Welcome to Pioneer Perspectives!
Pioneer Perspectives is the Division's newsletter where you can hear what is happening on a "global" level, provide feedback and celebrate our successes and milestones. The thoughts shared in Pioneer Perspective are intended to keep us updated, provoke new thoughts and perspectives and effectively tell our story as we grow as a division. These updates about DU Athletics and Recreation can better prepare you, the Pioneer family, for questions that arise from your friends and family, other DU community members and the Denver community. Now when someone asks you about DU Athletics, you will have additional knowledge of not only our Pioneer athletic teams but also helpful facts about recreation, sports medicine, marketing, sponsorship and more. Perhaps you will discover, in your conversations with others, that someone is interested in recreation sports, the Coors Fitness Center, supporting our sport programs, enrolling at the University of Denver or attending a Pioneer sporting event. When you come across someone who is interested in supporting DU Athletics and Recreation in any of the above programs, please help direct them to a contact person within the Division. If you do not know who to direct them to, please feel free to call my office at 303-871-3399.
The Division’s Strategic Plan continues to be the driving force behind the progress we are making toward the accomplishment of our goals and objectives. Our focus is clear and our resources are aligned with the objective of becoming the premier intercollegiate basketball program in the Rocky Mountain Region and maintaining national recognition of our rich hockey tradition. You may access the Strategic Plan any time on this website. Watch our progress as we build on our success.
While the summer months allow the student-athletes, coaches and administrators to exhale and recharge a bit after a long sports season, it is also a time for us to prepare for the next year, welcome in a new class of student-athletes, make improvements in our facilities and certainly celebrate the great successes of the previous year.
On the fields of play our teams continue to shine, and we can again celebrate the accomplishment of key goals we set for ourselves at the start of the academic year. The goal of 100 percent annual fund participation of the Division of Athletics and Recreation student-athletes and staff has been achieved for the second-consecutive year. This incredible dedication continues to show our collective belief in what it means to be a true Pioneer.
In addition, as just announced at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) convention, the University of Denver once again sits atop the Division I-AAA category by winning the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. This marks the fifth win for our University in the last six years. Sports making NCAA Tournament appearances during the 2012-13 season included: men’s lacrosse, making its second program appearance in the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four; women’s lacrosse, earning the school’s first NCAA appearance and winning its inaugural first-round contest; women’s golf, capturing the Western Athletic Conference title – keeping its conference winning streak alive at 10 straight; men’s tennis, which won its first-round match against 15th-ranked Florida and sent senior Enej Bonin to the NCAA singles championship; women’s soccer, making it to the Sweet 16; skiing, perennial power; men’s hockey, receiving an at-large bid; and gymnastics, finishing the season with another NCAA regional appearance while also sending Moriah Martin to the NCAA all-around competition.
While the recapturing of the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was certainly a combined effort across the Department, I want to again congratulate those student-athletes who stood a notch above in the eyes of their peers. At this year’s 78th annual Student-Athlete Awards Banquet, which was hosted by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), athletes were honored in every sport. Junior men’s basketball player Chris Udofia was voted DU Male Athlete of the Year, and freshman skier Kristine Haugen earned Female Athlete of the Year – congratulations again on a job well done. It is my privilege to present the Gold Vest Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the Department and is based on superior community service, leadership, academic achievement, spirit and athletic performance by a team. This year the distinction went to the men’s swimming team, which posted a team GPA of 3.34 and was a staple at many Pioneer athletic events, cheering on fellow student-athletes in all sports. Pioneer individual and team accolades continually showcase what makes our University so special.
Internal awards and accolades are significant achievements, but year-after-year our Pioneer men and women are also a part of the elite group of athletes and coaches recognized at the conference and national levels. Four of our coaches were voted coach of the year in their respective conferences. Congratulations go to Jeff Hooker (women’s soccer), Liza Kelly (women’s lacrosse), Lindsay Hulwick (women’s golf) and Jeremy Wurtzman (women’s tennis) for their outstanding leadership on and off the fields of play. Additionally, we had myriad student-athletes who were recognized with all-conference honors for their respective sports, with 83 in total. Eighteen also earned the prestigious All-American honors as some of the best in the nation: Juho Olkinuora (ice hockey), Nina McGee (gymnastics), Moriah Martin (gymnastics), Kristen Hamilton (women’s soccer), Silje Beanum (women’s Nordic), Kristine Haugen (women’s alpine), Tianda Carroll (women’s alpine), Mikayla Cappel (women’s Nordic), Max Marno (men’s alpine), Devin Delaney (women’s alpine), Trevor Philp (men’s alpine), Espen Lysdahl (men’s alpine), Cameron Flint (men’s lacrosse), Eric Law (men’s lacrosse), junior Jeremy Noble (men’s lacrosse), Wesley Berg (men’s lacrosse), Kate Henrich (women’s lacrosse) and Jill Remenapp (women’s lacrosse) – thanks for showing America true Pioneer excellence.
In the classroom we are certainly proud of the way our student-athletes perform. For the spring quarter, 14 were honored as Hornbeck Scholars, while 36 achieved Dean’s List distinction. This follows 55 Dean's and Hornbeck Lists for the winter quarter and 80 in the fall. Pioneers are certainly embracing the value of a DU education.
The year has certainly flown by, but the fall sports season will be here before you know it. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful summer. Don’t forget, it’s golf season and, thanks to the Moore Family, our University is the steward of the wonderful Highlands Ranch Golf Club. Come out and play if your schedule allows. We have great rates and a very flexible corporate membership program. Highlands Ranch Golf Club is the home for Pioneer golf, and we would love to have your patronage.
