William & Mary Tribe

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William & Mary Tribe
University The College of William & Mary
Conference Colonial Athletic Association
Eastern Intercollegiate Gymnastics League
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Terry Driscoll
Location Williamsburg, VA
Varsity teams 23
Football stadium Zable Stadium
Basketball arena William & Mary Hall
Baseball stadium Plumeri Park
Other arenas McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center
Mascot Griffin
Nickname Tribe
Fight song Tribe Fight Song
     Green       Gold
Website www.tribeathletics.com

The William & Mary Tribe are the athletic teams for the College of William & Mary. The name Tribe now refers to the unity and comradery that William & Mary student-athletes share when competing in the classroom and on the field. William & Mary has transitioned through several official nicknames since its athletic program began in 1893. From 1893 to 1909, William & Mary football players were known as the Orange and White because those were the old official school colors. From 1910 to 1916, the team colors changed to orange and black, leading to a change in nickname to "The Orange and Black." From 1916 to the mid-1980s, William & Mary athletic teams were referred to as the Indians. And, most recently, from 1978 to the present day they have been known as the Tribe.

During the 2006-07 school year, then-College President Gene Nichol chose to remove the two tribal feathers from William & Mary's logo due to NCAA regulations. On April 6, 2010, it was revealed that a griffin would become the new mascot.

William & Mary has won two team national championships (both in men's tennis), the AIAW championships in women's golf, the NAIA championships in women's gymnastics, thirteen USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships, and many individual national championships. The College has more conference championships than any other school in the Colonial Athletic Association. As of the end of the 2010-11 academic year, the Tribe had won 101 conference championships. Dating back to the athletic program's beginning, there have been over 159 conference titles in all.


In the 1960s Joe Plumeri, future Chairman & CEO of Willis Group Holdings and owner of the Trenton Thunder, who later donated $2 million to build the team's Plumeri Park, played on the baseball team as a second baseman and outfielder.[1][2][3][3] Plumeri also funded the Joseph J. Plumeri Endowment Fund for baseball scholarships for the school.[3] The baseball team has qualified for the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship in 1983, 2001, and 2013.


The football team has won eight conference championships. While a member of the Southern Conference, W&M were champions or co-champions in 1942, 1947, 1966, and 1970. In the 1960s, future Willis Group Holdings Chairman & CEO Joe Plumeri played on the football team on scholarship as a halfback for Lou Holtz.[1][2][3] After joining the Yankee Conference, the Tribe won the Mid-Atlantic Division in 1993 and won the conference championship in 1996. After the Yankee Conference's 1997 merger with the A-10 Conference, the Tribe were co-champions in 2001 and 2004. After the Colonial Athletic Association began sponsoring football with the 2007 season, the Tribe were co-champions in 2010.

The 2004 season saw William & Mary reach the Division I-AA national semi-finals before finally falling to rival James Madison University.

In 2008, the Tribe played Richmond, at home, on the very last game of the season. While Richmond was assured of a berth in the playoffs, having played and won an extra game due to a 12 game schedule that year (Tribe only played 11 games), the Tribe entered the game needing a win to secure a playoff spot. William & Mary trailed by 14 points going into the 4th quarter but made a huge comeback (largely due to Derek Cox) to send the game into overtime. The Tribe lost in overtime after Richmond blocked a field goal attempt during the Tribe's possession, then kicked a successful field goal during its possession. By failing to beat the Spiders William & Mary missed the playoffs. Richmond, however, would go on to win the NCAA Division I Football Championship by defeating Eastern Kentucky, Appalachian State, Northern Iowa, and the University of Montana 24–7 in the National Championship Game in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In 2009, the Tribe played the Virginia Cavaliers (UVA), in a season opening match-up for both schools in Charlottesville for the first time since 1986. The Tribe upset Virginia 26–14. It was the second Tribe win over UVA in as many tries and mirrored several other recent wins by CAA (FCS) programs over those in the ACC (FBS), including three by Richmond over Duke (2006, 2009, 2011). The Tribe finished the year 11-3, after a run to the national semifinals that ended with a 14-13 loss to CAA rival and eventual champion Villanova.

Men's basketball[edit]

Traditionally, the Tribe has not been a storied basketball program. Their only postseason berths ever were the 1983 National Invitation Tournament after winning the regular season conference title and the 2010 National Invitation Tournament after beating both Wake Forest University and the University of Maryland on the road during the regular season. They have appeared in eight conference tournament finals; while in the Southern Conference they lost the tournament final in 1958, 1961, 1965, and 1975, and while in the ECAC South (precursor to the Colonial Athletic Association) they lost the 1983 final to James Madison, 38–41. Their most recent CAA tournament final appearances came in 2008 (L, 59–68 vs. George Mason), 2010 (L, 53–60 vs. Old Dominion), and 2014 (L, 74–75 vs. Delaware).

Cross Country / Track & Field[edit]

The College of William & Mary's most dominant sports are its men's and women's cross country and track & field teams. The totals below are current as of the end of the 2010-11 season.


The men's cross country team has qualified for fourteen straight NCAA Division I championships, and 24 total NCAA championship appearances. Alumnus Brian Hyde represented the United States in the 1996 Olympics. In November 2009, the Tribe placed 5th at the Division 1 NCAA Men's Cross Country Championship in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Total conference championships:

  • Cross Country - 33
  • Track & Field - 27


The women's cross country squad has made six NCAA championship appearances, most recently in 2005.

