It all happened in Terrier Nation. Goals were made. Balls were passed. Laps were swum and run. Points were scored. Games were won (and lost).
The highlight of Boston University’s athletic season came in June when we swept the America East Conference awards, capturing top honors for our athletic program, sportsmanship, and community service.
This marks the sixth straight year and the 11th time in its history that BU has received the Stuart P. Haskell, Jr. Commissioner’s Cup, which recognizes the strongest athletic programs in America East as determined by a scoring system that allocates points according to a school’s success in the regular season and championship competitions across the conference’s 20 sports. Earning this year’s cup makes BU the winner of the most Commissioner’s Cups in America East history.
In terms of team success, we hit a new high during our “March Madness on Comm Ave” weekend, when we hosted both America East basketball title games and our women’s ice hockey team hosted its first-ever NCAA tournament game.
A few days later our men’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in nine years. The women’s ice hockey team made an incredible run to the NCAA championship game and later became the first-ever Hockey East program to reach the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four championship game. Not bad for a squad that’s only in its sixth season as a varsity team.
Our athletes did a magnificent job in the classroom, too … we continued to deliver an overall graduation rate that is among the best in the country.
Other Terrier Highlights Include:
- Four teams (men’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s soccer, women’s tennis) captured America East Conference titles.
- Four teams (men’s basketball, women’s ice hockey, women’s soccer, women’s tennis) and 10 individuals qualified for NCAA post-season competition.
- Four teams (women’s ice hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball) secured regular-season titles in their respective conferences.
- Women’s soccer held opponents scoreless for over 1,350 minutes to secure the second-longest shut-out streak in NCAA history.
- Men’s crew was ranked fourth in the nation following regatta wins over Brown, Syracuse, and Dartmouth.
- Men’s cross country captured its first America East title in 10 years, while the men’s tennis and wrestling teams enjoyed their best seasons in recent memory.
- Sophomore Melinda Matyas finished 17th overall in the high dive at the NCAA Championships, marking BU’s highest finish ever in the competition.
Our athletes did a magnificent job in the classroom, too. Student-athletes posted a 3.02 cumulative GPA. We also led the America East with eight teams accomplishing perfect Academic Progress Rates (APR) of 1,000. And we continued to deliver an overall graduation rate that is among the best in the country at 93 percent. Our student-athletes and coaches also donated more than 4,000 hours of community service to assist underprivileged individuals through several nonprofit organizations.
Winning All Kinds of Championships
It’s worth closing this section by mentioning the winners of the America East Sportsmanship Award. There probably isn’t enough room to include all their names on this page (or on the trophy). That’s because the winners were all the swimming and diving teams in the America East Conference. They received the award for their support of BU diver Bailey O’Brien (SAR’12), who was battling lymphoma.
During the February championship, held at UMBC in Baltimore, Maryland, athletes raised more than $1,500 for the O’Brien Fund, set up to help Bailey’s family pay for her medical care. The teams paid tribute to O’Brien at the event by joining hands around the pool and raising them in support of the accomplished diver.
O’Brien, who was receiving treatment at the time, was able to see the event via Skype. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” says Bill Smyth, BU swimming and diving head coach.
Smyth nominated the swimming and diving teams for the Sportsmanship Award. “The circumstances that brought it about were unfortunate,” he says, “but at the same time it really made me honored to say that I’m part of the America East Conference.”
O’Brien is now in remission and she returned to BU in the fall.