UMBC Retrievers

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UMBC Retrievers
University University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Conference America East
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Tim Hall
Location Baltimore, Maryland
Varsity teams 17
Football stadium UMBC Stadium
Basketball arena Retriever Activities Center
Baseball stadium The Baseball Factory Field at UMBC
Mascot True Grit
Nickname Retrievers
Fight song UMBC Riser
Colors Black and Gold[1]

The UMBC Retrievers represent the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in NCAA Division I athletics. The official colors of the Retrievers are black and gold (PMS 123).[2] The Retrievers field 17 varsity sports, eight for men and nine for women. UMBC competes in the America East Conference (AmEast) in all sports except men's swimming and diving, and that sport will also compete in the AmEast effective in the 2017–18 season, when that conference reinstates men's swimming and diving as a sponsored sport. Previously, that team had competed in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association.


The retriever mascot is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the state dog of Maryland. There is a statue of a retriever known as True Grit that stands in front of the Retriever Activities Center (RAC). UMBC's costumed mascot has been known both as True Grit and Fever. UMBC also once had a live mascot named Campus Sam. Today, there is a live mascot named Gritty. In 2007, True revealed he had a sister, Trudy Grit, at the volleyball pep rally. She was used as a mascot as well.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of UMBC in 2006, the University held the "March of the Retrievers," a procession of 40 Chesapeake Bay Retrievers from the True Grit statue to the University Commons and then on to the UMBC Soccer Stadium, site of the Homecoming soccer match.

Varsity teams[edit]

A member of the America East Conference, UMBC sponsors teams in eight men's and nine women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[3]

  1. ^ Competes in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association through the 2016–17 school year, after which the America East will revive men's swimming & diving as a sponsored sport.
  2. ^ a b The NCAA considers swimming & diving to be a single sport, holding a Division I championship meet that includes both disciplines.
  3. ^ a b The NCAA considers indoor and outdoor track & field to be two separate sports. It holds indoor championships in its winter season and outdoor championships in its spring season.

The most recent change to the roster of supported sports was the dropping of the men's and women's tennis teams after the 2015–16 season. At the time of the tennis program's demise, the men competed in the Missouri Valley Conference and the women in the America East.[4]


UMBC Retrievers baseball competes at the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).[5] The team is led by Bob Mumma, and plays its home games at The Baseball Factory Field at UMBC on campus in Baltimore. The Retrievers are members of the America East Conference.[6]


The Retrievers won their first regular season American East Men's Basketball title in 2007-08, and also qualified for their first NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. They had previously competed in the Division II men's basketball tournament.

Retrievers Basketball games are broadcast by Paul Mittermeier and Gary Stein as well as Troy Greene and Dan Levin.


The Retrievers Men's Soccer Team won the America East Conference in 2010, receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I men's soccer tournament. The Retrievers won their first round game against Princeton but lost in the second round in a shootout to a ranked William and Mary team. Star striker, Levi Houapeu, from that 2010 team was drafted as a 5th pick in the 3rd round of the 2011 MLS Superdraft by the Philadelphia Union. He is the first UMBC player to be drafted into the MLS. Levi is now a member of the Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League. The men also won the conference again in 2012, and advanced to the NCAA tournament once again. They won their first round game against Old Dominion, but lost in penalty kicks in the second round to defending champion, UNC Chapel Hill. In 2013 the Retrievers led the country in overall record (16-1-3) and became the first team since 1997 to repeat as America East Conference Champions. They would earn a #16 seed and a first round bye as well as host UMBC's first ever NCAA Tournament match in any sport. The Retrievers would fall in a penalty shootout for the third time in four years in the second round of the tournament to UConn. In 2014, the Retrievers won their third straight America East Conference Championship and advanced the furthest of any UMBC NCAA Division I team by beating the #12-ranked Creighton 4-3 on PKs, as the Retrievers reached the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship semifinals. UMBC is the first team in tournament history to win four consecutive road games and to post shutouts in four consecutive games behind GK Billy Heavner and the back four of Jordan Becker, Oumar Ballo, Marquez Fernandez, and Spencer Williams (against Wake Forest, #4-ranked Maryland, #13-ranked Louisville and #12-ranked Creighton) to reach the College Cup.[7]

The Retriever women's soccer team won their first American East Conference title and made their first NCAA tournament appearance in 2013, where they lost to #1-ranked VA Tech 2-0 in the first round. This was an amazing accomplishment considering the team had a cumulative record of 3-39-9 in their previous three years.[8]


Sport Head Coach Venue Capacity Notes
Baseball Bob Mumma Alumni Field 1,000 2001 NEC Tournament Champions (as assistant coach under former head coach John Jancuska)
Basketball (Men) Aki Thomas RAC Arena 4,024 2008 America East Tournament Champions, 2008 America East Regular Season Champions (as assistant coach under former head coach Randy Monroe)
Basketball (Women) Phil Stern RAC Arena 4,024 2007 America East Tournament Champions, 2011 America East Regular Season Champions, 2011 WNIT
Cross Country
(Men & Women)
Matt Gittermann No home course N/A 2013 America East Champions (Men); 2005 America East Champions (Men) (under former head coach Murray Davis)
Lacrosse (Men) Don Zimmerman UMBC Stadium 4,500 America East Champions 2006, 2008, 2009; America East Regular Season Champions 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009; 2007 NCAA Tournament Quarterfinalist, 1980 Division II National Champion
Lacrosse (Women) Amy Appelt UMBC Stadium 4,500 NEC Tournament Champions 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 (under former head coach Monica Yeakel); 2006 America East Regular Season Co-Champions (under former head coach Courtney Connor)
Soccer (Men) Pete Caringi Jr. Retriever Soccer Park 1,500 1999 NEC Regular Season Champions; 1999 NEC Tournament Champions; NCAA College Cup First Round 1999; America East Regular Season Champions 2003, 2013, 2014; America East Tournament Champions 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014; NCAA College Cup Second Round 2010, 2012, 2013, NCAA College Cup Final Four 2014
Soccer (Women) Leslie Wray Retriever Soccer Park 1,500 America East Regular Season Champions 2013, America East Tournament Champions 2013
Softball (Women) Heather Gelbard UMBC Softball Stadium 1,000 2000 NEC Tournament Champions (under former head coach Michelle Neveling); 2002 NEC Tournament Champions; 2003 NEC Regular Season Champions
Swimming & Diving
(Men & Women)
Chad Cradock UMBC Aquatic Complex 500 Men: CCSA Conference Champions 2015, 2016 America East Champions 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013; Northeast Conference Champions 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

