Don’t feel bad, Pioneers fans, if you have to consult a scorecard to make sense of some of your favorite teams’ new rivalries. Given that it is a time of unprecedented change in DU’s athletics department, keeping a few notes handy will be perfectly understandable.
Old rivalries have passed by the wayside. New rivalries are on the horizon. And, perhaps most strikingly, most of the Pioneers’ athletics programs will venture into new home conferences.
No program illustrates this shift more clearly than the DU hockey team. The arrival of new head coach Jim Montgomery is only one part of a programwide transformation that includes the team’s first season in the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference, which will boast some of the most powerful programs in the nation.
But hockey is far from the only program setting foot in a new home this year. The bulk of the Pioneers’ varsity teams will take part in their first season in the Summit League in 2013–14, following a one-year excursion into the Western Athletic Conference. Eleven DU teams are making the move: men’s and women’s basketball; men’s and women’s golf; men’s and women’s soccer; men’s and women’s swimming and diving; men’s and women’s tennis; and volleyball.
Finally, the men’s lacrosse team, fresh off its second appearance in the NCAA Semifinals in three seasons, has joined the Big East Conference, where the Pioneers’ program will enjoy a bigger profile along the East Coast, the nation’s traditional lacrosse hot spot.
Confused? Don’t worry. As soon as the games start, it will be business as usual for the Pioneers as they vie for their various conference crowns. Here is a look at some of the DU programs as they go into the 2013–14 season.
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