Five Big Takeaways from 2018-2019

DU Women Dominated the Field

While recent season’s showed DU men overshadowing their women counterparts, 2018-2019 was the Year of Women in Athletics at DU. Women’s hoops, led by Jim Turgeon,  went 18-14 and won a first round NIT road contest against New Mexico. Women’s golf won the Summit League and went to the NCAA’s. Gymnastics advanced to the NCAA team finals – the first time ever and showed that they have the potential to be the first women’s team at Denver to win a national championship. Liza Kelly directed women’s lacrosse to a 16-4 record and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. Women’s soccer, a long time staple at Denver, went 13-6-2, won the Summit League and went to the NCAA playoffs. Women’s tennis drove their way way to a 17-6 record with a power five schedule, won the Summit League and went to the NCAA’s. Volleyball went 27-3 – undefeated during the Summit League regular season and advanced to the NCAA’s.

What is even more amazing, these women’s teams may be even better next season.

Upstart Hockey Team Shocks College Hockey – and Us

We called the David Carle hire correctly but we had no idea in his first season he would go 24-12-5 with a young squad and earn a trip to the Frozen Four in Buffalo, New York. The future looks brighter than ever with a year of experience under their belt and some talented new comers.

Next year’s captain said it best:

Women’s Gymnastics Team Becomes a National Powerhouse

In front of a packed house at Magness Arena, Denver came within a whisker of upending, then, number one Oklahoma during the regular season. Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart coached her team to the gymnastics heights with a squad full of talent and brimming with confidence. They advanced to the NCAA Team Finals. DU looks to be just as good next season with the return of stars Lynnzee Brown and Maddie Karr.

Campus Improvements Sure to Lift Athletics

The center of campus looks like a war zone now but new dorms, student commons and a career center will emerge from the construction. As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats. Sure, athletes are looking for great athletics and coaches but the college campus is a big part of the campus experience.

Director’s Cup Winners – Again

New Athletic Director Karlton Creech secures his first Directors Cup and Denver’s 10th time in 11 years. We are no longer the little engine that could – wins over power five rivals is no longer a cause for special celebration.

Another great year – and the best may be yet to come.

2 thoughts on “Five Big Takeaways from 2018-2019”

  1. Good recap!

    DU sports continues to perform at a very high level. No school gets better performance for its overall athletic investment, which comes largely from the DU community and not from television or conference payouts. And they also graduate at a 95% rate and stay off the police blotter, too. Most schools would kill for DU’s level of performance.

    The biggest a-ha of the year for me was DU women’s gymnastics outgrowing Hamilton Gym, and becoming the second largest spectator sport at DU, passing men’s lacrosse, largely behind the cultivation of the youth gymnastics families in town. To be national top 5 in that sport, surrounded only by giant football schools, is quite an achievement, and Mellisa and her program have become a model for how to make it work for other women’s sports programs at DU.

    But regrettably, much of the DU sports excellence goes largely unnoticed beyond friends and family, due to the overwhelming Bronco-saturation of Denver media, the tiny DU fanbase, our isolated location in the national sports cosmos (with our teams playing across five different leagues) and the limited profile of many of the sports DU chooses to invest in.

    Hopefully, all this winning can elevate the fan culture of DU, which still needs a ton of work…

  2. DU gymnastics is awesome. I took my middle daughter and several of her neighborhood friends to a couple meets this year and we had a blast. Great time and those girls are superior athletes. You really have to see these gymnasts in person–it’s even more amazing than what you see on TV.

    Terrific year for the hockey team. That loss to UMass still stings, though. Then again, I still think about the loss to Ohio State last year.

Leave a Reply