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UMass Minutemen
UMassMinutemen.png
University University of Massachusetts Amherst
Conference Atlantic 10
NCAA Division I
Athletics director John McCutcheon
Location Amherst, MA
Varsity teams 21 varsity teams
Football stadium Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium
Basketball arena William D. Mullins Memorial Center
Mascot Sam the Minuteman
Nickname Minutemen/Minutewomen
Fight song Fight Mass
Colors Maroon and White

             

Homepage umassathletics.com

The UMass Minutemen are the athletic teams that represent the University of Massachusetts Amherst in NCAA Division I sports competition. The nickname is also applied to club teams that do not participate within the NCAA structure. Strictly speaking, the Minutemen nickname applies to men's teams and athletes only; women's teams and athletes are known as Minutewomen. The Minutemen and Minutewomen primarily compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Minutemen ice hockey team competes in Hockey East, while the Minutemen football team has been a member of the Colonial Athletic Association football conference since 2007.

Contents

Basketball

UMass is a member of the Atlantic 10 basketball conference, of which it was regular season co-Champion in 2007. This marked the first time it won or shared the league title since the last of its five consecutive Atlantic 10 championships in 1996. During the 1990s, the men's basketball team was known as one of the finest in the nation, holding the number one ranking in national polls for extended periods. Under the leadership of then-head coach John Calipari and players such as 1996 National Player of the Year Marcus Camby, Harper Williams and Lou Roe, the Minutemen participated in the NCAA Tournament each year between 1992 and 1998, and reached the Final Four in 1996. However, a subsequent NCAA investigation found that Camby illegally accepted a total of $28,000 from sports agents that were attempting to lure him into the NBA Draft after his Sophomore season, and the school was forced to vacate its Final Four appearance as well as return their 1996 NCAA Final Four trophy. Camby eventually repaid the school the $151,000 in lost Final Four revenue that came as a result of the NCAA's ruling. While a Final Four banner still hangs from the rafters of the Mullins Center in defiance of the NCAA's ruling, the appearance is marked with an asterisk in official record books, even though it was noted that there was absolutely no institutional wrongdoing.

First played in 1905 and held annually since 1995, UMass' basketball rivalry with Boston College is called the "Commonwealth Classic." Notable UMass basketball alumni include Camby, Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, and Boston College head coach Al Skinner. The current coach of the Minutemen is Derek Kellogg. Camby, Roe, Williams, Stephane Lasme and Gary Forbes were each named Atlantic 10 player of the year.

Derek Kellogg was also a point guard for the Umass Minutemen from 1992 to 1995. He played under John Calipari and was an assistant coach for the Memphis Tigers before becoming a head coach at his alma mater.

Football

The UMass Football team competes at the NCAA Division I FCS (formerly I-AA) level, having won one national title in that subdivision in 1998. The Minutemen were national finalists in 1978 and 2006. UMass has competed in three football conferences over its history, the Yankee Conference, the Atlantic 10, and the Colonial Athletic Association (which are basically 3 incarnations of the same conference). UMass has captured a total of 22 conference championships, the most recent one being a share of the CAA title in 2007.

The 2006 season was the final season under which the football team competed in the Atlantic 10, as the A-10 Football Conference disbanded after the season with all current teams moving to the CAA. They defeated Montana 19-17 to advance to the championship game (first since 1998). UMass fell to Appalachian State in the national championship game by a score of 28-17 and finished the season with a record of 13-2.

Historically, the program has competed in 3 major NCAA College Bowl Games, compiling a record of 1-2 in those games. In 1964 UMass played in the Tangerine Bowl, n/k/a The Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida and lost a close game to East Carolina University 14-13. They would then play in the 1972 Boardwalk Bowl in Atlantic City, New Jersey and defeatd California-Davis 35-14 in a game played inside The Atlantic City Convention Center. Also, the 1979 Division 1-AA title game was then known as the Pioneer Bowl and was played in Wichita Falls, Texas. The Minutemen fell to Florida A&M in that game by a score of 35-28.

Ice Hockey

UMass ice hockey has a long history dating back to 1908. The team competed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference at the Division II level through 1979, when the program was ceased due to the absence of an on-campus facility that could support ice hockey. Ice hockey returned in 1993 with the opening of the Mullins Center, and the team began competition in 1994 at the Division I level in the Hockey East Conference. The year 1993 is considered the beginning of the "modern era" of UMass Hockey.

