William & Mary Tribe

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William & Mary Tribe
UniversityCollege of William & Mary
ConferenceCAA (primary)
Eastern Intercollegiate Gymnastics League
NCAADivision I (FCS)
Athletic directorBrian Mann
LocationWilliamsburg, Virginia
Varsity teams23 (19 in 2022–23 pending further review)
Football stadiumZable Stadium
Basketball arenaKaplan Arena
Baseball stadiumPlumeri Park
Soccer stadiumAlbert–Daly Field
Lacrosse stadiumAlbert–Daly Field
Other venuesMcCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center
Fight songTribe Fight Song
ColorsGreen, gold, and silver[1]
Colonial Athletic Association logo in William & Mary's colors

The William & Mary Tribe is a moniker for the College of William & Mary's athletic teams and the university's community more broadly.

William & Mary has won two team national championships (both in men's tennis), the AIAW championships in women's golf, the NAIA championships in women's gymnastics, thirteen USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships, and various individual national championships. The College has more conference championships than any other school in the Colonial Athletic Association. As of the end of the 2010–11 academic year, the Tribe had won 101 conference championships. Dating back to the athletic program's beginning, there have been about 160 conference titles in all.

William & Mary is the second-oldest university in the United States. Since the founding of its athletic program in 1893 the school's athletes have worn different colors and nicknames. From 1893 to 1909 William & Mary football players were known simply as the Orange and White; this reflected the official school colors at that time. From 1910 to 1916 the team colors changed, and the new nickname, "The Orange and Black", reflected this. From 1916 to the mid-1980s William & Mary athletic teams were known as the Indians. Since 1978 the school's teams have been known simply as the Tribe. During the 2006–07 school year then–College President Gene Nichol removed two tribal feathers from the William & Mary athletic logo to bring the program into compliance with newly passed NCAA regulations. On April 6, 2010, after student discussion and subsequent polling, the griffin was announced as the school's new mascot.

In September 2020, William & Mary announced it would discontinue seven sports – men's indoor and outdoor track and field, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's gymnastics, and women's volleyball – at the conclusion of the 2020–21 academic year.[2][3][4] After a considerable amount of backlash and controversy, Samantha Huge resigned as athletic director on October 6, 2020.[5][6] Jeremy Martin was named interim athletic director.[7]

The three women's sports that had been cut were completely reinstated on October 19, 2020.[8] Then on November 5, 2020, the four men's sports that had been cut were reinstated through the 2021–22 school year, and possibly beyond after a more thorough review.[9]

Sports sponsored[edit]

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Field hockey
Football Golf
Golf Gymnastics
Gymnastics Lacrosse
Soccer Soccer
Swimming Swimming
Tennis Tennis
Track and field Track and field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor


In the 1960s Joe Plumeri, future Chairman & CEO of Willis Group Holdings and owner of the Trenton Thunder, who later donated $2 million to build the team's Plumeri Park, played on the baseball team as a second baseman and outfielder.[10] Plumeri also funded the Joseph J. Plumeri Endowment Fund for baseball scholarships for the school.[11] The baseball team has qualified for the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship in 1983, 2001, 2013 and 2016, with the most recent appearance including an upset of the Tribe's rival (and defending College World Series champion) Virginia Cavaliers.


Tribe football players celebrate a touchdown during a game at Zable Stadium in 2022

The football team has won eight conference championships. While a member of the Southern Conference, W&M were champions or co-champions in 1942, 1947, 1966, and 1970. The William & Mary scandal of 1951, which involved improper alteration of athletic recruit transcripts, brought disfavorable national attention and effectively resulted in the College downgrading football going forward as the faculty revolted and it was not invited to join the Atlantic Coast Conference when that league was established in 1953.

In the 1960s, future Willis Group Holdings Chairman & CEO Joe Plumeri played on the football team on scholarship as a halfback for Lou Holtz.[10] After joining the Yankee Conference, the Tribe won the Mid-Atlantic Division in 1993 and won the conference championship in 1996. After the Yankee Conference's 1997 merger with the A-10 Conference, the Tribe were co-champions in 2001 and 2004. After the Colonial Athletic Association began sponsoring football with the 2007 season, the Tribe were co-champions in 2010 and in 2015.

The 2004 season saw William & Mary reach the Division I-AA national semi-finals before finally falling to rival James Madison University.

