Manhattan Jaspers

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Manhattan Jaspers and Lady Jaspers
UniversityManhattan College
ConferenceMetro Atlantic Athletic Conference
NCAADivision I
Athletic directorIrma Garcia
LocationBronx, New York City
Varsity teams19
Basketball arenaDraddy Gymnasium
Baseball stadiumClover Stadium[1]
Fight songOnward, Onward Manhattan Jaspers!
ColorsGreen and white[2]

The Manhattan Jaspers are composed of 19 teams representing Manhattan College in intercollegiate athletics. The Jaspers compete in the NCAA Division I and are members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.[3]

Manhattan College fields 19 Division–I athletic teams for men and women, including basketball, soccer, golf, rugby, baseball and softball, tennis, lacrosse and volleyball. Historically track and field has been the school's strongest sport.[4]

The Jaspers nickname comes from Brother Jasper of Mary, F.S.C., who was a memorable figure at the college. He was head of resident students, athletic director, and baseball coach during the late 1800s.[5]

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Crew
Crew Cross Country
Cross Country Lacrosse
Golf Soccer
Lacrosse Softball
Soccer Swimming & diving
Swimming & diving Tennis
Track and Field Track and Field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.

Teams and history[edit]


The college annually played the New York Giants (who moved to San Francisco in the 1950s) in the late 1880s and into the 1890s at the Polo Grounds and Manhattan is credited by the Baseball Hall of Fame with the practice of the "seventh inning stretch" spreading from there into major league baseball.[6] It is written in the Baseball Hall of Fame that "During one particularly warm and humid day when Manhattan College was playing a semi-pro baseball team called the Metropolitans at a park near 107th street, Brother Jasper noticed the Manhattan students were becoming restless and edgy as Manhattan came to bat in the seventh inning of a close game. To relieve the tension, Brother Jasper called time-out and told the students to stand up and stretch for a few minutes until the game resumed." In 1982, The New York Times reported that almost 800 alumni stood in unison at a dinner to honor the 100th anniversary of Brother Jasper Brennan's seventh inning stretch.[7]

Luis Castro, a Manhattan College alumnus, was the first Latin American born player to play in Major League Baseball in the United States, and the first Latin American since Cuban player Esteban Bellán in 1873 to play professional baseball.

On July 15, 2014, it was announced that Manhattan College's baseball team will use Dutchess Stadium as their home field.[8] The field used at Van Cortland Park through 2014 was not meeting NCAA standards.[9] The college looked into building their own field in The Bronx, but the land costs alone did not make such a project feasible.[10]

In 2020, the school's baseball team moved back to the refurbished ball field at Van Cortland Park. Since the move was announced, there have been proposals to name Van Cortland Park's "field of dreams" after 1975 Manhattan graduate Joe Coppo. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Coppo was trapped in the north tower of the World Trade Center when the first plane struck, and he never made it out.[11]


Manhattan College has been playing basketball since 1904.[12] College basketball has always been a popular sport in the New York metropolitan area and interest in the sport expanded with the start of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 1938. The NIT is considered the first national college basketball championship tournament and for years it was always played at Madison Square Garden. In 1940, Manhattan was one of five New York City colleges and universities that took over administration of the tournament. This arrangement was in place until 2005 when the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) purchased the rights to the NIT. Before the college's current home court, Draddy Gymnasium, was built in 1978, Manhattan hosted the majority of its home games at Madison Square Garden. Probably the team's greatest victory came at the end of the 1957–58 season when Manhattan upset the top seed West Virginia Mountaineers, led by Jerry West, in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Today the team's coach is John Gallagher. He previously served as the head coach at the University of Hartford from 2010 until 2022.

From 2011 to 2022, the team's coach was Steve Masiello. Masiello was an assistant coach at Manhattan in the early 2000s and came back to the school as head coach in 2011. During the 2013–2014 season, the Jaspers beat Iona in the MAAC Conference final and went on to play the University of Louisville in the first round of the NCAA tournament in a highly publicized game where Masiello coached against one of his mentors, Rick Pitino. During the 2014–15 season, the Jaspers again defeated Iona in the MAAC Conference final to earn their second straight trip to the NCAA tournament, where they lost to Hampton University in the play-in game for the round of 64.

With a record of 300–205, coach Ken Norton has the most wins in school history. When he was hired in 1946, Norton succeeded basketball coach Honey Russell. Norton also coached baseball and golf, and was the school’s athletic director when he retired in 1979. In 1977, he led the Jaspers to the Metropolitan Golf Association (MGA) Intercollegiate Championship.[13]

The Lady Jaspers' first campaign was the 1978–79 season under head coach Michelle Blatt.[14] The Lady Jaspers current head coach is Heather Vulin. An assistant coach at Virginia Tech, Vulin came to Manhattan in 2016.[15]


Manhattan College had a football program from 1924–1942. The college team posted an all-time record of 194 wins, 198 losses and 22 ties.[16] The final coach for the school's football team was Herbert M. Kopf.[17] After the 1942 season, the school suspended intercollegiate football competition for World War II and then did not reactivate the program after completion of the war. The team was invited to the first ever Miami Palm Festival Game, predecessor to the Orange Bowl, played on January 2, 1933, University of Miami defeated Manhattan College, 7–0.[18][19] The team was revived in 1965 in the form of a club team, and existed until 1987.


The school participated in the first intercollegiate lacrosse game in the United States, playing New York University on November 22, 1877.

