be the top seed when it hosts the MAC baseball tournament beginning May 23.
“Our vision within the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is to become the premiere program in the Mid-American Conference, both athletically and academically. We are committed to excellence both on and off the fields, and courts of play. I want to publicly thank the student-athletes and coaches, as well as President Fallon and the Board of Regents for their continued support of the varsity athletic program,” Gragg said. “This has been a very rewarding first-year campaign for me personally as the director of athletics and I am looking forward to the future."
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.