The Virginia athletics department has evolved into one of the most successful in the nation as witnessed by its success on the field in both Atlantic Coast Conference play and NCAA Championship competition. Since 2002, UVA has won more ACC team championships – 82 – than any other school in the conference. During their proud athletics history, the Cavaliers have won 35 national championships, including 27 NCAA team titles, as well as more than 20 individual national champions. The benchmark for overall excellence in collegiate athletics is The Director’s Cup. Its points standings reflect NCAA Championship finishes for all sports. Virginia is one of just 12 schools to have been ranked in the top 30 of the final Director’s Cup All-Sports point standings every year since 1994. UVA has finished in the top-10 of the Director’s Cup seven times in the last 10 years.
The field hockey team has been a cornerstone to the department's Director's Cup success. The team has made the Round of 16 of the NCAA Championship in 12 of head coach Michele Madison's 14 seasons, including advancing to three Final Fours
Virginia has been ranked in the NFHCA Top-25 every single week since the 2012 preseason poll
Since 2002, UVA has won more ACC team championships – 82 – than any other school in the conference. The field hockey team contributed to that tally in 2016. Virginia has also been the regular-season ACC champion four times
The ACC is the toughest conference in the nation when it comes to field hockey. ACC teams have won 20 national championships, including 13 of the last 19. The 2019 NCAA National Semifinals featured three ACC teams. Five ACC teams were ranked in the top-10 of the final NFHCA Coaches' Poll.
Tara Vittese is the first player in the history of the sport to be named National Player of the Year three times by the National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association and is only the second Cavalier athlete to be a three-time national player of the year, joining former men’s basketball star Ralph Sampson in that achievement.
The Cavaliers' all-time scoring leader, Paige Selenski, was a two-time finalist for the Honda Sports Award. Peggy Boutilier was the 1999 NCAA Woman of the Year
The Cavaliers have earned All-America honors 56 times. Meridith Thorpe (1995-98), Michelle Vizzuso (1995-98), Paige Selenski (2008-10, 2012), Elly Buckley (2010-13) and Tara Vittese (2014-17) were all four-time All-Americans.
Cavaliers have represented their nation as members of the US Senior Women's National Team in two Olympics, three world cups and five Pan Am Games. Paige Selenski and Michele Vittese were part of the gold-medal winning US team at the 2011 and 2015 Pan Am Games.
Michelle Vittese has played in both the London and Rio Olympics while Paige Selenski played in London and was an alternate in Rio.
Michele Madison is one of the winningest coaches in NCAA field hockey history. She is a member of the NFHCA Hall of Fame and a former assistant US National Team and Olympic coach. She was also the 2017 ACC Field Hockey Coach of the Year.
Part of the University of Virginia athletics department’s mission to provide the best experience for its student-athletes and fans is to build and maintain the highest quality facilities in the country. This purpose is aimed at attracting and developing the best student-athletes annually and providing fans with a top-notch game day experience.
Since 2011, the Cavaliers have played on a blue pitch. The first blue surface was christened with an 8-1 victory over VCU on August 26, 2011, and saw its last action with a 1-0 overtime win over No. 3 Maryland in the 2019 NCAA Quarterfinals. A brand new similarly-hued surface will make its debut in the 2020 season at Turf Field.
Our Vision Forward: The new athletics complex redefines how we educate our student-athletes by improving our facilities and the support we provide as they study to achieve academic excellence, develop the necessary skills to become citizen leaders for tomorrow and train to compete for championships.
The complex, with an estimated cost of $180 million, includes a Football Operations Center, an Olympic Sports Center designed to provide support to all 750 student-athletes competing in 27 varsity sports, three natural grass practice fields and the renovation of the McCue Center — the current home of Virginia Football and the primary office building for athletics administration and a majority of our coaches.
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING
The dedicated strength and conditioning and performance staffs at UVA maximize fitness and assist student-athletes to properly train, fuel and recover in preparation for competition. Each team has a dedicated coach to help utilize the most appropriate training methods each individual student-athlete based on his or her needs, end goals and baseline readiness. It is a holistic, athlete-centered process that focuses on the development and enhancement of physical qualities that underpin the general and specific needs of each athlete for his or her sport.
