Virginia Cavaliers

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Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia Cavaliers sabre.svg
University University of Virginia
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
NCAA Division I (FBS)
Athletic directorCarla Williams
Location Charlottesville, Virginia
Varsity teams27 (13 men's, 14 women's)
Football stadium Scott Stadium
Basketball arena John Paul Jones Arena
Baseball stadium Disharoon Park
Soccer stadium Klöckner Stadium
Lacrosse stadium Klöckner Stadium
Other arenas Memorial Gymnasium
Sheridan Snyder Tennis Center
University Hall
University Hall Turf Field
MascotCavalier (CavMan)
Fight song The Cavalier Song
ColorsOrange and Blue [1]
Virginia Athletics wordmark.svg
Atlantic Coast Conference logo in Virginia's colors ACC logo in Virginia colors.svg
Atlantic Coast Conference logo in Virginia's colors

The Virginia Cavaliers, also known as Wahoos or Hoos, are the athletic teams representing the University of Virginia, located in Charlottesville. They compete at the NCAA Division I level (FBS for football), in the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1953. UVA, referred to as simply Virginia by the national media, fields one of the top athletics programs in the nation and was awarded the Capital One Cup for finishing first nationwide in overall men's sports for 2015. [2] The Cavaliers have regularly placed among the Top 5 nationally. [3] [4] [5]

University of Virginia University in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

The University of Virginia is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. The flagship university of Virginia, it is also a World Heritage site of the United States. It was founded in 1819 by Declaration of Independence author and former President Thomas Jefferson. UVA is known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, and secret societies.

Charlottesville, Virginia Independent city in Virginia, United States

Charlottesville, colloquially known as C'ville and officially named the City of Charlottesville, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the county seat of Albemarle County, which surrounds the city, though the two are separate legal entities. This means a resident will list Charlottesville as both their county and city on official paperwork. It is named after the British queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. In 2016, an estimated 46,912 people lived within the city limits. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the City of Charlottesville with Albemarle County for statistical purposes, bringing its population to approximately 150,000. Charlottesville is the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area, which includes Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson counties.

National Collegiate Athletic Association Non-profit organization that regulates many American college athletes and programs

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit organization which regulates athletes of 1,268 North American institutions and conferences. It also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than 480,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Virginia has won an ACC-best 18 NCAA national championships in men's sports. The program has added seven NCAA national titles in women's sports for a grand total of 25 NCAA titles, second in the ACC. [6] [7] [8] Standout programs include men's soccer (7 NCAA titles), men's lacrosse (7 national titles, including 5 NCAA titles), men's tennis (159–0 ACC win streak from 2006 to 2016; [9] 2016 and 2017 NCAA Champions), baseball (winners of the 2015 College World Series), and men's basketball (third in ACC regular season titles). Women's rowing has added two recent NCAA titles. In addition to the 25 official NCAA national titles, the Cavaliers have won six in indoor men's tennis, two USILA titles for men's lacrosse, and one AIAW title in women's indoor track and field, for 34 total team national titles. Former football coach George Welsh ranks second for most wins in ACC history. [10] Going further back, UVA men's boxing was a leading collegiate program when boxing was a major national sport in the first half of the 20th century, completing four consecutive undefeated seasons between 1932 and 1936. [11]

The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association is an association of member institutions and organizations with college lacrosse programs at all levels of competition, including the three NCAA divisions and non-NCAA schools, at both the varsity and club levels for men and women. The association traces its history through predecessor organizations back to 1882, although it received its present name and became a governing body with unlimited membership in 1926. The association is based in Louisville, Kentucky.

Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women US womens college sports association

The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) was founded in 1971 to govern collegiate women's athletics in the United States and to administer national championships. It evolved out of the Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. The association was one of the biggest advancements for women's athletics on the collegiate level. Throughout the 1970s, the AIAW grew rapidly in membership and influence, in parallel with the national growth of women's sports following the enactment of Title IX. The AIAW functioned in the equivalent role for college women's programs that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) had been doing for men's programs. Owing to its own success, the AIAW was in a vulnerable position that precipitated conflicts with the NCAA in the early 1980s. Following a one-year overlap in which both organizations staged women's championships, the AIAW discontinued operation, and most member schools continued their women's athletics programs under the governance of the NCAA.

