RPI Engineers

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RPI Engineers
University Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Association Division III
Conference Liberty League, ECAC Hockey
Athletic director Lee McElroy
Location Troy, New York
Varsity teams 21
Football stadium East Campus Stadium
Arena East Campus Arena
Baseball stadium Robison Field
Other arenas Houston Field House
Nickname Engineers
Colors Cherry and White[1]
Website www.rpiathletics.com

The RPI Engineers are composed of 21 teams representing Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in intercollegiate athletics, including men and women's basketball, cross country, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, and track and field. Men's sports include baseball, football, and golf. Women's sports include field hockey, and softball. The Engineers compete in the NCAA Division III and are members of the Liberty League for all sports except ice hockey, which competes in NCAA Division I, as a member of ECAC Hockey.[2]


Men's Women's
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross Country
Cross Country Field Hockey
Football Ice Hockey
Golf Lacrosse
Ice Hockey Soccer
Lacrosse Softball
Soccer Swimming & Diving
Swimming & Diving Tennis
Tennis Track and Field
Track and Field


The official nickname of some of the school's Division III teams was changed in 1995 from the Engineers to the Red Hawks. However, the hockey, football, cross-country, tennis and track and field teams all chose to retain the Engineers name. The Red Hawks name was, at the time, very unpopular among the student body; a Red Hawk mascot was frequently taunted with thrown concessions and chants of "kill the chicken!". In 2009 the nickname for all teams has since been changed back to Engineers. In contrast, the official ice hockey mascot, known as Puckman, has always been very popular. Puckman is an anthropomorphic hockey puck with an engineer's helmet.

During the 1970s and 1980s, one RPI cheer was:

E to the x, dy/dx, E to the x, dx
Cosine, secant, tangent, sine
Square root, cube root, log of pi
Disintegrate them, RPI![3][4]
RPI's lacrosse team in a demonstration game at the 1948 London Olympics

Lacrosse (men's)[edit]

The lacrosse team represented the United States in the 1948 Olympics in London. It won the Wingate Memorial Trophy as national collegiate champions in 1952.[5] Future NHL head coach Ned Harkness coached the lacrosse and ice hockey teams, winning national championships in both sports.


The Engineers baseball squad is perennially atop the Liberty League standings, and has seen 8 players move on to the professional ranks, including 4 players selected in the MLB draft. The team is coached by Karl Steffen (Ithaca '78). The Engineers play their home games at the historic Robison Field.

American football[edit]

American rugby was played on campus in the late 1870s. Intercollegiate football begin as late as 1886 when an RPI team first played a Union College team on a leased field in West Troy (Watervliet). Since 1903, RPI and nearby Union have been rivals in football, making it the oldest such rivalry in the state. The teams have played for the Dutchman's Shoes since 1950. RPI Football had their most successful season in 2003, when they finished 11-2 and lost to St. Johns (Minn.) in the NCAA Division III semi final game.[6]

Athletic facilities[edit]

Houston Field House
East Campus Athletic Village, under construction

The Houston Field House is a 4,780‑seat multi-purpose arena located on the RPI campus. It opened in 1949 and is home to the RPI Engineers men's and women's ice hockey teams. The Field House was renovated starting in 2007 as part of the major campus improvement project to build the East Campus Athletic Village. The renovations included locker rooms upgrades, addition of a new weight room, and a new special reception room dedicated to Ned Harkness.[7] Additionally, as part of the renovations through a government grant, solar panels were installed on the roof to supply power to the building.

As part of the Rensselaer Plan, the Institute recently completed a major project to improve its athletic facilities with the East Campus Athletic Village. The plan included construction of a new and much larger 4,842‑seat football stadium, a basketball arena with seating for 1,200, a new 50-meter pool, an indoor track and field complex, new tennis courts, new weight rooms and a new sports medicine center.[8] The Institute broke ground on August 26, 2007, and construction of the first phase is expected to last two years.[9] The estimated cost of the project is $78 million for phase one and $35–$45 million for phase two.[10] Since the completion of the new stadium, the bleachers on the Class of '86 football field on the central campus have been removed and the field has become an open space. In the future the new space could be used for expansions of the academic buildings, but for now members of the campus planning team foresee a "historic landscape with different paths and access ways for students and vehicles alike".[11]


  1. ^ Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Brand Style Guidelines (PDF). Retrieved June 12, 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Official Website of the RPI Engineers". rpiathletics.com. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  3. ^ "E to the X". RPI Information. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Witness's recollection of the cheer originating at RPI". Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Timeline of RPI History-1959". Retrieved 21 January 2007. 
  6. ^ DiTursi, Dan (2004-01-14). "Football 2003: A season to remember". Retrieved 18 February 2009. 
  7. ^ "Houston Field House Renovation" (PDF). Retrieved 10 September 2008. 
  8. ^ "Giving to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Athletics". Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Rensselaer Breaks Ground for East Campus Athletic Village; First Phase to be Completed by Fall 2009" (Press release). RPI. September 4, 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "East Campus Athletic Village on Schedule for Fall 2009". Retrieved 20 December 2008. 
  11. ^ The Polytechnic (2 August 2007). "Master Plan Undergoes Public Review". Retrieved 2 December 2007. 

External links[edit]