Roanoke Maroons

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Roanoke Maroons
University Roanoke College
Conference Old Dominion Athletic Conference
NCAA Division III
Athletic director Scott Allison
Location Salem, VA
Varsity teams 19
Basketball arena Cregger Center
Baseball stadium Lewis-Gale Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark
Soccer stadium Donald J. Kerr Stadium
Mascot Rooney
Nickname Maroons
Colors Maroon and Gray

The Roanoke Maroons are the athletic teams that represent Roanoke College, located in Salem, Virginia, a suburban independent city adjacent to Roanoke, Virginia.

Roanoke is an NCAA Division III member competing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference; the Maroons were a founding member of the conference in 1976. The college fields varsity teams in nine men's and ten women's sports.

Varsity teams[edit]

List of teams[edit]


Roanoke athletics began in 1870 when the college fielded its first baseball team. The men's basketball program, added in 1911, received national recognition in 1939 when the team finished third in the National Invitational Tournament, the premiere postseason tournament of that era; and with more than 1,300 wins (almost 2,000 games played; better than 60% winning percentage over more than 90 years) is among the most successful in the nation. Frankie Allen, arguably the greatest men's basketball player in Virginia college history (2,780 points and 1,758 rebounds), graduated from Roanoke in 1971.

Roanoke teams have won two national championships: the 1972 NCAA Division II men's basketball championship and the 1978 Division II men's lacrosse championship. In 2001, Roanoke student Casey Smith won an individual national championship in the Division III women's 10,000m track and field event. In 2009, student Robin Yerkes secured Roanoke's fourth national championship when she won an individual championship in the Division III women's 400m track and field event. Yerkes is the most decorated athlete ever to graduate from Roanoke, earning 12 All-American honors in multiple events.

Roanoke teams have won 101 conference championships (as of May 2013; 47 in men's sports, 54 in women's sports) since the college joined the ODAC as a founding member in 1976.[1] Roanoke has won more conference championships than any other ODAC school in men's lacrosse (18), women's basketball (13), women's lacrosse (10) and softball (8). Roanoke and Hampden-Sydney College are tied for the most conference championships in men's basketball (10).


Roanoke's football program was discontinued during World War II after more than 60 years of competition.[2] Initially a club sport, the first varsity game occurred in 1892 against Allegheny Institute.[2] The final game was a 42–0 loss to Catawba College on November 13, 1942.[2]

In 1985, the Salem city government constructed an 8,000 seat stadium adjacent to Roanoke's Elizabeth Campus, two miles from the main campus, location of athletic fields and residence halls.[3] Constructed for Salem's public high school, many hoped the college would revive its football program and that the team would play in the stadium, but the college declined. The stadium hosts the annual NCAA Division III football championship even though Roanoke does not compete in the sport.[3]


Roanoke and Washington and Lee University have been rivals for more than a century. The rivalry, strongest in men's lacrosse, is fueled by a long history of athletic contests; the schools have competed since the 1870s. The rivalry is also influenced by conference affiliation and geography; the schools are charter members of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and are located within an hour drive of each other on Interstate 81. Both schools traditionally have nationally ranked men's lacrosse teams and are usually ranked in the top ten when meeting late in the season. In addition to Washington and Lee, contests with Hampden-Sydney College, Randolph Macon College and Lynchburg College draw the most attention; all of which are members of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

Roanoke and Virginia Tech were rivals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Virginia Tech was a small college. In 1877, the schools competed in Virginia Tech's first intercollegiate baseball game (Virginia Tech won 53–13), and in 1896, Virginia Tech first wore its current athletic colors – maroon and burnt orange – in a football game against Roanoke.[4][5] In 1895, Roanoke and Virginia Tech were charter members of the now defunct Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Association along with Randolph-Macon College, the University of Richmond, and the College of William and Mary, and in 1926, Roanoke and Virginia Tech played the inaugural football game at Virginia Tech's Miles Stadium.[4][6]

School colors[edit]

Roanoke has two sets of school colors, blue and gold for academic use and maroon and gray for athletic use.[7] This dates to 1907 when the baseball team needed new uniforms, but could not obtain any in blue and gold. Maroon and gray uniforms were purchased as a substitute. Within a few years, maroon and gray were adopted as Roanoke's official athletic colors. The college athletic nickname became Maroons as well. In recent years, black has been added as an accent color so Roanoke athletic uniforms are often maroon, gray, and black.

