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. You may access the Strategic Plan any time on this website. Watch our progress as we build on our success.

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Sept., 13, 2016

Fellow Pioneers,

Well, the temperatures are starting to cool in the Mile High City and classes are now underway throughout campus which means the 2016-17 academic & athletic year is officially here! It’s great to have everyone back at DU after a memorable summer which saw several alums competing at the Olympics and various other high-profile events throughout the world, continuing to show the entire planet just how talented and driven we Pioneers are! 

As our Division begins what promises to be another fantastic season, we once again look back at our tremendous 2015-16 campaign which saw our student-athletes, coaches and staff members alike accrue myriad accomplishments and instill a tremendous sense of pride throughout the DU community. Here are some good links to check out to relive the 2015-16 season AND get ready for 2016-17:

Divisional Address | Year in Review Video / Guide | DU Athletics Quick Facts  

Looking ahead, we’ve got a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks and months as we look to lay the groundwork for winning our ninth Learfield Sports DI-AAA Directors' Cup in ten years. Our men’s & women’s soccer teams are both off to great starts already, as is our women’s volleyball program. Several other sports will get underway in the near future, including hockey, golf, tennis, basketball and swimming/diving. We hope to see as many supporters as possible in the stands at the Ritchie Center as we look to continue our winning ways throughout the fall quarter and beyond!

In terms of the 'big picture' for our Division, we’ll have some extremely exciting news regarding our new tennis facility coming soon and we’re definitely looking forward to implementing Chancellor Chopp’s highly-impressive IMPACT 2025 framework into our new strategic plan, which we plan to unveil in the new year. All in all, it’s truly an exciting time for our University and our Division and we look forward to getting back into the swing of things this month as we head towards Homecoming Weekend in October!

Here’s wishing a great quarter for all and GO PIONEERS!

-Peg Bradley-Doppes

P.S. A special congrats and good luck goes out to former DU cheerleader Lacey Henderson who is currently competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games – go get ‘em, Lacey!


June 10, 2016

Well, it's hard to believe but another academic/athletic year has come and gone and the time has come once again to reflect on all we've accomplished in recent months and all that we have to look forward to in the months to come! This is a truly exciting time for our school and our division; in addition to continuing to enjoy success in competition, we've also had a great run of success in the classroom and in the community, all of which make us proud to be a Pioneer.

As we await the final results for this year's Directors' Cup standings, the latest update came out last week and we are 228.25 points ahead in our quest for an eighth DI-AAA Directors' Cup in the last nine years. We are also currently 39th in the overall Division I Directors' Cup, four places higher than our best finish with softball, men's golf, track and baseball still to go.

It has been another great year athletically for the University of Denver in 2015-16.  Highlighting the year was our ski team capturing its NCAA-best 23rd National Championship this year as one of nine Denver programs to reach the NCAA postseason this year. Individuals from our men's and women's swimming and diving teams and men's tennis partners Henry Craig & Alex Gasson also represented DU in NCAA postseason play. Four student-athletes won individual national championships in 2015-16: skiers Erik Ready (men's slalom), Kristine Haugen (women's giant slalom) and Linn Eriksen (women's classical), and gymnast Nina McGee, who captivated the crowd and other competitors with her outstanding floor routine.  

Overall, we won eight conference championships in 2015-16, while producing 25 All-Americans and 86 all-league honorees. Throughout the course of the season, nine different programs were ranked nationally.

On the academic front, we accrued accolades galore over the course of the campaign, reaching new heights of excellence throughout our division. We received national recognition for our exceptional Academic Progress Rate as well as our Graduation Success Rate and our cumulative GPA through the winter quarter stands at an impressive 3.336. Several individual student-athletes were recognized for their scholastic achievements this year, including men's hockey forward Gabe Levin who won the first-ever NCHC Post-Graduate Scholarship in addition to the Elite 90 Award for having the highest GPA among all student-athletes competing in their sport's final site of competition. Our 51st CoSIDA Academic All-American, Gabe will be attending Harvard Law School in the fall and we wish him the best of luck! Innumerable other student-athletes won all-conference academic honors and we couldn't be more proud of our achievements in the classroom this past year.