In 2008, the Tribe played Richmond, at home, on the very last game of the season. While Richmond was assured of a berth in the playoffs, having played and won an extra game due to a 12-game schedule that year (Tribe only played 11 games), the Tribe entered the game needing a win to secure a playoff spot. William & Mary trailed by 14 points going into the 4th quarter but made a huge comeback (largely due to Derek Cox) to send the game into overtime. The Tribe lost in overtime after Richmond blocked a field goal attempt during the Tribe's possession, then kicked a successful field goal during its possession. By failing to beat the Spiders William & Mary missed the playoffs. Richmond, however, would go on to win the NCAA Division I Football Championship by defeating Eastern Kentucky, Appalachian State, Northern Iowa, and the University of Montana 24–7 in the national championship game in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In 2009, the Tribe played the Virginia Cavaliers (UVa), in a season opening match-up for both schools in Charlottesville for the first time since 1986. The Tribe upset Virginia 26–14. It was the second Tribe win over Virginia in as many tries and mirrored several other recent wins by CAA (FCS) programs over those in the ACC (FBS), including three by Richmond over Duke (2006, 2009, 2011). The Tribe finished the year 11–3, after a run to the national semifinals that ended with a 14–13 loss to CAA rival and eventual champion Villanova.



Traditionally, the Tribe has not been a storied basketball program, though they have achieved sporadic success. Their only postseason berths ever were the 1983 National Invitation Tournament after winning the regular season conference title and the 2010 National Invitation Tournament after beating both Wake Forest University and the University of Maryland on the road during the regular season. The Tribe qualified for the 2015 National Invitation Tournament after winning their first ever CAA regular season title.

They have appeared in nine conference tournament finals. While in the Southern Conference they lost the tournament final in 1958, 1961, 1965, and 1975, and while in the ECAC South (precursor to the Colonial Athletic Association) they lost the 1983 final to James Madison, 38–41. Their most recent CAA tournament final appearances came in 2008 (L, 59–68 vs. George Mason), 2010 (L, 53–60 vs. Old Dominion), 2014 (L, 74–75 vs. Delaware), and 2015 (L, 61–72 vs. Northeastern).


The Tribe women's basketball team has generally not been a successful program. Their only conference tournament final appearance to date was in the 1993 CAA final, which they lost to perennial power Old Dominion, 51–65. The 2014–15 season was their most successful in many years and resulted in a bid to the 2015 Women's Basketball Invitational.

Cross country, track & field[edit]

The College of William & Mary's most dominant sports are its men's and women's cross country and track & field teams. The cross country teams host their home meets on the grounds of the Eastern State Hospital. Home track meets are held at the newly renovated Zable Stadium. However, the university's 2014 master plan called for relocating the track to a new facility adjacent to Albert–Daly Field and Plumeri Park. The totals below are current as of the end of the 2014–15 season.


The men's cross country team qualified for fourteen straight NCAA Division I championships (1997–2010), and 26 total NCAA championship appearances. Alumnus Brian Hyde represented the United States in the 1996 Olympics. In November 2009, the Tribe placed 5th at the Division 1 NCAA Men's Cross Country Championship in Terre Haute, Indiana.

William & Mary hosted the men's cross country championship at Eastern State Hospital in 1970.

Total conference championships:

  • Cross Country – 38 (23 CAA, 15 Southern)
  • Track & Field – 32 championships in 21 separate years[a]

NCAA championship team appearances:

NCAA individual championships:

  • 1969-70: Hal Michael, indoor mile
  • 1973-74: Reggie Clark, indoor 880 yards[12]


The women's cross country squad has made nine NCAA championship appearances, most recently in 2014 when they won their first-ever NCAA Regional title.

Total conference championships:

  • Cross Country – 21
  • Track & Field – 11

NCAA championship team appearances:

AIAW individual championships:

  • 1982: Jeri Daniels, (outdoor) shot put[13]


A women's soccer game between William & Mary and Old Dominion in 2013


The Tribe men's soccer team has produced two First Team All-Americans and fourteen NCAA Tournament appearances, most recently in 2010. They have won eight conference tournaments since the program's inception in 1965. The most famous alumnus from this program is TV pundit Jon Stewart. He played from 1981–1983 and scored the lone goal in a 1–0 victory over UConn in the 1983 ECAC tournament championship to give William & Mary their second ever conference tournament championship crown. Stewart ended his career with 10 goals and 12 assists while playing as a midfielder and winger.

The majority of the Tribe's success in men's soccer was overseen by Al Albert during an illustrious 33-year career as head coach. In 2004, Albert passed the coaching reins to his capable protege, Chris Norris. Norris was a player and assistant coach at W&M for 13 years before becoming Albert's successor in Williamsburg.


