University of Connecticut
Athletics History: 1890s - 2018
The institution we now know as the University of Connecticut was founded in 1881 when Charles and Augustus Storrs donated 170 acres for the Storrs Agricultural School (S.A.S.). In 1893 women were officially admitted to the school for the first time and the institution's name changed to Storrs Agricultural College (S.A.C.). In 1899 another name change to Connecticut Agricultural College (C.A.C.). In 1931, the school was renamed Connecticut State College (C.S.C.) and in 1939 C.S.C. became the University of Connecticut.
- Athletics got its start on campus in Storrs in the 1890s, a time that physical fitness was being discovered as a vital aid to personal development.
- Baseball was playing informal contests by 1891 and football was launched in 1893 (a game against Rhode Island Agricultural College, on a field where Gulley Hall now stands, ended in a squabble).
- The history of intercollegiate football at Connecticut dates to 1896 with the formation of the Athletic League of New England State Colleges. Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island joined together for the purpose of scheduling regular meetings in football and baseball.
- In 1897, Connecticut and Rhode Island met on a neutral field in New London. That first-ever collegiate game for S.A.C. resulted in a 22-8 victory, setting off a "wild celebration" with a parade by the band, bonfires, and ringing of all the bells.
- The baseball team of 1900 was aided by the construction of a new field, financed partially by the sale of season tickets (75 cents apiece).
- Basketball - both a men's team and a women's team, got started right after the turn of the century.
- In January 1901, a men's basketball team was formed to "test the popularity of the game." CAC defeated Willimantic High School 17-12 in its debut. The interest in the sport resulted in the formation of a varsity program for the 1901-02 season and the first varsity game was played on Thanksgiving night 1901, a 21-11 loss to the Willimantic YMCA. The team recorded a 5-5 record in its first varsity season.
- In early 1902, women's basketball began when C.A.C. beat Willimantic High School 15-6 at a gymnasium in Grove Cottage, the women's dormitory on the Storrs campus.
- In December of 1902, the women organized their own Athletic Association and the women's basketball team of 1902-03 was "unbeaten," winning all five games it played.
- Without an adequate home court on the Storrs campus, men's varsity basketball was abandoned from 1908-1910 and it would be six years before another C.A.C. varsity team took the floor. From 1910-1915, an independent team had permission to play games under the college name. All the games were on the road and no collegiate opponents were played.
- In 1913, the State General Assembly provided $60,000 to build an auditorium, armory and gymnasium (Hawley Armory - which would serve as home of Connecticut Basketball from 1915-1947).
HAWLEY ARMORY: A red brick turreted building opened in February of 1915 and was called "one of the most perfect buildings of its kind in the East." More than 100 years later, Hawley Armory continues to service the University community as a Fitness and Wellness Center. Hawley was the center of the campus world for several decades, and was the home of Connecticut Basketball from 1915 to 1947 (1,400 seats) while also hosting swim meets, theater club productions, visiting lectures, and even town meetings.
- A department of physical education was created in 1915.
- In February of 1915, the newly named "Connecticut Aggies" returned as a varsity basketball team, defeating Bristol A.A. 25-21 in the first game played in Hawley Armory.
- Football was playing a full collegiate schedule by 1915 but World War I stopped play in 1917 and 1918.
- Football resumed play in 1919 and Gardner Dow (a UConn team member) died from injuries sustained in a game against New Hampshire. The main athletic field at Connecticut from the 1920s to the 1960s (now the area from the Babbidge Library to the School of Business) was named Gardner Dow Field.
- Roy Guyer (Guyer Gym) served as Director of Athletics from 1919-1936 and was instrumental in advancing women's sports and adding various men's varsity programs.
- Following World War I women's basketball fielded a team with assigned coaches from 1920-1938, playing its first all-college schedule in 1924.
- The 1924 football team (under head coach Sumner Dole 1923-33) finished the year with the only unbeaten (6-0-2) record in school history. Led by Martin "Red" O'Neill, who made several All-American teams, the Connecticut defense allowed only 13 points all season and the New York Times rated C.A.C. among the top football teams in the nation.
- In 1926, Connecticut won the championship of an organized league for the first time when men's basketball finished 11-3 and claimed the New England Conference title. A member of that team was Hugh Greer (who would become head coach in 1946).
- In 1927, field hockey, under the direction of Athletic Director Roy Guyer, became the second women's intercollegiate sport (following basketball) at Connecticut.
- In 1928, Roy Guyer launched the men's soccer intercollegiate program at Connecticut.
- In 1932, Englishman Jack Dennerley became head coach of men's soccer and improved the status of the fledging program. For his efforts in upgrading the soccer program, Dennerley was paid a salary of $50 in 1936.
J.O. CHRISTIAN: In 1934, J. Orlean Christian arrived at Connecticut State College as head coach of football and remained in that post through the 1949 season. He would be the interim men's basketball coach during the 1935-36 season and added head baseball duties starting in 1936, continuing in that role for 26 seasons (through 1961). After stepping down as football coach, J.O. Christian was named Athletic Director in 1950. Coach Christian continued as head baseball coach through 1961, leading UConn to its first two College Baseball World Series appearances in 1957 and 1959. The current baseball complex is called J.O. Christian Field and has been home of UConn Baseball for the past 51 years (since 1968).
