Category Archives: History & Tradition

Chancellor Haefner Requests “Community’s Patience” as Pioneer Nickname Remains In Doubt

While University of Denver Jeremy Chancellor Haefner has yet to commit to keeping the Pioneer name, he has asked for “the [DU] community’s patience” to prepare his response to a small group of protesters who are demanding that DU get rid of the Pioneer nickname by February of 2021. Continue reading Chancellor Haefner Requests “Community’s Patience” as Pioneer Nickname Remains In Doubt

Pucks, Pans, and Passion: A Trip into the Heart of Darkness with Hockey Student Section Leaders

Editor’s Note: This article was originally slated to run ahead of the hockey team’s NCHC quarterfinal series with Omaha, which was later canceled along with the rest of the 2019-2020 NCAA season.

If you happen to find yourself in need of a toothbrush, Ilona Kovacs might be able to help you out.

That’s because a student once bribed her with one, in exchange for being able to sit in the first row of the student section. Sitting there allows one to be next to DU Whiteboard, the large dry erase board Kovacs and fellow sophomore Jack Fowle write taunting messages on for the other team. Continue reading Pucks, Pans, and Passion: A Trip into the Heart of Darkness with Hockey Student Section Leaders

Pioneer Flashback: When DU Basketball Was a Regular at Madison Square Garden (Part II)

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Madison Square Garden Marquee in 1961. Photo: New York Times

Our own Puck Swami takes a look back through DU’s rich sports history to the eight times DU men’s basketball played at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in this two-part flashback series. In the first part (here), he covered the first four DU appearances between 1947 and 1959, while in this second part (below) he covers the second four MSG appearances, which occurred between 1959 and 1966.

Continue reading Pioneer Flashback: When DU Basketball Was a Regular at Madison Square Garden (Part II)

Pioneer Flashback: When DU Basketball Was a Regular at Madison Square Garden (Part I)

Photo: The old Madison Square Garden (1925-1968) in New York City, seen here in 1932 taking up most of a city block, hosted the DU Pioneers Basketball team eight times between 1947 and 1966.

Our own Puck Swami takes a look back through DU’s rich sports history to the eight times DU men’s basketball played at New York City’s Madison Square Garden between 1947 and 1966 in this first of a two-part flashback series, which covers DU’s first four appearances in New York City.

While DU basketball is known today mostly on the basketball courts of Denver, and around the Summit League, there was once a time when the DU Pioneers were a New York City attraction, playing eight times at the legendary old Madison Square Garden in New York City in the 19-year span between 1947 and 1966.  Continue reading Pioneer Flashback: When DU Basketball Was a Regular at Madison Square Garden (Part I)

70 Years of DU Hockey History Part IV: The Current Era – 2013-2019

Our own Puck Swami has authored a four-part historical retrospective for the 70th anniversary of the DU Hockey program. This is Part IV. Part One can be found here, Part II can be found here and Part III can be found here. While these stories run far longer than our usual stories, remember that 70 years is a lot to cover. Enjoy!

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DU Captain, all-American and Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher (at left with NCAA Trophy) led the 2017 Pioneers to the program’s eighth NCAA Championship. Photo: Robin Alam

Continue reading 70 Years of DU Hockey History Part IV: The Current Era – 2013-2019

70 Years of DU Hockey History Part III: The Gwozdecky Years – 1994-2013

Our own Puck Swami has authored a four-part historical retrospective for the 70th anniversary of the DU Hockey program. This is Part III. Part One can be found here, Part II can be found here and Part IV can be found here. While these stories run far longer than our usual stories, remember that 70 years is a lot to cover. Enjoy!

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George Gwozdecky resurrected the Denver Hockey program from years of decline in the late 80s and early 90s, winning two NCAA titles in 2004 and 2005.  He also created the long streak of 20+ win seasons the program now expects each year as a perennial top 10 program. Photo: University of Denver

Continue reading 70 Years of DU Hockey History Part III: The Gwozdecky Years – 1994-2013

70 Years of DU Hockey History Part II: A Temporary Decline – 1970-1994

Our own Puck Swami has authored a four-part historical retrospective for the 70th anniversary of the DU Hockey program. This is Part II. Part One can be found here, and Parts III and IV will follow in the coming weeks. While these stories will run far longer than our usual stories, remember that 70 years is a lot to cover. Enjoy!

Given DU hockey’s successes in the program’s first 20 years, there was no reason to believe that the Pioneer hockey program was about to enter a 35-year period with no NCAA titles. After all, there was plenty of talent in the pipeline. In the early 1970s, DU leveraged its 1960s dominance to attract a number of star players who would move on the NHL — George Morrison, Peter McNab, Bruce Affleck, Rob Palmer, Mike Busniuk, Rich Preston, Mike Christie, Mike Lampman, Vic Venasky and Ron Grahame would all wear the Crimson and Gold in the early-to-mid 70s before moving on to the highest level. Continue reading 70 Years of DU Hockey History Part II: A Temporary Decline – 1970-1994

Puck Swami: Amazing 70th Anniversary Celebration Brings DU Community Together in Epic Style

On November 2 at Magness Arena, you could feel something powerful.

It was tradition — the glue that binds us all together as part of a special DU community.

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DU Goalie Michael Corson (center) who would go on to shut out Niagara in his first DU start —  perhaps the biggest night of his sports career to date — gets between-period encouragement from Buddy Blom, a goaltender who played for DU in the mid-1960s. The admiring look on Corson’s face encapsulated the feeling of the entire 70th Anniversary Weekend. Photo: University of Denver

Continue reading Puck Swami: Amazing 70th Anniversary Celebration Brings DU Community Together in Epic Style

70 Years of DU Hockey History: The First 20 Years 1949-1969

 

 

Our own Puck Swami has authored a four-part historical retrospective for the 70th anniversary of the DU Hockey program. Part One begins today, and the other three parts will follow in the coming weeks. While these stories will run far longer than our usual stories, remember that 70 years is a lot to cover. Enjoy!

As we celebrate 70 years of Pioneer hockey this coming weekend (Nov. 1-2, 2019), it helps to know just how far the DU Hockey program has evolved in those 70 years. The first 20 formative years saw DU go from a terrible start-up program to the dominant program of the 1960s as a five-time NCAA Champion. Part One of this series reviews those first 20 years of DU Hockey. Continue reading 70 Years of DU Hockey History: The First 20 Years 1949-1969

Ron Grahame officially sets September 1 retirement date, DU announces

Photo: Courtesy of The Denver Post

As expected, Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations Karlton Creech spent his first year observing department operations while making few operational or personnel changes. One of his key lieutenants during this period was Ron Grahame, who acted as Interim Athletic Director following Peg Bradley-Doppes’ departure and currently holds the title of Associate Vice Chancellor & Department Athletic Director. During his long career, Ron provided an experienced and steady hand, especially when it came to DU hockey operations, Denver’s premier sport.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, DU Athletics finished yet another year of incredible success with their 11th Director’s Cup in 12 years.

Now, according to Denver Athletics, Ron Grahame will retire in about two weeks, on September 1st, followed by a handful of other changes within DU’s athletic department. We will have more on Ron Grahame’s storied career and contributions to the University in an upcoming feature but anyone who knows Grahame knows that he put DU athletes first in all of his decisions. A native of Victoria, British Columbia, Grahame was one of the greatest goaltenders in DU Hockey history. He played in the NHL and spent most of his professional career supporting and guiding Denver athletics. He will be truly missed by all at DU. Continue reading Ron Grahame officially sets September 1 retirement date, DU announces