Oct. 10, 2011—The University of Denver Division of Athletics is being recognized with dual proclamations from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock declaring Oct. 22, 2011, "University of Denver Pioneer Athletics Day."
The Pioneers will celebrate "University of Denver Pioneer Athletics Day" as part of the DU Homecoming festivities. The Pioneer hockey team hosts Minnesota State on Oct. 22 at 7:07 p.m. MT at Magness Arena. Fans are encouraged to arrive early as the Pioneers will unveil a new Directors' Cup banner and host a special ceremonial puck drop prior to the game. The University of Denver Homecoming and Pioneer Athletics Day festivities Oct. 21–22 also will include a tailgate event before the Friday night hockey game, and a family-friendly Fall Festival and parade on Saturday. The events are open to the public; visit www.du.edu/homecoming for more information.
The proclamations celebrate DU's outstanding athletic performance during the 2010–11 academic year, culminating in the University's fourth-consecutive Learfield Sports I-AAA Directors' Cup, which is awarded annually to the highest achieving non-football athletics program in NCAA Division I.
"We're very proud of our DU student-athletes," says University of Denver Chancellor Robert Coombe. "They had another great year, capturing their fourth-straight Directors' Cup, while maintaining their tremendous academic performance. In many ways, our programs are emblematic of the best in collegiate athletics: great student athletes, high integrity, and top levels of competition. It's a great time to be a Pioneer."
DU finished No. 54 (384.5 points) overall among all Division I schools and was the highest ranked Sun Belt Conference and Front Range program for the fourth-straight season as well. The Pioneers outdistanced No. 78 UC Irvine (238 points), No. 81 Iona (231.5 points) and No. 82 Boston University (229 points) to capture its fourth-straight I-AAA Directors' Cup trophy.
"We are certainly honored that Governor Hickenlooper and Mayor Hancock have recognized our student-athletes and coaches for their hard work and accomplishments this past year," says Peg Bradley-Doppes, DU vice chancellor for athletics and recreation and Ritchie Center operations. "We take great pride in our overall athletic and academic successes, and we are looking forward to celebrating our achievements with the entire DU community on Oct. 22."
DU's student-athletes participate in 17 NCAA Division I sports and maintain an overall 3.3 grade point average. DU sent nine teams, as well as individuals from three sports, to NCAA postseason competition, and four Pioneer coaches received conference coach of the year awards. The Pioneers earned 83 Directors' Cup points for their historic NCAA Final Four appearance in men's lacrosse, 75 points for their fifth place NCAA finish in skiing, 60 points for hockey, 52.5 points for gymnastics, 38 for women's swimming, 36 for women's golf, 25 for men's soccer and 15 for men's golf. DU also claimed Directors' Cup I-AAA titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Fans can learn more about DU's four consecutive Directors' Cup championships on Facebook and Twitter (@DU_Pioneers). New content will be posted each day through Oct. 22, celebrating DU's accomplishments from 2008–11.
Hockey season tickets for the 2011–12 season are currently on sale. Ticket packages begin at $192. Individual game tickets start as low as $18. Visit www.DenverPioneers.com or call the Daniel L. Ritchie Center North Box Office at (303) 871-GOAL to purchase tickets.
The DU men's lacrosse team hosts the Denver Outlaws in exhibition action at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 22. The men's lacrosse team will also be honored for their 2011 season during the second intermission of the Oct. 22 hockey game.