FINDING A NICKNAME & MASCOT: Sports teams were called the Connecticut "Aggies" until 1934 when the school wanted to change its image from being called a "cow college." The student body was asked to vote for a mascot and a nickname and they chose the Husky Dog as a fitting, hard-working symbol and the word "Huskies" as the nickname. A new mascot, a Husky Dog named Jonathan was also introduced (named after the first Governor of the State of Connecticut Jonathan Trumbull).
- In 1936, E. George Van Bibber, the football coach and Athletic Director at the University of Buffalo, joined the Connecticut faculty as Athletics Director and served in that role until 1950 when he was named Director of the School of Physical Education (remaining in that post until his retirement in 1969).
- In 1937, Dr. John Y. Squires, one of the true pioneers of men's college soccer in America, became head coach of the Connecticut program and served in that role for 28 years. Dr. Squires also served as head coach of swimming from 1938-67 and tennis from 1946-55.
- In 1938, women's athletics at Connecticut State College sustained a major setback when it was announced that a "system of play-days had replaced the varsity team competition of women's athletics." Women's athletics at Connecticut would not return as varsity intercollegiate sports within the newly-created Division of Athletics until 1974 (Title IX).
- In 1939, the state legislature upgraded the institution from a state college (Connecticut State College) to a state university - the University of Connecticut. From that name change came the word "UConn."
YANKEE CONFERENCE: In 1946, UConn and the other five New England Land Grant Universities (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont) established an all-sport athletic league for its varsity programs - The Yankee Conference. In the 1950s/1960s, the NCAA afforded the Yankee Conference automatic qualifier status into the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament. UConn utilized that "automatic qualifier" status to earn 11 NCAA Tournament bids between 1951 and 1967 as the regular season champion of the league. (YC did not play a post-season league tournament).
The NCAA Basketball Tournament format kept evolving and by the early 1970s the Yankee Conference automatic bid had ended and the YC basketball league also came to an end. In 1974-75, UConn began annually bidding for an NCAA berth in a four-team ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) tournament - with that victor earning an automatic spot in the NCAA Tournament.
The Yankee Conference was also home from 1947 through 1996 for UConn Football, including through the transition to Division I-AA level football for the Huskies starting in 1978.
- The 1948 fall season saw UConn men's soccer crowned the national champions by the NSCAA with an unbeaten 11-0 record under head coach Dr. John Squires.
- In December of 1947, after calling Hawley Armory home since 1915, Connecticut basketball played its final home game in the facility.
- In January of 1948, Connecticut Basketball moved into its new on-campus home that had three names: the Cage, the Hanger, the Quonset Hut. (now the site of the UConn Foundation Building) The facility featured steel supports and tin sheets cannibalized from World War II surplus airplane hangers. A portable court covered the clay floor. The capacity of nearly 4,000 meant the general public could get tickets for the first time. The building was also the primary headquarters for UConn's ROTC program.
- In 1950, a gymnasium (Guyer Gym) and a pool (Brundage Pool) were built to support both intercollegiate activities and physical education.
- In March of 1951, Connecticut earned its first NCAA Basketball Tournament invitation and began a 10-year run as perennial Yankee Conference champion.
- In 1952, Bob Ingalls was named head football coach and stayed in the role for 12 seasons, winning five consecutive Yankee Conference titles from 1956-60 (17-1-2 league record).
- In the fall of 1953, Memorial Stadium (now the site of the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center) began a 50-year run as the home facility for UConn Football, replacing Gardner Dow Field.
- In 1954, the UConn Field House (4,500 capacity) was attached to the gym and pool and became home for UConn Basketball. The facility was later renamed the Hugh S. Greer Field House.
- UConn's Storrs campus played host to the first NCAA Soccer Championship Tournament (Final Four) in 1959. Dr. John Squires, the UConn soccer coach for 28 years, was the guiding force nationally behind the start of a national championship tournament and its first tournament being staged in Storrs.
- The UConn baseball program exploded on the national stage in the late 1950s as J.O. Christian led the Huskies to five consecutive NCAA tourney bids in his final five seasons as head coach (1957-61), including UConn's first two berths in the College World Series (1957 & 1959).
- In 1960, Connecticut added men's ice hockey as a varsity sport and John Chapman (also coaching tennis) began a 22-year tenure as head coach (1960-81). UConn played all games away from home for the first five seasons - practicing on an outdoor pond - until an open-air campus ice facility was introduced prior to the 1965-66 season.
- In 1962, assistant coach Larry Panciera was promoted to the head job as Connecticut baseball coach, replacing J.O. Christian and would remain in that position for 18 seasons, compiling a 297-160-5 record and leading three more Husky teams to the College World Series (1965, 1972, 1979).
