Virginia Cavaliers

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For the historical use of the term, see Virginia Cavaliers (historical).
Virginia Cavaliers
University University of Virginia
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Craig Littlepage
Location Charlottesville, VA
Varsity teams 25 (12 men's, 13 women's)
Football stadium Scott Stadium
Basketball arena John Paul Jones Arena
Baseball stadium Davenport Field
Soccer stadium Klöckner Stadium
Lacrosse stadium Klöckner Stadium
Other arenas Memorial Gymnasium
Mascot Cavalier (CavMan)
Fight song The Cavalier Song
     Orange       Blue

The Virginia Cavaliers, also known as Wahoos or Hoos, are the athletic teams representing the University of Virginia. They compete as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level (Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sub-level for football), primarily competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for all sports since the 1953-54 season. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and Wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

The athletics program has won 21 NCAA team national championships.[1][2][3]

The media generally refers to the University's athletic teams as simply "Virginia" for short, or "the Cavaliers," the University's official mascot of a mounted swordsman. An unofficial moniker, the Wahoos, or 'Hoos for short, based on the University's rallying cry "Wah-hoo-wah!" is also commonly used. Though originally only used by the student body, both terms — Wahoos and 'Hoos — have come into wide use by the media as well.

Origins and history[edit]

University of Virginia student athlete competing in field hockey

The school colors, adopted in 1888, are orange and navy blue. The athletic teams had previously worn grey and cardinal red but those colors did not show up very well on dirty football fields as the school was sporting its first team. A mass meeting of the student body was called, and a star player showed up wearing a navy blue and orange scarf he had brought back from a University of Oxford summer rowing expedition. The colors were chosen when another student pulled the scarf from the player's neck, waved it to the crowd and yelled: "How will this do?" (Exactly 100 years later in 1988, Oxford named their own American football club the "Cavaliers," and soon after the Virginia team adopted its "curved sabres" logo in 1994, the Oxford team followed suit.)

The Cavalier mascot is a historical reference to the time when the Commonwealth of Virginia earned its nickname, the "Old Dominion."[citation needed] The Commonwealth was a hotbed of persons loyal to the English crown, called cavaliers in the days of the English Civil War and Interregnum.[citation needed]

When boxing was a major collegiate sport, Virginia's teams boxed in Memorial Gymnasium and went undefeated on a six-year run between 1932 and 1937, winning an unofficial national championship in 1938.[4]

Virginia's athletic teams have participated in the Atlantic Coast Conference since the league's first year in 1953. Its men's basketball team has five times been part of the NCAA Elite Eight (1981, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1995), twice advancing to the Final Four (1981 and 1984). The football team has twice been honored as ACC Co-Champions (1989 with Duke, and 1995 with FSU). Women's cross country won national titles in 1981 and 1982. The soccer and lacrosse programs have both been tremendously successful. The men's soccer team has won seven national championships, four consecutively (1989, 1991–1994, 2009, 2014). The men's lacrosse team has won seven national titles (1952, 1970, 1972, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2011), while the women have claimed three (1991, 1993, 2004). The men's tennis team won the national championship in 2013.


John Paul Jones Arena

John Paul Jones Arena opened in the Fall of 2006 and is the current venue for the men's and women's basketball teams. The previous facility, University Hall, was the smallest in the ACC until the addition of Miami (FL) to the conference. At its recent height in the 1980s, the men's basketball team was better than perennial power Duke and second only to UNC in that decade's cumulative ACC standings. The 1990s and 2000s have seen a bit of a slide for the program to the middle of the pack in the conference, but the hiring of coach Dave Leitao along with the 2006 opening of John Paul Jones Arena led to a short return to prominence, with the 2006-2007 team winning a share of the ACC regular season title and making it to the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The new arena is one of the three largest on-campus facilities in the Atlantic Coast Conference, with the only bigger arenas belonging to universities with far greater student populations. Dave Leitao was fired following the 2008-2009 season, and Tony Bennett, who had been the head coach of the Washington State Cougars, was hired. The 2013–14 season saw the Cavaliers win their first 30-win season since 1981–82, earn their first ACC regular season title since 1980–81, and their first ACC tournament championship since 1976.


The student section and Cavalier Marching Band during a Fall 2005 home football game against Duke.

