Minnesota State Mavericks
|Minnesota State Mavericks|
|University||Minnesota State University, Mankato|
|Conference||Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference|
|NCAA||NCAA DII most sports
NCAA I Men's & women's ice hockey
|Athletic director||Kevin Buisman|
|Football stadium||Blakeslee Stadium (7,500)|
|Basketball arena||Taylor Center (4,800)|
|Baseball stadium||MSU Baseball Complex|
|Other arenas||Verizon Wireless Center (5,280)|
|Colors||Purple and Gold
The athletic teams of Minnesota State University, Mankato are known as the Minnesota State Mavericks. More than 600 students participate each year in athletics for the university. Most of the university's athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division II level in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). The men's and women's ice hockey teams compete at the Division I level in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). Minnesota State began competition in the NSIC in 2008-09, due to the dissolution of the North Central Conference.
Minnesota State athletics teams have placed favorably in national competitions in NCAA Division II Athletics in Hockey, Football and Baseball. Since 1993 the Mavericks have been awarded the most National Championships out of all sixteen colleges and universities in the Northern Sun Conference. The 2015 Season marked the 14th straight year that the Mavericks have finished in the top 25 in the country in the national standings and seventh time Minnesota State has posted a top-five placing for the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. It has also won the NSIC US Bank All-Sports Award 4 times and placed 2nd 2 times during the last six-year period of the 2008-2015 competition seasons.
- Men's: alpine skiing, Baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey , tennis, track and field, wrestling.
- Women's: alpine skiing, basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, ice hockey, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball.
Maverick baseball plays in Division II. The program has had considerable success in recent years, reaching the College World Series in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014. The men's baseball team has finished the 2011-2014 seasons with average winning percentages points at 0.750 or above. Specific players are known for their performance are Connor McCallum and pitcher Mathias Butala, who lead the team to 2nd place at the Division II Baseball World Series in 2013. In 2013 they finished as runners-up to the University of Tampa. The team is currently coached by Matt Magers.
The Minnesota State football team plays in NCAA Division II and is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Since 1962, they have played in Blakeslee Stadium, with a natural grass field and a capacity of 7,000.
The current head coach is Todd Hoffner, who gained notoriety after he was arrested for allegedly having child pornography on his school-owned computer. Hoffner was later acquitted of all charges, and he returned to Mankato after spending some time as head coach of Minot State University's football program. His return faced some opposition however, when players initially refused to practice.
The women's basketball team won the 2009 NCAA Division II national championship with a 103–94 win over Franklin Pierce University on March 27, 2009 in San Antonio, Texas. The combined score of the game (197 points) established a championship tournament record for most points in a game by two teams.
Men's ice hockey
Prior to 1996, the program competed in the NCAA Division II, during which time they won the 1980 NCAA Division II National Championship by defeating Elmira College 5-2 in the final. The Mavericks earned their first berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament in 2002-03. They lost to eventual East Regional champion Cornell University 5-2 in the opening round.
The hockey program is currently led by head coach Mike Hastings, who started in 2012. His assistants are former MSU defenseman Darren Blue and Todd Knott. Hastings took the place of Troy Jutting, who was named the WCHA Coach of the Year during the 2007-08 season after finishing 19-16-4 overall. Jutting held the post as head coach since the 2000-01 season after replacing longtime coach Don Brose. The Mavericks commenced play at the Division I level during the 1996-97 season.
Mavericks alumni who have played in the NHL include Ryan Carter (Anaheim/Carolina/Minnesota), Steve Wagner (St. Louis/Pittsburgh), David Backes (St. Louis), Tim Jackman (Columbus/Phoenix/Los Angeles/New York Islanders/Calgary), Grant Stevenson (San Jose) and Jon Kalinski (Philadelphia). Carter became the first former Maverick to have his name engraved into the Stanley Cup, as a member of the 2007 Stanley Cup-winning Anaheim Ducks.
Women's ice hockey
Track and field
Junior pole vaulter Katelin Rains claimed her second NCAA Division II indoor pole vault championship and was named the USTFCCCA National Field Athlete of the Year. She hails from the same high school as former Maverick and U.S. Olympian David Backes, both attended Spring Lake Park High School in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota.
In 2010, senior Denise Mokaya won the Division II Indoor NCAA National Championship in the 800m, winning in 1:51.41
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