HUGH GREER: Considered "The Father of Connecticut Basketball." Born in Suffield, CT, a 1926 Connecticut graduate. After an outstanding scholastic coaching career (five Connecticut state titles), Coach Greer returned to his alma mater in 1946 as freshman basketball coach and was elevated to head coach six games (4-2) into 1946-47 season when Blair Guillion left for the head coaching job at Washington University in St. Louis. Greer promptly led UConn to a 12-0 record the rest of the 46-47 season, giving UConn the most single season wins (16) in history. From 1947 to 1960, Greer would lead UConn to the Yankee Conference Championship 12 of 13 years, earning seven NCAA berths and one NIT bid. During his tenure as head coach, UConn Basketball became a major collegiate following for fans throughout Connecticut. Ten games into his 17th year as head coach (1962-63), tragedy struck the Storrs campus when Hugh Greer died of a massive heart attack after playing squash with assistant coach George Wigton. Coach Greer compiled a 286-112 record as head coach of the Huskies. The UConn Field House, which served as the on-campus home court of UConn Basketball from 1954-1990, was renamed the Hugh S. Greer Field House.
- George Wigton completed the 1962-63 season as interim head coach, going 11-3, winning the Yankee Conference, and earning an NCAA tourney berth.
- In 1964, Rick Forzano (later NFL head coach with the Detroit Lions) was named head football coach at Connecticut, staying just two seasons, but leading UConn to its first-ever football win over Yale. He put together a remarkable coaching staff that included: Lou Holtz (Notre Dame & NFL head coach), Sam Rutigliano (NFL head coach), Dave Adolph (NFL coordinator), Dan Sekanovich (NFL coordinator) and Andy Baylock (now in his 54th year on the UConn Athletics staff)
- In 1966, John Toner was hired as head football coach, replacing Rick Forzano.
- In 1968, Connecticut Baseball moved to its new home, J.O. Christian Field, which replaced the program's long-time home surface, Gardner Dow Field.
- In the spring of 1969, football coach John Toner added duties as UConn's new Director of Athletics.
- In March of 1969, one of John Toner's first duties was the hiring of Donald "Dee" Rowe as UConn's new head basketball coach.
DEE ROWE: Came to UConn as head basketball coach after 13-year career as Head Coach and Director of Athletics at Worcester (MA) Academy. Dee spent eight years as head coach with an ECAC title in 1976 and took UConn to the NCAA "Sweet 16." Dee launched the UConn athletic fundraising arm in 1978 and quickly became a national leader in that field. He is now in his 49th year at UConn as the school's primary ambassador. He served as Assistant Coach of the 1980 U.S. Men's Basketball Olympic Team and has dedicated his lifetime serving as a coach, mentor and advocate for the game of basketball. In 2017, Dee was honored with the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award by the Basketball Hall of Fame, the single greatest honor presented by the HOF outside of enshrinement.
- In May of 1969, John Toner made another important hire when he named Joe Morrone head coach of the Connecticut men's soccer program, replacing the retiring Dr. John Squires.
- In 1969 Connecticut Soccer moved to its new on-campus surface near the hockey rink. The soccer facility would later be upgraded and named Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in honor of long-time Hall of Fame Head Coach Joe Morrone.
- In December of 1970, John Toner stepped down as head football coach after five seasons to devote fulltime duties to the Director of Athletics position.
- In 1974, the UConn Division of Athletics was introduced - replacing the UConn School of Physical Education as the formal home of Husky Athletics.
- The 1974-75 academic year saw the inclusion of women's varsity intercollegiate competition under the umbrella of the newly-formed Division of Athletics.
- Women's basketball, field hockey, gymnastics, swimming and diving, softball, tennis, volleyball, and outdoor track and field were the initial varsity women's programs introduced at the University of Connecticut.
- Women's indoor track and field was added as a varsity program in 1977.
- On November 17, 1978, an exhibition basketball game between UConn and Athletes in Action was the inaugural sports show ever produced via satellite by a new sports cable outlet: ESPN-TV. The next day, ESPN produced the UConn-Rhode Island soccer game and in January of 1979, the Connecticut vs. Rutgers basketball game was the first college basketball contest aired on national cable television. In all, a schedule of 35 UConn contests were produced at UConn by ESPN during the 1978-79 seasons - leading to the eventual 24-hour-a-day sports schedule for the national cable outlet.
THE BIG EAST CONFERENCE: By the mid-1970s universities on the East Coast (including UConn) that were not members of a conference supporting a post-season basketball tournament knew chances for berths in the annual NCAA Tournament were disappearing.
For UConn, the ECAC Tournament was a short-term fix after the end of the Yankee Conference and the Huskies took advantage, winning the ECAC event in both 1976 and 1979 - and earning automatic NCAA tourney berths.
But, UConn needed a permanent league solution for all of its programs. Athletic Director John Toner had just three days during Memorial Day weekend in the spring of 1979 to convince the university administration that Connecticut should accept an offer to leave behind its long-standing relationships with its New England state university rivals and become a charter member of a new league - eventually to be called the Big East Conference.
Toner and UConn said YES to the Big East. There has never been a more important decision in UConn Athletics history.
For the next 34 years, from 1979 through the end of the original Big East structure in 2013, UConn would grow from a regional athletics program with regional success to a broad-based nationally-elite athletics department boasting multiple national championships in four different sports.