Total conference championships:

  • Cross Country - 17
  • Track & Field - 10



The Tribe men's soccer team has produced two First Team All-Americans and fourteen NCAA Tournament appearances, most recently in 2010. They have won eight conference tournaments since the program's inception in 1965. The most famous alumnus from this program is TV pundit Jon Stewart. He played from 1981–1983 and scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over UConn in the 1983 ECAC Tournament Championship to give William & Mary their second ever conference tournament championship crown. Stewart ended his career with 10 goals and 12 assists while playing as a defender.

The majority of the Tribe's success in men's soccer was overseen by Al Albert during an illustrious 33 year career as head coach. In 2004, Albert passed the coaching reins to his capable protege, Chris Norris. Norris was a player and assistant coach at W&M for 13 years before becoming Albert's successor in Williamsburg.


When counting all-time women's soccer NCAA Tournament appearances, just behind national powerhouses North Carolina (with 30) and UConn (with 28) are the William & Mary Tribe (24). As of the end of 2011, they are on an NCAA-record 30-year consecutive winning seasons streak (tied with North Carolina), dating back to 1982, capturing ten conference tournament crowns in that span. Twice have players been selected at the NSCAA National Player of the Year (1987, 1995), and three times the team has made it all the way to the Tournament's Elite 8 (1987, 1994, 1997).

Other sports[edit]

In addition to the sports listed above, the College of William & Mary also fields Division I teams for men and women in gymnastics, swimming and diving, golf and tennis. Exclusive to women are field hockey, lacrosse and volleyball.

National championships[edit]

William & Mary has won two NCAA national team championships, both for men's tennis;[4] the Tribe won back-to-back national championships in 1947 and 1948.[5][6] During the era when the AIAW conducted women's collegiate championships, the Tribe women claimed one AIAW national team title, for golf (Division II) in 1981.[7]

Tribe athletes have also won individual national championships, including Gardner Larned (men's tennis singles, 1947), Fred Kovaleski and Bernard Bartzen (men's tennis doubles, 1948), Scott McCall (men's gymnastics -- rings, 1996), Ramon Jackson (men's gymnastics -- parallel bars, 2004), and Jeanne Foster (women's Division II gymnastics -- uneven bars and all-around, 1986).[6][8][9]


William & Mary's most heated rivalries are with James Madison (JMU), Delaware (UD), and Old Dominion (ODU). In recent years, the William & Mary-George Mason basketball series has attracted much attention after Mason's improbable run in the 2006 NCAA Championship, coupled with W&M's conference tournament championship appearance in 2008. Additionally, every year William & Mary squares off against the Richmond Spiders in what is termed the "Oldest Football Rivalry in the South." The Tribe first visited Richmond in 1898, losing 15-0. However, William & Mary holds the all-time series edge 61-57-5 (through 2013). The winner of this annual contest wins the Capital Cup.

In addition, William & Mary football maintains a lighthearted contest with UVA unofficially coined "The Jefferson Cup." The Tribe stunned UVA on September 5, 2009 with a 26-14 victory on the season opener at Charlottesville. The Tribe last took home the Jefferson Cup in 1986 with a less dramatic 41-37 victory over The Cavaliers.

Notable alumni[edit]

Main article: List of William & Mary alumni#Sports

Notable graduates from the athletic programs include Jon Stewart, Adin Brown, Mike Leach, Buster Ramsey, Darren Sharper, Mike Tomlin, Bill Chambers, J. D. Gibbs, Steve Christie, Wade Barrett and Derek Cox.

Fight songs[edit]

Main article: Tribe Fight Song

In addition to the most common Fight Song, the "William and Mary Victory March" (composed in the 1930s by Rolf Kennard) is occasionally heard before games. There is a long-running superstition that playing the Victory March during a game will lead to a bad result.

Radio Affiliates[edit]

Two radio stations in eastern Virginia broadcast Tribe football and men's basketball, under the branding "William & Mary Bookstore Tribe Radio Network."[10][11]

City Call Sign Frenquency
Deltaville, Virginia WTYD-FM 92.3 FM
West Point, Virginia WBQK-FM 107.9 FM

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ben Kennedy (October 9, 2006). "Plumeri tapped to lead homecoming parade". W&M Alumni Magazine. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Treaster, Joseph B. (December 27, 2006). "Corporate Insurance Underdog Ramps Up for Challenge". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Plumeri Park", TribeAthletics.com, accessed July 16, 2010
  4. ^ "How many NCAA Division I championships has your school won?". NCAA. Archived from the original on 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  5. ^ "About William & Mary athletics". The College of William & Mary. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  6. ^ a b "Men's Tennis National Championships". The College of William & Mary. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  7. ^ "William and Mary Tribe Women's Golf Honors and Awards". The College of William & Mary. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  8. ^ "Funiciello, Courter Earn NCAA All-America Honors". The College of William & Mary. Retrieved 2013-05-25. 
  9. ^ "Discontinued NCAA Championships: Women's Division II Gymnastics Championship Records". National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  10. ^ "Football on the Air". William & Mary. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "Basketball on the Air". The Tide 92.3 FM. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 

External links[edit]