Fort Wayne Mastodons

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Fort Wayne Mastodons
University Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne
Conference Summit League
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Kelley Hartley Hutton
Location Fort Wayne, Indiana
Varsity teams 14
Basketball arena Hilliard Gates Sports Center
Baseball stadium Mastodon Field
Soccer stadium Hefner Soccer Complex
Mascot Don the Mastodon
Nickname Mastodons
Fight song Go 'Dons!
Colors Royal Blue and White[1]
Summit League logo in Fort Wayne's colors

The Fort Wayne Mastodons, formerly known as the IPFW Mastodons, are the athletic teams of Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne. The Mastodons compete as a NCAA Division I school in the Summit League for most sports and in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association for men's volleyball. The university participates in 14 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.

Indiana University and Purdue University in Fort Wayne will officially separate on July 1, 2018. Thereafter, the Mastodons will represent Purdue University Fort Wayne. [2] With the name change, the school's colors wil be changed from Royal Blue and White to the Old Gold and Black used by the other three Purdue University campuses.[3]


On August 8, 2016, shortly before the start of the 2016–17 school year, IPFW athletic director Kelley Hartley Hutton announced that effective immediately, "Fort Wayne" would be the university's exclusive athletic brand. The school's "IPFW" academic branding was not affected. The Summit League has called the athletic program "Fort Wayne" since 2012, in line with a conference initiative to use geographic names to describe metropolitan campuses such as IPFW. When the school announced the athletic brand change, it noted,[4]

Some Mastodon teams have already been using Fort Wayne on uniforms since this recommendation, but the use has been limited and resulted in some confusion. Outside of northeast Indiana, there is also considerable confusion about the "IPFW" acronym, with misnomers being common—even among those involved in Division I athletics.


A member of The Summit League,[5] IPFW sponsors teams in six men's and eight women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[6] The men's volleyball team is a member of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.[7]

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Golf
Golf Soccer
Soccer Softball
Volleyball Track and field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.

Men's basketball[edit]

Before joining NCAA Division I athletics, Fort Wayne 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 No. 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.[8]

Men's volleyball[edit]

The Fort Wayne men’s volleyball team, locally known as the "Volleydons," have gained national exposure repeatedly, based on their showings in several NCAA Final Four tournaments.Former men’s volleyball head coach Arnie Ball, who led the Volleydons for 30 years, retired after the 2014–15 school year with over 500 career men's volleyball victories as an NCAA Division I coach. His teams 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 became the first American university to establish a men's volleyball program whose scholarships are fully funded from an endowment. The current coach is former Volleydon Ryan Perrotte.

Women's basketball[edit]


Fort Wayne has no football team. The school hosted the 2000 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship matches at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, which is adjacent to the campus. Most athletic events are held in the Hilliard Gates Sports Center or the Athletics Center Fieldhouse on the IPFW campus.

Mascot and monikers[edit]

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 [9]. 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.[citation needed]

Club sports[edit]

Men's ice hockey[edit]

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 No. 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.


  1. ^ "Official Colors". Retrieved November 14, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Goodbye IPFW, hello Purdue Fort Wayne". Journal & Courier, a division of Gannett Company, Inc. April 21, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions/Additional Questions". Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Introducing the Fort Wayne Mastodons" (Press release). Fort Wayne Athletics. August 8, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Summit League/Schools". The Summit League. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  6. ^ "The Official Site of the Fort Wayne Mastdons/Sports". Fort Wayne Mastdons. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  7. ^ "MIVA/Teams". Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  8. ^ "IPFW Mastodons Athletics – Jon Coffman Named IPFW Men's Basketball Head Coach". 2014-10-04. Retrieved 2015-11-14. 

External links[edit]