VMI Keydets

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VMI Keydets
University Virginia Military Institute
Conference Southern Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Dave Diles, Jr.
Location Lexington, VA
Varsity teams 16
Football stadium Alumni Memorial Field
Basketball arena Cameron Hall
Baseball stadium Gray–Minor Stadium
Soccer stadium Patchin Field
Lacrosse stadium Alumni Memorial Field
Mascot Kangaroo (Moe)
Nickname Keydets
Fight song "The Spirit"
     Red       Yellow
Website vmikeydets.com

The VMI Keydets are the athletic teams that represent the Virginia Military Institute. All sports participate in the NCAA's Division I, and all but one compete in the Southern Conference (the exception being water polo in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference). VMI fields teams in sixteen different sports, ten for men and six for women.[1]


VMI competes in the following NCAA sports:

Men's sports

Women's sports

It was in 2009 when VMI announced it would bring in water polo as the newest women's sport for the Institution.[2] The women's cross country team was the first women's team at VMI, as it was formed in 1997.

Conference affiliations[edit]

VMI Conference Affiliations
1891-1918 Independent
1918-1921 South Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1924-2002 Southern Conference
1978- Southern Conference (wrestling only)
1983-2002 USILA (lacrosse only)
2003-2014 Big South (except wrestling, lacrosse, & water polo)
2003-2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (lacrosse only)
2011- Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (water polo only)
2014 Atlantic Sun Conference (lacrosse only)
2014–future Southern Conference (except water polo)

The Keydets played every sport independently until 1918, when they joined the short-lived South Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1918 for all sports. With the demise of the conference in 1921, VMI stayed an independent until joining the Southern Conference in 1924, and a massive one at the time.

The next change to be made would not come until 59 years later when VMI formed a lacrosse program that would play in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.[3]

In 2003, after 79 years in the SoCon, VMI departed for a then fledgling Big South Conference (where they currently are now) in all sports but lacrosse and wrestling. Wrestling stayed in the SoCon, while the lacrosse program moved to the MAAC. When water polo became the newest sport at the Institute in 2009, they accepted their invitation also to the MAAC in 2011.[4]

VMI announced two changes in conference affiliation in 2013. On February 11, the Atlantic Sun Conference announced that VMI would move its' men's lacrosse program to that league effective with the 2014 season (2013–14 school year).[5] On May 30 of that year, the SoCon extended an invitation to the Keydets to rejoin the conference.[6] VMI accepted, along with East Tennessee State and Mercer, and became a member on July 1, 2014, replacing Davidson, Appalachian State, Elon, and Georgia Southern.


Main article: VMI Keydets football
Alumni Memorial Field

VMI football history dates back to 1891 with the formation of a team under Walter Taylor. It actually dates back farther, with a one game season in 1873, though is not really considered an official season (there were also no player or coaching records). Today, the Keydets play at 10,000-seat Alumni Memorial Field, as they have since 1962. Sparky Woods is the current head coach. He was named VMI's 30th all-time coach on February 13, 2008.[7] Woods replaced Jim Reid who left to coach outside linebackers for the Miami Dolphins. The Keydets are still looking for their first winning season since 1981.


Arguably the most famous years for the Keydets were in 1976 and 77. The first year, VMI made their way to the Elite 8 led by future Laker Ron Carter. The Keydets prevailed over Tennessee and DePaul, before bowing to Rutgers 91-75. However, they wouldn't have to wait long for another chance. The next season, VMI edged Duquesne by 7 to get to the Sweet Sixteen. The Keydets second tournament run came to a halt with a 93-78 loss to Kentucky. Since then, VMI has not won a conference championship or made an NCAA tournament appearance. VMI is coached by Duggar Baucom, who will be entering his 9th year in 2013–14. Cameron Hall has been the home of VMI basketball since 1981.


Main article: VMI Keydets baseball

Baseball is in fact the oldest sport at VMI, when the team was formed in 1866. Recorded schedules only go back as far as 1951, when the team was under the command of Frank Summers.[8] Since 2004, the Keydets have been coached by Marlin Ikenberry. VMI has been SoCon finalists on numerous occasions, but never won a SoCon championship and currently have not won a Big South championship.


Main article: VMI Keydets wrestling

For 25 years, VMI has been coached by John Trudgeon, a William and Mary graduate, and is assisted by Chris Skrtetkowicz and Jon Kemmerer. Two All-Americans have wrestled for the Institute. In the 1994 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Charlie Branch finished 4th at 142 lbs. Ghanaian wrestler Leslie Apedoe placed sixth in the heavyweight in the 1999 tournament. VMI has played in 1,200-seat Cocke Hall since 1926.

Club sports[edit]

VMI fields eleven different club sports, only one of which are women's.[9]

Radio networks[edit]


City Call Sign Frenquency
Lexington, VA WWZW 96.7 FM
Richmond, VA WLEE 990 AM
Lynchburg, VA WWZW 96.7 FM
Roanoke, VA WRTZ 1410 AM


City Call Sign Frenquency
Lexington, VA WWZW 96.7 FM


City Call Sign Frenquency
Lexington, VA WREL 1450 AM


See also[edit]


External links[edit]