Women: America East Champions 2007, 2008, 2011, 2015, 2016; Northeast Conference Champions 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003

Track & Field
(Men & Women)
David Bobb UMBC Stadium 4,500
Volleyball (Women) Ian Blanchard RAC Arena 4,024 1995 Big South Champions; 1998 Northeast Conference Champions (under former head coach Catherine Lavery)
The Retriever Activities Center prior to the 2008 America East Conference Championship Game
Retriever men's lacrosse competing against the University of Delaware in the 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Tournament.
Phil Stern, head coach women's Basketball team

In Spring of 2014, UMBC announced that a brand new, $85 million arena and events center was to be built and opened sometime during the 2017–18 school year. The new arena will host Retriever basketball and volleyball games, as well as host convocations, speaker events, and other community events.[9]

The UMBC Dance Team, cheerleading squad, mascot, and the "Down and Dirty Dawg" Pep Band also are supported through UMBC Athletics.

Non-Varsity Programs[edit]

Sport Head Coach Venue Notes
Wrestling (Men) Luke Broadwater RAC Arena NCWA National Championship- 10th place team: 2010, 9th place team: 2011. Individual National Champions: Alex Broadwater (149 lbs) 2008. Individual All Americans: Alex Broadwater 2007, 2008, 2009; Michael Hornzell 2007; Angelo Ambridge 2010; Zach Coe 2010; Daniel Carr 2011; Kekura Musa 2011
Ice Hockey (Men) Jeff Pelus Reisterstown IcePlex ACHA National Tournament 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014. ACHA National Semifinalist 2010, 2014. Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Champions 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014. Individual All-Americans: Nik Jost 2012, 2013.
Volleyball (Men) RAC Arena 2014 NCVF Quarterfinalist
Rugby (Men) Hannibal Walker Field 2015 3rd in Region

Athletic Alumni[edit]

True Grit[edit]

True Grit at a lacrosse match.

True Grit is the name of the mascot at UMBC. True Grit appears in two forms: Both as a statue in front of the Retriever Activities Center of a Chesapeake Bay retriever and as a costumed mascot, an anthropomorphized Chesapeake Bay retriever. The latter can typically be seen in attire of whatever sport he is currently attending; this is most often basketball or lacrosse.


The Chesapeake Bay retriever is the state dog of Maryland and has been the mascot of UMBC since weeks after its founding in 1966.[10] The costumed mascot was alternately known as "Fever the Retriever" in the late 1990s. The University also once had a live mascot, upon whom the True Grit statue is based, named Campus Sam.[11] At the beginning of the 2008 fall semester, a Chesapeake Bay retriever puppy was chosen as a new mascot. He attends many athletic events and an online poll was held on the Retriever Activities Center website to choose his name, which was ultimately decided as "Gritty".

The costumed mascot has been fairly consistent throughout the years, with one notable exception. At convocation at the beginning of the 2002-2003 academic year, a new mascot costume was unveiled that was quite different from the previous costume. This mascot was active throughout the rest of the school year, but following that year a familiar-looking mascot returned--the new costume was similar to the first edition with a slightly darker brown coat.

UMBC Riser[edit]

UMBC Retrievers Logo from 2001-2010

The UMBC Riser is the official fight song of the UMBC Retrievers, and was written by Dr. George LaNoue, a professor of policy sciences[12]

Stand up and cheer, UMBC
Forward we go, to another victory.
Retrievers, be bold,
We back you as we stand,
Black and gold, the best in Maryland.
Rise up and sing!
Stand up and roar!
Make echoes ring from the mountains to the shore.
Baltimore's pride, our alma mater grand,
UMBC, the best in any land!

Alma mater[edit]

UMBC's alma mater debuted in 2006 in conjunction with the 40th anniversary festivities. The tune is American Hymn by Matthias Keller, and the lyrics and arrangement are by Jari Villanueva, former director of UMBC's pep band.[13]


  1. ^ "Institutional Colors". Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  2. ^ University of Maryland, Baltimore County – Frequently Asked Questions.
  3. ^ "UMBC Retrievers". University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  4. ^ "UMBC to Discontinue Men’s and Women’s Tennis Programs" (Press release). UMBC Retrievers. November 2, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2017. 
  5. ^ "UMBC Retrievers". Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ 2015 Baseball Media Guide. Northeastern Huskies. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ "UMBC". 
  8. ^ "espnw -- UMBC soccer team completes titanic turnaround". espnW. 
  9. ^ "UMBC Announces Major Construction Projects". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved December 4, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Traditions and Spirit Groups". UMBC Retrievers official website. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ "A Brief Early History of UMBC". UMBC Founders Oral History Project. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links[edit]