In the fall of 1981, long before men's and women's basketball would become the linchpin programs for UConn in both the Big East and on the national stage, Connecticut won its first two NCAA National Championships as UConn Women's Field Hockey and UConn Men's Soccer program each won Division I National Championships within a two-week span.
During its 34 years as a charter member of the original Big East Conference, the UConn men's and women's programs would be the most successful basketball franchises - by far - combining to win 11 NCAA Basketball Championships as Big East members in a 19-year span. UConn Basketball won 55 Big East Conference titles (38 women, 17 men) Georgetown, with 19 combined titles (17 men, 2 women) was a distant second.
In addition to the continual UConn basketball success in the Big East, other UConn athletic programs added 94 other Big East titles - giving the Huskies a grand total of 149 Big East Conference Championships during the 34-year history of the league: women's field hockey (26); men's soccer (19); men's track and field (13); softball (12); women's soccer (10); baseball (5); women's track and field (4); football (2); women's volleyball (2); golf (1).
- The UConn baseball team earned a berth in the 1979 College World Series and Larry Panciera retired following his 18th year (297-160-5) as head coach. Andy Baylock, assistant baseball coach for 15 seasons, was named head coach.
- In 1979, women's soccer was added as a varsity sport at Connecticut and in 1981 Len Tsantiris (who was a men's soccer standout as an undergrad at UConn) was named head coach of the women's soccer program.
- UConn won its first NCAA National Championship in any sport when on Nov. 22, 1981 head coach Diane Wright directed Connecticut to the national championship - the semi-finals and national title games all contested at Memorial Stadium in Storrs.
- Two weeks later, in Palo Alto, California, Joe Morrone led the UConn men's soccer team to the 1981 NCAA Division I National Championship.
- In the spring of 1985, Geno Auriemma was named head coach of the UConn Women's Basketball program.
- In November 1985, UConn women's field hockey won a second NCAA National Championship. UConn Field Hockey, under coach Diane Wright, played in five consecutive NCAA "Final Fours" from 1981-85.
- In May of 1986, UConn named Jim Calhoun as its new men's basketball coach. Calhoun had posted a 248-137 record in 14 seasons as head coach at Northeastern University in Boston.
TWO HALL OF FAME HIRES: Acknowledging the entrance into the Big East Conference as the No. 1 athletic decision in school history means two head coaching hires in back-to-back springs of 1985 and 1986 is close behind at decision No. 1-A.
In 1985, AD John Toner named a 31-year-old assistant coach from the University of Virginia, Geno Auriemma, as head coach of UConn women's basketball. In 11 seasons of modern era competition before Coach Auriemma's hiring, the Huskies had a one winning season. During the past 33 seasons with Hall of Fame Head Coach Geno Auriemma in charge UConn has won an unprecedented 11 NCAA National Championships and his overall record is a stunning 1,027-136.
The last 25 years (from 1993-94 thru 2017-18) has produced the finest quarter century overall record in women's basketball history (865 wins, 58 losses).
One year after looking south to hire Coach Auriemma, John Toner looked slightly North and convinced highly-successful Northeastern University Head Coach Jim Calhoun to take the UConn job.
Prior to Coach Calhoun's arrival at UConn, Connecticut was a successful New England program but had only earned four NCAA Tournament wins in its history. During Jim Calhoun's 26 years as head coach (1986-2012), UConn became an elite national-level program, claiming three NCAA National Championships (1999, 2004, 2011), adding an NIT Championships (1988), and winning 48 NCAA Tournament games, along with 17 Big East Conference regular season (10) and tournament titles (7).
- The UConn Athletic budget during 1986-87 was $4.0 million.
- In January of 1987, John Toner announced his intention to step down as Director of Athletics after 18 years in that post.
- In July of 1987, after more than a decade of delays, ground was broken for a $29 million UConn Sports Center Complex. The State of Connecticut contributed $22 million and UConn, led by Dee Rowe, raised $7 million in private giving for the state project.
- Following the 1989 season, Hall of Fame field hockey coach Diane Wright, who led UConn to a pair of NCAA Championships in 1981 & 1985, retired after 15 seasons and was replaced as head coach by Nancy Stevens.
- On January 24, 1990, UConn played its final home game in the Hugh S. Greer Field House, defeating Central Connecticut 99-77. The Field House had served as Connecticut's primary home court for 36 seasons (overall record of 282-85 in the building).
- On January 27, 1990, the UConn Sports Center Complex (including the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion and the Wolff-Zackin Natatorium) opened. Connecticut defeated No. 15 nationally-ranked St. John's 72-58 in the first men's basketball contest played in the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion, named in honor of alumnus Harry Gampel who contributed $1 million for the facility.
- Tate George hit "The Shot" which beat Clemson at the final buzzer in the 1990 NCAA "Sweet 16" round and UConn just missed a trip to the Final Four when it lost two days later to Duke in overtime on another shot at the buzzer. The birth of UConn Men's Basketball on the national stage was called "The Dream Season" and concluded with an overall record of 31-6 and Jim Calhoun being named the consensus "National Coach of the Year."
- The UConn Athletic budget in 1989-90 was $8.29 million.
