Jan 10, 2018

How to Stay Humble with 115 Trophies: Inside Stanford’s Home of Champions

Stanford’s trophy case could be the most impressive in college athletics, but only if the Cardinal wanted it to be that way.

When Stanford’s men’s soccer team won its third consecutive title on Dec. 15, the Cardinal captured its 115th NCAA championship trophy, the most for any program in the country.

National excellence is a part of the Stanford Athletics story, but it’s not the Stanford Athletics story. Visitors are learning the Home of Champions isn’t about trophies and hardware.

“You’ll see very little of it in this space,” wrote Forbes contributor Kristi Dosh after a recent tour of the Home of Champions. “What I learned from my first visit to campus is that the focus is not on trophies and rings. It’s all about the scholar-athlete.”

When Advent began work with Stanford on this project in 2013, the Cardinal challenged our team to make the Home of Champions more than a museum for trophies and champions, though it certainly could have been.

“Stanford prides itself on humility,” said athletic director Bernard Muir in Stanford’s video about the Home of Champions. “Yes, we’ve had excellence. But still there’s a subtle message here. We are trying to remain humble here. That’s why there’s only one Directors’ Cup and the most recent national championships. We yearn for more, and yet we don’t have to display it all because there’s a level of excellence we are trying to pursue.”