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.
No Winter Slumber for the Pioneers as We Head to Spring
While the excitement of spring is certainly in the air, so too is the positive conversation around how well our University of Denver student-athletes are doing on the fields of play and in the classroom. Again we are well positioned to compete for another Learfield Sports I-AAA Directors’ Cup, awarded annually to the nation's best overall Division I collegiate athletics program without football, which would add to our five previous honors.
Topping the discussion is our 2013/14 men’s and women’s ski team, which deserves thunderous congratulations for winning its 22nd Skiing National Championship with a magnificent showing in Park City, Utah March 5-8. In total, eleven Pioneers earned a combined 16 All-America honors at the NCAA Championships and the team’s 22 national titles rank fourth for the most NCAA Division I team championships in any sport.
Although a national championship is certainly the pinnacle of a sport season, winning conference titles and making NCAA Tournament appearances are also highpoints deserving of recognition. As the winter sports season comes to a close, we can proudly proclaim that five of our other six winter sports teams (women’s basketball, gymnastics, hockey, men’s swimming and women’s swimming) competed for the title in their respective conference championships. Pioneer determination was clearly evident, with four of the five teams winning the conference title and earning NCAA tournament consideration. Congratulations to the hockey team, winners of the first-ever National Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament; our talented gymnastics squad, who scored a season-high point total en route to winning the first-ever Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championships; and men’s and women’s swimming, who were superb in their first appearance at the Summit League Championships.
While our student-athletes are setting a high bar on the fields of play so too are the University and its generous alumni and friends when it comes to our facilities. The most recent addition, which opened its doors on March 15, supports our men’s and women’s golf teams. The new Golf Indoor Practice Facility includes a 30x50 ft. putting green and chipping area, two full-screen simulators, two full-swing motion analysis equipped with Head Measurement Technology and smart camera, lockers and a player’s clubhouse. No doubt a facility that will attract some of the nation’s best.
The men’s and women’s lacrosse teams also have something to brag about, as a new scoreboard has been installed on the grounds of the Peter Barton Stadium. The up-to-date board enables the integration of video as a part of the increased game atmosphere for fans, but the good news does not stop there for our men’s and women’s squads. For the first time in school history, both teams’ schedules have attracted a regional network, as Altitude Sports signed on to broadcast 10 games this season. This partnership clearly shows the growth of collegiate lacrosse in the western part of the United States, an expansion spearheaded by our men’s and women’s programs.
In addition to watching some of the best collegiate athletes in the land, one of the great aspects of my job is also the connection I get to have with the DU student body and Denver community through our recreation programs. The young men and women who participate in intermural, youth and club sports make certain all who watch are inspired by their love for competition as well. Deserving of special mention is our Junior Pioneers AA Hockey Team, who represented the Colorado Avalanche and captured the championship for its division at the 2014 Quebec International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament in February. Additionally, we want to wish our club rugby team the best of luck as it shoots for the school’s second straight trip to the national semifinals. These young men have certainly worked hard to reach this pinnacle yet again.
All DU students are also excited about what’s to come in the near future, as the University will dedicate the Diane Wendt Sports Fields this month. This new facility sits adjacent to our current CIBER Field and will serve as one of the campus’ central open field spaces. It is fitting that it is named in honor of one of the truly transformational leaders within our athletics division, Diane Wendt, who has served the University of Denver admirably for decades.
As we consider the successes in so many areas of campus it goes without saying that to get to this point has truly been a team effort across the spectrum of DU constituents. Fall and winter were certainly special for our sports teams, and now we look to continuing our success in the spring with men’s and women’s lacrosse, tennis, and golf all heading toward tournament play. If your schedule allows, we would love to welcome you to cheer on our Pioneers as this year we serve as the host institution for both the tennis and women’s lacrosse tournament championships. The Summit League Tennis Championships will take place at the Gates Tennis Center April 25-27, with both our teams striving for another NCAA Tournament appearance. The women’s lacrosse team will get the friendly confines of the Peter Barton Stadium for the MPSF Tournament May 1-4, as they too march toward post season play. Of course, we would love to see you at any Pioneer competition in the coming months.
Have a wonderful spring and GO PIONEERS!