- In March of 1991, the UConn women's basketball team won both the regular season and tournament titles in the BIG EAST Conference and advanced to its first-ever NCAA "Final Four."
- The UConn Athletic budget in 1993-94 was $13.08 million.
- The UConn women's basketball program completed a perfect year in 1994-95, posting a 35-0 overall record and winning its first NCAA Division I National Championship in Minneapolis. Geno Auriemma was National Coach of the Year and Rebecca Lobo was National Player of the Year.
- The George J. Sherman Family-Sports Complex, a $4 million outdoor artificial surface field and eight-lane track, was completed during the 1995-96 academic year. It became the home surface for field hockey, women's lacrosse, and both men's and women's track and field.
- In September of 1996, the UConn Board of Trustees approved an implementation plan for the upgrade of the UConn football program to Division I-A status.
- Following the 1996 season, Joe Morrone retired as head coach of men's soccer at UConn. Morrone had directed the soccer program to an overall record of 358-178-53 in his 28 years directing the Huskies. Ray Reid, who had led Southern Connecticut State to three NCAA Division II championships, was named UConn head coach.
- In the spring of 1997, women's lacrosse became the 22nd varsity sport at Connecticut.
- In July of 1997, the Yankee Conference officially ended its 50-year run as a collegiate athletic league when the Atlantic 10 replaced the YC as the membership home for Connecticut Football.
- In the fall of 1997, women's rowing was added as the 23rd varsity sport at Connecticut.
- In January of 1998 the new University of Connecticut Student Recreation Facility (including the Hugh S. Greer Field House, Guyer Gymnasium, and Brundage Pool) officially opened following completion of a $14 million reconstruction and remodeling project.
- In the fall of 1998, the $4 million UConn Ice Arena was opened on the Storrs campus. It was later renamed the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. It replaced the open air ice hockey facility that had served as Connecticut's home facility for 33 years.
- Skip Holtz (34-23 in five years) stepped down as head football coach following the 1998 season and was replaced by Randy Edsall.
- On March 29, 1999, UConn men's basketball won the NCAA Division I National Championship in St. Petersburg, Florida, upsetting heavily-favored Duke 77-74 and ending the season with a 34-2 overall record.
- The UConn Athletic budget in 1998-99 was $26.14 million.
- In the fall of 1999, UConn football played its final season as a member of the Atlantic 10 Football Conference as UConn left Division I-AA status for Division I-A classification.
- In April of 2000, the UConn women's basketball team won its second NCAA Division I National Championship in Philadelphia, finishing the year with a 36-1 overall record.
- In May of 2000, the State of Connecticut Legislature approved, and Governor John Rowland signed into law, legislation which provided funding for a 40,000-seat stadium in East Hartford. The $90 million stadium project would open in the fall of 2003 and the UConn football program would be the primary tenant at the facility.
- UConn football began its first year playing football as a Division I-A major college independent team in the fall of 2000.. The program would join the BIG EAST Football Conference as a full member in Year 2004.
- In December of 2000, UConn won the 2000 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer National Championship. Head coach Ray Reid was named National Coach of the Year and junior Chris Gbandi won the Hermann Trophy, symbolic of the nation's top collegiate soccer player.
- During the 2000-2001 academic year, women's ice hockey became the 24th varsity sport at Connecticut.
- In 2001-02, UConn women's basketball began a remarkable run to three consecutive NCAA National Championships. The 2002 NCAA title was UConn's second unbeaten season, posting a 39-0 record, and led by National Player of the Year Sue Bird.
- On November 9, 2002, UConn Football played its final home game in Memorial Stadium on the Storrs campus, defeating Kent State 63-21. Memorial Stadium had served as the home for Connecticut Football for 50 years (1953-2002) and the Huskies had posted an overall record of 131-103-4 in the facility.
- In 2002-03, a 37-1 overall record would produce back-to-back national titles for UConn and the fourth NCAA women's basketball national championship for the school. During that season UConn women's basketball set an all-time record to that point in time with 70 consecutive victories.
- Following the 2003 season, Andy Baylock retired as head baseball coach after 24 years as head coach and a total of 39 years associated with the baseball program. Baylock would remain with the school as Director of Alumni and Community Affairs for the football program.
- In June of 2003, Director of Athletics Lew Perkins ended a 13-year run at UConn when he resigned to become AD at the University of Kansas. President Phil Austin quickly hired Jeff Hathaway as Perkins' replacement. Hathaway was UConn's No. 2 man in athletics from 1990-2001 before becoming AD at Colorado State.
- In July of 2003, Jim Penders, a former UConn baseball standout and the Huskies' assistant coach, was named UConn Baseball Head Coach.
- On August 30, 2003, UConn Football beat Big 10 Conference foe Indiana 34-10 in the inaugural home game played in its new home site, Rentschler Field in East Hartford. An advanced sellout crowd of 40,000 witnessed the contest.
- On April 5, 2004, Jim Calhoun and the Connecticut men's basketball program added a second NCAA Division I National Championship, led by NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player Emeka Okafor.