Our presence in the community and our engagement with key stakeholders has never been higher. The exposure we received for taking part in February's historic `Battle on Blake' game at Coors Field was truly overwhelming and it was great to have so many eyeballs on the Pioneers -- locally, regionally, nationally and even internationally! We continue to endorse `service above self' among our student-athletes and they've been absolutely tremendous this season, lending their support to the Colorado Toy Drive, Through Hoops to Hope, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics and several other magnanimous initiatives throughout the region.

Without revealing too much, we're in the process of developing an exciting and dynamic relationship with Hampton University Athletics and will have some exciting announcements in the near future regarding a tennis facility that will further captivate the community and enhance our presence in both the Front Range and nationally. Stay tuned for more details!

Our staff and student-athletes have continued to make philanthropic giving through the Pioneer Movement at the University of Denver a priority in 2015-16. Now in the final month of our fiscal year, our donor count has continued its upward trend for the fifth-consecutive year. Currently our count is at 2,951, up 242 from last year. That number once again includes 100% participation from our student-athletes for the fifth year in a row. In 2015-16, we also received 100% participation from our club sports programs, including our 2016 Club Women's Lacrosse National Champions.
 
All in all, this has truly been a remarkable year for DU Athletics and we're in great position to have an even better year in 2016-17!  Thank you for your continued loyal support.  We need you and appreciate you. 

Proud to be a Pioneer!  

-Peg Bradley-Doppes

February 17, 2016

It seems like yesterday that our men’s soccer program was making national headlines and the volleyball program reached its second-straight NCAA Tournament, but as our winter sports gear up for an exciting postseason of their own and our spring sports start their seasons, I wanted to take the opportunity to catch our Pioneer Nation up on the events of our Division and the University of Denver as we strive to win our eighth Division I-AAA Directors’ Cup in the last nine years.

As the University as a whole moves forward into DU IMPACT 2025, and as our Division of Athletics Strategic plan that we launched in 2012 wraps up here in 2016, we’re developing our next strategic plan, one that firmly aligns itself with the philosophies of One DU and DU IMPACT 2025. I’m proud of what our programs and our Division has done to reach the Denver metro area community, and it’s something that will cause our Pioneer Nation to grow over time.

In conjunction with the University of Denver’s Center of Sustainability, we’ve participated in programs such as Zero Waste Hockey and Free Bike Valet parking in an effort to continue to help protect our environment.  Our 2015 National Champion men’s lacrosse team had a busy fall making frequent visits to Children’s Hospital as part of the “Bags of Fun” program, hosted a Unified Lacrosse game during halftime of one of their fall exhibitions and helped the Colorado Rolling Mammoth fundraise for wheel chairs for their organization.

During the lead-up to the holiday season, the cheer team led our Division’s effort to take part in the Care for Colorado Toy Drive in December, and the women’s basketball program helped spread the holiday cheer by paying a visit to Children’s Hospital Colorado themselves. Members of our swimming program made a trip to the Children’s Hospital Cancer Center. These opportunities in the community have had just as big of an impact on our sports programs and our Division as we hoped to have had on the community.  

Fostering our future Pioneers, the hockey program spent its bye week in October continuing its tradition of spending time with the Junior Pioneer Organization, giving our athletes another opportunity to positively impact our youth. Prior to that event in September, a few of the hockey student-athletes volunteered with University of Denver Chaplain Gary Brower to help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s in a “Hoops for Hope” croquet event on campus. Last but not least, the Denver women’s golf team partnered with Habitat for Humanity in the Metro area on a beautiful November Denver afternoon.