George Welsh was an American college football player and coach. He served as head football coach of the Navy Midshipmen football team of the United States Naval Academy from 1973 to 1981, and the Virginia Cavaliers football team of the University of Virginia from 1982 to 2000.

The Cavalier mascot represents a mounted swordsman, and there are crossed swords or sabres in the official logo. An unofficial moniker, the Wahoos, or 'Hoos for short, based on the university's rallying cry "Wah-hoo-wah!" is also commonly used. [12] Though originally only used by the student body, both terms—Wahoos and 'Hoos—have come into widespread usage with the local media as well.

Sabre sword

A sabre or saber is a type of backsword with a curved blade associated with the light cavalry of the early modern and Napoleonic periods. Originally associated with Central-Eastern European cavalry such as the hussars, the sabre became widespread in Western Europe in the Thirty Years' War. Lighter sabres also became popular with infantry of the late 17th century.

Wahoos, often shortened to 'Hoos, is an unofficial nickname for sports teams of the University of Virginia, and more generally, a nickname for University students and alumni.

Origins and history

University of Virginia student athlete competing in field hockey UVA field hockey.jpg
University of Virginia student athlete competing in field hockey

The school colors, adopted in 1888, are orange and navy blue. [13] The athletic teams had previously worn grey and cardinal red but those colors did not show up very well on dirty football fields as the school was sporting its first team. A mass meeting of the student body was called, and a star player showed up wearing a navy blue and orange scarf he had brought back from a University of Oxford summer rowing expedition. The colors were chosen when another student pulled the scarf from the player's neck, waved it to the crowd and yelled: "How will this do?" (Exactly 100 years later in 1988, Oxford named their own American football club the "Cavaliers," and soon after the Virginia team adopted its "curved sabres" logo in 1994, the Oxford team followed suit.)

University of Oxford Collegiate research university in Oxford, England

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

When boxing was a major collegiate sport, Virginia's teams boxed in Memorial Gymnasium and went undefeated on a six-year run between 1932 and 1937, winning an unofficial national championship in 1938. [14]

Boxing combat sport

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing protective gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring.

On December 4, 1953, the University of Virginia joined the Atlantic Coast Conference as the league’s eighth member. [15] Its men's basketball team has six times been part of the NCAA Elite Eight (1981, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2016), twice advancing to the Final Four (1981 and 1984). The baseball team won the College World Series in 2015 and has appeared in the CWS four times (2009, 2011, 2014, 2015). The football team has twice been honored as ACC Co-Champions (1989 and 1995). The soccer and lacrosse programs have both been tremendously successful. The men's soccer team has won seven national championships, four consecutively (1989, 1991–1994, 2009, 2014). The men's lacrosse team has also won seven national titles (1952, 1970, 1972, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2011), while the women have claimed three (1991, 1993, 2004). Women's cross country won national titles in 1981 and 1982. The men's tennis team won the national championships in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Atlantic Coast Conference American collegiate athletics conference

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is a collegiate athletic conference in the United States of America in which its fifteen member universities compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s Division I, with its football teams competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest levels for athletic competition in US-based collegiate sports. The ACC sponsors competition in twenty-five sports with many of its member institutions' athletic programs held in high regard nationally. Current members of the conference are Boston College, Clemson University, Duke University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Florida State University, North Carolina State University, Syracuse University, the University of Louisville, the University of Miami, the University of North Carolina, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Wake Forest University.

In the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship or the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship, the "Elite Eight" are the final eight teams and, thus represent the regional finals, or national quarterfinals. In Division I and Division III, the Elite Eight consists of the two teams in each of the four regional championship games. The winners advance to the Final Four. Since 1997, when the NCAA trademarked the phrase, in Division II the Elite Eight consists of the eight winners of the eight Division II regions. Like the Division I Final Four, the Division II Elite Eight games are all held in one predetermined location.

Virginia Cavaliers football College Football Bowl Subdivision team; member of Atlantic Coast Conference

The Virginia Cavaliers football team represents the University of Virginia in the sport of American football. The Cavaliers compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Established in 1888, playing local YMCA teams and other state teams without pads, the Virginia football program has evolved into a multimillion-dollar operation that plays in front of a crowd of 61,500 at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia. Starting in the early 1900s, the program has played an outsized role in the shaping of the modern game's ethics and eligibility rules.