When counting all-time women's soccer NCAA Tournament appearances, just behind national powerhouses North Carolina (with 30) and UConn (with 28) are the William & Mary Tribe (24). As of the end of 2011, they were on an NCAA-record 30-year consecutive winning seasons streak (tied with North Carolina), dating back to 1982, capturing ten conference tournament crowns in that span. Twice players were selected as the NSCAA National Player of the Year (1987, 1995), and three times the team has made it all the way to the Tournament's Elite 8 (1987, 1994, 1997).

Field hockey[edit]

The women's lacrosse and field hockey teams play at Busch Field.

The field hockey team plays at Busch Field on campus. The team has one CAA championship (2018) and has qualified for three NCAA tournaments, with a combined record of 1–3.

NCAA Tournament performances[edit]

Year Round Opponents Results/Scores
2000 First round Michigan L, 2–3 (OT)
2002 First round Maryland L, 1–2 (OT)
2018 Opening Round
First round
#1 North Carolina
W, 3–2 (OT)
L, 0-4


The men's and women's gymnastics teams host their meets at William & Mary Hall.


The men's team has been very successful across the years. While never winning a team national title, the team has achieved two individual championships: Scott McCall on the rings in 1996 and Ramon Jackson on the parallel bars in 2004. The team has appeared at five NCAA championship events: 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2008. Tribe men's gymnastics has also won thirteen USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009) and produced five CGCA National Academic Team Champions. Additionally, they are members of the Eastern Intercollegiate Gymnastics League. The Tribe has a total of four ECAC gymnastics titles, 1992, 1994, 2006, and 2014.

Year Results
2002 12th (of 12)
2003 12th (of 12)
2005 12th (of 12)
2006 11th (of 12)
2008 11th (of 12)
2014 12th (of 12)


The women's team, on the other hand, has never qualified for the national championship meet or won an individual event. Nonetheless, the women's team has still won six ECAC gymnastics championships: 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2014 & 2015. They also won an NAIA gymnastics title in 1983.


The golf teams host their tournaments at Kingsmill Resort.

Both the men's and women's golf teams host their home tournaments at the River Course at the Kingsmill Resort. Neither the men nor women have ever qualified as a team for the NCAA golf championships. However, the women's team won an AIAW championship in 1981. In conference play, the men's team won their sole CAA championship in 1985.


The women's lacrosse team plays at Busch Field. They have qualified for seven NCAA tournaments and have a combined record of 0–7. They also have one CAA title, from 1992.

NCAA performances[edit]

Year Round Opponents Results/Scores
1983 First round Delaware L, 7–11
1988 First round Harvard L, 6–7
1994 First round Virginia L, 4–8
1996 First round Virginia L, 6–8
1997 First round Loyola (MD) L, 2–11
1998 First round James Madison L, 9–15
2001 First round Loyola (MD) L, 7–15

Swimming and diving[edit]

The men's and women's teams compete at the Student Recreation Center. Previously, they swam at the Adair Gymnasium.


The men's teams has competed at several NCAA championships, 1938, 1963, 1985 and 1986, but has not yet won a team or individual national championship.[14] The team has won six consecutive CAA championships: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

NCAA Qualifiers

Year Athlete Event Results
1938 Leonard Goldburg '39 200 Breast
1938 Johnny Adams '39 Diving
1963 Ron Good '65 50 & 100 Freestyle
1985 Shawn McLane '86 Diving 32nd (of 36)
1986 Shawn McLane '86 Diving 41st (of 43)
2020 Colin Wright '20 50 & 100 Freestyle Not able to compete-Meet Cancelled

Diver Shawn McLane was named an All-American in 1985 (1- and 3-meter) and 1986 (3-meter). Swimmer Colin Wright was named an All-American in 2020, having been seeded fourth in the 50 yard freestyle and eighth in the 100 yard freestyle at the 2020 NCAA championships that were cancelled due to the 2020 SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.[15][16] Wright also earned a 12th place finish at the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships in the 50 LCM freestyle.

The men won every CAA Championship Meet relay for the three-straight years from 2018 to 2020, and won all five of them with conference records in 2020.[17] As of 2020, they also held 9 of the 13 individual CAA Records.[18]

The team has 6 qualifying times for the 2021 Olympic Trial Qualifier Meet:  Jack Doherty-50 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly, Ben Skopic-200 Individual Medley, Ian Thompson-50 Freestyle and Colin Wright-50 & 100 Freestyle.


The women's team has been represented at the NCAA Championship meet on five occasions. Erin Sheehey competed at the meet in 1984 and Katie Radloff qualified and competed all four years of her college career from 2007 to 2010, finishing as high as 20th in the nation in the 100 yard freestyle. The women have also won three CAA championships: 2007, 2016, and 2017.

Year Athlete Event Results
1984 Erin Sheehey Downs '84 50 Breast
2007 Katie Radloff '10 50, 100 & 200 Free
2008 Katie Radloff '10 50, 100 & 200 Free 20th in 100 Free
2009 Katie Radloff '10 50, 100 & 200 Free
2010 Katie Radloff '10 50, 100 & 200 Free

Missy Cundiff '22 has a qualifying time in the 50 Freestyle to attend the 2021 Olympic Qualifier Meet.


The men's and women's tennis teams play at the Millie West Tennis Facility and the McCormack–Nagelsen Tennis Center. Both teams (as of 2015) are the defending CAA tennis champions.


The men's team won two NCAA championships in 1947 (10–4 vs. Rice) and 1948 (6–5 vs. San Francisco); they were led by coach Sharvey G. Umbeck to both titles. They were runners up in 1946 against USC. Individually, players have won two individual events: Gardner Larned won the singles title in 1947 and the pair of Fred Kovaleski and Bernard Bartzen won the doubles title in 1948. Since then, Tribe men's tennis has made four national championship appearances (with a record of 0–3): 1999, 2005, 2007, and 2015. Additionally, the men have won four CAA tennis championships: 1988, 1990, 2005, and 2015.

NCAA performances[edit]
Year Round Opponent Results/Scores
1999 First round Clemson L, 3–4
2005 First round TAMU–Corpus Christi L, 2–4
2007 First round NC State L, 0–4
2015 First round North Carolina L, 0–4


The women's team, while never winning an NCAA title, has also been prolific. The team has made 22 appearances in the NCAA championships with a combined record of 21–20: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2016, and 2017. Furthermore, the women's team has won 25 conference titles: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

NCAA performances[edit]
Year Round Opponent Results/Scores
1989 First round San Diego State L, 3–6
1990 First round South Carolina L, 0–6
1991 First round Miami (FL) L, 3–6
1992 First round
Second Round
Miami (FL)
W, 5–4
L, 3–5
1995 Second Round California L, 2–5
1996 East Regional
East Regional
East Regional
First round
Seton Hall
W, 5–4
W, 5–4
W, 5–4
L, 3–5
1997 East Regional
East Regional
East Regional
First round
W, 5–0
W, 5–0
W, 5–3
W, 5–0
L, 0–6
1998 East Regional
East Regional
East Regional
First round
Virginia Tech
W, 5–1
W, 5–1
W, 5–3
W, 5–3
L, 2–5
1999 Regional semifinals
Regional Final
Fresno State
W, 6–0
L, 3–5
2000 Round of 64
Round of 32
Loyola (MD)
W, 5–0
L, 3–5
2002 Round of 64 Clemson L, 3–4
2003 Round of 64
Round of 32
Round of 16
South Alabama
W, 4–0
W, 4–1
L, 0–5
2004 Round of 64
Round of 32
W, 4–2
L, 0–4
2005 Round of 64
Round of 32
W, 4–1
L, 0–4
2006 Round of 64 NC State L, 3–4
2007 Round of 64
Round of 32
Round of 16
Wake Forest
W, 4–0
W, 4–1
L, 1–4
2008 Round of 64
Round of 32
NC State
W, 4–0
L, 1–4
2011 Round of 64 Yale L, 2–4


The women's indoor volleyball team competes at William & Mary Hall. They have won eight CAA championships (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, and 2001) and made one appearance in the NCAA tournament in 2001 losing in the first round to Duke University.

NCAA Tournament performances[edit]

Year Round Opponent Results/Scores
2001 First round Duke L, 0–3

National championships[edit]


William & Mary has won two NCAA national team championships, both for men's tennis;[19] the Tribe won back-to-back national championships in 1947 and 1948.[20][21] During the era when the AIAW conducted women's collegiate championships, the Tribe women claimed one AIAW national team title, for golf (Division II) in 1981.[22]

Association Division Sport Year Opponent/
NCAA University Division Men's Tennis (2) 1947 Rice 10–4 (+6)
1948 San Francisco 6–5 (+1)

Notable alumni[edit]

Main article: List of College of William & Mary alumni

Notable graduates from the athletic programs include Jon Stewart, Adin Brown, Sean McDermott, Mike Leach, Buster Ramsey, Darren Sharper, Mike Tomlin, Bill Chambers, J. D. Gibbs, Steve Christie, Wade Barrett, Jill Ellis, and Derek Cox.

Fight songs[edit]

In addition to the most common Fight Song, the "William and Mary Victory March" (composed in the 1930s by Rolf Kennard) is occasionally heard before games. There is a long-running superstition that playing the Victory March during a game will lead to a bad result.

Radio affiliates[edit]

Two radio stations in eastern Virginia broadcast Tribe football and men's basketball, under the branding "William & Mary Bookstore Tribe Radio Network".[23][24]

City Call Sign Frenquency
Deltaville, Virginia WTYD-FM 92.3 FM
West Point, Virginia WBQK-FM 107.9 FM

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Southern Conference named separate champions for indoor and outdoor track and field during William and Mary's membership in that conference. In eleven years (1957 and 1966–1975) the Tribe won both the indoor and outdoor championships; in one additional year (1958) they won the outdoor championship only.[25][26]


  1. ^ "William & Mary University Colors – Brand Guidelines". Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  2. ^ Rowe, Katherine; Agouris, Peggy; Huge, Samantha (September 3, 2020). "Open Letter to the William & Mary Community and to All Who Support William & Mary Athletics". tribeathletics.com - William & Mary Athletics - Official Athletics Website. College of William and Mary. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  3. ^ O'Brien, Marty (September 3, 2020). "William & Mary eliminates 7 sports to fix budget issues after "thoughtful, intense deliberative process," athletic director says". pilotonline.com - Virginian-Pilot Online. The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  4. ^ O'Connor, John (September 3, 2020). "Financial crunch from COVID-19 causes William & Mary to cut seven sports". richmond.com - Times-Dispatch Online. Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  5. ^ Gardner, Steve (October 6, 2020). "William & Mary AD resigns amid criticism for cutting varsity sports". USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  6. ^ Brown, Ethan (October 6, 2020). "Huge resigns as Tribe Athletics director". The Flat Hat. The College of William and Mary. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  7. ^ Beardsley, Zoe (October 13, 2020). "Martin named Interim AD after Huge resigns: Announcement comes five weeks after controversial decision to cut seven varsity sports". The Flat Hat. College of William and Mary. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  8. ^ Beardsley, Zoe; Dawes, Lulu (October 26, 2020). "College reverses Women's sports cuts after Title IX inequity". The Flat Hat. College of William and Mary. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  9. ^ Beardsley, Zoe (November 10, 2020). "College reinstates men's varsity sports in significant policy reversal". The Flat Hat. College of William and Mary. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Kennedy, Ben (October 9, 2006). "Plumeri tapped to lead homecoming parade". W&M Alumni Magazine. Archived from the original on June 18, 2010. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  11. ^ "Plumeri Park". TribeAthletics.com. Archived from the original on May 17, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  12. ^ "Men's XC/Track Honors and Awards". William and Mary Athletics. College of William and Mary. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  13. ^ "Women's XC/Track Honors and Awards". William and Mary Athletics. College of William and Mary. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  14. ^ "Tribe Round Up-Knight takes home another top honor". The Virginia Gazette.
  15. ^ "Colin Wright Named All-America by the CSCAA". tribeathletics.com. William and Mary Athletics Department. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  16. ^ "2020 NCAA Division I Men's Championship - 3/25/2020 to 3/28/2020 SCYPsych Sheet" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  17. ^ "W&M men's swimming wins CAA championship for 6th consecutive year". February 25, 2020.
  18. ^ "CAA Mens swimming records" (PDF).
  19. ^ "How many NCAA Division I championships has your school won?". NCAA. Archived from the original on April 19, 2008. Retrieved July 23, 2008.
  20. ^ "About William & Mary athletics". The College of William & Mary. Retrieved July 23, 2008.
  21. ^ "Men's Tennis National Championships". The College of William & Mary. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  22. ^ "William and Mary Tribe Women's Golf Honors and Awards". The College of William & Mary. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  23. ^ "Football on the Air". William & Mary. August 29, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  24. ^ "Basketball on the Air". The Tide 92.3 FM. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  25. ^ "Southern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Record Book" (PDF). Southern Conference. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  26. ^ "Southern Conference Indoor Track & Field Record Book" (PDF). Southern Conference. Retrieved December 9, 2014.

External links[edit]