The UConn Huskies (or Connecticut Huskies) are the athletic teams that represent the University of Connecticut. The school is a member of the NCAA's Division I and the American Athletic Conference. The university's football team plays at Rentschler Field, and the men's and women's basketball teams play on-campus at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion and off-campus at the XL Center.
|University||University of Connecticut|
|Conference||American Athletic Conference|
|NCAA||Division I FBS|
|Athletic director||David Benedict|
|Football stadium||Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field|
|Basketball arena||Gampel Pavilion|
|Ice hockey arena||XL Center (men)|
Freitas Ice Forum (women)
|Baseball stadium||J. O. Christian Field|
|Soccer stadium||Morrone Stadium|
|Mascot||Jonathan the Husky|
|Fight song||"UConn Husky"|
|Colors||National Flag Blue and White|
The university's teams are nicknamed "Huskies", a name adopted following a student poll in The Connecticut Campus in 1934 after the school's name changed from Connecticut Agricultural College to Connecticut State College in 1933; before then, the teams were referred to as the Aggies. Although there is a homophonic relationship between "UConn" and the Yukon, where Huskies are native, the "Huskies" nickname predates the school's 1939 name change to the University of Connecticut; the first recorded use of "UConn" (as "U-Conn", both separately and with "Huskies") was later in 1939. The university and its athletics officially rebranded to UConn in the spring of 2013.
UConn's women's teams are not known as the "Lady Huskies", but simply as "UConn Huskies", the same as the men's teams.
UConn's teams participate in the NCAA's Division I and in the American Athletic Conference for all sports except field hockey and men's and women's ice hockey. UConn's football team participates in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
The Huskies have been a member of The American since its founding in 1979 as the original Big East Conference, and are the only remaining charter member of that league.
Since hockey is not sponsored by The American, the men's and women's hockey programs are now members of Hockey East. Through the 2017–18 school year, both field hockey and women's lacrosse were members of the current Big East Conference. Field hockey remains in the Big East, but women's lacrosse is now part of The American alongside most other UConn sports, as The American launched a women's lacrosse league in the 2018–19 school year.
The club alpine skiing team competes in the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association because of a stricter limit on NCAA skiing programs.
|Men's sports||Women's sports|
|Cross country||Field hockey|
|Swimming & diving||Softball|
|Tennis||Swimming & diving|
|Track & field†||Tennis|
|Track & field†|
|† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.|
In 2010, the UConn baseball team set a program record for wins in a season with 48. This eclipsed the previous mark of 39. The team played as the No. 2 seed alongside No. 1 Florida State (ACC), No. 3 Oregon (Pac-10), and No. 4 Central Connecticut State (NEC). The Huskies placed third in the regional with a 1–2 and played in front of 5,684 fans in their Friday opener against Oregon. The team finished the season ranked 22nd in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll, 23rd in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll and 28th in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll.
In the summer of 2010, Huskies George Springer and Matt Barnes were named to the Collegiate USA National Team. Also, four players were named to their respective collegiate summer league All-Star teams- John Sulzicki of the Butler BlueSox (Prospect League), Greg Nappo of the Haymarket Senators (Valley Baseball League), Billy Ferriter of the North Fork Ospreys (Hamptons Collegiate Baseball), and Michael Zaccardo of the Riverhead Tomcats (Hamptons Collegiate Baseball).
In 2011, UConn baseball was ranked 1st in the Big East Conference preseason poll. George Springer and Matt Barnes were named preseason Big East Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. The team advanced to the first Super Regional in program history, spoiling a potential Super Regional derby by defeating ACC powerhouse Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in winning the Clemson regional. In the Super Regional, the chances of a Palmetto Double Sweep were ended by eventual champion South Carolina.
In 2013, UConn baseball became the first 8 seed to win the Big East Tournament. UConn knocked off the 1 seed Louisville 3–2 in ten innings in the opening game, came back from a 7–0 deficit to beat South Florida 8–7, beat Rutgers 2–1 in the semifinals, and beat Notre Dame 8–1 for the championship.