The excellence achieved by Virginia’s student-athletes has not been confined to competitive venues. Thanks to strong support systems, UVA student-athletes consistently excel in the classroom and participate in many extracurricular activities.
The athletics academic affairs staff oversees registration and eligibility requirements of a diverse group of student-athletes. They communicate directly with coaching staffs concerning student needs and progress. Along with dedicated staff members for each team, tutors and mentors are readily available for individual assistance.
Director of Sports Nutrition Randy Bird is responsible for the development and coordination of optimal nutritional services at Virginia and for the nutritional development of its student-athletes. Bird consults with the coaches and student-athletes to provide direction and communicate the value of nutrition programs specifically designed to promote their health and performance.
Bird works with the a certified executive chef to develop menus for the training table that meet the needs of all of UVA’s teams and student-athletes. He also conducts cooking demonstrations and grocery shopping exercises to help student-athletes enhance their personal nutrition plans.
The mission of the department of sports medicine is to provide the "Gold Standard" of health care for Division I student-athletes. The "Gold Standard" is exemplified by having NCAA, Olympic and National teams look to UVA as the best product for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for the elite athlete. The athletic training staff manage all daily athletic training room operations, including injury management and rehabilitation and ensuring medical coverage for all student-athletes.
The mission of the University of Virginia Sport Psychology unit is to promote mental well-being, safety, and optimal performance in all aspects of student-athlete life. We respect and sustain our student-athletes’ autonomy, resiliency, and confidentiality. We provide confidential one-to-one meetings for members of all 27 of our Division-I sports. Through enhancing student-athletes' ability to embrace challenges successfully, we help optimize their experience in their roles as students, as athletes, and as community members. We also lead team meetings and consult with coaches and other support staff to enhance performance, communication, and coping skills of our entire Athletics Department. Our model of having two full-time licensed sport psychologists "in-house" in the athletics department is one of only four of its kind in the nation and sets the standard for other Division-I schools.
Located in the foothills of Virginia‘s Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville is home to more than 43,475 residents with a metropolitan population nearing 200,000. Charlottesville is a small, thriving city, 120 miles from Washington, D.C.
The downtown area is an 18-block, brick-paved pedestrian mall with more than 30 outdoor cafes and restaurants, numerous modern theaters as well as several music venues. From April through October, Charlottesville celebrates Fridays After Five downtown, with free live music at its amphitheater, the Charlottesville Pavilion. Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena hosts a number of attractions including concerts, family shows and community events. Performers like the Rolling Stones, U2, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and Charlottesville‘s own Dave Matthews Band have all been a part of the town’s music scene.
The countryside around Charlottesville and the neighboring areas, especially in the spring and fall, ranks among the most beautiful sites in the nation. For the outdoor lovers, there are plenty of hiking trails and vineyards to explore. The region is rich in history and offers numerous Civil War sites in addition to the homes of three early American Presidents – Monticello, home of the University's founder, Thomas Jefferson, Ashlawn-Highlands, home of James Monroe, and Montpelier, home of James Madison.
For years, Charlottesville has been chosen as one of the best places to live in the United States. It has been named: Best college town in the country by Traveler‘s Today; best town for food lovers by Wine Magazine; the country's favorite mountain town by Travel & Leisure; and most recently, the ‘Happiest City’ in America by US National Bureau of Economic Research.
Virginia has many traditions held dear by Cavalier fans and alums that originated from its athletics program. The school colors of orange and blue are proudly displayed everywhere around Grounds and in Charlottesville. Cavaliers, Wahoos and Hoos are used interchangeably to refer to the University teams and players. Cavman, the beloved mascot of UVA, is a crowd favorite. Singing “The Good Old Song” is a tradition that dates back to the 1890s when fans welcomed back a victorious football team and it is still sung today when the Cavaliers score at football games and at the conclusion of all athletics contests as well as other University functions.
The passionate fan base is very vocal and loyal, while the ‘HooCrew,’ the UVA student fan group, won the 2015 Naismith Award for the nation’s best men's basketball student section. Wahoowa!