|University||University of Denver|
|Conference(s)||Western Athletic Conference
(The Summit League in 2013)
|Athletics director||Peg Bradley-Doppes|
|Basketball arena||Magness Arena|
|Ice hockey arena||Magness Arena|
|Soccer stadium||CIBER Stadium|
|Lacrosse stadium||Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium|
|Mascot||"Ruckus" (Official) "Denver Boone" (unofficial)|
|Fight song||"D-Rah/Fairest of Colleges" (Dororthy Hickey, 1916)|
|Colors||Crimson and Gold
The Denver Pioneers are the sports teams of the University of Denver (DU). They play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, with most teams participating in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). DU officially left the Sun Belt Conference for the WAC on July 1, 2012, and announced in November of that year that it would leave the WAC to join The Summit League on July 1, 2013.
The University has been fielding athletic teams since 1867. DU's athletic teams are known as the Pioneers. In the early years of competition from the 1860s to the early 1920s, Denver had no official nickname, but sports writers of the day referred to Denver teams as the "Ministers" or "Fighting Parsons" in homage to the Methodist heritage of the school. Denver officially became the "Pioneers" in 1925, after the result of a student nickname contest, and that nickname has been in place ever since.
With over 200 All Americans, 28 NCAA Championships, and 58 Olympians in its history, there is a long tradition of excellence in Pioneer sports. Today, DU operates a full NCAA Division I athletic program with a unique and successful mix of sports in and around the $85 million Daniel Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness, which was completed in 2000. In 2008, Denver was 47th overall in the NACDA Director's Cup, which ranks NCAA programs on total athletic program achievement, and was first among NCAA D-I schools without football programs (D-I AAA). Sports Illustrated ranked the DU program 23rd in the nation in 2008 among all schools.
Denver is a member of the WAC for basketball, swimming and diving, tennis and golf for both men and women, plus women's volleyball, soccer and gymnastics. Other DU teams play in various conferences in the sports that are not sponsored by the WAC. The men's ice hockey team currently plays in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), but will leave that conference after the 2012–13 season to become a charter member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). The men's soccer and women's lacrosse teams play in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). Men's and women's skiing compete in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association, while men's lacrosse participates in the ECAC Lacrosse League.
When DU joins The Summit League, it will move all of its WAC teams except for women's gymnastics, a sport not sponsored by its new conference. In addition, its men's soccer team will leave the MPSF, as The Summit League sponsors that sport.
Men's Intercollegiate Sports
Women's Intercollegiate Sports
Co-ed Intercollegiate Sports
- * = Skiing is recorded by the NCAA as a men's sport, but it has been co-ed since 1983.
Ice hockey 
Ice hockey is DU's flagship spectator sport, regularly selling out the 6,026 seat Magness Arena on campus, the showpiece of the Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness (completed in 2000). DU's Hockey Program has been playing NCAA Division I hockey since 1949-50. The Pioneers are one of the most successful programs in the history of collegiate hockey. They are ranked (with North Dakota) second in all time NCAA National Hockey Championships with seven (1958, 1960, 1961, 1968, 1969, 2004, 2005) Only Michigan (9) has more championships. The Pioneers have appeared in 14 NCAA Frozen Four Championships. Since the creation of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in 1959, the Pioneers have won 10 WCHA Regular Season Championships (now the recipients of the MacNaughton Cup) and 13 WCHA Playoff Championships (now the recipients of the Broadmoor Trophy).
Denver's ice hockey alumni include over 60 NHL hockey players, including Hall of Famer Glenn Anderson, and current (2013) NHLers: 2007 Calder Trophy nominee Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche, Tyler Bozak of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild, Beau Bennett of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Drew Shore of the Florida Panthers. Patrick Weircioch of the Ottawa Senators, Chris Butler of the Calgary Flames and 2006 Hobey Baker Memorial Award Winner Matt Carle of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Previous DU players who starred in the NHL besides Anderson include Keith Magnuson, Craig Patrick, Cliff Koroll, Peter McNab, and Kevin Dineen, who now coaches the Florida Panthers of the NHL. Legendary hockey coaches at Denver include three former NHL players - Murray Armstrong, Marshall Johnston and Ralph Backstrom. George Gwozdecky, who left the team in April 2013 after 19 seasons, is the only person in NCAA history to win Division I Men's Hockey National Championships as a player (with Wisconsin in 1977), an assistant coach (with Michigan State in 1986) and as a head coach (with Denver in 2004 and 2005). Jim Montgomery a former NHL player, USHL coach and star collegiate player, is the new coach of Denver Hockey, starting in the spring of 2013.