UConn men's basketball was once a regional power, winning 18 Yankee Conference championships between 1947 and 1975, including 12 by Hugh Greer. In 1979, UConn was one of the seven founding schools of the American Athletic Conference (then known as the Big East Conference), which was originally created to focus on basketball, and the last remaining school that signed the charter to remain following the 2013 split. In the early days of the Big East, UConn struggled behind national powers Georgetown and Syracuse. Prior to the 1986–87 season UConn hired Jim Calhoun to be the program's new head coach, but the Huskies difficulties continued and they finished the season with a record of 9–19, their fifth straight losing season. But in 1988, the team showed significant improvement and gained a berth in the NIT. UConn went on a run in the tournament and defeated Ohio State, 72–67, at Madison Square Garden to win the NIT, the school's first national basketball title.
The 1990 "Dream Season" would bring UConn basketball to the national stage. Led by Chris Smith, Nadav Henefeld and Tate George, UConn went from unranked in the preseason to winning the Big East regular season and tournament championships, both for the first time. 1990 also marked the opening of Gampel Pavilion, the program's new on-campus home. In the NCAA Tournament the Huskies garnered a No. 1 seed in the East Region, but trailed Clemson, 70–69, with 1 second remaining in the Sweet 16. Scott Burrell's full-court pass found Tate George on the far baseline. George spun, fired, and hit a buzzer-beater that is known in Connecticut simply as "The Shot". They would be eliminated on a buzzer-beater 2 days later by Duke, losing in overtime, 79–78.
UConn rose as a national program throughout the 1990s, winning five more Big East Regular Season and three more Big East Tournament Championships, but the Final Four still eluded Calhoun and the program until the 1999 NCAA Tournament. The Huskies were the top seed in the West region and a win over Gonzaga in the regional finals sent UConn to Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay for the Final Four. They defeated Ohio State, 64–58, in the semi-final to face off against Duke in the final. Despite having been ranked No. 1 for half of the year, the Huskies entered the national championship game as 9-point underdogs. The game was tight throughout, and when the final buzzer sounded, UConn had defeated Duke, 77–74.
The 1999 national championship would not be the last. In 2004, the Huskies returned to the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas. Once again, they faced Duke, this time in the National Semifinal, and used a late run to beat the Blue Devils, 79–78. Two nights later, led by Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor, UConn beat Georgia Tech, 82–73, to win the championship.
In the 2009 NCAA Tournament, UConn was awarded the No. 1 seed in the West. Led by AJ Price, Hasheem Thabeet and Jeff Adrien, the Huskies reached the Final Four by defeating No. 16 seed Chattanooga in the 1st round, No. 9 seed Texas A&M in the 2nd round, No. 5 seed Purdue in the Sweet 16 and No. 3 seed Missouri in the Elite Eight. This marked the third time in the program's history to reach the Final Four. In the two other occurrences, UConn also came out of the West region and won the national championship on both occasions.
Connecticut returned to the NCAA tournament in 2011 after an off year. Under the leadership of Kemba Walker Uconn won five consecutive games in five nights to earn the Big East Tournament championship in New York City. They headed to the NCAA as a No. 3 seed, and completed one of the most improbable runs to the Championship game defeating Butler to earn their third National championship in a 53–41 defensive affair in Houston, Texas.
In 2014 led by American Athletic Conference Player of the Year Shabazz Napier, UConn become the first #7 seed to win the NCAA Championship, getting past No. 1 seed Florida, No. 2 seed Villanova, No. 3 seed Iowa State, and No. 4 seed Michigan State, before defeating the Kentucky Wildcats, 60–54, in the championship game in Arlington, Texas.
Strong alumni, student, and fan support for UConn's men's basketball teams helped the Huskies' women's basketball program attract Geno Auriemma as head coach. Under the tutelage of Auriemma, UConn has become one of the few schools that consistently competes for the national title in women's basketball.
The Huskies were also part of one of the fiercest rivalries in all of women's college sports. In the rivalry between UConn and the University of Tennessee, there was no love lost between Auriemma and deceased Tennessee coach Pat Summitt. The two schools have faced each other seven times in the NCAA Tournament, and four times in the NCAA Championship Game. UConn leads 5–2 in those games including a 4–0 record in the finals. UConn leads the all-time series 13–8. Summitt ended the regular season series in the summer of 2007. It is unknown why the series was ended, but media outlets reported that Tennessee reported to the NCAA that UConn committed minor recruiting infractions with the recruitment of Maya Moore which included a tour of ESPN while Moore was a junior in high school.
