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Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia Cavaliers sabre.svg
University University of Virginia
Colors Orange and Navy Blue
Mascot Cavalier (CavMan)
Athletic Director Craig Littlepage
Varsity sports 25 (12 men's, 13 women's)
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
NCAA Division 1 National Championships (16)
Men's Soccer 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2009[1]
Men's Lacrosse 1972, 1999, 2003, 2006[2]
Women's Lacrosse 1991, 1993, 2004[3]
Women's Cross Country 1981, 1982[4]
Boxing 1938[5]
Other National Championships (5)
Men's Lacrosse (USILA) 1952,[6] 1970[7]
Men's Indoor Tennis (ITA) 2008, 2009
Women's Indoor Track (AIAW) 1981
Final Four Appearances (5)
Men's Basketball 1981, 1984[8]
Women's Basketball 1990, 1991, 1992[9]

The Virginia Cavaliers are the athletic teams officially representing the University of Virginia in college sports. The Cavaliers compete in 25 NCAA Division I varsity sports and are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The athletics program has won 16 NCAA team national championships.[10][11][12]

The media generally refers to the University's athletic teams as simply "Virginia" for short, or "the Cavaliers," the University's official mascot of a mounted swordsman. An unofficial moniker, the Wahoos, or 'Hoos for short, based on the University's rallying cry "Wah-hoo-wah!" is also commonly used. Though originally only used by the student body, both terms — Wahoos and 'Hoos — have come into wide use by the media as well.


Origins and history

The student section and Cavalier Marching Band during a Fall 2005 home football game against Duke.

The school colors, adopted in 1888, are orange and navy blue. The athletic teams had previously worn silver and cardinal red, but those colors did not show up very well on dirty football fields as the school was sporting its first team. A mass meeting of the student body was called, and a star player showed up wearing a navy blue and orange scarf he had brought back from a University of Oxford summer boating expedition. The colors were chosen when another student pulled the scarf from the player's neck, waved it to the crowd and yelled: "How will this do?" (Exactly 100 years later in 1988, Oxford named their own American football club the "Cavaliers," and soon after the Virginia team adopted its "curved sabres" logo in 1994, the Oxford team followed suit.)

The Cavalier mascot is a historical reference to the time when the Commonwealth of Virginia earned its nickname, the "Old Dominion." The Commonwealth was a hotbed of persons loyal to the English crown, called cavaliers in the days of the English Civil War and Interregnum.

When boxing was a major collegiate sport, Virginia's teams boxed in Memorial Gymnasium and went undefeated on a six-year run between 1932 and 1937, winning an unofficial national championship in 1938.[13]

Virginia's athletic teams have participated in the Atlantic Coast Conference since the league's first year in 1953. Its men's basketball team has five times been part of the NCAA Elite Eight (1981, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1995), twice advancing to the Final Four (1981 and 1984). The Virginia Cavaliers football team has twice been honored as ACC Co-Champions (1989 with Duke, and 1995 with FSU). Women's cross country won national titles in 1981 and 1982. The soccer and lacrosse programs have both been tremendously successful. The Virginia men's soccer team has won six national championships, four consecutively (1989, 1991–1994, 2009). The men's lacrosse team has won six national titles, while the women have claimed three. Men's lacrosse won national championships in 1952*, 1970*, 1972, 1999, 2003, and 2006 (* denotes USILA, pre-NCAA titles); the women's lacrosse team won national titles in 1991, 1993, and 2004.


John Paul Jones Arena

John Paul Jones Arena opened in the Fall of 2006 and is the current venue for the men's and women's basketball teams. At its recent height in the 1980s, the men's basketball team was better than perennial power Duke and second only to UNC in that decade's cumulative ACC standings. The 1990s and 2000s have seen a bit of a slide for the program to the middle of the pack in the conference, but the hiring of coach Dave Leitao along with the 2006 opening of John Paul Jones Arena led to a short return to prominence, with the 2006-2007 team winning a share of the ACC regular season title and making it to the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The new arena is one of the three largest on-campus facilities in the Atlantic Coast Conference, with the only bigger arenas belonging to universities with far greater student populations. Dave Leitao was fired following the 2008-2009 season, and Tony Bennett, who had been the head coach of the Washington St. Cougars, was hired. The previous facility, University Hall, was the smallest in the ACC until the addition of Miami (FL) to the conference.