- One day after the UConn men won their 2004 NCAA title, the UConn women won their third consecutive NCAA Championship (April 6, 2004), led by National Player of the Year Diana Taurasi.
- In December 2004, UConn Football played its first season as a member of the Big East Football Conference, earned a post-season bowl berth, and defeated Toledo 39-10 to win the Motor City Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit.
- The UConn Athletic budget in 2004-05 was $47.1 million.
- In September of 2005 UConn Men's Coach Jim Calhoun earned basketball's highest honor when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
- In 2006, UConn women's head basketball coach Geno Auriemma earned his sport's two highest honors when he was inducted into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
- The summer of 2006 saw the opening of The Burton Family Football Complex and the Mark R. Shenkman Training Facility - jointly the new on-campus home for the Connecticut Football program.
- The 2007 UConn football team won its first Big East Conference Championship, finished the year 9-4, and earned a berth in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte.
- In 2007, UConn women's soccer, under head coach Len Tsantiris, earned its 26th consecutive NCAA National Tournament berth, joining North Carolina as the only two schools in the nation to qualify for every NCAA women's soccer tournament since the event was launched (1982-2007).
- The UConn Athletic budget in 2007-08 was $52.1 million.
- At the conclusion of the 2008 football season (Jan. 3, 2009), UConn played in the International Bowl in Toronto and beat Buffalo 38-20. It was UConn's third bowl bid in five seasons as a I-A program.
- All-American running back Donald Brown was the MVP of UConn's win in the 2009 International Bowl and was the school's first-ever NFL Draft First Round pick.
- The UConn women's basketball team began a back-to-back NCAA National Championship run in 2008-2009 posting a perfect 39-0 overall record.
- On November 21, 2009, the UConn football team scored one of the greatest wins in school history when the Huskies traveled to South Bend, Indiana and beat Notre Dame 33-30 in double overtime before a sellout crowd of 80,795.
- At the conclusion of the 2009 season (Jan. 2, 2010), UConn Football played in the Papajohn's.com. Bowl in Birmingham, AL and beat South Carolina from the SEC 20-7.
- In 2009-10, UConn women's basketball continued its dominance, winning its second consecutive NCAA National Championship with another 39-0 unbeaten mark (the program's seventh NCAA title in the past 16 years).
- On December 4, 2010, UConn Football beat South Florida 19-16 when Dave Teggart kicked a 52-yard field goal in the final minute of play, earning for the Huskies a share of the Big East Conference title and with it a berth in a BCS Bowl game.
- On December 5, 2010, the UConn Football program accepted a bid to one of the major BCS bowls, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, to be played on Jan. 1, 2011 in Phoenix against the University of Oklahoma. It was UConn's fifth post-season bowl bid in seven seasons as a member of the Big East Football Conference.
- On January 2, 2011, Randy Edsall stepped down as head coach of Connecticut Football to accept the head coaching post at the University of Maryland.
- On January 13, 2011, Paul Pasqualoni was named Head Football Coach at the University of Connecticut.
- During the 2010-2011 season, UConn women's basketball set the all-time college basketball record for consecutive victories, extending their three-year winning streak to 90 consecutive victories.
- In March of 2011, the UConn men's basketball team, led by All-American Kemba Walker, began an unprecedented run through post-season tournament play by winning five games in five days to claim the 2011 Big East Conference Tournament Championship.
- Three weeks later, on April 4, 2011, UConn had added six NCAA Tournament wins to conclude its amazing 11-game winning streak in the postseason (beating Butler 53-41 in the National Championship game) as Connecticut won the 2011 NCAA National Championship - the third NCAA men's crown for the school in the past 13 years.
- UConn Baseball earned an NCAA Championship berth for the second consecutive season, being sent to South Carolina for the Clemson Regional.
- On June 6, 2011, the UConn baseball team finished a march out of the loser's bracket, winning four consecutive games after an opening round loss and defeating host Clemson 14-1 in the championship game to win the NCAA Clemson Regional Tournament and advance to the NCAA Super Regionals.
- On June 12, 2011, Connecticut's magical baseball season ended as the Huskies were beaten 8-2 by defending NCAA Championship South Carolina in the NCAA Super Regionals. UConn would finish the season 45-20-1.
- In August 2011, Jeff Hathaway, Director of Athletics at Connecticut since July of 2003, announced his retirement.
- In February 2012, Warde Manuel was named UConn Director of Athletics.
- In August of 2012, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma, serving as the USA National Team coach, led the United States Women's Basketball squad to the Olympic Gold Medal at the 2012 Summer Games in London. The 12-player squad included six former UConn stars - Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Asjha Jones, Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, Maya Moore.
- On September 13, 2012, Jim Calhoun announced his retirement as head coach of Connecticut Basketball after 26 seasons (625-243) leading the Huskies' program. Coach Calhoun ended his 40-year tenure as a collegiate head coach with an overall record of 873-380 (6th all-time in Division I wins in collegiate history).
- In December 2012, Kevin Ollie was named permanent Head Coach of Connecticut Men's Basketball.
- In April of 2013, the UConn Women's Basketball program began an unprecedented run to four consecutive NCAA Championships, winning its eighth national title.