As another signing day has recently passed, Team IMPACT is another organization that a couple of our sports programs have partnered with to make an impact on a child’s life.  Men’s soccer signed Ben Brewer during the 2014 season, while Bella Griggs joined the volleyball program for the 2015 campaign. Both of these individuals have had to go through a lot, but have tremendously impacted our programs and how they look at life today. Women’s soccer opened up their 2015 season by joining the other five teams in the state to put on a Special Olympics Colorado Cup Clinic in the middle of their opening weekend. The women’s tennis program took their volunteering efforts Rancho Del Rio in Bond, Colo., in September to participate in Adventure Team Challenge for World T.E.A.M. Sports, bringing teams together with groups of athletes with disabilities, many of whom are current and former military members.

Overall, our Division has done an excellent job of getting out there and making an in-print on the Denver Metro area, giving back to a community that does such a great job of supporting us.

In the classroom last fall, we had 44 student athlete’s that were named to the Dean’s List (3.75 grade point average or above while taking at least 15 credit hours) and 22 students achieve the status of a Hornbeck Scholar (4.0 grade point average while taking between 12 and 14 credit hours.). In the Summit League, our three fall sports student-athletes combined for 13 Summit League Academic Distinguished Scholars (3.6 grade point average in the quarter in which they compete) and our programs had 35 Fall Academic Honor Roll recipients (3.0 grade point average in the quarter in which they competed).  

Shifting to our athletic successes:

  • The “Battle on Blake” outdoor hockey game is this weekend. Yes, we gave up a home game in Magness Arena, but what a great opportunity to showcase the University against our in-state rivals in what should be a great environment at Coors Field on Saturday night. I hope you will join us. If you haven’t got your tickets yet, you can get them here, and check out our #BattleOnBlake Central Page for all the lead up to this great event. 
  • It’s not very often that we get the opportunity to have a regional event and the NCAA Championship in our backyard, but that’s exactly the opportunity that our Pioneer Nation has in the next few weeks as the ski program attempts to claim its 23rd national title. At the end of the month, the NCAA West Championships will be in Beaver Creek and Minturn, while the NCAA Championships will take place in Steamboat Springs March 9-12. This is a great opportunity for our fans to see our ski team, and get the winter postseason started off on the right foot. 
  • In addition to skiing, March also features the Summit League Basketball Championships up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The league takes great pride in making both championships a great event in one location, and if you haven’t been up there for the tournament yet, I’d encourage you to take the drive up north this March. 
  • Both of our lacrosse programs got underway last weekend. Bringing the men’s National Championship out west last year was a wonderful celebration of the success that our program has earned over the past several years. It was great to see so many people come out for the men’s exhibition in January, and we look forward to our home opening weekend next weekend. I know Coach Tierney, his staff and his players are just as hungry to bring a second National Championship to our University. 
  • Last year’s National Championship brought great recognition to our University and our Division, but many of our sports programs have had the opportunity to showcase themselves on television over the last couple of years. In 2015-16 alone, our programs have and will be on television a combined 61 times, including national games on ESPNU, CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, Fox College Sports and American Sports Network, and 44 games on our Regional Television partners ROOT SPORTS and Altitude. 
  • Our tennis and swimming programs continued success has seen them nationally ranked throughout the 2015-16 season, and we look forward to seeing the Directors’ Cup points that they are able to pick up for our Division as we look to not only win the I-AAA title again, but continue to climb up the overall Division I standings. Swimming starts the Summit League Championships later today in Indianapolis, and we wish them the best at that event. 
  • The gymnastics program under Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart’s leadership have been no stranger to the top-25, and they currently sit in 13th in the national rankings. If you haven’t had a chance to see them in action yet, make sure to get your tickets, there are only two home meets remaining. If you haven’t seen Nina McGee’s floor routine yet, believe me, it’s better in person.

Overall, our Division continues to have success on and off the field, and we look to not only continue that success, but evolve and build on it as we close another great season of Denver athletics. I hope you’re able to get out and support all of our programs over the next couple months, or tune-in to a TV, radio or Pioneer Vision broadcast. Thank you Pioneer Nation!

Proud to be a Pioneer!