Scott Stadium sits across from the first-year dorms along Alderman Road and is home to the University of Virginia's football program. The press box at Scott Stadium was a gift from an alumni in honor of Norton G. Pritchett, the admired athletic director at UVA from 1934 until his death in 1950. Students, fans, and alumni began to sport orange clothing for the games, a new tradition the former head coach, Al Groh, had been pushing for since he became head coach in 2000. Many students, however, have continued to wear the traditional sundresses or coat and tie at football games. Several fans have also begun garbing themselves in outlandish costumes in the style of football superfans (such as the Orange Gorilla or The Superhoo). Funding from benefactor Carl Smith created the foundation for the 280-piece Cavalier Marching Band in 2004, replacing the Virginia Pep Band in its official capacity at athletic events. The current head coach is Mike London, former head coach of the 2008 FCS National Champion University of Richmond Spiders football team.


With the departure of head coach Dennis Womack to the front office, the arrival of head coach Brian O'Connor from Notre Dame in 2004, and the opening of Davenport Field in 2002, the UVa baseball team experienced a rebirth. Since the inception of baseball at the University in 1889, the team has reached the NCAA Baseball Tournament fourteen times, once each of the past three decades (1972, 1985, 1996), but most recently eleven years running (2004–2014). The 2009 season of the Cavaliers saw them through to the CWS (College World Series) with a 49-15-1 record, where they achieved their first ever CWS win. The team made a return trip to Omaha two years later in 2011, where they lost to eventual National Champion South Carolina in the semi-final round. In 2014, the team made a third trip to the CWS, beat Ole Miss and TCU to advance to their first ever CWS finals, but lost the three-game series to Vanderbilt 2–1.


Klöckner Stadium is home to several successful programs, including Virginia men's soccer. More years than not, the University of Virginia fields one of the best squads in the country, and the program has, by far, the most successful history in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. Since ACC Tournament play began in 1987, Virginia has played in 15 out of 19 ACC Tournament championship matches, winning ten ACC titles (including 2003, 2004, and 2009), to go with their seven NCAA Tournament championships. The man who built the U.Va. program, Bruce Arena, compiled an amazing 295–58–32 record before leaving in 1995 to coach D.C. United to their first two MLS championship seasons, and later the U.S. National Soccer Team to their best World Cup showing since 1930.


The men's and women's lacrosse teams play their home games at Klöckner Stadium, or occasionally Turf Field or Scott Stadium. The men's program has won seven national championships (two pre-NCAA titles in 1952 and 1970 and five NCAA titles in 1972, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2011) and the women's program has won three national championships (in 1991, 1993, and 2004).

The 2006 lacrosse season was noteworthy for the men's team as it established the best record in NCAA history with a perfect 17-0 season en route to winning the 2006 national championship. On the season, the team won its games by an average of more than eight goals per game and drew comparisons to some of the best lacrosse teams of all time.[5] Senior attackman Matt Ward won the Tewaaraton Trophy as the nation's best player, was selected as a First Team All-American and the USILA Player of the Year, and was named the Final Four MVP. He also broke the record for the most goals in the NCAA tournament with 16 goals (previously held by Gary Gait with 15). Eight Cavaliers were named All-Americans — three on the First Team, three on the Second Team, and two on the Third Team. Five Cavaliers were selected in the 2006 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. Matt Ward, Kyle Dixon, and Michael Culver were selected in the first round, Matt Poskay in the second, and J.J. Morrissey in the third.

On March 28, 2009, the men's team played in the longest game in the history of NCAA Division I lacrosse — a 10-9 victory over Maryland in seven overtime periods.

Swimming and diving[edit]

The men's swimming and diving team has won 16 ACC championships while the women's team has won 11.

Cross country[edit]

The men's and women's cross country teams race at Panorama Farms, located six miles from Ground of the University of Virginia. It was the site of the 2006 and 2007 ACC Cross Country Championships. The men's team dates back to 1954 when they placed 4th at the ACC championships. The women's team won the NCAA national championships in 1981 and 1982 and last won the ACC championships in 1982.


Dixon Brooke won the NCAA Golf Championship in 1940. Several golfers have played professionally on the PGA Tour including James Driscoll, Ben Kohles, and Steve Marino.


The first University of Virginia head coach was Bobby Mainfort, back in 1921.[6] Former Cavalier All-American Steve Garland is serving in his eighth season as head wrestling coach at Virginia. Garland is the winner of the 2010 ACC Coach of the Year Award[7] and master motivator, recruiter & coach, Garland has worked diligently to push the Cavaliers among the nation's elite. In the 2009-2010 wrestling season Garland led the Cavaliers to 1st place in the ACC and a 15th place finish at the NCAA championships.[8]

The University of Virginia's venerable old Memorial Gymnasium was renovated in 2005, courtesy of a gift of more than $1.5 million from an anonymous donor. The gift pushes U.Va's wrestling facilities into the upper echelon in the country and gave the wrestling program a major boost.[9]

Notable non-varsity sports[edit]


Virginia rugby competes in Division 1 in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League, which is composed of schools mostly from the Atlantic Coast Conference.[10] Virginia also competes in the annual Atlantic Coast Invitational tournament, which Virginia won in 2008. Virginia also participates in an annual rivalry match against Virginia Tech for the Commonwealth Shield.[11]

Virginia finished second in the ACI tournament in 2011,[12] and again finished second in the 2012 ACI sevens tournament, losing to rival Virginia Tech by 33-31, and secured a place at the 2012 USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships.


