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William Carey making habit of winning big in Southern States Athletic Conference – HubcitySPOKES.com

Maybe the best-kept secret in Mississippi athletics is operating right down the road in Hattiesburg, on the ever-expanding campus of William Carey University.

And like a well-oiled machine, the Crusader athletic program just keeps humming along atop the Southern States Athletic Conference.

This week, the SSAC announced that WCU has won the SSAC Commissioner’s Cup for the 2021-22 school year. It is the seventh time the school has earned the honor since joining the conference in 2010 and the sixth straight time it has been so recognized.

“We have had a great run the past eight years or so, but not many people know about us,” said D.J. Pulley, director of athletics at WCU. “We’ve got national titles, runner-up finishes, a whole bunch of SSAC championships and lots of All-Americas.

“Plus, we’re graduating 80% of our athletes, and for those who stay to complete their eligibility, it’s close to 100%. Plus, we’ve had a bunch on All-Scholar teams, all while dealing with a tornado and a pandemic.”

The Crusaders won the 2021-22 Overall Award by a comfortable 14.87 point margin over runner-up Loyola-New Orleans.

The Crusader women also won the Women’s Award by a similar margin over Loyola, and the men finished second for the Men’s Award, by a mere 1.11 points to Faulkner.

The SSAC uses a scoring formula that evaluates the percentage of potential points earned by each school in the sports it sponsors, and bonus points are awarded for sports sponsored and conference tournament titles won.

For sports that have standings, the final regular season standings are used, then a team gets a bonus point for winning the tournament. For sports that do not have regular season standings, such as golf, cross country or track and field, the finish at the championship is used.

In 2021-22, the SSAC offered championships in 17 sports, and Carey finished first in six, winning in men’s cross country, women’s soccer, women’s indoor track, men’s outdoor track, men’s tennis and women’s tennis.

In addition, the Crusaders picked up bonus points for winning conference tournaments in men’s and women’s soccer, baseball and men’s tennis.

Pulley attributes this success to the quality of coaches, many of whom have been around for decades.

“I think we have the best coaching staff in college athletics,” Pulley said. “Most of us have been together for more than 10 years now, and that continuity and stability on the staff is why we are successful.”

The longevity on the Carey athletic staff is quite remarkable. Steve Knight has coached the Crusader men’s basketball team for 40 seasons, baseball coach Bobby Halford has guided the Crusaders for 37 years, women’s basketball coach Tracy English has 32 seasons at the helm, women’s soccer coach Danny Owens just finished his 17th season and golf coach Jeff Mixon and track coach Blake Hegstrom each have 10 years under their belt.

In addition, baseball assistant coach Ben Smith has served the Crusaders for 14 seasons, men’s basketball assistant Eric Burt has been at Carey for 10 years, and softball head coach Craig Fletcher and assistant coach Rodney Williams …….

Source: https://www.hubcityspokes.com/local-content-local-sports-sports/william-carey-making-habit-winning-big-southern-states-athletic

Maybe the best-kept secret in Mississippi athletics is operating right down the road in Hattiesburg, on the ever-expanding campus of William Carey University.

And like a well-oiled machine, the Crusader athletic program just keeps humming along atop the Southern States Athletic Conference.

This week, the SSAC announced that WCU has won the SSAC Commissioner’s Cup for the 2021-22 school year. It is the seventh time the school has earned the honor since joining the conference in 2010 and the sixth straight time it has been so reco…….

Maybe the best-kept secret in Mississippi athletics is operating right down the road in Hattiesburg, on the ever-expanding campus of William Carey University.

And like a well-oiled machine, the Crusader athletic program just keeps humming along atop the Southern States Athletic Conference.

This week, the SSAC announced that WCU has won the SSAC Commissioner’s Cup for the 2021-22 school year. It is the seventh time the school has earned the honor since joining the conference in 2010 and the sixth straight time it has been so reco…….

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