The UMass Lowell River Hawks are composed of 16 teams representing the University of Massachusetts Lowell in intercollegiate athletics, including men and women's basketball, cross country, soccer, and track and field. Men's sports include baseball, golf, lacrosse and ice hockey. Women's sports include field hockey, rowing, softball, and volleyball. The River Hawks compete in NCAA Division I and are members of the America East Conference for all sports, except the men's ice hockey team, which competes in Hockey East. The River Hawks formerly competed in the Northeast-10 Conference at the Division II level.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell participates in 16 sports at the Division 1 Level. On July 1, 2013, 14 of UMass Lowell's Division II teams moved up to Division I, joining the America East Conference. The River Hawks formerly competed in the Northeast-10 Conference at the Division II level. Past champions include the 1988 men's basketball team, the 1991 men's cross country team, the ice hockey team (three times) and the field hockey team twice (2005, 2010). The 2010 field hockey team finished its season with a perfect 24-0 record. The university added men's and women's lacrosse for the 2014-2015 academic year.
The university's men's hockey team plays in the Hockey East Association and plays its home games at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. In 2013, the men's hockey team won the Hockey East regular-season and tournament championships and advanced to the NCAA Division I Championship "Frozen Four," all for the first time in the university's history. The men's hockey team repeated as Hockey East champions in 2014 while advancing to the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship for the third straight year and sixth time overall. Goalie Connor Hellebuyck is the only Hockey East player to receive the league tournament's Most Valuable Player Award in two consecutive years, earning the honor in 2013 and 2014.
The nickname "River Hawks" came about during the school's transition from the University of Lowell to UMass Lowell and was inspired by the campus's location along the Merrimack River. The University of Lowell's nickname was the Chiefs, which was abandoned in favor of the current name. A campus-wide poll was conducted for student input and final candidates included the Ospreys and the Raging Rapids, according to the Connector student newspaper.
Dean Jenkins, Former NHL hockey player with the Los Angeles Kings
Greg Koehler, Former NHL hockey player with the Carolina Hurricanes
Mark Kumpel, Member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Hockey team and former NHL player with the Quebec Nordiques and the Winnipeg Jets
Mike LaValliere, Former Major League Baseball catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Chicago White Sox. Recipient of the 1987 NL Gold Glove Award at catcher.
Craig MacTavish, Former NHL player with Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers and former coach of the Edmonton Oilers, where he serves as senior vice president.
Bill Morrell, Former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Washington Senators and NY Giants.
Jon Morris, Former NHL player with the New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins
Dwayne Roloson, NHL player with the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers, two-time all-star
Ben Walter, Former NHL player with the Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils
Scott Waugh, Physical therapist with the Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox and director at the Massachusetts General Hospital Sports Physical Therapy Service
The River Hawk nickname and initial logo was selected in the spring of 1994 following a lengthy process, a contest and a final vote by the UMass Lowell student body. Not representative of any specific bird, the River Hawk is envisioned as a mythical bird of strength, speed and courage. It soars to great heights but never loses its connection to the river and the land below. Straddling both sides of the Merrimack River, UMass Lowell has been a thriving educational and research center with strong ties to the industries that have lined its shores for over a century.
Chad Dooley gave the suggestion of the River Hawk name and 1980 alumnus Brian Trainor designed the original logo mark. The University amended the logo in 2006 through the creative work of Phoenix Design in New York City.