Looking Forward to a Great 2014
On behalf of the Division of Athletics and Recreation, I want to extend warm wishes to the University of Denver Athletics and Recreation community with the hope that all will have a wonderful 2014. We are so excited to welcome in this New Year, as our great University – which first opened its doors in 1864 – celebrates its Sesquicentennial. In recognition of the Sesquicentennial, the Division of Athletics and Recreation is offering a free ticket to alumni for various athletic contests in 2014. The current slate of spring sport offerings include:
Gymnastics vs. Air Force
- Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 6:00 p.m.
- Men's Basketball vs. South Dakota
- Saturday, February 8, 2014 - 4:00 p.m.
- Men's Lacrosse vs. Marist
- Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 1:30 p.m.
- Women's Basketball vs. North Dakota State
- Saturday, March 1, 2014 - 1:00 p.m.
- Hockey vs. Miami
- Friday, March 7, 2014 - 7:30 p.m.
Athletics took to the stage on October 27, 1867. To commemorate Athletics’ history during the Sesquicentennial celebrations, a video detailing DU’s athletic accomplishments was produced and is a part of the “Tradition and History” exhibit within the Anderson Academic Commons. Click on - DU Sesquicentennial - for a list highlighting events celebrating the Sesquicentennial throughout 2014.
Additionally, we are honored to again recognize Pioneer alumni who achieved greatness on the fields of play during their time at DU as we celebrate the University of Denver Athletics Hall of Fame November 1, 2014. We are accepting nominations of former student-athletes, administrators, special contributors and teams who made a significant impact on DU Athletics during and after their time on campus. Click here to find out how you can nominate a worthy candidate.
We have much to be proud of as a University over the 150 years of its existence, and we certainly know the athletics program has contributed mightily in the positive espousal of DU. That first baseball game versus the Arapahoe Baseball Club put us on the path from which today we can proudly exclaim: the University of Denver is the best Division I Athletics program in the country without football, winning the Division I-AAA Learfield Director’s Cup five of the last six years. As I have said often, the achievement of such consistency of greatness falls directly upon the shoulders of the young men and women who decided a University of Denver experience was their best choice to advance both academically and athletically. These student-athletes should be applauded for committing to the various platforms established by our outstanding coaches and administrators. Their success speaks for itself when one looks at the positive impact DU alumni have on the world.
The recently-completed fall quarter for our student-athletes flew by, but the speed of each passing day did not deter our young men and women from the tasks at hand – compete at a high level, excel in the classroom and give back to the community of which you are a part.
Competitively, our fall teams certainly made us proud. In our first fall season in the Summit League, Denver student-athletes were a force to be reckoned with.
Women’s soccer continued their dominance, finishing the season with an overall record of 18-2-1 and 7-0-0 in conference play. Head coach Jeff Hooker was named Summit League Co-Coach of the Year, his 10th as the Pioneer skipper, and he also eclipsed the 300-win plateau for his career. Senior Kristen Hamilton continued to shine in the new conference, earning her third consecutive Player of the Year honor. A true Pioneer through-and-through, Kristen now stands as the only player in NCAA Division I history to be named conference player of the year in three different conferences (Summit League, WAC and Sun Belt). Other awardees for women’s soccer included senior Jessy Battelli, named Defensive Player of the Year, and freshman Cassidy Rey, honored as Goalkeeper of the Year. As great as these Pioneers were individually, the success of this team was due to its collective talent, as evidenced by the additional student-athletes voted to the Summit League First and Second Team All-Conference list – senior Nicholette DiGiacomo (first), junior Sam Harder (first), redshirt-freshman Francesca Garzelloni (first), senior Cassidy Larson (second) senior Sara Riazi (second), junior Nikki Pappalardo (second) and junior Anna Willis (second).
Not to be out done, the men’s soccer team also finished the fall season as Summit League champions. Head coach Bobby Muuss’ squad took to the field determined to make the NCAA Tournament. Their mission was accomplished by defeating Western Illinois in the Summit League Championship game 1-0. Special congratulations also go to Pioneer seniors Zach Bolden, Cole Chapleski and Blair Jeralds, along with juniors Oliver Brown and Taylor Hunter, all of whom were named to the Summit League Academic All-League Team.
Volleyball made it to the conference tournament championship game before succumbing, falling just short of making it to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. Second year head coach Jesse Mahoney worked a bit of magic with the squad, overcoming devastating injuries to key players. Senior striker Colleen King was one of those athletes who saw the season cut short, but she already had accomplished plenty on the floor and in the classroom and was named to the Summit League’s Academic All-League Team.