Rebecca Lobo, Jennifer Rizzotti, Svetlana Abrosimova, Shea Ralph, Nykesha Sales, Kelly Schumacher, Swin Cash, Kara Wolters, Tamika Williams, Diana Taurasi, Asjha Jones, Sue Bird, Ann Strother, Barbara Turner, Jessica Moore, Ashley Battle, Ketia Swanier, Charde Houston, Tina Charles, Kalana Greene, Renee Montgomery, Maya Moore, Bria Hartley, and Stefanie Dolson are among the women's professional basketball players or WNBA draftees who attended UConn.
In 2002, UConn became the only school ever to have four women drafted among the top 10 of the first round of the 2002 WNBA Draft, with National Player of the Year Sue Bird drafted 1st, Swin Cash drafted 2nd, Asjha Jones drafted 4th, and Tamika Williams Raymond drafted 6th. The 5th starter on the UConn 2002 NCAA championship team was future No. 1 WNBA draft choice and future two-time National Player of the Year Diana Taurasi. A total of 11 UConn alumnae play in the WNBA in the 2010 season.
In 2004, UConn became the second school ever, and the first in Division I, to win the men's NCAA National Championship and the women's basketball title in the same season and did it again in 2014. It was also the first school to ever have both teams ranked number 1 in the nation at the same time (during the 1994–95 season), and has also spent the most weeks by far with both teams holding the number one spot, with Duke being the only other team ever to achieve the feat, for a short period during the 2003–04 season.
In 2006, UConn became the third school ever to have four players drafted in Round One of the NBA Draft, and the first school ever to have five players selected in the two-round draft. In the first round, Rudy Gay, Hilton Armstrong, Marcus Williams and Josh Boone were selected. In the second round, Denham Brown was selected. It should also be noted that Rashad Anderson also entered the NBA draft and has played for several European, Middle Eastern and NBA-D League teams since then.
In 2008, freshman Maya Moore made history by being named Big East Player of the Year, the first time a freshman was so honored in either men's or women's basketball. She was named Big East Player of the Year again in 2009.
UConn women entered the 2008–09 season ranked No. 1 in all national polls. They finished the season ranked as No. 1 as well, winning the national championship, finishing the season with a perfect 39–0 record, while winning every game by 10 points or more. At the end of the year, Maya Moore swept the National Player of the Year honors, receiving the Wooden, Wade and Naismith Awards, and she, Renee Montgomery and Tina Charles were named to various All-America teams. Coach Geno Auriemma received his record sixth recognition as the National Coach of the Year.
UConn women entered the 2009–10 season ranked No. 1 in all the national polls, and remained ranked No. 1 every week for the entire season. They finished the season as the first back-to-back undefeated National Champions, beating No. 2 Stanford at the San Antonio Alamodome. UConn also set the national consecutive victory record at 78 when it won its seventh National Championship at the Alamodome.
UConn women entered the 2010–11 season ranked No. 1 in all the national polls. On December 19, 2010, the UConn Huskies beat No. 10 ranked Ohio State at Madison Square Garden's annual Maggie Dixon Classic to tie the NCAA consecutive win streak to 88 games, and on December 21, 2010 they beat No. 20 ranked Florida State at the XL Center in Hartford to set a new NCAA consecutive win record at 89 games, the streak ended at 90 on December 30, 2010 with a 71–59 loss at Stanford.
UConn is not only a pipeline to both the NBA and the WNBA, but to coaching ranks throughout the sport of basketball. UConn alumnae in the coaching ranks include head coaches Jennifer Rizzotti at the University of Hartford, Jamelle Elliott at the University of Cincinnati, Tonya Cardoza at Temple University, and Carla Berube at Tufts University and assistant coaches Shea Ralph at UConn, Stacy Hansmeyer at the University of Oklahoma, Morgan Valley at the University of Washington and Willnett Crockett at Temple University. Mel Thomas is the Director of Basketball Operations at Florida Gulf Coast University. Tamika Williams is head coach of India's national women's team, and a former assistant coach at The Ohio State University and the University of Kansas.