The program has shown steady improvement since it resumed competition, with breakthrough years occurring in 2003 and 2004, when the team reached the Hockey East Tournament semifinals and finals, respectively. The program is now nationally ranked on a regular basis. UMass Men's Ice Hockey appeared in their first NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament (16 Teams) in the 2006-07 season and won their first NCAA Tournament game against Clarkson (1-0 OT) before losing to Maine (3-1) in the Regional Final.

The UMass hockey team is nicknamed "The Mass Attack."

The Minutemen enter their 15th season in Hockey East hoping to improve upon their on and off 2008-2009 season. Six of the ten top goal scorers return this year with Senior Brett Watson as team captain. The Mass Attack gave the BU Terriers their first on the road loss in almost a year in the Hockey East opener on October 16th, 2009 at the Mullins center with a final score of 3-2. The Terriers had not lost on the road since November of last year, also to the Minutemen, final score 5-1.

Rivals of the Umass Minutemen are the BC Eagles, the UNH Wildcats, and more recently,the Boston University Terriers.

Lacrosse

The UMass men's lacrosse reached the NCAA Championship Game in 2006, where they lost to the #1 ranked and undefeated Virginia Cavaliers. UMass, unseeded in the tournament, had to defeat three seeded teams (Cornell, Hofstra, Maryland) to make it to the championship game in Philadelphia. It was the first time any team had ever defeated the #4, #3, ad #2 seeded teams on its way to facing #1 Virginia in the championship. On February 13, 2008, members of the men's lacrosse team were involved in an off campus brawl which led to the suspension of eight players and the arrests of three. The players in question participated in the beating of three college-aged males with lacrosse sticks and bottles at a North Pleasant Street residence.[1]

Men's Soccer

UMass Men's soccer led by Captains Junior Goalkeeper Zack Simmons, Senior Defender Kenny Cook, and Junior Midfielder Mike Desantis reached NCAA Men's College Cup in 2007. They were defeated by the Ohio State Buckeyes, 1-0. On their road to the Final Four, they first won the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Dayton, Ohio, and then went on to beat Boston, #1 ranked Boston College, Central Connecticut State, and Illinois at Chicago. They finished the season 17-8-1, setting program records for wins and furthest advancement into the NCAA Tournament.

Baseball

The Minutemen baseball team, since the abolition of many men's teams (including football and baseball) in 1996 at Boston University, has become the fourth team (in addition to the traditional Boston College, Harvard, and Northeastern) in the baseball version of the Beanpot tournament held at Fenway Park. The baseball team plays its home games at Earl Lorden Field.

Softball

The UMass Softball team has solidified itself as the top sports program at UMass over the last 30 plus, years. The program started in 1975 and in just four short seasons would become a national power. From 1978 to 1980 the Minutewomen softball team reached the EAIAW Tournament each year, winning it twice. In those two seasons (1978 and 1980) they played in the AIAW World Series. Since the 1980 season the team has been led by legendary head coach, Elaine Sortino.

Since its conversion from the AIAW to the NCAA UMass has played in 19 NCAA Tournaments, and has made 3 trips to the College World Series. They have had players named as All-Americans on 24 different occasions. The team has also dominated the Atlantic 10, winning 21 of the last 24 conference championships. Of the notable softball alumni one of the school's most famous is pitcher Danielle Henderson who pitched in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia and led the United States to a gold medal. Henderson also won the 1999 Honda Sports Award, given annually to the top Collegiate Softball player in the country.

In her tenure as coach of the UMass Softball team Sortino has won over 1,000 games. In her career, UMass has posted 21 30-win seasons, seven 40-win campaign and one 50-win season. Sortino has never had a losing season at the helm of the UMass softball program.

Since 2000 the Softball team has played its home games at the state of the art 1,000 seat UMass Softball Complex. The complex has typically hosted an NCAA Regional Tournament each year since its construction.

National titles

UMass has won two NCAA championships. The Minutemen won the NCAA national title in Division I-AA (now FCS) football in 1998, and the Minutewomen won the national title in Division I women's lacrosse in 1982. In 2008 Minutemen skiing took home the United States Collegiate Skiing and Snowboard Association National Championship (The first time in 23 years an Eastern Coast team has won).

NCAA Division I Teams - Men's

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football (Division I FCS)
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Track & Field

NCAA Division I Teams - Women's

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing (Crew)
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field

References

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