Athletics & Recreation
Proud winners of 32 NCAA national championships, our Pioneers strive for success and distinction on the field and in the classroom. Our community provides the fuel for their fire by generating an electric atmosphere in the stands, cheering our 17 varsity squads on as they strive for victory.
We offer more than 30 different club sports, from baseball to ultimate frisbee to kayaking. Our student-run teams compete locally, regionally and nationally in intercollegiate competition. For students looking to stay active with a lower level of commitment, our intramural sports leagues offer healthy competition and new friendships, and all students have access to the Coors Fitness Center.
Denver Pioneer Sports
Ranked 14th for most NCAA Division I championships, our Pioneers carry a rich history of success. Our ski team has the most titles of any in the U.S., and our men’s ice hockey team's eight national titles rank second among all NCAA programs. Coached by Hall-of-Famer Bill Tierney, our lacrosse team won its first championship in 2015, becoming the first school to win a national title outside the Eastern time zone.
Our student-athletes achieve academically above the national average, with an average GPA of 3.35. Our Pioneers also graduated at a 93 percent rate for the 2016–2017 school year.
We offer over 30 club sports for students who wish to stay active and be part of an athletic team. Our club sports teams range from cycling and Taekwondo to water polo and curling. Many compete in tournaments from local to national levels.
Run entirely by students, our club teams compete in local, regional and national competitions. In addition to competing, participants can improve their leadership and organizational skills, build lasting friendships and contribute to the community.
Staying Active on Campus
A DU tradition since 1967, intramural sports offer students, faculty and staff physical activity, healthy competition and the chance to make new friends. Our intramural sports include basketball, broomball, flag football, soccer, ultimate frisbee and more.
Our students have access to all Ritchie Center facilities, including the Coors Fitness Center and El Pomar Natatorium. Our Alpine Club also takes students on outdoor adventures, from climbing 14ers to skiing the Rocky Mountains.
Our Legacy of Excellence
Our Pioneers compete on the playing fields of the NCAA, in the professional leagues and on behalf of their countries in the Olympiad. Discover the Pioneer heritage of success, from individual achievements to school accomplishments.
- Pioneer greats
Jessica LopezA 2009 alumna and gymnast, Lopez competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Placing ninth in the competition, the Venezuelan became the first from her home country to qualify for an Olympic gymnastics finals.
Bill TierneyInducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2002, Tierney coached the Pioneers to their first men's lacrosse national championship in 2015.
Bill MastertonA winner of two NCAA hockey championships in 1960 and 1961, Masterton tragically passed away as a result of on-ice head injuries in 1968. Masterton's death helped lead to the widespread adoption of helmets in hockey. Today, the NHL awards the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy to the "player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey."
Dan SchatzederWinner of Game 6 of the 1987 World Series and a World Series champion with the Minnesota Twins, Schatzeder struck out 748 batters in 504 major league innings. He played for the Pioneers in 1976.
Leif Kristian HaugenA 2012 alumnus, Haugen competed in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics in skiing. During the 2014 Games, Haugen placed 12th and 16th in slalom and giant slalom, respectively.
Will ButcherThe 2017 Hobey Baker Award winner, Will Butcher captained the Denver Pioneers to a 2017 NCAA hockey national title. Butcher recorded 37 points in 43 games during the 2016-17 season.
Simona CastroA 2013 alumna, Castro became the first Chilean to qualify for a women's gymnastics event at the Olympic games. Castro competed in the 2012 Rio Olympics and placed 43rd in the all-around.
Antje MaempelA winner of four NCAA individual championships, Maempel helped lead the Denver Pioneers to three consecutive national championships in skiing from 2008 to 2010. Maempel also made the ESPN Academic All-American Team in 2010.
Nat BorchersA 2002 alumnus, Borchers played for MLS Cup-winning teams in 2009 and 2015. Borchers made three appearances for the U.S. national team, and the defender won league MVP his senior year at DU.
Glenn AndersonA six-time Stanley Cup champion, Anderson scored 498 goals in the NHL. He played for the Pioneers during the 1978-79 season.
Misa PavlickovaDrafted 24th overall in the 2001 WNBA draft, Pavlickova earned the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year award during her senior year. The Czech native is ranked in the top 10 in 13 individual school categories.
Byron BeckThe first man to have his jersey number retired by the Denver Nuggets, Beck played college basketball during the 1960s at DU. He finished his ABA/NBA career with over 8,000 points and more than 5,000 rebounds.
Espen KofstadA professional golfer who represented Norway in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Kofstad amassed three Challenge Tour victories since turning pro in 2011.
A 2015 alumna, Corea was named the WAC Swimmer of the Year in 2013. An All-American in athletics and academics, Corea left DU with eight school records.
- Department accomplishments
Capital One CupHighest-ranked men’s athletics program without a football team in 2016-17, finishing in fifth place
Learfield Directors' Cup, 2016-17, Division 1: 35th (highest of all D-1 schools without football teams)
- 2016-17, Division 1-AAA: first place for the ninth time in 10 years (fifth consecutive)
The women's gymnastics team set a program record for best Nationals score in 2017, reaching the National Championships for the first time since 2008.
428 All Americans and 61 Olympians
70 men's hockey players went on to play in the NHL
987.6 four-year academic progress rate (APR), six points higher than the national average
"Coach Montgomery, the entire hockey program, you've made this city so very proud this weekend. So very proud."Mayor Michael Hancock
Support Your Pioneers
Students get free tickets to volleyball, soccer, basketball, gymnastics and lacrosse games, and $5 tickets for hockey games. Plus, you can win prizes during the athletic year through our student rewards program.
Show your support for your school with official Pioneer gear.
We empower our student-athletes to take charge of their education by providing the support necessary to excel academically.