- In April of 2013 the "original" Big East Conference ended its 34-year run and announced that it will be renamed the American Athletic Conference as of the conclusion of the 2012-2013 sports season.
- In the fall of 2013, UConn Women's Field Hockey team won the NCAA National Championship, the first of a pair of back-to-back national titles.
- In March and April of 2014, the UConn men's basketball team, a No. 7 seed in the tournament, goes on a remarkable three-week run through the NCAA Basketball Championship and toppled Kentucky 60-54 in the National Championship game. The run to the national title would be UConn's fourth Men's Basketball National Championship in a brief 16-year span (1999, 2004, 2011, 2014).
- The UConn women's basketball program makes it two in a row, winning the 2014 NCAA National Championship with a spotless 40-0 record, the ninth title in school history.
- In October 2014, former UConn Men's Soccer Captain ('86) Tony Rizza pledged a total of $8 million, the largest private gift in UConn Athletics history, toward the building of a new soccer stadium on the Storrs campus.
- On October 17, 2014 the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center was dedicated and officially opened as the new practice and training home for both of UConn's National Championship basketball programs. The $40 million basketball training facility was 100% funded through privately donated contributions.
- On November 5, 2014, the UConn men's ice hockey program earned its first-ever Hockey East victory, beating No. 3 nationally-ranked Boston College 1-0 before a sellout crowd of 8,089 at the XL Center.
- In November 2014, Nancy Stevens and the UConn Women's Field Hockey program won their second consecutive NCAA National Championship.
- In April 2015, the UConn women's basketball program won its third consecutive NCAA National Championship, the record-tying 10th national title for the Huskies of head coach Geno Auriemma.
- In February 2016, the UConn Women's Indoor Track and Field team won the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championship for the second year in succession.
- On February 29, 2016, David Benedict was named Director of Athletics at the University of Connecticut, replacing Warde Manuel, who accepted the AD post at his alma mater, the University of Michigan.
- In March of 2016, the UConn Men's Basketball team won the American Athletic Conference Tournament title.
- In April 2016, UConn Women's Basketball pulls off another first - winning its fourth consecutive NCAA National Championship behind the leadership of Brenna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck.
- In August 2016, UConn's Geno Auriemma led the United States Women's Basketball Olympic team to the 2016 Gold Medal - his second as Head Coach of the USA Olympic program. Five of his former UConn players were part of the winning team - Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Maya Moore, Breanna Stewart.
- In November of 2016, UConn Women's Soccer won the American Athletic Conference Tournament title for the second time (2014, 2016).
- On December 30, 2016, Randy Edsall was introduced for his second tour of duty as Head Coach of UConn Football.
- In April 2017, UConn Women's Basketball advanced to its 10th consecutive NCAA "Final Four."
- In May 2017, the UConn Baseball program won the American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship.
- In September 2017, former UConn All-American Rebecca Lobo was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
- In October 2017, the UConn Women's Cross Country team won its first American Athletic Conference Championship.
- On November 7, 2018, Len Tsantiris retired after 37 years as Head Coach of UConn Women's Soccer. He won 570 games at UConn, leading the Huskies to 31 NCAA appearances.
- In November 2017, former UConn Baseball All-American George Springer was named the Major League Baseball World Series MVP as his Houston Astros won the World Series title.
- In November 2017, UConn Women's Field Hockey won its third NCAA National Championship in the past five season (2013, 2014, 2017) while earning its fifth consecutive trip to the Final Four. The UConn coaches - Head Coach Nancy Stevens, Associate Head Coach Paul Caddy, and Assistant Coach Cheri Schulz are named the National Coaching Staff of the Year in guiding UConn to a perfect 23-0 overall record.
- UConn's Nancy Stevens, having completed 39 years as a collegiate head coach, is the winningest coach in Division I college field hockey history (662-181-24).
- In December 2017, UConn Women's Basketball Head Coach Geno Auriemma recorded his 1,000 win in his 33rd season leading the Husky program.
- On January 2, 2018, Margaret (Tietjen) Rodriguez was named Head Coach of UConn Women's Soccer. The new Husky head coach was a star at UConn from 1995-98.
- In February 2018, UConn Women's Basketball Associate Head Coach Chris Dailey was named to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.
- In March 2018, the UConn Men's Track and Field team won the IC4A Indoor Championship.
- In March 2018, Dan Hurley was named the 19th Head Coach of Men's Basketball at the University of Connecticut.
- In March 2018, former UConn Basketball All-American Ray Allen was named a first ballot inductee to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
- In March 2018, the UConn Women's Basketball program advanced to its record-setting 11th consecutive "Final Four."
TWO TITLES SAME SEASON - AND WE'VE DONE IT TWICE
UConn is the only school in college basketball history to win both the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Basketball National Championships in the same season - and our Huskies have done it TWICE - 2004 and again in 2014!!
TWO HALL OF FAMERS WHILE STILL ACTIVE
UConn is the only school in the nation to have its men's and women's head basketball coaches enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame while each were still active coaches - Jim Calhoun in 2005 and Geno Auriemma in 2006.
