Golden Grizzlies dominate Horizon League, win McCafferty Trophy

Oakland University Athletics won the McCafferty Trophy for the first time since 2018.

By Kristen Davis

Oakland University Athletics led the way in the men’s, women’s and overall Horizon League McCafferty Trophy standings to win the all-sports trophy in just its second year as a member of the league.

The Golden Grizzlies scored 56 overall points to defeat reigning champion Milwaukee by 15.5 points. It’s the highest overall points recorded since Butler ended the year with 59 in the 2010-11 season.

It’s also the first time the Grizzlies won an all-sports trophy in 40 years of league competition.

Last year, the Grizzlies finished fifth overall and scored just 33.5 points. The men finished eighth and the women finished third.

Director of Athletics Jeff Konya was presented the trophy on May 28. He said the mindset of the athletic program at Oakland University is what made this accomplishment possible.

“There was a coming together of several tremendous team and individual accomplishments,” Konya said. “I think there is a different vibe in the athletics that is focused on the means and not necessarily the ends.”

The trophy is named after the Horizon League’s first commissioner, James J. McCafferty. It is presented annually to the school with the most performance points at the end of the athletic year.

Performance points are given based on team’s finishes in the league’s 19 championship sports.

During the 2014-15 school year, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, volleyball and softball all brought home regular season and Horizon League tournament titles.

But Konya notes that the additional top-three regular season finishes were equally as important as first place.

“Everyone will and should point to this year’s Horizon League championships in the form of continued swimming excellence, historic volleyball accomplishments and the great runs by softball and men’s soccer,” Konya said.“But to win the men’s all-around and women’s all-around, you need depth in your entire department.”

Women’s cross country, golf, soccer and both indoor and outdoor track and field finished in the top three in the regular season.

On the men’s side, basketball, golf and outdoor track and field finished top three.

The Golden Grizzlies want to continue the success and growth with the objective of becoming a top-of-mind overall program.

Konya mentioned that their philosophy for the future is to not take shortcuts or compromise values and ethics and stay devoted to the process.

“The process revolves around being committed to academics and athletics performance, student-athlete development, building our facilities infrastructure, continued marketing and branding initiatives and having laser vision on the total student-athlete experience,” Konya said. “We, as coaches, staff and a university are committed to the student-athlete experience and if we have that in the back of our minds at every turn, I think it will continue to have positive momentum.”

In addition to the McCafferty Trophy, Oakland also won the Metro Series this year, defeating the University of Detroit-Mercy 26-10. The Grizzlies won 11 of the 14 match-ups against the rivaled Titans.

The school will receive $10,000 towards its athletic scholarship fund from PASS CHARTERS for winning the series. 


Overall standings

Oakland 56

Milwaukee 40.5

Youngstown State 36.5

Valparaiso 30.5

Green Bay 29.5

Detroit 26

Wright State 25

Cleveland State 24.5

University of Illinois-Chicago 21

Men’s standings


Oakland 24

Milwaukee 20.5

Valparaiso 18.5

Wright State 16

Cleveland State 15

Green Bay 14

Detroit 12

Youngstown State 11

University of Illinois-Chicago 9

Women’s standings

Oakland 32

Youngstown State 25.5

Milwaukee 20

Green Bay 15.5

Detroit 14

University of Illinois-Chicago 12

Valparaiso 12

Cleveland State 9.5

Wright State 9

How points are scored

Performance points are given based on team’s finishes in the league’s 19 championship sports.

Men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, softball and baseball are considered “priority sports.” Points are given based on both regular season and tournament finishes.

Men’s and women’s cross country, track and field, swimming and diving, tennis and golf are considered “non-priority” sports. Points are given based on tournament finishes only.

Horizon League regular season and tournament champions


Men’s soccer

Men’s swimming and diving

Women’s swimming and diving


Regular season second place

Men’s golf

Women’s golf

Regular season third place

Men’s basketball

Women’s soccer

Men’s outdoor track and field

Women’s cross country

Women’s indoor and outdoor track and field