Your University of Denver Pioneers will be very well-represented when the Olympic Winter Games begin in Pyongchang, South Korea later this February 9th-25th, with five Crimson and Gold athletes set to compete, representing four different countries and two different sports. Continue reading Five Denver Pioneers to compete in 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea
(Photo Credits: University of Denver (Grahame, Peck), Swarthmore College (Akotaobi), Tulane University (Macneill), St. Cloud St. University (Weems), Blacktop Colorado (Willis)
We’ve now had a few days to process the major change in athletic leadership coming our way as DU fans: DU Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes announced her retirement at the end of the 2017/18 school year. While longtime DU Deputy Athletic Director Ron Grahame is taking over the athletic director’s day-to-day responsibilities immediately, DU also announced that a nationwide search would take place this year to ultimately fill the vice-chancellor’s position that Peg has filled so well for the last nearly 15 years. Continue reading Puck Swami: DU Athletic leadership change offers new Vice Chancellor possibilities
Photo Courtesy University of Denver Magazine
LetsGoDU friend CD Dunks reminds us that there is no need to use the term ‘mid-major’. And the same goes for ‘secondary sport’ – i.e. any sport that is not called football or Power-Five conference basketball. The big question is: Has Peg Bradley-Doppes simply built one of the finest athletic department in the land? Continue reading Crimson & Gold touch propels Denver to national powerhouse status
Photo courtesy of fasterskier.com. Utah celebrates their 2017 NCAA National Team Championship
Tim Healy is a special guest columnist to LetsGoDU. Tim studied Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management at DU and follows the ski team closely. As the 4-day championships are concluded, here are Tim’s final thoughts on this season’s NCAA ski championships.
Well……what a finish to the 2017 NCAA Skiing Championships. I’m still in shock about what happened Saturday (but a big thank you to the Hockey and Lacrosse teams for helping me get out of my shock by winning their games in spectacular fashion), so please forgive me if this piece is a little “incoherent”. I’ll do my very best to explain what happened this weekend. Continue reading A masterclass in heartbreak: Denver at the 2017 NCAA Ski Championships
Tim Healy is a special guest columnist to LetsGoDU. Tim Studied Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management at DU and follows the ski team closely. As the 4-day championships hit the mid-point, here are Tim’s thoughts on this season’s NCAA ski championships.
The Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships came to a close Sunday, February 26th in Minturn, Colorado, the Colorado Buffalo’s won the team title by a razor-thin margin of 7.5 points over Denver. Utah was third and Montana State held third and fourth place. Continue reading Skiing Championships at the midway point: DU tangles with familiar foes
Photo Courtesy of Denver Athletics.
Most Pioneer fans know that the University of Denver has won an incredible number of NCAA team championships. DU now ranks 12th out of all Division I NCAA universities with 31, trailing traditional athletic powerhouses like UCLA, Stanford, and Michigan. The Pioneers are currently tied with the University of Oregon. Continue reading DU Ski Team follows a balancing act to achieve national success
When Denver centerback Kortne Ford (above/Photo by David Grooms) carved open the Clemson backline to convert Alex Underwood’s cross to score the game-winning goal in Dec.2’s NCAA Soccer Quarterfinal with a minute left in the game to book a first-ever DU berth in the College Cup, it set off a big celebration for every Pioneer fan.
I would argue that it may have been one of DU’s greatest collegiate sporting achievements of all time. Here’s why: Continue reading Puck Swami: Is the men’s soccer team making the 2016 College Cup DU’s greatest sporting achievement?
University of Denver Murad College Series trading card, circa 1909 – from the personal collection of Puck Swami
DU Hockey is unbeaten in its last eight games and just ascended to #1 in the country for the first time since 2010, coming off an NCAA Frozen Four berth in 2016.
DU Men’s Soccer is regular-season unbeaten for two years, something that hasn’t been done in D-I soccer in nearly 40 years by any team. The Pios are now ranked in the top 5 in the country and start NCAA tournament play at home this weekend as the sixth overall seed out of the 48 teams in the tourney (and over 200 D-I teams overall playing the sport).
DU Men’s Lacrosse, coached by the greatest lacrosse coach of all time, starts up in a couple of months and will ranked as a top 5 team in the country. Duke, North Carolina and Notre Dame are all coming to Denver this year for the greatest home schedule in DU History, all bathing in the afterglow of the 2015 NCAA Championship season.
DU Skiing starts up soon — as the defending NCAA Champion for the 23rd time in history and THE dominant program in the history of the sport at the college level.
I could go on and on with even more excellent current DU sports, more hardware accomplishments and more national rankings, but for a little school in the Rockies with 5,500 undergrads that only restored all sports to Division I less than 20 years ago, we’re doing pretty damn well, thank you very much. In fact, in the 150 plus years that DU’s been around, our sports program, taken as a whole, HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER.
For those of us old farts who have been following Pioneer sports for 30 years or more, this is a very unique moment in time that is nothing short of an incredible, astonishing achievement. We can remember well the dingy days of the 1980s — when our school was $12 million in debt, deferred maintenance topped $40 million, and DU was in danger of going under. Our campus was a muddy mess with no names on the buildings. Many of our DU teams of that era competed in obscurity against NAIA schools you’ve never heard of, playing on patchy fields and in 40 year old WWII surplus buildings that were once condemned. The very suggestion of being NCAA Division I in all sports would get you laughed at back then, rather than admired, as it is today.
Today, our campus sparkles amid gorgeous facilities, and we’re not only D-I in all sports, but DU is the best D-I school without football in the country for years now, and we’re punching so far above our weight as an athletic power that it boggles the mind. Our athletes also graduate at a higher rate than the entire student body (90%), have a higher GPA (3.3) than the all-student average, and (knock on wood) avoid the police blotter, too.
The point here is that we can’t take all this for granted, folks…
There may come a time (perhaps too soon) when the big football schools with the big budgets move on from playing ‘mid-majors’ like us. Or when financial pressures may someday limit DU’s athletic ambitions. Or when people stop coming to college sports events because there are just too many other things competing for people’s time and attention, which I already covered in another column here.
It’s time we get out to watch these great DU teams now, while we can ALL enjoy this Golden Age of DU Sports…and bring everyone you know!
Puck Swami is the Internet moniker of a long-time DU fan and alumnus. He shares his views periodically here at LetsGoDU.com
Photo: University of Denver
Author: Tim Healy
As the DU ski team diligently prepares for this weekend’s National Championships in Steamboat Springs, most eyes at the University of Denver have been focused on a surging hockey team and a dominant men’s lacrosse team. Even the men’s basketball team stole some of the spotlight this week with a close loss in the Summit League Semifinals.
But, DU’s ski team may have the best chance of all DU programs to win an NCAA title this year. Continue reading Tim Healy: Ski Team Poised for Title Run, Friday Night Fan Event in Steamboat
DU’s ski team has already generated a successful start to their 2016 season with podium finishes from a variety of skiers. Both the Alpine and Nordic ski teams have produced top results in the races they’ve competed in so far. After finishing second at the NCAA Championships last year, behind in-state rival University of Colorado-Boulder, the Pios are looking to reclaim the title to add to their national record of 22 NCAA Championship titles. Continue reading DU Ski Team Ambitious for 2016 Season