SIX COACHES - PERFECT 20-0 IN NCAA TITLE GAMES
UConn Basketball is a perfect 15-0 in NCAA Division I National Championship game appearances. Geno Auriemma is an unbeaten 11-0 (1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) in NCAA title games, Jim Calhoun was an unbeaten 3-0 (1999, 2004, 2011) in three trips to the NCAA title game, and Kevin Ollie was 1-0 (2014) in his trip to the NCAA Championship.
In addition to the three basketball coaches unbeaten in NCAA National Championship games, three other UConn head coaches have also been unbeaten when reaching national championship games - Field Hockey Head Coach Nancy Stevens three times (2013, 2014, 2017), former Men's Soccer Head Coach Joe Morrone (1981), and current Men's Soccer Head Coach Ray Reid (2000).
Six UConn coaches. 20 NCAA Championship Game appearances. Overall Record: 20-0.
BOTH BASKETBALLS NO. 1 IN SAME WEEK SETS STANDARD
UConn is the first school in history to have its men's and women's basketball programs ranked No. 1 in the nation at the same time - Feb. 13, 1995. Stars of the men's team were Ray Allen, Donny Marshall and Doron Sheffer. Stars of the women's team were Rebecca Lobo, Jen Rizzotti and Kara Wolters.
BELICHICK TO UCONN?
Bill Belichick has stated that he applied for the UConn Football Head Coaching post in 1983 when he was serving as Linebackers and Special Teams Coach for the NFL's New York Giants. In 1983, UConn promoted offensive line coach Tom Jackson to its head coaching position. Jackson served as head coach of the Huskies for 11 years (1983-93) with an overall record of 62-57.
BCS BOWL GAME & TWO FINAL FOURS IN 2011
In 2011, UConn became the only athletic program in history to see its football program advance to a BCS Bowl Game (Fiesta Bowl) in the same year that both men's and women's basketball played in the NCAA "Final Four."
HUSKY HISTORICAL VARSITY PROGRAMS
In addition to the current roster of 24 varsity intercollegiate programs within the UConn Division of Athletics, a number of other sports have been part of Husky Athletics in the past - Women's Archery (1926-55); Fencing (1939-42, 1951-53, 1967-61); Women's Gymnastics (1974-86); Men's Lacrosse (1966-82); Pistol (1950s); Rifle (1957-66); Squash (1957-61); Wrestling (1957-81).
UCONN HOSTED "FIRST" NCAA FINAL FOURS IN TWO SEPARATE SPORTS ON STORRS CAMPUS
In 1959, Dr. Jack Squires, UConn head coach and chair of the NCAA Rules Committee, devised a plan for conducting the first NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament. On Thanksgiving weekend, Bridgeport, West Chester, CCNY and St. Louis met at the University of Connecticut. The semifinals were played in Memorial Stadium (now the site of the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center) but after torrential rains swamped that field the national title game was moved to Gardner Dow Field (in the area that now ranges from the School of Business to Babbidge Library). St. Louis won the first NCAA title, defeating Bridgeport 5-2.
In 1981, the NCAA was bringing women's varsity sports under its umbrella, and UConn would host the first Division I Field Hockey Final Four in Memorial Stadium in Storrs. In addition to serving as the host school, UConn would also win the National Championship, defeating Massachusetts in the title game. Also in the first NCAA Field Hockey Final Four were Old Dominion and Long Beach State.
UCONN HAS WON 23 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
UConn Athletics has won a total of 23 National Championships in four different sports (11 Women's Basketball, 5 Women's Field Hockey, 4 Men's Basketball, 3 Men's Soccer) - 22 of those 23 titles are NCAA Championships and the 23rd (or actually the first national title) was the 1948 Men's Soccer Championship. UConn, led by head coach Dr. John Squires, finished the 1948 season with a perfect 11-0 record and the Huskies were awarded the "National Championship" by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The NCAA Men's Soccer Championship Tournament did not start until 1959 - and Storrs, CT played host to that first NCAA Men's Soccer "Final Four."
UCONN FIELD HOCKEY - A PAIR OF FIVE-YEAR "FINAL FOUR" RUNS & FIVE NCAA TITLES
UConn Women's Field Hockey has won five NCAA National Championships and all five titles came during two separate "five straight years to the Final Four" runs - spaced more than a quarter century apart.
From 1981 through 1985, UConn Women's Field Hockey, led by Hall of Fame Head Coach Diane Wright, made five consecutive trips to the Final Four - winning the 1981 championship and adding the 1985 title.
From 2013 through 2017, UConn Women's Field Hockey, led by Hall of Fame Head Coach Nancy Stevens, has again made five consecutive trips to the Final Four - winning three of the past five NCAA Championships (2013, 2014, 2017).
BIGGEST UNDERDOG NATIONAL CHAMP - AND A STOCK MARKET RECORD
When UConn beat powerful Duke, 77-74, on March 29, 1999 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL to win Connecticut's first NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship it marked the biggest underdog upset in NCAA national championship game history. UConn was a 9 ½-point underdog in the title game. On that same date in 1999, the United States Stock Market (Dow Jones) hit the 10,000 plateau for the first time in history.
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