Manhattan's lacrosse program became Division I in 1996 playing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). They have qualified for the MAAC tournament 7 times (2000, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2008–2010). In 2002 the Jaspers went undefeated in the MAAC (9–0), and won the MAAC Championship. They finished with an 11–6 record.[20] The Jaspers earned a bid to the NCAA Playoffs in 2002, playing Georgetown. They fell to Georgetown 12–7 in the first round of the NCAAs.[21] The program has produced a number of ALL-MAAC players.

The Lady Jaspers have won three MAAC Lacrosse Championships (2000, 2004, 2005).[22]

The Jaspers and Lady Jaspers home field is the historic Gaelic Park.


Manhattan College's rowing program holds much history, as well. The school is one of the original eight founding members of the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, the largest collegiate regatta in the United States. The race attracts over one hundred colleges and universities from the U.S. and Canada and thousands of student-athletes on the second Saturday of May. The team's coach, Allen Walz, along with the school's football coach at the time, Herbert M. Kopf, served as stewards to the regatta. In 1936 and 1938, Manhattan was one of two teams competing in the regatta, the other being Rutgers, on the Harlem River, where the team trains today. Both the men's and women's teams still compete in the Dad Vail Regatta today, as well as in the MAAC Championships, N.Y. State Championships, Knecht Cup and the C.R.A.S.H. B's World Indoor Rowing Championships.

Track and Field[edit]

The Manhattan College Track and Field program has the richest athletic tradition in the school, amassing a total of 31 out of a possible 32 MAAC Indoor/Outdoor Track titles. In 1973, Manhattan College won the Indoor NCAA Championship along with setting a world record in the distance medley relay. Manhattan was also home to former American Record holder in the 5,000m Matthew Centrowitz Sr. The program was run by legendary coach/runner Fred Dwyer, who ran a 4:00.3 mile while at Villanova. Manhattan still remains a powerhouse on the east coast as one of the top programs around. Dan Mecca, men's and women's track and field head coach, was promoted to men's and women's cross country and track and field coach in 1993 after coaching the Jaspers' men's field events since 1986. During his 36 years, Manhattan won 17 MAAC Men's Indoor Team Titles, 14 Men's Outdoor Titles, 13 Women's Indoor Titles, 11 Women's Outdoor Titles, five MAAC women's Cross Country titles, and one IC4A men's indoor title. under the direction of Dan Mecca. Currently, Kerri Gallagher is in her seventh year at Manhattan College and her second as the program's Director of Cross Country, Track and Field. Gallagher, who was promoted to director in May 2021, was named head coach of Manhattan's men's & women's cross country, mid-distance and distance programs in July 2016.

Van Cortlandt Park, which is located near the college, is a prominent site for cross-country running. The park's trails are some of the most utilized cross-country courses in the country and is the venue for the annual IC4A or Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (ICAAAA) cross country championships. The 1968 and 1969 NCAA Men's Division I Cross Country Championships were hosted by Manhattan at Van Cortlandt.

1973 NCAA title[edit]

Manhattan won the 1973 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships becoming the smallest school to win a Division I track title. Led by 1972 Olympians Anthony Colon of Puerto Rico and Michael Keogh of Ireland, the Jaspers won the title with 18 points and a 6-point margin.[23]


Manhattan has long maintained rivalries with several local, and MAAC Conference opponents. The Jaspers' most notable rivals are the Fordham University Rams, with whom they compete in the "Battle of the Bronx", and the Iona Gaels.[24] The Jaspers also maintain a very strong rivalry with the Siena Saints.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Bauman (February 18, 2015). "Manhattan Leaves Unique Home Field Behind". Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  2. ^ Manhattan College Athletic Colors (PDF). Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  3. ^ "The Official Athletic Site of Manhattan College". Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  4. ^ 2009-10 Men's & Women's Cross Country/Track & Field Media Guide (PDF). New York: Manhattan College. 2010. p. 22.
  5. ^ "What is a Jasper?". Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  6. ^ "What Is a Jasper?". Manhattan College. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
  7. ^ "Sports World Specials; Into the Stretch". The New York Times. No. Section C, p.2. 7 June 1982. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  8. ^ "Baseball to Play 2015 Home Games at Dutchess Stadium". Manhattan College Athletics. July 15, 2014. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  9. ^ Smith, Heather (8 September 2019). "If you build it, Manhattan College will come (back) ... maybe". The Riverdale Press. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  10. ^ Baumann, Michael (18 February 2015). "Manhattan leaves unique field behind".
  11. ^ Lindo, Patrick (28 June 2020). "Manhattan College may have name for 'field of dreams'". Riverdale Press. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  12. ^ "Manhattan Jaspers School History". SRCCB. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  13. ^ "MGA Intercollegiate Championship History". Metropolitan Golf Association. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Michelle Blatt, the women's basketball coach at Manhattan College". UPI Archives. UPI. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  15. ^ "Heather Vulin Appointed as Head Women's Basketball Coach". Manhattan College. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  16. ^ "Manhattan College all-time football records by opponent". Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  17. ^ "1939 Manhattan Jaspers Roster". College Football at Retrieved 2023-05-12.
  18. ^ "Palm Festival". Retrieved 2023-05-12.
  19. ^ "About Legacy Projects - Community | Orange Bowl Community". Retrieved 2023-05-12.
  20. ^ "Manhattan Lacrosse 2002 Roster, Schedule, and Stats". Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  21. ^ NCAA Division I lacrosse results, schedule – College Sports – ESPN
  22. ^ "MAAC Championship History". MAAC. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  23. ^ "The Manhattan Project | Running Times". Archived from the original on 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2014-07-25.
  24. ^ "Men's Soccer Back in the Bronx This Week with NYC Rivalry Matches". Fordham University Athletics. Retrieved 2023-05-12.

External links[edit]