Published: Friday, May 4, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 4, 2012 00:05
Not often do students get the opportunity to see school history happen right in front of them during their tenure at a university. For the class of 2012 at the University of Northern Colorado, we’ve been awfully spoiled.
The football program receives the most of the attention from the media, the fans and the athletic department. The transition to the Division-I level hasn’t gone as smoothly for football as we all would have hoped, but other programs on this campus have more than picked up the slack.
If you haven’t noticed, UNC athletic teams have quietly earned eight Big Sky Conference championships in the last three years.
The two beats I’ve covered for The Mirror for the better part of three years, women’s volleyball and men’s basketball, have been the poster children in UNC’s transition to the D-I level.
In 2009, volleyball led the charge in changing the sports culture of mediocrity at UNC. After back-to-back wins over Eastern Washington and Portland State in consecutive nights, the volleyball team earned the first Big Sky Conference tournament title for any program on this campus.
The volleyball program, led by coach Lyndsey Benson, earned its second title and NCAA tournament appearance this season.
If Benson is not on your Christmas card list yet, she needs to be.
On the men’s basketball side, the 2010-11 team inked its spot in UNC history as it earned the program’s first Big Sky regular season title, conference tournament title and NCAA tournament appearance.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a time that the student body was more excited than in that month span.
In our four years on campus, we’ve seen the program lose coach Tad Boyle to the bigger budget of the University of Colorado, but inherited 2011 Big Sky Coach of the Year B.J. Hill.
Devon Beitzel became a household name and now we have redshirt sophomore Tevin Svihovic as the new face of the men’s basketball program.
For my fellow seniors of the 2012 class, I hope you appreciated what transpired in our athletic department during our time here.
Any time we ever return as alumni or are around the water cooler at work talking about our college days, we will have the bragging rights to say we saw UNC history that cannot be duplicated.
— David Wilson is a senior journalism major and a sports reporter for The Mirror.