Peg Bradley Doppes

June 12, 2015

Well, the calendar has turned from spring to summer far too fast once again, but what an exciting finish to the academic and athletic year it was for your Pioneers! For the entire Division, it's been a productive and rewarding last few months; we've got a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to.  During this time of year, I tend to pause and reflect on what has been accomplished while also continuing to urge our coaches, staff members and student-athletes to continue to push themselves to build upon their recent successes and make DU Athletics the very best it can be. 

Some highlights from the past few months for our Division include:

  • The 2014-15 campaign proved to be one of the best ever for our Swim & Dive team, as we had our largest contingent of student-athletes ever competing at the NCAA Championships. We also swept the Summit League's `Swimmer of the Year' Awards, with Dylan Bunch taking home Male Swimmer of the Year and Samantha Corea earning Female Swimmer of the Year honors. Ross Edfort was also named the Male Diver of the Year, marking the first time that a Pioneer has won this award.
  • The gymnastics squad turned in a noble effort at their NCAA Regional, finishing in third place after qualifying for their 17th straight tournament. A huge congratulation goes out to senior gymnast Nina McGee, who finished second on floor at the NCAA Championships.
  • After advancing to the `Elite Eight' for the first time since 2011, our men's hockey team came extremely close to making this year's Frozen Four, falling to eventual NCAA Champion Providence in the East Regional Final. Overall, this program made tremendous strides this season, reaching 20 wins for the 14th straight year - the longest active streak in the nation - and ranking among the Top 10 teams in the NCAA for most of the season.
  • Our ski team fell just short of winning the 23rd national title in program history, finishing second at the NCAAs behind CU. Monica Hübner and Sebastian Brigovic, meanwhile, were named the 2015 Alpine Athletes of the Year by the coaches of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association.
  • Last, but certainly not least, we held true to our moniker as the Lacrosse Capital of the West by bringing home the men's lacrosse national championship to record the 30th NCAA title in Division history.  The achievement by these student-athletes capped off a great career for the group of seniors, including Wesley Berg who was a Tewaaraton Award finalist and chosen as the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

In the classroom, our student-athletes performed exceptionally well, with men's soccer standout Taylor Hunter (NSCAA), men's lacrosse midfielder Erik Adamson (CoSIDA and USILA), and hockey forward Larkin Jacobson (CoSIDA) having earned national academic honors. Additionally, swimmer Samantha Corea received a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and men's lacrosse junior Jack Pruitt was named the winner of the Elite 89 Award, an accolade bestowed upon the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 89 Championships. Our men's hockey team also led the NCHC with 17 All-NCHC Scholars and tied for the second-best Academic Progress Rate (APR) in all of NCAA Hockey with a mark of 997 (Yale, 998). 

The academic accomplishments of our senior student-athletes took center stage this past weekend during spring convocation, with more than 50 of our seniors talking part in DU's graduation ceremonies. It's always special to see the young men and women of our Division receive their degrees and complete a very special time in their lives. Academics have always been a top priority for us, and the fact that we continue to have one of the best Graduation Success Rates in the NCAA is extremely rewarding.

With trophies and awards being collected at this time of year, we're instilled with a tremendous sense of pride as we're reminded about the high level of excellence we continue to strive for in competition, in the classroom and in the community. Our student-athletes are proud to keep the winning legacy going that was established by all Pioneers before them. In addition, the rich tradition of DU Athletics is further built upon by our alums, fans, season ticket holders, donors and partners, or, as we like to say -- the Pioneer Nation.  We certainly could not achieve the success we do without support from each and every one of you.   

As our teams compete across the country, they continue to represent DU through various media outlets and provide great visibility coast-to-coast via local broadcasts, feature stories and games on networks such as FOX Sports 1, CBS Sports Network and ESPN.  Athletics are, by nature, at the public forefront of any elite academic institution and we take our responsibly as, in many ways, the face of the University of Denver very seriously. During these summer months, we are motivated to do more and get better for each of you as the first games of the fall will be here in no time. 

