Brandeis Judges

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Brandeis Judges
University Brandeis University
Conference UAA, ECAC
NCAA Division III
Athletic director Lynne Dempsey
Location Waltham, MA
Basketball arena Gosman Sports and Convocation Center
Mascot Ollie the Owl
Nickname Judges
Colors White and Blue

Brandeis Judges is the name given to intercollegiate sports teams of Brandeis University. They compete in the NCAA's Division III in the University Athletic Association conference. The team colors are blue and white, and their mascot is Ollie the Owl.[1]

The centerpiece of Brandeis athletics is the Joseph P. and Clara Ford Athletic and Recreation Complex, one of the largest and best-equipped, multipurpose, indoor athletic facilities in the Northeast.

Bud Collins coached the men's tennis team from 1959 to 1963. Chris Ford (2001–03) was the third former Boston Celtics player to become head coach at Brandeis, following Bob Brannum (1970–86) and K.C. Jones (1967–70). Benny Friedman, who was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, served as athletic director from 1949 to 1961 and head football coach from 1951 to 1960, when the football team was disbanded due to high costs.[2] The basketball and volleyball teams play on Red Auerbach Arena, named after the legendary Boston Celtics coach.


Men's athletics[edit]

Women's athletics[edit]


Derek Carlson former player and assistant coach under Pete Varney, is the current head coach of the Brandeis Varsity Baseball Program. Pete Varney a former Major League Baseball player for the Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves former head coach of the baseball team retired after 34 years of coaching. A distinguished alumni, Nelson Figueroa, pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010, is the first Brandeis graduate to play in Major League Baseball.

Basketball (men's)[edit]

The men's basketball team is routinely one of the most competitive Division III teams in the country. The Judges reached four-straight NCAA Tournaments between 2006 and 2010, including Elite 8 teams in 2008 and 2010. Several former players have gone on to play professionally. Three former Boston Celtics have coached basketball at Brandeis - KC Jones (67-70), Bob Brannum (70-86) and Chris Ford (2001-2003).

Cross country[edit]

The cross country team is one of two teams in Brandeis history to win a Division III National Championship, taking home the crown in 1983. The squad is currently coached by Sinead Evans, who competed in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics in the 1500-meter. The 2009 men's cross country team saw junior Paul Norton earn All-American status at the NCAA Division III National Cross Country Meet, the best performance by a male cross country athlete in over a decade.


Tim Morehouse ('00) won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Men's team Saber in Beijing, China. Brandeis consistently sends several fencers to the NCAA National Championships. Brandeis hosted the NCAA Fencing Championships in 1999 and 2004, and will do so again in 2016.[3]

Soccer (men's)[edit]

The men's soccer team has a history of success, winning the 1976 NCAA Division III National Championship and reaching the NCAA Division III Tournament 14 times.

In 2012, the team won a share of the UAA title, its first in history, and returned to NCAAs after a 27-year absence, advancing to the Sweet 16 before losing to Williams College. The team ended that year ranked third in New England (behind Williams and Amherst College) and No. 13 in Division III.

In 2013, the Judges again qualified for NCAAs, ending the year ranked No. 15 in Division III, again losing to Williams in the Sweet 16.

In 2014, Brandeis was selected to participate in NCAAs for the third year in a row. The Judges had their best season in recent memory, finishing No. 6 in Division III after advancing to the Elite Eight. Along the way, the Judges defeated eventual NCAA Division III National Champion Tufts University of the NESCAC, 2-0, in the regular season, as well as NESCAC teams Bowdoin College, 1-0, and Amherst, on penalty kicks, in the NCAA Tournament.[4]

The 2015 Brandeis squad won the UAA title, its second in history and first outright triumph.[5] In the NCAA Tournament, the team then defeated Thomas College[6] 2-1 in the 1st Round and then downed Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in double-overtime by the same scoreline in the 2nd Round[7] before falling to Trinity University (Texas) in the Sweet 16 by a score of 2-0.[8]

In 2016, Brandeis advanced to its first Final 4 since 1976, downing Amherst on PKs once again [9] in the Sweet 16 after a 1-1 draw, and Rutgers-Newark,[10] 4-2, in the Elite 8. The team fell 1-0 to Calvin[11] in the Final 4.

Michael Coven has coached the team for 44 seasons, and is the only current Brandeis coach to have won a national title.

The squad also won the ECAC Championship in the 2006, 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Soccer (women's)[edit]

The women's soccer team won its first Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship in 2008. Since then, the squad has qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament twice: 2010 and 2012. In 2012, the team advanced to the Elite Eight and finished the season ranked the top Division III program in New England and No. 8 in Division III.


The softball team has qualified for eight-straight postseason tournaments, including its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010.


Brandeis' football team played its first game on September 30, 1950, a road win against Maine Maritime Academy.[12] Their first varsity game was on September 29, 1951, with a home loss against the University of New Hampshire.[13] The team won four of nine games during its first season.[14] Brandeis Stadium opened in time for a home win against American International College on October 13, 1951.[15]

On May 16, 1960, Brandeis announced it would discontinue its varsity football team.[16] President Abram Sachar pointed to the cost of the team as one reason for the decision.[16] Brandeis' football coach Benny Friedman said it was difficult to recruit football players who were also excellent students with so much competition in the Boston metropolitan area.[14] Brandeis said the discontinuation of varsity football would allow it to expand intercollegiate activity in other sports.[14]

During its nine years of varsity play, Brandeis' football team recorded 34 wins, 33 losses, and four ties.[14]


The Gosman Sports and Recreation Center is the main athletic center on campus and includes indoor and outdoor facilities for the sports offered at the university. Since the building opened in 1991, the university has hosted four NCAA championships. The Gosman Center also served as the pre-season training home and practice facility of the Boston Celtics between 1991 and 1999.

Club and intramural sports[edit]

Brandeis also has 19 club sports and numerous intramural sports. The club sports include sailing which used to be a varsity sport, rugby union, ultimate, crew, lacrosse, field hockey, squash, men's volleyball, skiing and martial arts. [[17] The Brandeis archery team hosts the annual Shamrock Shoot, which routinely draws Olympians.[18]

Students, staff and faculty are allowed to play on intramural teams. Intramural sports include soccer, volleyball, basketball, innertube water polo, dodgeball, softball, and more[19]

Notable Brandeis Alumni in Sports[edit]

Numerous Brandeis alumni have played major roles in the world of sports.


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  2. ^ "Football Dropped at Brandeis U". Nashua Telegraph, via Google News. Associated Press. 17 May 1960. 
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  12. ^ "Brandeis Freshmen on Top". New York Times. October 1, 1950. p. 162. 
  13. ^ "Brandeis Loses Opener, 33-20". The New York Times. September 30, 1951. p. 128. 
  14. ^ a b c d Lipsyte, Robert M. (May 17, 1960). "Team Also Cited: Brandeis Athletic Director Says Football Expenses Outweighed Returns". New York Times. p. 47. 
  15. ^ "Brandeis Wins, 25-7". The Washington Post. October 14, 1951. p. C5. 
  16. ^ a b "Brandeis Quits College Gridiron". The Baltimore Sun. May 17, 1960. p. S23. 
  17. ^ Brandeis Club Sports. Retrieved on 25 January 2010.
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  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 

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