Jamie Franks targets ambitious men’s soccer schedule for sustained excellence

Photo: Courtesy of The Denver Post

On paper, Denver Men’s Soccer’s schedule looks like a suicide mission. This upcoming season, DU men’s soccer will be playing collegiate royalty, many of those contests on road – but that is exactly the way Franks wants it. Never one to hide his ambitions, Franks said, “The goal of the program is to win a National Championship. To be able to win six knockout games, we have to go up against the best –  It’s not about having the best record going into the NCAA Tournament, it’s about being the most prepared we can be for knockout style football in November and December, and this schedule will do that for our group this fall.”

Denver announced their 2019 Schedule. And, it is chalk full of challenges – especially on the road. Continue reading Jamie Franks targets ambitious men’s soccer schedule for sustained excellence

Longtime women’s tennis associate head coach steps down; replacement named

Update 6/19 – 7:30a MT

In an email to Denver tennis supporters Loewenthal called his time at DU an “incredible journey” and thanked head coach Christian Bass for the opportunity. He also deemed his replacement Jesse Medvene-Collins “one of the brightest coaches in the country”

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The power coaching duo that took the University of Denver women’s tennis team to six straight Summit League titles will soon be no more. This after head coach Christian Bass announced her second-in-charge David Loewenthal (above, far right) will be leaving the program, effective at the end of the month.

“David was a major asset to our tennis program these past six seasons. I appreciate all of his hard work and dedication to help us bring our program to new heights,” said Bass. “The coaching staff and tennis team wish him the best of luck in his new endeavor.”

A tireless worker for the program and his student-athletes, leaving was not an easy decision for Loewenthal. Reached by LetsGoDU Tuesday, he declined comment at this time.

Jesse Medvene-Collins (Source: University of Delaware)

University of Delaware (UD, funny enough) assistant Jesse Medvene-Collins (above) has been hired to replace Loewenthal. He had his last day in Newark on June 6th.  He helped the Blue Hens to a 14-14 record last season. Continue reading Longtime women’s tennis associate head coach steps down; replacement named

CC’s new 3,000-seat Robson Arena moves toward 2020 groundbreaking

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CC’s New Robson Arena – Exterior Entrance (note: final colors/materials not yet selected). Photo: Colorado College

Colorado College continues to move forward with the building of its own new 3,000-seat, on-campus Robson Arena, scheduled to open in 2021. According to a Sept. 18 business plan, the arena financing was estimated at about $45 million, with about $27 million of that funding from the CC community — Colorado College ($6 million) and CC donors ($21 million), with a good chunk of the donor money coming from former CC hockey player Ed Robson, Class of 1954. The remaining funding will come from $9 million in State/City tourism funds and the final $9 million from private bonds. In May 2019, CC began demolition of existing buildings on the arena site. Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2020. Continue reading CC’s new 3,000-seat Robson Arena moves toward 2020 groundbreaking

DU’s Tyler Bozak Celebrates Stanley Cup

Former DU star Tyler Bozak of the St. Louis Blues shows off the Stanley Cup to hundreds of thousands of Blues fans at conclusion of the Blues’ team parade in downtown St. Louis on June 15. Photo: Tyler Bozak Twitter

The Denver Pioneer hockey program is celebrating the three latest DU alumni winners of the Stanley Cup Trophy, emblematic of an NHL Hockey Champion – Tyler Bozak –  a key forward for the 2019 champion St. Louis Blues, former DU defenseman Chris Butler who played 13 games with the Blues this season (and is a St. Louis native) and Bruce Affleck, a 1970s DU defenseman who today is a front office executive with the St. Louis Blues.

These three new Pioneer Stanley Cup Winners join a select group of fellow DU Pioneers who have also won the vaunted trophy as NHL players, coaches or management.  DU forward John MacMillan was the first DU Stanley Cup winner in the early 1960s, winning a pair of Stanley Cups with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  DU forward and Hockey Hall-of -Famer Glenn Anderson is the most decorated DU Stanley Cup winner, winning six Stanley Cups in his career, mostly with the Edmonton Oiler dynasty of the 1980s.  1960s DU captain and two-time NCAA Champion Craig Patrick won two Stanley Cups as the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early 1990s, while DU Pioneer forward Beau Bennett was the last Pioneer to play on a Stanley Cup-winning team (prior to this week) in 2016 with the Penguins. Kevin Dineen, who captained the Pioneers in the early 1980s, was an assistant coach on the 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, while Dineen’s brother Shawn, who played at DU just before Kevin, owns a 1996 Stanley Cup ring with the Colorado Avalanche as a scout. Former DU player and head coach Marshall Johnston got his name on the Stanley Cup as part of the front office with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.

