Puck Swami: Denver Pioneer History Being Made Before Our Very Eyes


At this very moment on Feb. 20, 2017, for the first time in history, our two flagship sports, ice hockey and men’s lacrosse, are both ranked #1 in the country in all the major polls of those two sports.

For our small private school in the Rockies with 5,500 undergrads and a budget 1/10th the size of some of the large D-I football powers, with our opponents spread out all over the country and requiring jet planes to get to 85% of DU away games, this is an astonishing, epic achievement.

Additionally, our men’s soccer team finished #3 in the country this fall. And our women’s gymnastics team is currently ranked #8 in the country, the highest the program has ever been ranked.  And DU women’s lacrosse is undefeated this year and ranked #14/15 in the country. And our nationally ranked swim teams (#20 men’s and #26 women’s) just swept the podium in EVERY EVENT at the Summit League Championships last week.

I say all this because we need to take a moment to realize just how frickin’ good our athletics program is right now.  No program in the country gets better performance for the buck than DU does.  And now is the time to tell your friends from bigger schools that the Pioneers are on top of the country in two sports.  Let’s hope both can end their seasons with a National Championship.

For those of us oldsters who remember the days when DU played hockey in a decrepit old WWII surplus naval drill hall and DU lacrosse played mostly clubs and small colleges on muddy fields in front of 50 people, we can only say how proud we are to see just how far DU has come as a national sports power.

Go Pios!



4 thoughts on “Puck Swami: Denver Pioneer History Being Made Before Our Very Eyes”

  1. Here’s the comment that I posted on the Denver Post’s article (now removed…for whatever reason) titled “Double Trouble”, referencing the same thing…

    “When you combine the success of the Pioneer hockey and lacrosse teams with the men’s soccer team finishing the year ranked #3 in the nation AND the women’s gymnastics team’s current #8 ranking, it’s a great time to be a DU fan!

    Considering that DU is a private school with less than 5,500 undergrads, a limited, non-football driven budget, and little support from the local media; what the Pioneers have been able to accomplish is, frankly, unbelievable. Peg Bradley-Doppes, Ron Grahame, and the rest of the DU athletic department deserve a great deal of credit for creating the vision and putting the right pieces in place – and the coaches and athletes deserve far more than the accolades they get for executing when it counts.

    DU is not only the best collegiate athletic program on the Front Range; they are unquestionably the best non-football NCAA athletic program in the country.

    It’s with an EXTRA measure of pride today that I say GO PIONEERS!!!”

    Not sure what’s going on over at the Post with the deletion of such a glowing article about DU, but perhaps someone over there is a touch butt-hurt about DU’s success, particularly in the face of CU’s flailing attempts to achieve “relevancy” in the Pac12……


    Liked by 2 people

    1. You nailed it Ring-of-Fire. We have the best AD in the country. She picks great coaching and staff. They bring in great players. Sounds easy but I doubt few of the other top AD’s could come here and do this. Amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The small article about DU being #1 in lacrosse and hockey did appear on the bottom of the front page of the sports page today.

    It’s a great time to be a DU fan. What a culture of success there is. Peg has to be the best AD in the country. (Or at least, she has produced the best results for a school of our size.) #1 in hockey, #1 in lacrosse, #8 in gymnastics, finished #3 in mens soccer, and the reigning ski champs. (Plus the very good tennis and swim teams.) Wow.

    On the skiing note: DU alum Leif Kristian Haugen just recently won the bronze medal in the giant slalom world championships. (Skiing against the best in the world, obviously.) Amazing…they say that he is the first former NCAA champion to ever achieve a result that good at the world championships. Great job, Leif!


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