|University||Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne|
|Conference||The Summit League
|Athletic director||Kelley Hartley Hutton|
|Location||Fort Wayne, IN|
|Basketball arena||Hilliard Gates Sports Center|
|Baseball stadium||Mastodon Field|
|Mascot||Don the Mastodon|
|Fight song||Go 'Dons!|
The IPFW Mastodons, sometimes called the Fort Wayne Mastodons,[n 1] are the athletic teams of Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne. The Mastodons compete as an National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I school in the The Summit League for most sports and in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association for men's volleyball. The university participates in 16 men’s and women’s sports. Before joining NCAA Division I athletics, IPFW competed in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in the NCAA Division II.
Before joining NCAA Division I athletics, IPFW competed in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in some sports in the NCAA Division II, where in 1993, the men’s basketball team led by brothers Sean and Shane Gibson achieved the ranking of #4 in the country in NCAA Division II competition. Dane Fife was named the IPFW men’s basketball head coach during summer 2005. Fife, who left after the 2010-11 season, was the youngest NCAA Division I head coach at the time of his appointment, at the age of 26. Tony Jasick replaced Fife as the head coach. Jon Coffman is the current head coach of the program, announced on April 10, 2014.
IPFW’s men’s volleyball team, colloquially known as the "Volleydons," have gained national exposure repeatedly, based on their showings in several NCAA Final Four tournaments. Men’s Volleyball Head Coach Arnie Ball, who has led the Volleydons for 30 years, began the 2009–10 school year with more than 460 wins as an NCAA Division I coach. His teams have made six NCAA Final Four appearances, finishing fourth in 1992 and 1994, third in 1991, 1999, and 2006, and second in 2007. Ball is the father of Lloy, a one-time Volleydon, who has achieved Olympic success, having served as the U.S. Olympic volleyball team captain in 1996, 2000, and 2004 and becoming a gold medalist in 2008. Fundraising for the $1 million Arnie Ball Legacy Endowment Fund was completed by January 2010. The university will match this amount. IPFW has become the first American university to establish a men's volleyball program whose scholarships are fully funded from an endowment.
IPFW has no football team. Although IPFW has no arena or stadium of its own, the venue for IPFW's large-attendance indoor athletic events is the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum which is adjacent to the portion of the IPFW campus on the west side of the Saint Joseph River. For example, IPFW hosted the 2000 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship matches at the Coliseum. Smaller athletic events are held at the Hilliard Gates Sports Center on the IPFW campus.
Mascot and Monikers
In 1968 a large bone was discovered during the installation of a farm pond near Angola, Indiana, about 40 miles (65 km) north of Fort Wayne. The farmer contacted professors in the IPFW geology department, who identified his discovery as the leg bone of a mastodon. Faculty and students from the geology department excavated the greater part of an adult mastodon, including the skull and tusks. The bones were cleaned, preserved, and placed on permanent display at IPFW. In 1970 members of the geology club, led by professors who oversaw the excavation, successfully lobbied the student government committee charged with choosing a name for the university mascot to select the mastodon. And thus, the IPFW Mastodons were born . In addition to serving as a mascot, “mastodon” is used as the athletic moniker for team members and school-spirited references to the student body. The selection of the mastodon as mascot—as well as a tongue-in-cheek borrowing of the term “don” from its academic British English use—lends itself to be a suffix to refer to the athletics teams as well, such as Volleydons for the volleyball teams. In a related reference, the Mastodon STOMP pep band instills school spirit among the fans during home matches and games.
By using the name Mastodons, IPFW is the only NCAA college to use an extinct organism as its mascot.
Men's Ice Hockey
The IPFW Club Men's Ice Hockey Team is in its sixth season as a program and competes in the ACHA's North Region. IPFW has had recent success finishing in the top 20 in the nation the last three seasons. This past season the Mastodons won the Big Ten Club Tournament championship hosted by Northwestern University. This was a huge win for the program with bigger schools such as Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Northern Illinois and #3 ranked University of Michigan-Flint also in the tournament. The 'Dons play their home games at Lutheran Health SportCenter and have for the past 2 seasons. IPFW used to play their games at the old McMillan Ice Arena.