Congratulations to all of our fall sports student-athletes. We look forward to similar success from the many winter sports teams who are now returning to compete for their own conference championships and NCAA appearances in 2014.
Academic success sits atop the goals we set for ourselves each year. We measure that achievement not only through the more than 90% graduation rate of which we are so proud, but also in the number of student-athletes who achieve Dean’s List and Hornbeck Scholar recognition. I am pleased to report that for the fall quarter 41 student-athletes were named to the Dean’s List and 15 student-athletes were identified as Hornbeck Scholars. This is noteworthy considering the Dean’s List honors undergraduate students who achieved a quarterly grade point average of 3.75 or above while taking at least 15 credit hours, while the Hornbeck Scholars List recognizes undergraduate students who, in a given quarter, earned a 4.0 grade point average while taking between 12 and 14 credit hours. Congratulations to one and all for a job well done!
In conclusion, I would be remiss if I did not mention the outstanding work our student-athletes do in support of the Denver community. Athletics and Recreation prides itself on partnering with organizations that dedicate themselves to the public good – an integral part of our mission. The following link (Denver Athletics Community Service Video) will take you to a short video detailing some of our recent initiatives in the metropolitan area we are so proud to call home.
We certainly anticipate 2014 being another great year for Pioneer Athletics and Recreation, as well as a historic year for the University as a whole. Again, Happy New Year and GO PIONEERS!
Welcome Back for What Will Be a Special Year
It is certainly great to be a Pioneer as we welcome in a new year for our student-athletes in the classroom and on the fields of play. I had the opportunity to address the young men and women who will represent the crimson and gold faithful during our annual All Student-Athlete Welcome. It never gets old seeing the young faces of the new student-athletes taking in this very special time in their lives. As we begin 2013-14 we add 94 new student-athletes to the Pioneer family. It is also heartening to see the growth in our 238 returning sophomores, juniors and seniors, who we will certainly depend on to show great leadership.
This school year will be a very special one, as the University celebrates its sesquicentennial. It is amazing to realize that our University has educated some of America’s great leaders in government, business and community for 150 years. Athletics made its entry into DU history in 1867, and we can be justly proud of what our student-athletes have accomplished in the ensuing decades. DU currently can claim 28 national championships, 111 individual championships, 325 all-Americans, 139 NCAA tournament appearances, 58 conference coaches of the year, 57 Olympians, and the list could go on.
In recent years, it is well documented that our University routinely sits atop the collegiate landscape, as the nation’s best Division I athletics program without football. This year, we are again poised to defend our Division I-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup title, which we have won five of the last six years. The success we have attained to date is due to our fantastic student-athletes, coaches and administrators.
As more and more of our Pioneer family learn about the wonderful things our student-athletes are achieving on the fields of play and in the classroom, there is an increased demand for information about our teams. Everything a fan would need to know can be found on our website: www.denverpioneers.com. Additionally, we have a plethora of Facebook and Twitter accounts associated with specific sports, so please log on to follow your favorite groups.
This year, we will again broadcast select games on Pioneer Vision, which can be viewed through our athletics website: www.denverpioneers.com. In addition, select hockey, men’s basketball and women’s basketball games can be seen on regional network provider ROOT Sports. This season marks the 13th consecutive year the Pioneers can be seen on ROOT Sports. As for radio, hockey and men’s lacrosse can be found on ESPN Radio (102.3 FM) and men’s basketball is covered on Mile High Sports (AM 1510 and FM 93.7). And, over the summer, we were proud to announce a new relationship with local television station CBS4. This exclusive multi-year partnership will give our student-athletes and coaches great exposure for work in the classroom and on the fields of play.
We, the Division of Athletics and Recreation, accept the honor of being what we term as the front porch to the University. We know we are highly visible on campus and across the country by virtue of DU’s sport competitions. We welcome this attention because we know the name on the front of the teams’ jerseys represents the storied history of our University, our community and the Rocky Mountain Region.
Yes, this year will certainly be a special one at our University for myriad reasons, and we are confident the athletic and academic success of our student-athletes will be a significant part of the celebrations.
Summer Season After a Great Year!
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