We continue to strive for greatness in everything we do -- from the in-game experience we provide for our fans to being up to date on NCAA compliance issues to recruiting the very best student-athletes that embody the characteristics associated with Denver's core values: Pride, Integrity, Passion, Service, Respect, Diversity and Wellness. 

Overall our Division is doing well, but we continue to evolve in a way that will help our student-athletes excel as we navigate the NCAA changes our peers across the country are also facing.  We will press forward and promote the Crimson & Gold to new and exciting places in the coming weeks, months and years. Thanks for your continued support of our student-athletes and our Division as a whole. It certainly takes a Pioneer Nation to make it all possible, and we could not do it without you. Go Pioneers!

-Peg Bradley-Doppes

PS - It looks like we're in great shape to capture another Director's Cup this year -- we've got a 109 point lead on Providence with two weeks/sports (baseball/track) to go! We're also currently ranked third in the men's Capital One Cup standings (behind Ohio State and Virginia), a tremendous accomplishment for a non-football school!


November 24, 2014

The fall sports season is certainly flying by, and our student-athletes are again showing the leadership we have come to expect from these young men and women. One only needs to look at our website to see the stories of their successes, and the anticipated greatness of some athletes based on previous year's performances. As our athletes welcome their competitors for the various games held at the Ritchie Center, they need not look far to frequently see Chancellor Chopp and her husband Fred cheering them on in the stands. Thank you Chancellor for your great support!

Volleyball recently took center stage as our Pioneers entered the Summit League Tournament as the #1 seed. Congratulations to the young ladies for winning the school's first league title at the Division I level and best of luck in the NCAA Tourney! Kudos also goes to our men's soccer team for bringing home the Summit League Championship, which again qualified the squad for the NCAA tournament. In addition, for the second-straight year men's soccer midfielder Jordan Schweitzerearned a spot on the Summit League First Team, showing us all how to consistently compete at a high level. On the women's side, special recognition should be given to senior centerback Sam Harder and redshirt-sophomore Francesca Garzelloni who were both named to the Summit League Women's Soccer First Team.

As far as our winter sport teams, men's and women's basketball kicked off their seasons with an exciting doubleheader to bring in the new year. Our men's hockey program has gotten off to a good start - most recently beating arch-rival Colorado College by seven goals, Air Force by seven goals and won in a thriller over Wisconsin by one. Pretty soon swimming, skiing and gymnastics will begin the heart of their schedules after tuning up in the fall.

When the students returned to campus and began their coursework for the fall quarter, we wanted to offer a little inspiration from a Pioneer who has ascended to the heights of our nation's leadership. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined our student-athletes in September for a 60-minute pep talk that could easily have gone on for hours. Her message was simple: follow your dreams and enjoy the journey. Enjoying the journey was an important component of Dr. Rice's speech, during which she shared how her dreams changed along the way to her success. This was a critical message for our student-athletes to hear because we know that for many, one of their dreams has been realized - they are Division I student-athletes at one of the most successful programs in the nation when it comes to sport and education. Now it's about the preparation for their next phase of life, and we know the four years within our athletics department will go by much too quickly.

Our student-athletes were given an added treat in October as we welcomed back to campus some of the University's most decorated student-athletes, prolific coaches and dedicated administrators. As part of the University's 150th Celebration we inducted the newest members of the University of Denver Athletics Hall of Fame. The 2014 Class consisted of seven individuals and one team. Those introduced were:

MALE HERITAGE ERA INDUCTEES

John MacMillan - Hockey, 1958-60 - The only athlete to have two Stanley Cups and two NCAA Championships, John was an integral part of the University's first-ever National Championship in 1958.

Jim Shea - Skiing, 1958-61 - A member of the only family in U.S. history with three generations of Winter Olympians, Jim was part of DU's 1961 skiing national championship team, which began a run of seven consecutive first-place team finishes.

MALE MODERN ERA INDUCTEE 

Jim Elliott - Baseball, 1988-90 - Still holding the University home run record, Jim has gone on to earn his PhD and is currently working at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

FEMALE INDUCTEES

Jessica Lopez - Gymnastics, 2006-09 - As the first female gymnast in University of Denver history to compete in the Olympic Games, Jessica most recently finished eighth at the Gymnastics World Championships.