Nickname and mascot[edit]

Roanoke's athletic nickname is Maroons and the mascot is Rooney, a maroon-tailed hawk.[8] The mascot was revealed on April 17, 2009 during annual alumni weekend festivities.[9] Roanoke has competed as the Maroons for over 100 years, but it was only a color without a mascot to represent the college.

Individual sports[edit]

Recent achievements[edit]


On January 28, 2012, the men's basketball team defeated Eastern Mennonite University to win the 1,300th game in program history.[10] Roanoke is one of only 20 NCAA Division III schools with that many victories. With the win, Head Coach Page Moir achieved 375 victories; he is the winningest coach in ODAC history.[11]

Roanoke completed the 2011–12 academic year with two ODAC championships: women's outdoor track and field and softball.[12][13] The softball championship was Roanoke's eighth in the sport, the most of any school in conference history. Roanoke finished second in the conference in golf and women's lacrosse.[14][15]

The softball team defeated Christopher Newport University to win the NCAA Division III Regional Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four. Roanoke ended the season ranked fourth in the nation after losses to Montclair State University and Linfield College.[16]

Roanoke athletes won the top ODAC scholar-athlete of the year awards; golfer Brandon Ketron won the men's award, track athlete Sarah Witt won the women's award.[17] Roanoke and Washington and Lee University are the only schools to win both awards in the same year. In addition, 91 Roanoke student-athletes were named to the ODAC Academic All-American team.[18]

Shelley Olds, a 2003 graduate of Roanoke College, finished seventh in the women's road race at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the best result for an American cyclist since 1992.[19] Olds served as captain of the women's soccer team at Roanoke; she is a three-time national champion in two cycling disciplines, road and track.


Scott Allison retired in 2012 after 27 seasons as head men's soccer coach; in his final season, the team won the ODAC championship and advanced to the opening round of the NCAA Division III tournament.[20] Allison was named South Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year and Virginia College Division Coach of the Year; he continues to serve as Roanoke's director of athletics.[20][21]

Roanoke completed the 2012–13 academic year having won four ODAC championships: men's soccer, women's indoor track and field, women's outdoor track and field, and men's lacrosse.[22][23][24] The men's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament; the team was defeated by Emory University. The men's lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament as well, defeating Centre College before losing to Lynchburg College. The softball team advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament as an at-large seed; the team was defeated by Christopher Newport University and Emory University.

Roanoke placed 111 student-athletes on the 2012–13 ODAC Academic All-American team, the most in college history.[25]


  1. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Athletic Department
  2. ^ a b c A Guide to Historical Salem | Vol. 3 No. 3
  3. ^ a b Salem Football Stadium
  4. ^ a b "Historical Data Book, Section 2.8: Student Organizations". Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  5. ^ "What is a Hokie? | Virginia Tech". Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Historical Data Book, Section 6.4: Athletic Facilities". Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Where did the name Maroons come from? – Roanoke College – Salem, Virginia". Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved January 13, 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Roanoke College's new mascot lands on campus –
  10. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Men's Basketball
  11. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Men's Basketball
  12. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Women's Track and Field
  13. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Softball
  14. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Golf
  15. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Women's Lacrosse
  16. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Softball
  17. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Golf
  18. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Athletic Department
  19. ^ Olds’ seventh place is best Olympic women’s road race finish by American in 20 years - Roanoke College - Salem, Virginia
  20. ^ a b Roanoke College Athletics - Men's Soccer
  21. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Men's Soccer
  22. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Women's Indoor Track
  23. ^ Roanoke College Athletics
  24. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Men's Lacrosse
  25. ^ Roanoke College Athletics - Athletic Department

External links[edit]