All posts by Puck Swami

Longtime University of Denver fan and alumnus.

DU Sports Twitter Follower Analysis

The number of Twitter followers of a sports team can tell us a lot directionally about its popularity among the ‘Under Age 35’ demographic, as Twitter is rarely used by people over 50. It can also tell us the approximate relative popularity among sports at a given school and relative popularity among peer sports programs at other schools around the country, again among younger people – the future of college sports. Continue reading DU Sports Twitter Follower Analysis

Puck Swami: Goodbye, Campus Lounge

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-6-30-38-pmCampus Lounge Interior, Denver, Colorado – August 2016  – Photo by Jake Norris

The announcement that the Campus Lounge in Denver would be closing its doors this week hit us old-time Pio fans hard.

One fan said, “It’s the end of an era.”

Another told me that the loss “feels like losing your favorite Uncle.”

A third chum said, “It’s like getting your finger chopped off. You know you’re still going to live, but life will never be the same.”

And while the University Boulevard bar will soon reopen under a different name and owner, it truly will never be the same. Continue reading Puck Swami: Goodbye, Campus Lounge

Puck Swami: Building a DU Hoops Fan Culture starts with the “Pio Posse”

POSSE_FINAL (4)

We’ve all watched DU grow from what was mostly a hockey school to a nationally-ranked sports powerhouse in several sports over the last 10 years. That sports growth is helping to fuel DU’s national brand visibility around the country, creating a greater sense of engagement with the students, alumni and fans, and also fueling a higher sense of pride and purpose. DU has proven that resourcing and developing niche sports to win at the NCAA  Division I national level has important value in not only building the best non-football athletic program in the United States, but helping to build a high end front-porch for our university. Continue reading Puck Swami: Building a DU Hoops Fan Culture starts with the “Pio Posse”

Three Pioneer Alums Headed to 2016 Rio Olympics

Three DU 2016 Olympians: Left: Jessica Lopez ’09 Gymnastics, Venezuela, Top Right Espen Kofstad ’11 Golf, Norway; Lower Right: Simona Castro ’13 Gymnastics, Chile.  Photos Courtesy University of Denver

Three University of Denver athlete graduates  will represent their respective countries at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil — one men’s golfer and two women’s gymnasts, representing the countries of Norway, Venezuela, and Chile, respectively. Continue reading Three Pioneer Alums Headed to 2016 Rio Olympics

Monty Signs New Five-Year DU Contract

 

Jim Montgomery
Jim Montgomery has signed a new five year contract as head hockey coach at the University of Denver.  Photo by Melissa Wade, USCHO

The University of Denver has signed head hockey coach Jim Montgomery to a new five-year contract extension, according to a story broken by Mike Chambers of the Denver Post on June 28, and made official by the University of Denver in a press release on June 29. The contract will extend Montgomery through the 2020-2021 season, and financial terms were not disclosed, per DU policy.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to be signing Jim to this well-earned extension and we’re incredibly excited about the state of our hockey program,” said DU Director of Athletics and Recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes in the press release. “Jim’s dynamic leadership, technical proficiency and passion for his sport are all unparalleled, as is his dedication to his craft. The style of play he has brought to Denver has definitely reinvigorated the program and we look forward to the Pioneers’ legacy continuing to grow and thrive in the coming years under his leadership.”

Montgomery, who turns 47 on June 30, has led the Pioneers to progressively better finishes in each of his three seasons since taking over the Pioneer program in 2013 after legendary head coach George Gwozdecky was fired. Last season, the Pioneers made it to the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time since 2005.

According to the Calgary Sun, Montgomery was a finalist for the NHL’s Calgary Flames vacant head coach position earlier this month, but the Flames selected Glen Gulutzan for the job. The flirtation with Calgary may have helped expedite the the DU deal, as some NHL teams are becoming increasingly interested in promising NCAA coaches. This new interest is based on the solid performances turned in by former University of North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol with the Philadelphia Flyers and former Western Michigan coach Jeff Blashill with the Detroit Red Wings, who both guided their NHL teams to the playoffs in their rookie seasons as NHL head coaches. Prior to last season, former college head coaches in the NHL were very rare.

The Denver Post reported that the new contract represents a substantial raise from his previous deal, and will place him in the upper echelon of coaching pay packages in the NCHC.

“I’m very pleased with the offer they put in front of me, that’s for sure,” Montgomery told the Denver Post.

Puck Swami is the internet moniker of a long-time DU fan and alumnus.

Puck Swami: A Magic Night at Barton Stadium

Photos by John Baker for Inside Lacrosse Magazine

Last night was one of those magic nights as a DU fan, when everything came together create a perfect scene at Peter Barton Stadium on the DU campus.  The #1 ranked Pioneers, of course,  did their part with a 17-8 dismemberment of Providence College in the Big East semi-final. Continue reading Puck Swami: A Magic Night at Barton Stadium

Denver Destroys Providence, 17-7.

Baptiste

Denver’s Trevor Baptiste went 20-for-23 in faceoffs and scored a goal to lead the Pioneers to victory in Providence. Photo Credit: DU Athletics file photo.

The #2 ranked Denver Pioneer men’s lacrosse team set a school record with 13 different scorers, en-route to a lopsided 17-7 Big East victory over Providence College. The Pios’ romp further dampened the Friars’ new Anderson Stadium Dedication Day in rainy Providence, R.I. on April 23. The Denver win over PC, when coupled with top-ranked Notre Dame’s 17-15 April 23 loss to North Carolina, means that DU should move up to a #1 national ranking on Monday, April 25 when the newest polls are released. Continue reading Denver Destroys Providence, 17-7.

Puck Swami: A Pioneer Fan in Tampa

Photo Credit: Damien Goddard

TAMPA, Fla. – Right now, if you’re a Pioneer fan, you’re hurting today, even though it’s been more than 24 hours since the loss in the NCAA semifinal to the dreaded NCHC rival North Dakota Fighting Hawks.

And if you’re as big a DU fan as I am, you’re hurting a lot. Continue reading Puck Swami: A Pioneer Fan in Tampa

Puck Swami: Billups Hire Bigger Than Winning Basketball

DU Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes (left) has hired Rodney Billups (right) as DU’s new head men’s basketball coach. Photo credit: University of Denver Athletics

As the University of Denver introduced former Pioneer point guard Rodney Billups as its new head basketball coach this week, there were a lot of happy faces in the Ritchie Center for the press conference. Continue reading Puck Swami: Billups Hire Bigger Than Winning Basketball

Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: Scott Out and Billups In

Billups

DU Graduate Rodney Billups (’05)  is the next head hoops coach at DU, according to ESPN

Puck Swami is the Internet moniker of a longtime DU fan and alumnus. He shares his views periodically with LetsGoDU.

Like many DU fans, I was surprised, but not shocked, at today’s news that nine-year head DU head basketball coach Joe Scott had been fired with two years remaining on his contract, and that DU grad / CU assistant coach Rodney Billups will likely be the next head coach at DU, according to reports from ESPN. Continue reading Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: Scott Out and Billups In