DU hockey will enter a new era in 2013 when it leaves its longtime home of the WCHA to launch the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). The new conference was formed as a direct reaction to the Big Ten Conference's announcement that it would start a men's hockey league in 2013. The six charter members of the NCHC—DU, Colorado College, Miami (OH), Minnesota–Duluth, Nebraska–Omaha, and North Dakota—have combined for 17 NCAA championships in the sport. These schools were soon joined by St. Cloud State and Western Michigan to bring the league's membership at launch to eight.
Other sports 
Skiing is another strong sport. The University of Denver Ski Team has won 21 NCAA titles (more skiing titles than any other school), dominating the first decade of the 2000s. DU "three-peated" NCAA titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010, won an NCAA title in 2005 and as well as three consecutive NCAA titles from 2001 to 2003.
The women's gymnastics team finished 12th at the 2008 NCAA Championships and 10th in 2007.
The DU men's and women's tennis teams are consistently ranked in the top 35 to top 70 of all Division 1 collegiate tennis teams. The men's team has produced All-Americans, including a Men's Singles player ranked 11th in the country, and the team has been ranked as high as 25th in the country during the 2010 season.
The DU women's soccer team advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2012 NCAA Women's College Cup Touranment, and have also appeared in the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 NCAA Tournaments, the Men's Soccer team has appeared in the 2010 and 2008 NCAA tournaments, while the Men's Lacrosse team appeared in the 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012 NCAA Tournaments, and made the Final Four of the 2011 tournament.
The women's basketball team appeared in the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
The women's golf team finished 5th in the 2009 NCAA tournament and have also been in the 2008 (6th) and 2007 (14th) NCAA finals.
The men's basketball team won the 2013 WAC regular season Co-Championship and garnered a bid to the 2013 National Invitational Tournament (NIT) for the first time since the 2005, when it won the Sun Belt West Division. DU also appeared in the 1959 NIT.
Denver's first athletic event was in a baseball game in 1867 (a loss to the Arapahone Baseball Club), a sport that was played at the varsity level until 1999 when DU returned to full NCAA D-I status. Football was once the most popular sport at Denver. The first DU football game was played in 1885 against Colorado College, which is believed to be the first intercollegiate football game played west of the Mississippi River. DU's Football highlights include appearances in the 1946 Sun Bowl, the 1947 Alamo Bowl and the 1951 Pineapple Bowl. The football team played in a 30,000 seat stadium that stood on campus from 1926 to 1971. However, the program was discontinued in 1961 for financial reasons.
Other notable Denver sports alumni include former Major League Baseball player Dan Schatzeder, NBA basketball players Vince Boryla and Byron Beck, CFL Hall of Famer and former NFL football player Sam Etcheverry, 1952 US Olympic Long Jump Gold Medalist Jerome Biffle, former US Olympic Committee Executive Director Lyman Bingham, and MLS/US National soccer player Nat Borchers. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich received a master's degree from DU but did not play any varsity sports there. Five-time world champion and US Olympic figure Skating star Michelle Kwan graduated from DU in 2009. Also, comedian and actor Sinbad played basketball at DU under his real name of David Adkins.
- "WAC to Add Denver, UTSA and Texas State". Western Athletic Conference. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
- "Denver Becomes The Summit League's Newest Member" (Press release). The Summit League. November 27, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
- Associated Press (July 13, 2011). "New college hockey conference formed". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- "St. Cloud St., W. Michigan join league". ESPN.com. September 22, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2012.