Six American female basketball players have attained the Triple Crown "plus one" — an NCAA national title, a WNBA title, a World Championship, and an Olympic gold medal. Of those six, four are UConn alumnae: Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Kara Wolters and Diana Taurasi.
UConn football started in 1896. The program's progression lead to an undefeated season in 1924. Four players who attended UConn that year went on to play in the NFL, with one winning a world title with the Providence Steam Roller in 1928. Two played for the Hartford Blues alongside the Four Horsemen, former members of 1924 national champions, the University of Notre Dame.
UConn football finally reached Division 1-A status in 2000, was included in official Division 1-A statistics for the first time in 2002, and became a full Big East member in 2004. UConn has been recognized as having the fastest progression out of I-AA in NCAA history, as it was invited into a BCS conference only two years after becoming a full I-A member, was bowl-eligible in its first season in I-A, and was invited to a bowl game in its first season as a conference member. The Huskies defeated the University of Toledo in the 2004 Motor City Bowl by a score of 39–10, with quarterback Dan Orlovsky being named Most Valuable Player. In 2003, the team was also honored for being one of only 7 schools in the U.S. to graduate 80% or better of its members; it was the only public school on the list. In 2007, the Huskies had their best year as they went 9–3, finished 7–0 at home and earned a berth in the 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl, where they were defeated by Wake Forest, 24–10. In 2008, the Huskies finished 7–5 and defeated Buffalo in the 2009 International Bowl in Toronto.
During the 2009–2010 football season, cornerback Jasper Howard was stabbed to death on campus after celebrating the win early that day against the Louisville Cardinals. UConn honored Jasper for the remainder of 2009 and 2010, which would have been his Senior year. The Huskies would defeat SEC opponent South Carolina in the 2010 PapaJohns.com Bowl. The next year, Connecticut made its first major bowl by winning the Big East Conference and going to the 2011 Fiesta Bowl.
Men's cross country/track and fieldEdit
- Head Coach: Greg Roy
- American Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships: (1) 2014
- American Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships: (1) 2015
- Penn Relays Championship of America Titles: (1) 2000
- Big East Indoor Track and Field Championships: (9) 1987, 1997, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013
- Big East Outdoor Track and Field Championships: (4) 1982, 2002, 2011, 2013
- Big East Relay Championships: 2
- All-Americans: 32
Women's cross country/track and fieldEdit
- Head Coach: JJ Clark
- Olympians: 1 (in women's bobsled)
- Big East Indoor Track and Field Championships: (2) 2008, 2009
- Big East Outdoor Track and Field Championships: (1) 1995
- NCAA All-Americans: 9
- Playing facility: George J. Sherman Sports Complex
- Head Coach: Nancy Stevens
- Most victories: 23 in 1999, 23 in 2017.
- NCAA Tournament appearances: 26
- NCAA National Championships: (5) 1981, 1985, 2013, 2014, 2017
- NCAA Runner-Up: (2) 1982, 1983
- Final Fours: (15) 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1998, 1999, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
- Big East Regular Season Championships: (15) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
- Big East Tournament Championships: (15) 1992, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
- All-Americans: 46
- Olympians: 2
- Head Coach: Dave Pezzino
- NCAA appearances: (1) 1980
- Big East Championships: (1) 1994
Men's ice hockeyEdit
On June 21, 2012 Connecticut announced the program would join Hockey East as the conference's 12th member beginning in the 2014-15 season. As part of the move from Atlantic Hockey to Hockey East, the university added 18 scholarships for the men's ice hockey team and additional scholarships to existing women's sports programs to meet Title IX gender equity requirements. The university was also investigating options to build a new, larger ice arena on-campus as its then-current venue, the Freitas Ice Forum, has a seating capacity of only 2,000 and was too small for the jump up to Hockey East. Since then, UConn has used the XL Center, a former NHL venue in downtown Hartford, as its primary men's home. While the arena has a hockey capacity of 15,635, UConn has capped ticket sales at 8,089. Select home games have also been played at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. The Freitas Ice Forum now hosts games only for the women's hockey team.