In 2015, Virginia was named the nation's top athletics program for NCAA men's sports by virtue of winning the Capital One Cup, which was simultaneously awarded to Stanford University for women's sports.

Fight song

The Cavalier Song is the University of Virginia's fight song. The song was a result of a contest held in 1923 by the university. The Cavalier Song, with lyrics by Lawrence Haywood Lee, Jr., and music by Fulton Lewis, Jr., was selected as the winner. [16] Generally the second half of the song is played during sporting events. The Good Ole Song dates to 1893 and, though not a fight song, is the de facto alma mater . It is set to the music of Auld Lang Syne and is sung after each victory in every sport, and after each touchdown in football.

Sports sponsored

Men's sportsWomen's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross countryField hockey
Football Golf
Golf Lacrosse
Lacrosse Rowing
Soccer Soccer
Swimming & diving Squash
Tennis Swimming and diving
Track and fieldTennis
WrestlingTrack and field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor


John Paul Jones Arena opened in the Fall of 2006 and is the current venue for the men's and women's basketball teams. The previous facility, University Hall, was the smallest in the ACC until the addition of Miami (FL) to the conference. At its recent height in the 1980s, the men's basketball team was better than perennial power Duke and second only to UNC in that decade's cumulative ACC standings. The 1990s and 2000s have seen a bit of a slide for the program to the middle of the pack in the conference, but the hiring of coach Dave Leitao along with the 2006 opening of John Paul Jones Arena led to a short return to prominence, with the 2006-2007 team winning a share of the ACC regular season title and making it to the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The new arena is one of the three largest on-campus facilities in the Atlantic Coast Conference, with the only bigger arenas belonging to universities with far greater student populations. Dave Leitao was fired following the 2008-2009 season, and Tony Bennett, who had been the head coach of the Washington State Cougars, was hired. The 2013–14 season saw the Cavaliers win their first 30-win season since 1981–82, earn their first ACC regular season title since 1980–81, and their first ACC tournament championship since 1976. The 2014-2015 season saw the Cavaliers win their second straight ACC regular season title and post their second straight 30 plus win season, winning 32 games. Tony Bennett was named the ACC's men's basketball coach of the year for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 season's. The past several years, overall, have seen the Bennett-led Cavaliers return as a power house in the ACC. The team finished finished the 2017-18 regular season with a record of 31-2, making them the #1 ranked college in the nation for the first time since 1982. However, this success was cut short by a loss to the #16 seeded University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the opening game of the NCAA tournament (the first-ever loss for any one seed against a 16 seed in the tournament).


The Cavaliers play against the Penn State Nittany Lions in 2012 in Scott Stadium. UVA v. Penn State, Sep. 8 2012.jpg
The Cavaliers play against the Penn State Nittany Lions in 2012 in Scott Stadium.

Scott Stadium sits across from the first-year dorms along Alderman Road and is home to the University of Virginia's football program. The press box at Scott Stadium was a gift from an alumnus in honor of Norton G. Pritchett, the admired athletic director at UVA from 1934 until his death in 1950. Students, fans and alumni began to sport orange clothing for the games, a new tradition the former head coach, Al Groh, had been pushing for since he became head coach in 2000. Many students, however, have continued to wear the traditional sundresses or coats and ties at football games. Several fans have also begun garbing themselves in outlandish costumes in the style of football superfans (such as the Orange Gorilla or The Superhoo). Funding from benefactor Carl Smith created the foundation for the 280-piece Cavalier Marching Band in 2004, replacing the Virginia Pep Band in its official capacity at athletic events. The current head coach is Bronco Mendenhall, former head coach at BYU, who replaced Mike London in December 2015.


With the departure of head coach Dennis Womack to the front office, the arrival of head coach Brian O'Connor from Notre Dame in 2004, and the opening of Davenport Field in 2002, the UVa baseball team experienced a rebirth. Since the inception of baseball at the university in 1889, the team has reached the NCAA Baseball Tournament fourteen times, once each of the past three decades (1972, 1985, 1996), but most recently thirteen years running (2004–2017). The 2009 season of the Cavaliers saw them through to the CWS (College World Series) with a 49-15-1 record. The team made a return trip to Omaha two years later in 2011, where they lost to eventual National Champion South Carolina in the semi-final round. In 2014, the team made a third trip to the CWS, beat Ole Miss and TCU to advance to their first ever CWS finals, but lost the three-game series to Vanderbilt 2–1. The following year, both they and Vanderbilt returned to the CWS finals in a rematch. On June 24, 2015, Virginia won in three games for their first NCAA championship in baseball and the first ACC team to win since 1955.


