June 7, 2004
Butler's bid for a third consecutive Horizon League all-sports championship came up four points short, and the Bulldogs wound up as runner-up in the competition for the league's James J. McCafferty Trophy. UW-Milwaukee, on the strength of seven league championships, unseated Butler as the league's top all-around program.
The Bulldogs, who had captured the McCafferty Trophy in 2002 and 2003, did win the Horizon League Men's All-Sports Award for the fourth consecutive year. UW-Milwaukee earned the Women's All-Sports Award and finished runner-up in the men's all-sports race. Butler was fourth in the women's all-sports competition.
The symbol of a successful broad-based athletic program, the McCafferty Trophy is awarded annually by the Horizon League to the member institution compiling the greatest number of performance points in league championships. The trophy is presented in honor of James J. McCafferty, the former Xavier University men's basketball coach and director of athletics who served as the league's first commissioner in 1979-80.
Schools earn performance points based on their finish in all 18 championship sports offered by the Horizon League. For the sports of men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, softball and baseball, points are awarded based on the combined regular season and championship finish. In the sports of men's and women's cross country, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's golf, and men's and women's tennis, points are awarded based on the finish in the league championship.
UW-Milwaukee won league tournament titles in men's soccer, men's indoor track and men's outdoor track, and league regular season championships in men's soccer, men's basketball, women's soccer and volleyball, while compiling 48 points in the all-sports competition. Butler captured league titles in men's cross country, women's cross country and men's tennis and finished second in the McCafferty race with 44 points. UW-Green Bay and UIC tied for third with 34 points apiece, while Loyola came in fifth with 29.5 points. Wright State (28.5) finished sixth, followed by Detroit (19.5), Cleveland State (19) and Youngstown State (18).
The McCafferty Trophy has been presented to the league's All-Sports Champion since the league's inaugural season in 1979-80. Oral Roberts won the award for the first seven years of the league's existence, while Evansville captured the 1986-87 and 1987-88 awards. Notre Dame won seven straight titles from 1988 to 1995, before Northern Illinois captured the crown in 1995-96. Butler won the first of three consecutive all-sports championships in 1996-97, UIC took the title in 1999-2000 and UW-Milwaukee captured its first title in 2000-01.