Women's ice hockeyEdit
- Playing facility: Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum
- Head Coach: Christopher MacKenzie
- Most wins: 22 in 2007–08
- Playing facility: Sherman Sports Complex
- Head Coach: Katie Woods
- Most wins: 13 in 2013
- NCAA Tournament appearances: (1) 2013
- ECAC Championships: (1) 2006
- All-Americans: 2
- Home surface: Coventry Lake
- Head Coach: Jennifer Sanford
In addition to its basketball success, UConn is known for its championship soccer teams. The men's team has won two NCAA national championships, in 1981 and 2000, and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America named the undefeated 1948 team the national champion. The 2000 team was known for its stellar depth on the bench including the likes of Garrett Grinsfelder, Michael Rueda, and Ryan Brown, who exuded the team's "never say die" attitude. The men's team won back to back Big East championships in (2004 and 2005). As of 2011 UConn led the nation in total attendance in eight of the preceding 12 seasons. No program can match it for having drawn better on-campus support for more than 30 years. In the early 1980s, before the NCAA kept soccer attendance records and before Morrone Stadium was downsized, the Huskies drew huge crowds. Total attendance in 1983 was 64,535—a record that held until 2010. Major League Soccer players Maurizio Rocha, Chris Gbandi, Damani Ralph, Bobby Rhine, Julius James, Shavar Thomas, O'Brian White, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Toni Ståhl, Cyle Larin, and Chukwudi Chijindu each attended UConn.
- Playing facility: Morrone Stadium
- Head Coach: Len Tsantiris
- Most victories: 23 in 1997
- NCAA Tournament appearances: 28
- Last NCAA appearance: 2010
- NCAA Championship Game appearances: (4) 1984, 1990, 1997, 2003
- College Cups: (7) 1982, 1983, 1984, 1990, 1994, 1997, 2003
- All-Americans: 26 Players Awarded 44 Times
- Big East Regular Season Championships: (8) 1995,1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005
- Big East Tournament Championships: (2) 2002, 2004
- All-Big East Selections: 81
- Playing facility: Connecticut Softball Stadium
- Head Coach: Jennifer McIntyre
- Most victories: 45 in 1993
- Women's College World Series appearances: (1) 1993
- Big East Regular Season Championships: (6) 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
- Big East Tournament Championships: (7) 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2001
- All-Americans: 47
Men's and women's swimming & divingEdit
- Playing facility: Wolf-Zackin Natatorium
- Head Coaches: Swimming – Chris Maiello | Diving – John Bransfield
- Big East Champions: 5
- Olympians: 1
- Playing facility: UConn Tennis Courts
- Head Coach: Glenn Marshall
- Most victories: 20 in 2000
- Playing facility: UConn Tennis Courts
- Head Coach: Glenn Marshall
- Most victories: 14 in 2002
- Playing facility: Gampel Pavilion
- Head Coach: Kristopher Grunwald
- Most victories: 35 in 1979
- Big East Regular Season Championships: 2 1994 & 1998
NCAA team championshipsEdit
Connecticut has won 22 NCAA team national championships.
- Men's (6)
- Women's (16)
- see also:
Other national team championshipsEdit
Below is one national team title that was not bestowed by the NCAA:
- Soccer (1948)
The most notable athletic facilities are:
- Harry A. Gampel Pavilion on the Storrs campus, the regular home for both men's and women's basketball
- XL Center in Hartford, the second home for both basketball teams and the primary venue of the men's hockey team
- Rentschler Field in East Hartford, home to the football team
- Joseph J. Morrone Stadium on the Storrs campus, the regular home for both men's and women's soccer and lacrosse.
- Burton Family Football Complex on the Storrs campus, serves as the on-campus home of UConn football and complements Rentschler Field in East Hartford; opened in 2006 
- Mark R. Shenkman Training Center on the Storrs campus, adjacent to the Burton Family Football Complex, "an 85,000-square-foot (7,900 m2) training complex, featuring a 120-yard long state-of-the-art FieldTurf playing surface, an 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) strength and conditioning area, and state-of-the-art video capabilities, the indoor training center provides UConn's football team with the most technologically advanced training equipment"; also serves as a home to UConn club and intramural sports
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