Klöckner Stadium is home to several successful programs, including Virginia men's soccer. More years than not, the University of Virginia fields one of the best squads in the country, and the program has, by far, the most successful history in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. Since ACC Tournament play began in 1987, Virginia has played in 15 out of 19 ACC Tournament championship matches, winning ten ACC titles (including 2003, 2004, and 2009), to go with their seven NCAA Tournament championships (1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2009, 2014). Head Coach Bruce Arena, compiled a 295–58–32 record before leaving in 1995 to coach D.C. United to their first two Major League Soccer championship seasons, and later the United States to their best FIFA World Cup showing since 1930.

The women's soccer team has produced two FIFA Women's World Cup winners for the U.S. women's national team, Morgan Brian and Becky Sauerbrunn (both 2015), [17] and two Olympic gold medal winners, Sauerbrunn (2012) and Angela Hucles (2004 and 2008). [18]


The men's and women's lacrosse teams play their home games at Klöckner Stadium, or occasionally Turf Field or Scott Stadium. The men's program has won seven national championships (two pre-NCAA titles in 1952 and 1970 and five NCAA titles in 1972, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2011) and the women's program has won three national championships (in 1991, 1993, and 2004).

The 2006 lacrosse season was noteworthy for the men's team as it established the best record in NCAA history with a perfect 17-0 season en route to winning the 2006 national championship. On the season, the team won its games by an average of more than eight goals per game and drew comparisons to some of the best lacrosse teams of all time. [19] Senior attackman Matt Ward won the Tewaaraton Trophy as the nation's best player, was selected as a First Team All-American and the USILA Player of the Year, and was named the Final Four MVP. He also broke the record for the most goals in the NCAA tournament with 16 goals (previously held by Gary Gait with 15). Eight Cavaliers were named All-Americans—three on the First Team, three on the Second Team, and two on the Third Team. Five Cavaliers were selected in the 2006 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. Matt Ward, Kyle Dixon, and Michael Culver were selected in the first round, Matt Poskay in the second, and J.J. Morrissey in the third.

On March 28, 2009, the men's team played in the longest game in the history of NCAA Division I lacrosse—a 10-9 victory over Maryland in seven overtime periods.


On June 30, 2017, Virginia promoted their men's and women's club squash teams to varsity status. In doing so, the Cavaliers became the first Power Five program to sponsor men's squash, and only the second Power Five women's team (after Stanford). [20]

Swimming and diving

The men's swimming and diving team has won 16 ACC championships while the women's team has won 11.


The men's tennis team rose to prominence in the 21st century under coach Brian Boland. The team won its first ACC regular season and tournament championships in 2004 and lost to Southern California in the NCAA final in 2011 and 2012. Behind standouts Jarmere Jenkins and Alex Domijan, the team won its first NCAA championship in 2013, defeating UCLA in the finals. The Cavaliers won three consecutive NCAA championships from 2015-2017, defeating Oklahoma for the first two and North Carolina for the third. Virginia also won the ITA national indoor tennis championship in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Several Virginia players have won individual national championships. Somdev Devvarman won in 2007 and 2008, while Ryan Shane won in 2015 and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski won in 2017. Michael Shabaz won the NCAA doubles championship in 2009 (with Dominic Inglot) and 2010 (with Drew Courtney), and Jenkins and Mac Styslinger won the doubles title in 2013.

On the women's side, Danielle Collins won the NCAA singles championship in 2014 and 2016.

Cross country

The men's and women's cross country teams race at Panorama Farms, located six miles from Grounds at the University of Virginia. It was the site of the 2006 and 2007 ACC Cross Country Championships. The men's team dates back to 1954 when they placed 4th at the ACC championships. The women's team won the NCAA national championships in 1981 and 1982 and won the ACC championships in 1982 and in 2015.


Dixon Brooke won the NCAA Golf Championship in 1940. Several golfers have played professionally on the PGA Tour including James Driscoll, Ben Kohles, and Steve Marino.