Lorna Lyles (Armani) - Volleyball, 1990-93 - The most decorated volleyball player in Pioneer history, Lorna still sits atop the record books in myriad statistical categories.

FORMER COACH INDUCTEE

Kurt Smitz - Director of Skiing Operations and Head Alpine Coach, 1992-06 - Restarting the program in the early 1990s, Kurt brought DU skiing back to national prominence by winning four national titles in a six-year period.

TEAM INDUCTEE

2004 Hockey Team - National Champions - Earning the University's first national championship in 35 years, the 2004 team set the stage for a repeat in 2005.

SPECIAL INDIVIDUAL

Milton (Mitz) Kurth - General Maintenance Foreman, 1955-85 - Still a hockey season ticket holder, Mitz brought smiles to all the faces in Magness Arena as he did doughnuts on the ice in his electric wheelchair.

This is a truly special class and one worthy of celebration during the culminating events of the University's Sesquicentennial.

With the 150th celebrations at a close, as a University we are now focused on the next 150 years, confident that our Athletics and Recreation Division will be an integral part of the success garnered. More changes are undoubtedly afoot for collegiate sport, but our campus community can rest assured we will continue to operate with the student's academic success as the driver to athletic achievement. I want to extend my personal thanks to Jessica Lopez, Kurt Smitz and Bill Tierney for joining me during the Homecoming and Family Weekend for a panel discussion focused on the future of intercollegiate athletics. It was evident that they too believe in the model we espouse at the University of Denver, which will continue to be student-athlete centric. 

Our student-athletes just wrapped up studies for the fall quarter. We have no doubt that they have continued in the same manner to which we have become accustomed - excellence in their academic pursuits. For our freshman, this was their first exam period, so I am sure there was a bit of apprehension. However, from what I have seen of these young men and women as they have assimilated on campus, they will be just fine.

On behalf of the entire Athletics and Recreation Division, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and we hope to see you soon at the Daniel L Ritchie Center to enjoy our many events and activities. Go Pioneers!

July 1, 2014

The 2014 Pioneer Seniors are in a Special Class

This year we recently said farewell to a group of young men and women who have certainly made an impact on our campus community. Students who have achieved the goal we most wanted for them - a degree from the University of Denver. It brings both a tear to my eye and a smile to my face when I think about how far our 2014 class progressed. While we know they will always be Pioneers, the time has come for many to shed the jersey and enter the world as confident, bright, well-educated competitors who we hope uphold the University's mission of being dedicated to the public good.

However, before we send this group off to do amazing things, it's certainly worth celebrating what they were able to accomplish in the four years on the University of Denver campus. For the third time in the last four years, the University of Denver has been crowned Division I-AAA Directors' Cup Champions. Under the leadership of this graduating class, this year's Pioneers will have the distinction of finishing with the highest ranking in the University's history. The 43rd-place national finish among all Division I sport programs is the highest finish in University history, breaking the previous record of 47th set in 2008.

Of course, each year we aspire to reach the pinnacle - Directors' Cup Champions. Achieving this goal takes impressive results on the fields of play in multiple sports, and we had just that. For the 2013-14 academic year, 13 of the 17 University of Denver athletics programs won their conference title. Two other sports competed for the conference championship, falling just short of an automatic NCAA postseason invitation. Skiing, while not winning the conference title, secured their 22nd National Championship - an impressive feat across the board that certainly upholds our vision of broad-based athletic success.

We also know being a Pioneer means upholding the promise of engaging in the life of a serious student in the classroom. This year's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) report again showed our student-athletes in a positive light. The APR is a real-time measure of eligibility and retention of scholarship student-athletes competing on every Division I sports team and all 17 varsity sports teams scored above 962 for the multi-year rate. Women's soccer received a perfect score of 1000 and this year men's basketball, women's basketball and women's soccer were honored with the association's Public Recognition Awards - which are given to teams scoring in the top 10 percent nationally.