Scott Stadium sits across from the first-year dorms along Alderman Road and is home to the University of Virginia's football program. The press box at Scott Stadium was a gift from an alumni in honor of Norton G. Pritchett, the admired athletic director at UVA from 1934 until his death in 1950. Students, fans, and alumni began to sport orange clothing for the games, a new tradition the former head coach, Al Groh, had been pushing for since he became head coach in 2000. Many students, however, have continued to wear the traditional sundresses or coat and tie at football games. Several fans have also begun garbing themselves in outlandish costumes in the style of football superfans (such as the Orange Gorilla or The Superhoo). Funding from benefactor Carl Smith created the foundation for the 230-piece Cavalier Marching Band in 2004, replacing the Virginia Pep Band in its official capacity at athletic events. The current head coach is Mike London.


With the departure of head coach Dennis Womack to the front office, the arrival of head coach Brian O'Connor from Notre Dame in 2004, and the opening of Davenport Field in 2002, the UVa baseball team experienced a rebirth. Since the inception of baseball at the University in 1889, the team has only reached the NCAA Baseball Tournament nine times, once each of the past three decades (1972, 1985, 1996), but most recently six years running (2004-2009). The 2008-2009 season of the Cavaliers saw them through to the CWS(College World Series)with a 49-15-1 record, where they achieved their first ever CWS win.


Klöckner Stadium is home to several successful programs, including Virginia men's soccer. More years than not, the University of Virginia fields one of the best squads in the country, and the program has, by far, the most successful history in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. Since ACC Tournament play began in 1987, Virginia has played in 15 out of 19 ACC Tournament championship matches, winning ten ACC titles (including 2003, 2004, and 2009), to go with their six NCAA Tournament championships. The man who built the U.Va. program, Bruce Arena, compiled an amazing 295–58–32 record before leaving in 1995 to coach D.C. United to their first two MLS championship seasons, and later the U.S. National Soccer Team to their best World Cup showing since 1930.


For men's and women's lacrosse, the Cavaliers play at Turf Field (exhibition matches) and Klöckner Stadium (regular season & postseason matches). The Virginia men's program has won six national championships (two USILA titles in 1952 and 1970 and four NCAA titles in 1972, 1999, 2003, and 2006). They also established the best record in NCAA history going 17-0 in the 2006 season. On March 28, 2009, the men's team played in the longest game in the history of NCAA Division I lacrosse — a 10-9 victory over Maryland in seven overtime periods. The Virginia women's team has won three NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championships in 1991, 1993, and 2004.

The 2006 season was noteworthy for the Cavaliers men's team as they established the best record in NCAA history with a perfect 17-0 season en route to winning the national championship, 15-7, over the UMass Minutemen. On the season, the team won its games by an average of more than eight goals per game and drew comparisons to some of the best lacrosse teams of all time.[14] Senior attackmen Matt Ward won the Tewaaraton Trophy as the nation's best player, was selected as a First Team All-American and the USILA Player of the Year, and was awarded the Final Four MVP award. He also broke the NCAA record for the most goals in the tournament with 16 goals (previously held by Gary Gait with 15). Eight Cavaliers were named All-Americans — three on the First Team, three on the Second Team, and two on the Third Team. Five of Virginia's players were selected in the 2006 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. Matt Ward, Kyle Dixon, and Michael Culver were selected in the first round, Matt Poskay in the second, and J.J. Morrissey in the third.


The current athletic director is Craig Littlepage, a former head coach at the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University, who has held a variety of titles at the University of Virginia.

Athletics Apparel Sponsorships



The football team's uniforms were once provided by Reebok, but are now sponsored by Nike.


  1. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association. "2006 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship Tournaments Records" (PDF). Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  2. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association. "2007 Men's and Women's Lacrosse Records Book (all Divisions)" (PDF). Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  3. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association. "2006 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship Tournaments Records" (PDF). Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  4. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association. "2006 Women's Cross Country Championships Records Book (all Divisions)" (PDF). Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  5. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association. "1938 Discontinued NCAA Championships: Boxing Championship Records" (PDF). Press release. 
  6. ^ (PDF) Virginia 2010 Men's Lacrosse Media Guide. University of Virginia Athletics Department. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  7. ^ United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. "The NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship formerly known as the Wingate Memorial Champion". Press release. Retrieved 2009-12-13. 
  8. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association. "2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Tournament Records" (PDF). Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  9. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association. "2006 NCAA Women's Basketball Championships Tournament Records" (PDF). Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  10. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association. "2006/2007 Women's National Collegiate/Division I" (PDF). Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  11. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association. "2006/2007 Men's National Collegiate/Division I" (PDF). Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  12. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association. "Schools with the Most NCAA Championships". Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  13. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association. "Discontinued Championships" (PDF). Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  14. ^ In Final, Virginia Lacrosse Team Has Eye on Victory and Legacy, The New York Times, May 29, 2006.

External links


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