The first University of Virginia head coach was Bobby Mainfort, back in 1921. [21] Former Cavalier All-American Steve Garland is serving in his eighth season as head wrestling coach at Virginia. Garland is the winner of the 2010 ACC Coach of the Year Award. [22] In the 2009-2010 wrestling season Garland led the Cavaliers to 1st place in the ACC and a 15th-place finish at the NCAA championships. [23] Virginia won its fifth ACC title in 2015.

Thanks to an anonymous donation of $1.5 million, Memorial Gymnasium received a full renovation in 2005. [24]

Notable non-varsity sports


Virginia rugby competes in Division 1 in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League, which is composed of schools mostly from the Atlantic Coast Conference. [25] Virginia also competes in the annual Atlantic Coast Invitational tournament, which Virginia won in 2008. Virginia also participates in an annual rivalry match against Virginia Tech for the Commonwealth Shield. [26]

Virginia finished second in the ACI tournament in 2011, [27] and again finished second in the 2012 ACI sevens tournament, losing to rival Virginia Tech by 33-31, and secured a place at the 2012 USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships.

Men's rowing

Men's rowing has won the American Collegiate Rowing Association national championship in 2011 and 2012.


From 2001 until 2017, the athletic director was Craig Littlepage, a former men's basketball head coach at the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University, who has held a variety of coaching and administrative titles at the University of Virginia. Following his retirement, former Georgia Bulldogs deputy athletic director Carla Williams was named as his replacement.

Athletics apparel sponsorships

During the 1990s, the football team's uniforms were provided by Russell Athletic and Reebok, before Nike took over those responsibilities. During the early 2000s, the men's basketball team was outfitted by And1, making them just one of four teams in the nation to wear that brand and making the Cavaliers their de facto flagship program (much like Oregon's relationship with Nike and Maryland's relationship with Under Armour. In 2004, the basketball team joined the rest of their Cavalier brethren in wearing Nike. In 2015, UVA renewed their Nike commitment, signing a 10 year, $35 million deal that includes bonuses for nationally successful finishes in football, basketball, soccer, and lacrosse. The $3.5 million a year deal is the fourth most lucrative in the ACC, following Nike's deal with Florida State, North Carolina's deal with Jordan, and Notre Dame's deal with Under Armour. [28]

As of 2018, 24 of the 27 UVA sports teams are outfitted by Nike. One exception is the national powerhouse baseball program that currently serves as the flagship school for Rawlings. The other are the nationally relevant men's and women's swimming and diving programs that are currently outfitted by Speedo.

Radio network affiliates

Virginia Sports Radio Network Affiliates

CityCall SignFrequency
Blackstone, Virginia WKLV / W230BW1440 AM / 93.9 FM
Charlottesville, Virginia WINA / W255CT1070 AM / 98.9 FM
Charlottesville, Virginia WWWV 97.5 FM
Covington, Virginia WXCF / W298BQ1230 AM / 107.5 FM
Lynchburg, Virginia WZZU 97.9 FM
Martinsville, Virginia WHEE 1370 AM
Norfolk, Virginia WTAR / W243DJ850 AM / 96.5 FM
Richmond, Virginia WRVA / W241AP 1140 AM / 96.1 FM
Roanoke, Virginia WFIR / W297BC960 AM / 107.3 FM
Staunton, Virginia WTON-FM 94.3 FM
Tappahannock, Virginia WRAR-FM 105.5 FM
Warrenton, Virginia WRCW 1250 AM
Washington, D.C. WWRC 570 AM
Winchester, Virginia WXVA / W275BV610 AM / 102.9 FM

WINA and WWWV are the network flagship stations. Affiliates broadcast football and men's basketball games, as well as a live coach's show for the in-season sport on Monday evenings. WKLV, WRAR and WWWV do not carry the coach's show.

The network additionally produces selected baseball, women's basketball, and lacrosse games for broadcast on WINA and Internet streaming. [29]


NCAA team championships

Virginia has won 25 NCAA team national championships. [30]

Other national team championships

Below are 9 national team titles that were not bestowed by the NCAA:

National individual championships

Atlantic Coast Championships

See also

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  1. University of Virginia Athletics Current Logo Sheet (PDF). June 28, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  2. UVa wins Capital One Cup for men's sports, retrieved June 16, 2015
  3. 2010-11 Capital One Cup standings, accessed August 10, 2015
  4. 2013-14 Capital One Cup standings, accessed August 10, 2015
  5. Current Capital One Cup standings, accessed August 10, 2015
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