The current athletic director is Craig Littlepage, a former men's basketball head coach at the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University, who has held a variety of coaching and administrative titles at the University of Virginia.

Athletics apparel sponsorships[edit]

The football team's uniforms were once provided by Reebok, but are now sponsored by Nike along with many other of Virginia's teams, such as the basketball, lacrosse, and soccer teams.[13]

Radio network affiliates[edit]

Virginia Sports Radio Network Affiliates

City Call Sign Frenquency
Bethesda, Maryland WSPZ-AM 570 AM
Blackstone, Virginia WKLV-AM 1440 AM
Charlottesville, Virginia WINA-AM 1070 AM
Charlottesville, Virginia WWWV-FM 97.5 FM
Covington, Virginia WIQO-FM 100.9 FM
Danville, Virginia WMNA-FM 106.3 FM
Fredericksburg, Virginia WGRQ-FM 95.9 FM
Lynchburg, Virginia WZZU-FM 97.9 FM
Martinsville, Virginia WHEE-AM 1370 AM
Norfolk, Virginia WTAR-AM 850 AM
Richmond, Virginia WRVA-AM 1140 AM
Roanoke, Virginia WVMP-FM 101.5 FM
Staunton, Virginia WTON-FM 94.3 FM
Tappahannock, Virginia WRAR-FM 105.5 FM
Winchester, Virginia WXVA-AM 610 AM


National team championships[edit]

As of July 2, 2014, Virginia has 21 NCAA team national championships.[14]

  • Men's (14)

Below are the 9 National team titles that are not recognized by the NCAA:

  • Men's
    • Lacrosse (2):[15] 1952, 1970
    • Indoor Tennis (5):[16] 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013
  • Women's:
    • Indoor Track (1): 1981
    • Tennis (1):[17] 2014

Atlantic Coast Championships[edit]

  • Men's:
    • Baseball: 1972, 1996, 2009, 2011
    • Basketball: 1976, 2014
    • Cross Country: 1984, 2005, 2007, 2008
    • Football: 1989, 1995
    • Lacrosse: 1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2010
    • Outdoor Track & Field: 2009
    • Soccer: 1969, 1970, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2009
    • Swimming & Diving: 1987, 1990, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
    • Tennis: 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
    • Wrestling: 1974, 1975, 1977, 2010, 2015
  • Women's:
    • Basketball: 1990, 1992, 1993
    • Cross Country: 1981, 1982
    • Indoor Track & Field: 1987
    • Lacrosse: 1998, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008
    • Outdoor Track & Field: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987
    • Rowing: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
    • Soccer: 2004, 2012
    • Softball: 1994
    • Swimming & Diving: 1990, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
    • Tennis: 2014

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2006/2007 Women's National Collegiate/Division I" (PDF) (Press release). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  2. ^ "2006/2007 Men's National Collegiate/Division I" (PDF) (Press release). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  3. ^ "Schools with the Most NCAA Championships" (Press release). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  4. ^ "Discontinued Championships" (PDF) (Press release). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  5. ^ In Final, Virginia Lacrosse Team Has Eye on Victory and Legacy, The New York Times, May 29, 2006.
  6. ^ "UV Wrestling History". University of Virginia Athletics. Retrieved 2014. 
  7. ^ "UV Wrestling Archives". University of Virginia Athletics. Retrieved 2014. 
  8. ^ "Steve Garland Bio". University of Virginia Athletics. Retrieved 2014. 
  9. ^ "UV Wrestling Facilities". University of Virginia Athletics. Retrieved 2014. 
  10. ^ USA Rugby, College Conferences,
  11. ^ "Virginia, Virginia Tech Introduce Rivalry Trophy", Rugby Today, July 1, 2011.
  12. ^ Atlantic Coast Rugby League
  13. ^ "Virginia don new uniforms, quarterback;". ESPN Blog. April 9, 2010. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Virginia 2010 Men's Lacrosse Media Guide (PDF). University of Virginia Athletics Department. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  16. ^ "Virginia Crowned Three-Time Defending Champion of the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship". Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  17. ^ "St. Petersburg's Danielle Collins wins NCAA tennis title". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2014-05-26. 

External links[edit]