March 6, 2013
30 Years of Consecutive Support, Simply Amazing
There are certainly myriad things that make the University of Denver so special. We have world-class academics, stunning architecture that stands the test of time, top-notched athletic and recreation programs, the list could certainly go on. However, even among these stellar attributes, there are at times and moments that make us step back and give pause to something truly special. One of those such moments came to pass recently as the Division of Athletics and Recreation recognized four corporate sponsors for 30 years of consecutive sponsorship.
When one considers the competitive landscape of sport sponsorship, especially at a mid-major university, 30 consecutive years speaks volumes for the Denver brand and its significance in the marketplace. Joy Burns, former chair of the University of Denver Board of Trustees and namesake on several important facilities across the DU campus; Pepsi Co., one of the world's most respected corporations; Robinson Dairy, one of the regions oldest and most respected companies; and the Denver Post, the communities leading source for news for more than a century have all shown through their support and longevity a dedication to the Pioneer athletic program that is simply astounding. It truly is because of great partners like these that we put highly competitive teams on the field, ice, beam, court, mountain, golf course and in the pool year after year.
In addition, the support we are receiving from these and other great corporate sponsors, alumni and friends of the University is being put to great use by some of the best student-athletes in the country. We know our young men and women give their all on the fields of play, but it is important to point out they are equally committed to their work in the classroom.
Recently our Division announced that 80 DU student-athletes earned two of the highest academic honors during the Fall Quarter. I was so pleased to acknowledge the 18 student-athletes who were designated as Hornbeck Scholars, as well as the 62 additional Pioneers who were named to the Dean's List. The Hornbeck Scholars list recognizes those undergraduate students who, in a given quarter, have earned a 4.0 grade point average while taking between 12 and 14 credit hours.
So as we recognize and thank four corporate partners who through their many years of partnership and alignment with the DU brand have supported thousands of student-athletes who have donned a Pioneer uniform, we can't forget the positive impact their support is making on the world. Today, these young men and women are out in the workforce contributing to a multitude of organizations and industries. As they make important decisions that affect the lives of us all, we can feel confident in saying a part of their success has been made possible, to a great degree, because of the corporate sponsors who have and continue to believe in the academic and athletic enterprise at the University of Denver. GO PIONEERS!
July 18, 2012
Hello Pioneer Family, It's a beautiful summer in Colorado. Although it's been hot and dry, we are beginning to have those cooling afternoon showers for which our Rockies are famous. Our 2012-13 athletic season is right around the corner, and the momentum is building for a great start this fall.
Construction has started on the state-of-the-art Vince Boryla Recruiting Donor Lounge at the University of Denver's Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness. Vince and Mary Jo Boryla are funding this project which is expected to be completed by early August. Vince starred for the Pioneer men's basketball team in 1948-49. The two-time AAU All-American and NCAA All-American played for the National Basketball Association's New York Knicks from 1949-55, earning a spot on the NBA All-Star team in 1951. Vince won a gold medal in the 1948 Olympics, the last time the Olympics were held in London. The 550 square-foot facility will be located in the northeast corner of the Ritchie Center concourse. This lounge will ensure that coaches have a pristine space to meet with prospective student-athletes. It will also provide a forum for the Division of Athletics and Recreation staff to entertain and thank donors in furtherance of the University's ASCEND Campaign.
Academic success is always our highest priority. With this in mind, John and Sandy Miller are helping our student-athletes reach that success by funding the Academic Success Center project. Construction will begin soon on the Academic Success Center, which will be located on the third floor of the Ritchie Center. This center will be a collaboration zone for our student-athletes to work on their studies and to meet with their academic advisors and career placement counselors. They will have access to a computer lab to aid in their studies, finding internships and Pioneer networking. The Academic Success Center will be ready for the start of the 2012-13 academic year beginning in September.
I would like to congratulate all 17 of our sports programs for earning a 925 multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the fifth consecutive year and our men's golf, women's skiing and men's soccer programs were honored with the association's Public Recognition Awards. The awards are given each year to teams scoring in the top 10 percent in each sport with their APRs. Our average GPA is 3.3, and our retention rate is close to 90 percent! GO PIONEERS!
During my time here, a shortage of recreational and green field space has always been a challenge. Our student population values club sports and intramural sports, utilizing every inch of field space available. It's wonderful to know that our students have such engagement in athletics and recreation that we are currently at full capacity. I am pleased to announce that we are looking to install a regulation-size field to use for club sports, intramurals, drop-in use and varsity athletics. Other projects this fall include a replacement of the entire ice plant at Magness Arena and annual maintenance of the El Pomar Natatorium.
As many of you know, the Commission on Presidential debates has selected the University of Denver as the host site for the first 2012 U.S. presidential debate. The debate will be held on October 3 in Magness Arena at DU's Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness.
"Debates are an important part of our nation's election process, and as this is the first-ever presidential debate to be hosted in Colorado, the national and international spotlight will be on the University of Denver and the entire Rocky Mountain region," DU Chancellor Robert Coombe said.
The debate will impact our Division of Athletics and Recreation, as the Ritchie Center will be closed for operations from September 29 through October 3. The impact on athletics will be minor compared to the overall impact on the DU Campus, where security measures and festivities will begin taking place well in advance of the debate.
Finally, I encourage all of you to join our Pioneer Movement, which is the best way to support our 326 Denver Pioneer student-athletes. Your financial support helps our student-athletes achieve their goals and dreams, and paves the way for a successful future. Our mission is all about educating and supporting our student-athletes during their time at DU and throughout their lives. Please visit www.DUPioneerMovement.com to join today.
It's a great time to be a Pioneer! Thank you for your continued support of DU Athletics and Recreation.
Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations