Denver Athletics

Home of Champions

Denver Athletics are proud winners of 34 NCAA national championships across 18 varsity sports, along with 127 individual national championships in the last 14 years. The department also boasts 546 All-Americans, more than 1,500 All-Conference award winners and 57 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans.

As impressive as the success is for DU on the field, its continued success in the classroom is also remarkable. The Division of Athletics finished with a 94% graduation success rate. Additionally, 6 of the 17 eligible athletic programs earned a perfect score from the NCAA for its annual Academic Progress Rate (APR) report. The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement for all Division I sports teams. 


“I am so proud of what our team was able to accomplish in 2022. I owe a lot of what I have in my life to the university. This program is very special; it means the world to me. We are all so proud to be Denver Pioneers today.”

David Carle, Head Coach, Men's Ice Hockey

Our Success

group of women athletes in huddle with arms raised
DU men's lacrosse team group photo with confetti

Ranked 13th for most NCAA Division I championships, our Pioneers carry a rich history of success. Our ski team has the most titles of any in the U.S., and our men’s ice hockey team's nine national titles are tied for the most among all NCAA programs. Retired Hall-of-Famer Bill Tierney, our lacrosse team won its first championship in 2015, becoming the first school to win a national title outside the Eastern time zone.

Our women’s gymnastics program won its NCAA Gymnastics Regional title in-front of a packed crowd in Magness Arena in 2023. The regional championship was the program’s second in its history (2019). 

academic cta pattern

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Pioneer Athletics

Division Accomplishments

crowded DU hockey arena

Capital One Cup

Highest-ranked men’s athletics program without a football team in 2016-17, finishing in fifth place

Denver has finished as the top I-AAA athletic department in the DI Directors’ Cup in 14 of the last 15 tries. 

Denver Gymnastics finished fourth in the NCAA National Championships in 2019, the program’s best finish at nationals. Two years later, Denver won its first Big 12 Championship.
546 All-Americans and 76 Olympians
80+ men's hockey players went on to play in the NHL
In 2020-21, Denver had a school-record 10 athletic programs earn perfect APR scores.

Our Legacy of Excellence

Our Pioneers compete on the playing fields of the NCAA, in the professional leagues and on behalf of their countries in the Olympics. Discover the Pioneer heritage of success, from individual achievements to school accomplishments.

  • A Legacy of Pioneers

    Jessica Lopez

    A 2009 alumna and gymnast, Lopez competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Placing ninth in the competition, the Venezuelan became the first from her home country to qualify for an Olympic gymnastics finals.

    Bill Tierney

    Inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2002, Tierney coached the Pioneers to their first men's lacrosse national championship in 2015.

    Bill Masterton

    A winner of two NCAA hockey championships in 1960 and 1961, Masterton tragically passed away as a result of on-ice head injuries in 1968. Masterton's death helped lead to the widespread adoption of helmets in hockey. Today, the NHL awards the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy to the "player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey."

    Dan Schatzeder

    Winner of Game 6 of the 1987 World Series and a World Series champion with the Minnesota Twins, Schatzeder struck out 748 batters in 504 major league innings. He played for the Pioneers in 1976.

    Leif Kristian Haugen

    A 2012 alumnus, Haugen competed in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics in skiing. During the 2014 Games, Haugen placed 12th and 16th in slalom and giant slalom, respectively.

    Will Butcher

    The 2017 Hobey Baker Award winner, Will Butcher captained the Denver Pioneers to a 2017 NCAA hockey national title. Butcher recorded 37 points in 43 games during the 2016-17 season.

    Simona Castro

    A 2013 alumna, Castro became the first Chilean to qualify for a women's gymnastics event at the Olympic games. Castro competed in the 2012 Rio Olympics and placed 43rd in the all-around.

    Antje Maempel

    A winner of four NCAA individual championships, Maempel helped lead the Denver Pioneers to three consecutive national championships in skiing from 2008 to 2010. Maempel also made the ESPN Academic All-American Team in 2010.

    Nat Borchers

    A 2002 alumnus, Borchers played for MLS Cup-winning teams in 2009 and 2015. Borchers made three appearances for the U.S. national team, and the defender won league MVP his senior year at DU.

    Glenn Anderson

    A six-time Stanley Cup champion, Anderson scored 498 goals in the NHL. He played for the Pioneers during the 1978-79 season.

    Misa Pavlickova

    Drafted 24th overall in the 2001 WNBA draft, Pavlickova earned the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year award during her senior year. The Czech native is ranked in the top 10 in 13 individual school categories.

    Byron Beck

    The first man to have his jersey number retired by the Denver Nuggets, Beck played college basketball during the 1960s at DU. He finished his ABA/NBA career with over 8,000 points and more than 5,000 rebounds.

    Espen Kofstad

    A professional golfer who represented Norway in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Kofstad amassed three Challenge Tour victories since turning pro in 2011.

    Samantha Corea

    A 2015 alumna, Corea was named the WAC Swimmer of the Year in 2013. An All-American in athletics and academics, Corea left DU with eight school records. 

DU Club lacrosse team

Club Sports

Club Sports teams bring together groups of students with similar interests to organize and participate in a specific sport. We are a dynamic organization on campus committed to helping students develop their leadership and organizational skills, while helping students build lifelong friendships.

 Run entirely by students, our 30+ club teams all compete in local, regional and/or national competitions. Whether you have been playing a sport for years or want to try something new, we encourage you to join a team and stay active throughout your time at DU!

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