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University of South Florida atop conference as an overall sports program

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The most popular sports at the University of South Florida may have struggled during the past season, but the Bulls were still the finest sports program in the American Athletic Conference this year.

With eight programs making the NCAA post-season, the Bulls won the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup by finishing atop the AAC standings with 257.75 points. USF ranked 73rd overall, but edged UConn by one point to win their conference. The finish was the highest in 15 years and the second highest in history for USF.

USF also ranked ahead of bigger programs such as Wake Forest, Kansas State, Pitt, Rutgers and Washington State.

“You can feel the momentum building in USF athletics and everyone involved believes there is no limit,” said athletic director Mark Harlan.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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