Center Tyler Bozak, who played two seasons with the Pioneers a decade ago, signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent for the first nine seasons of his NHL career, and joined the St. Blues before this season just in time to help the Blues to an improbable Stanley Cup win over the Boston Bruins in seven games, after languishing in last place in January of 2019. Enjoy these photos of the last 48 hours of Bozak’s hockey life.

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Bozak after the win in Boston with young son Kanon (Center) and wife, Molly. Photo: Molly Bozak Twitter
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Bozak just after winning game seven in Boston. Photo: St. Louis Blues
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Bozak, the Stanley Cup, and Bozak’s wife, Molly, on the ice in Boston after the Game Seven win. Photo: Molly Bozak Twitter
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Chris Butler, a former DU defenseman and St. Louis native, got a chance to skate with the Stanley Cup after the Blues won the Cup in Boston.  Butler played in 13 games with St. Louis this year.

Class of 2019 Takes a Final Bow

Well, it is the end of another academic year. Congratulations to the graduating class of 2019, who continued to witness the greatest sports era in the history of the University of Denver. In fact, this year was the first school year they did not have a national championship team – yet, nearly 75% of DU’s athletic teams advanced to the NCAA playoffs.

Best of luck from LetsGoDU.

Go Pioneers!

Rapid Reaction: Provost Dr. Jeremy Haefner named Denver’s 19th Chancellor

In a rapid-fire decision, the University of Denver Board of Trustees has decided to continue its current strategic momentum and promote its own provost, Dr. Jeremy Haefner, to be the 19th Chancellor of the University. On July 15, Haefner will officially replace Dr. Rebecca Chopp, who recently stepped down due to health issues after a five-year tenure.

Outgoing Chancellor Rebecca Chopp had named Haefner Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor on July 15, 2018. He joined DU from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York where, for 10 years, he served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Haefner is now quite familiar with The University of Denver’s current strategies, financial realities, staff, students, and shortcomings. Furthermore, DU is in the midst of the quiet period of a billion-dollar capital campaign and likely valued the continuity of a quick, qualified hire over the uncertainty of a long and expensive national search, new leadership, and a potentially different core direction. Continue reading Rapid Reaction: Provost Dr. Jeremy Haefner named Denver’s 19th Chancellor

Armin Afsahi Leaving DU for Harvard

Photo: Courtesy of the University of Denver

When a Chancellor departs, it is not unexpected to have staff changes, and as Rebecca Chopp steps down from her Chancellor position this July, one of her key Vice Chancellor hires has decided to leave DU for Harvard University.

DU’s Armin Afsahi, DU’s Vice Chancellor for Advancement since 2015, has just accepted a similar executive position as Harvard’s Associate Vice President and Dean of Development for Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). Starting in July, Armin will lead the fundraising for FAS — the largest division at Harvard, which includes all undergraduate programs, some graduate schools, museums, libraries and athletics. Continue reading Armin Afsahi Leaving DU for Harvard

DU Adds Two New Hoops Assistants

Photo: Courtesy of Denver Basketball

Denver basketball added two new assistants today in hopes of turning around the struggling program. Out goes Ricardo Patton and Steve Snell and in comes Bacari Alexander and Roman Sposato. Dan Ficke continues as an assistant to Rodney Billups while Zach Ruebesam moves up from grad assistant to director of basketball operations. Dwight Thorne moves over to director of player development and Henry Aldous will stay on with the Pioneers as a graduate manager.

Of course, the staff changes that are getting the greatest attention involve the hiring of Alexander and Sposato as assistant coaches. Continue reading DU Adds Two New Hoops Assistants

DU women’s tennis fills out 2019-20 roster, adds Furman transfer

University of Denver head women’s tennis coach Christian Bass didn’t earn the reputation of being one of the best young coaches in the college game by putting her feet up during the summer months. As soon as the spring season and the school year she hits the road (or a transatlantic flight) looking for future Pioneers. Continue reading DU women’s tennis fills out 2019-20 roster, adds Furman transfer

Denver Athletics’ elephant in the room

Denver Men’s Basketball.

With perennial national contenders that fill the halls of Ritchie Center, the Denver Athletics program boasts a rich tradition and history of success. And yet, somehow the men’s basketball program has fallen behind and continues to be a puzzle at best. It’s a program that should be able to contend in the Summit League but is showing troubling signs of regression.

Some claim that with DU’s rich hockey tradition, basketball will never prosper at University and Evans, while other DU fans hope basketball never prospers at all, as it may be seen to threaten hockey’s long-standing primacy as DU’s winter flagship sport.  Still others, likely the larger crowd, wish for a day when both sports flourish and cheering crowds flock to Magness Arena in support of both programs. Count us in that latter group. Continue reading Denver Athletics’ elephant in the room

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