While we have certainly built an environment that challenges everyone to bring their "A Game" on the fields of play and in the classroom, some student-athletes always go above and beyond in both areas. For their classroom accomplishments, recently graduated University of Denver women's ski team student-athlete Makayla Cappel (Sun Valley, Idaho), men's swimmer Kyle Milberg (Littleton, Colo.) and men's soccer Blair Jeralds (Clemmons, N.C.) were each awarded prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. Milberg was also named one of three recipients of The Summit League's 2013-14 Scholar-Athletes of the Year award.

Athletically, men's lacrosse junior Erik Adamson (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) became the second Pioneer in lacrosse program history to be honored with the Elite 89 Award, which recognizes the student-athlete who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his peers; women's soccer senior Kristen Hamilton (Littleton, Colo.) was selected by the Western New York Flash in the National Women's Soccer League Draft becoming the first women's soccer player from DU to be drafted; and men's soccer senior Zach Bolden (Denver, Colo.) was selected by the Chicago Fire with the 61st overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. These awards and accolades are just to name a few of the many given to our Pioneer young men and women this year.

When we consider how the standard of success is set for our program, we need look no further than the talented coaches we have assembled to help guide our student-athletes to victory. Again we have multiple conference coaches of the year, eight in total, but special recognition needs to be given to Alpine and Nordic skiing coaches Andy LeRoy and Dave Stewart who guided our team to their 22nd National Championship. Andy earned the National Alpine Coach of the Year presented by the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association and Dave was named College Skiing Coach of the Year, according to CaptainU. Congratulations to both on a wonderful campaign.

Giving back has also been a hallmark of this crop of student-athletes. The Division of Athletics and Recreation has once again secured 100% annual giving participation from all of its more than 320 student-athletes in the PRIDE "Pioneers Reinvesting in Denver Excellence" Fund and from all staff members. Our Division members are national models when it comes to their willingness to support our advancement initiatives.

Our alumni and friends are equally as giving as this year we celebrated the addition of three major improvements to the Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness - Diane Wendt Sports Fields, Golf Indoor Practice Facility and a lacrosse scoreboard addition at Peter Barton Stadium. Looking ahead to next year, our student-athletes and fans will be in for a treat as we unveil the latest video and scoreboard technology inside Magness Arena and Hamilton Gymnasium.

The summer is a welcome respite for us all, but it's also a time to prepare. A new crop of student-athletes will join our teams and we will have the same goal for them four years from now - walking across the stage and shaking the Chancellor's hand as they receive their degree from the University of Denver. Four years from now that Chancellor will be Dr. Rebecca Chopp, who was named the University's 18th Chancellor in June. Dr. Chopp is a fantastic addition to our Pioneer family and I very much look forward to helping her realize the vision she sets for our campus community.

I also want to take a moment and thank Chancellor Bob Coombe for his leadership and commitment to our excellence in athletics and recreation. The awards that we receive both collectively and as individuals within the sports realm have been made possible because of his belief in critical inclusion of the athletics enterprise within campus life. Thank you again Chancellor for all you have done for the University of Denver.

Yes, DU is a truly special place. It is made so because of the countless individuals who have chosen to make it their home for school, work or community engagement. I wish all in our campus community a wonderful summer and Go Pioneers! 

Peg Bradley-Doppes

Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations

April 2014

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!

Peg Bradley-Doppes

Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations

January 2014

Looking Forward to a Great 2014

Pioneer Perspectives â€" Peg Bradley-Doppes

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 â€" which first opened its doors in 1864 â€" 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.

Click Here to Register

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 â€oeTradition and Historyâ€Â 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 â€" 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 â€" 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 â€" 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!

Peg Bradley-Doppes

Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations

September 2013

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.

Go Pioneers!

June 2013

June 29, 2013 - 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.

Go Pioneers!

 

Peg Bradley-Doppes

Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations

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.

Peg

Peg Bradley-Doppes
Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations

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