Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Pioneers celebrate start of new athletics season

With a national championship, seven conference titles, eight coaches of the year, 13 All-Americans and a record 12 of the University’s 17 intercollegiate teams competing in the NCAA post-season, the Pioneers’ phenomenal 2007–08 season will be a tough act to follow.

But with true pioneering spirit, DU aims to try.

Chancellor Robert Coombe and Peg Bradley-Doppes, vice chancellor for athletics and recreation and Ritchie Center operations, set the tone for the new season Sept. 7, welcoming 80 new and 240 returning student-athletes and presenting them with the hardware received during the post-season, including the NACDA I-AAA Trophy, Sun Belt Conference Academic Award Trophy and the NACDA Astroturf AD of the Year award.

Coombe and Bradley-Doppes highlighted DU’s eighth-consecutive Sun Belt Conference graduation award, the Pioneers’ top-25 ranking by Sports Illustrated and a No. 47 U.S. Sports Academy Directors’ Cup ranking.

“Last year was such an outstanding year in the classroom and in the arena” Bradley-Doppes said at the welcome celebration, “but we’re back to a new season, a new start.”

Bradley-Doppes said she hopes that new start includes an increase in DU’s student-athlete graduation rate—to 85 percent from an already impressive 80 percent — and that she’s confident DU’s coaches and student-athletes will “continue to set the standard of excellence.”

“DU has shown that it is possible to have an amazingly competitive program … that still has complete, total integrity in the level of academic achievement,” Coombe added. “Athletics really carries the character of the University throughout the nation.”

Pioneers soccer, volleyball, tennis and golf competition is already under way; see game schedules for all Pioneers sports and follow the action at

Comments are closed.