Earl W. Edwards accepted the position of Director of Athletics at UC San Diego in March of 2000. Since his arrival, UCSD Athletics has consistently been recognized at the national level for its academic and athletic achievements.
Under his guidance, the 23-sport program has made a very successful transition from the NCAA Division III ranks to Division II. In fact, UC San Diego has surpassed all expectations at the DII level, capturing women’s soccer national championships in both 2000 and 2001 and the softball national title in 2011.
Since moving to Division II for the 2000-01 academic year, UC San Diego has been ranked among the top seven programs in the country in the annual Learfield Directors’ Cup standings on 12 different occasions. In 2004 and again in 2007, UCSD was the national runner up. In 2016, the school placed third in the country, followed by a fourth-place showing in 2017.
UC San Diego has also won seven California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Commissioners’ Cup titles, an award that recognizes the best overall athletics program in the prestigious conference. The Tritons are currently on a two-year run, winning in 2016 and 2017.
Additionally, UCSD has been ranked first among all Division II institutions in the last eight National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Collegiate Power Rankings, which comprehensively measure student-athlete graduation rates, academic strength and athletic prowess. Listed in the NCSA’s rankings for the 10th consecutive year in 2014 (the last year of the rankings), UC San Diego placed 12th of all schools in the country. In 2007, UCSD garnered its highest national ranking, coming in at No. 4.
UC San Diego was one of just 27 institutions to be honored with a 2014 NCAA Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence, earned by achieving a four-year Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90 percent or higher.
Edwards has built several new facilities and enhanced others during his tenure, including a softball stadium, a baseball stadium and clubhouse and a strength and conditioning center. Triton Track and Field Stadium was updated with a video scoreboard and pole vault terraces.
In 2016, UC San Diego’s undergraduate student body voted overwhelmingly in favor to move the institution’s athletics program to NCAA Division I.