Category Archives: Pioneers

Chancellor Haefner Comments on DU Athletics and Recent Pioneer Nickname Events

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Dr. Jeremy Haefner, Chancellor of the University of Denver  Photo: University of Denver

Jason Evans, a DU alumnus and former CNN journalist who now lives in Denver, has recently started a new blog called “inthebluecrewdu” which addresses news topics and stories in the wider University of Denver community.  He recently scored a 30-minute interview with DU Chancellor Jeremy Haefner. Among the topics covered were specific questions regarding both DU Athletics in the pandemic era, as well as questions about the recent IRISE controversy with the Pioneer nickname.  With Jason’s permission, we’ve clipped Haefner’s answers to these key questions below.  If you’d like to read the entire interview, you can read it on Jason’s blog, here. Continue reading Chancellor Haefner Comments on DU Athletics and Recent Pioneer Nickname Events

DU Encourages Students to Target Boone, Pioneer Nickname

Illustration: DU’s IRISE Institute used this poster to promote undergraduate sessions. Note the Denver Boone image filled with arrows and a sign stating, “Decolonization Territory – No Pioneers Allowed”.

A University of Denver institute is teaching DU students to protest against what the institute calls DU’s “historical and present-day oppressive toxic campus environment(s)”, and using Denver Boone and the word “Pioneers” as explicit targets of the online sessions as they “demand institutional change”. Continue reading DU Encourages Students to Target Boone, Pioneer Nickname

And now, some good news: spring athletes to be granted extra year of eligibility, per reports

The last two days have felt like a decade. Every five minutes, the news cycle delivered a new body blow and the bad news flowed flowing like the dang Colorado River. On Wednesday afternoon, the NCAA delivered the news that fans would not be permitted to attend any winter sports championships including March Madness and the NCAA Hockey Tournament. This news, of course, was followed up by the NBA suspending its season Wednesday night after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus, better known to some as COVID-19. And that was just Wednesday. Continue reading And now, some good news: spring athletes to be granted extra year of eligibility, per reports

Through 20 years as Voice of the Pioneers, Jay Stickney continues to relish role with program

University of Denver hockey is celebrating its 70th season this year. At the same time, though, there’s another, arguably more important milestone that the program is celebrating: voice of the Pioneers Jay Stickney’s 20th year with the program. Through a number of color commentators, three head coaches, and countless student-athletes, one thing has remained constant for the program over the past two decades: Jay Stickney’s voice on Denver’s fall and winter weekend radio airwaves. Continue reading Through 20 years as Voice of the Pioneers, Jay Stickney continues to relish role with program

Coach George Gwozdecky Headlines DU’s 2020 Hall of Fame Class Induction Event

DU has formally announced its 2020 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.

The ceremony will feature a return to campus by hockey head coach George Gwozdecky, one of Denver’s greatest coaches, who led DU to a pair of national championships, multiple NCAA appearances and an imposing 443-267-64 record in 19 years with the Pioneers between 1994 and 2013. The evening is sure to be a special one as ‘Coach Gwoz’ finally gets some of the eternal recognition that he so richly deserves as a legend in the Pioneer family. Continue reading Coach George Gwozdecky Headlines DU’s 2020 Hall of Fame Class Induction Event

University of Denver Athletics’ Decade in Review: Top 10 Moments of the Decade

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Top Moment of the Decade: DU’s 2015 NCAA Lacrosse Championship transcended DU – it was a watershed moment in the history of lacrosse in America as this victory moved it from an eastern game to a national game.

In 2010, when the decade began, the University of Denver was known primarily as a hockey school, supplemented by many NCAA ski titles. Continue reading University of Denver Athletics’ Decade in Review: Top 10 Moments of the Decade

Puck Swami’s Musings from the Arizona Desert

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Denver Boone flew in for the DU tailgate and the Denver vs Arizona State game in Glendale, Arizona to cheer the Pioneers. Photo: Damien Goddard

GLENDALE, Ariz. — So the score lines from DU’s first-ever foray into the Arizona desert for hockey weren’t very pretty – #20 Arizona State 4, #4 DU 1 in the first game and ASU 2, DU 2 in overtime in the second game. Continue reading Puck Swami’s Musings from the Arizona Desert

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

DU Fails to Respond to Pioneer Nickname Issue

It’s been nearly a month since our Sept. 9th piece when we asked DU to publicly affirm the Pioneer nickname as well as reinstate the Pioneer nickname to those programs where it was dropped. To date, DU has failed to respond.

In 2019, DU senior administrators removed the Pioneer nickname from at least three longstanding programs. Pioneer Passage was changed to “New Student Convocation”; the Pioneer Awards were changed to the “Crimson and Gold Awards” and the Pioneer ID Card abruptly appeared without the Pioneer name (although after the DU community caught wind of this, the card was ‘restored’ with an option for cardholders to choose cards without the ‘Pioneer’ name).  For more details on these changes, see the link here. Continue reading DU Fails to Respond to Pioneer Nickname Issue