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Athletics

DePaul's intercollegiate athletic teams compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, BIG EAST Conference, in the following sports: women's basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, indoor and outdoor track, volleyball and softball, men's basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and golf.

  • Fourteen of DePaul’s 15 Divisions I sports have represented DePaul at an NCAA Championship event. In 2014-15, women’s basketball, women’s tennis and women’s soccer advanced to their sport's respective NCAA Tournament.
  • The women's basketball program has played in 13 consecutive NCAA tournaments, including Sweet 16 appearances in 2006, 2010 and 2014.  The Blue Demons  is one of just seven programs in Division I to reach the NCAA Tournament in 13 consecutive seasons.
  • The women’s basketball team has won back-to-back regular season and tournament championships in 2014 and 2015.
  • In 2012, women’s basketball head coach Doug Bruno served as an assistant for the USA Women’s National team which earned a record fifth straight Olympic gold.  Bruno will also serve as an assistant coach for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
  • Women's softball has made 18 total NCAA appearances, including seven in the past 10 years. The Blue Demons fought their way to Women’s College World Series berths in 2005 and 2007 while they also advanced to the WCWS in 1999 and 2001.
  • Since joining the BIG EAST in 2005, 33 Blue Demons have earned All-American honors. An additional 28 have been recognized with Academic All-America awards.
  • Forty-five Blue Demons have been crowned an individual track and field champion, including eight earning multiple titles. 
  • More than 250 DePaul student-athletes have earned all-conference honors from the BIG EAST Conference. Another 37 have been named to a BIG EAST All-Championship/Tournament Team and 49 student-athletes have earned the BIG EAST’s major end-of-the-season awards.
  • Eleven former student-athletes were named to Conference USA All-Decade teams in their respective sports.
  • Women’s basketball has made a habit of being ranked in the top 10 in the country in the classroom.  The Blue Demons ranked No. 3 in 2015 and have been ranked in the top 10 since 2010.
  • Since 2009, the men’s golf program has been named the Academic National Champion four times – 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
  • Women’s soccer won both the regular season and BIG EAST Tournament in 2014. The Blue Demon women advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2003, 2013 and 2014.
  • In 2012-13 and then again in 2014-15,  DePaul had a league-best eight teams earn the BIG EAST Conference’s Academic Excellence Awards.  In 2012-13, women's basketball, golf, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis, women's indoor track and field and women's outdoor track and field won or shared the BIG EAST’s Team Academic Excellence Award as the team with the highest cumulative GPA in the conference.  In 2014-15, women's basketball, women's cross country, women's indoor track and field, women's outdoor track and field, men's golf, women's soccer, softball and women's tennis were all winners and DePaul once again led the league with the most team recognized.
  • Since DePaul joined the BIG EAST in 2005, a Blue Demon student-athlete has been named to the BIG EAST All-Academic team in nearly 1,500 instances with multiple student-athletes earning that honor all four years. During the 2014-15 academic year, 163 DePaul student-athletes were named to the BIG EAST All-Academic Team – the second most in school history.  The 2009-10 year saw a record 166 student-athletes honored.
  • DePaul student-athletes participate in community service activities throughout the year.  During the 2014-15 year,  the Blue Demons volunteered their time for sports camps on Wish Field, at Cacciatore Stadium and at McGrath-Phillips Arena, helped move DePaul students into their dorms in the fall, and to support the Chicago Marathon and Half Marathon water station, Special Olympics, Ron Santo Walk for a Cure,  St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen and Franciscan Outreach Kitchen, Misericordia Candy Days, Demonthon/Children’s Miracle Network, Cards for Kids, Vincentian Service Day, DePaul Generations Connections, Sheffield Garden Walk, American Red Cross, Chicago Cares, visited numerous Chicago Public Schools classrooms, donated blood, Explore Chicago, Jingle Ben Run for Arthritis, Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army, Imperial Bingo and Partnership with Urban Schools, Catholic Charities, HerCDM and the Jewish United Phonothon.

Tradition

  • In 1900, when the first athletic team to ever represent DePaul University was organized, the monogram “D” was selected for the uniforms. From this originated the nickname “D-Men,” which evolved into “Demons.” The blue, which combines with Demons, signifies loyalty and was chosen in 1901 by a vote of the student body.
  • DePaul's colors are royal blue and scarlet.
  • In the fall of 1999, DePaul unveiled the new Blue Demon logo. The logo heads a family of 17 symbols that visually captures the essence of DePaul's athletic program and represents the attitude of DePaul's student athletes.
  • The DePaul athletic program has produced prominent athletes who have taken their playing careers to the professional level. In 1946, the late George Mikan signed with the pre-NBA Chicago Gears. He would later carry the NBA's Minneapolis Lakers (currently the Los Angeles Lakers) to five championships in six seasons. In 1981, Mark Aguirre was the first overall draft pick in the NBA by the Dallas Mavericks. In 1982, Terry Cummings was the second overall draft pick by the San Diego Clippers (currently the Los Angeles Clippers). Today, the league serves as home to former DePaul standout Wilson Chandler of the Denver Nuggets as well as Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin.
  • In his 42 years as head coach of DePaul, from 1942 to 1984, the late Ray Meyer compiled a record of 724-354 (.671). Thirteen of his teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament, and seven of his squads played in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). His 1943 and 1979 teams advanced to the NCAA Final Four, while his 1945 team, featuring future Hall of Famer Mikan, won the NIT when it was considered the national championship.

Facilities

  • In 2013, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans for a large-scale economic development project near McCormick Place – one that includes construction of a 10,000-seat, multipurpose events center, which will serve as the future home of DePaul basketball. The facility is projected to be operational for the 2016-17 season.
  • The $10 million Sullivan Athletic Center, 2323 N. Sheffield Ave., opened in May 2000, replacing the 43-year-old Alumni Hall. The facility serves as a practice, training and fitness center for student-athletes on DePaul's teams, including the Blue Demons' men's and women's basketball teams.
  • The women's basketball and volleyball teams compete in Sullivan Athletic Center's 3,000-seat McGrath-Phillips Arena. During the 2010-11 season, DePaul named the arena basketball court the "Doug Bruno Court" in honor of the Blue Demons' women's basketball head coach.
  • Phase II of the multi-million-dollar renovation to Cacciatore Stadium softball field and Wish Field soccer field was completed during the 2009-10 academic year.
  • Other than exhibition games, the DePaul men's basketball team plays all home games at the 18,500-seat Allstate Arena (formerly the Rosemont Horizon), 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont, Ill.
  • DePaul's home floor at the Allstate Arena was named the Ray & Marge Meyer Court in December 2003 in honor of the legendary coach and his wife.
  • DePaul's Athletic Academic Advising program provides academic and professional support services for all athletic team members, including supervised study time, weekly advising meetings, tutoring and career development services.

About the Athletic Director

Jean Lenti Ponsetto was one of only a handful of women to head NCAA Division I athletic programs when she was appointed director in 2002. A four-sport athlete, Lenti Ponsetto earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from DePaul in 1978. After graduation, Lenti Ponsetto took a position as assistant women's basketball coach at the university. Since then, she has moved up the ranks with promotions to assistant athletic director, associate athletic director and senior athletic director.

In 1998, Lenti Ponsetto was named Administrator of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and National Association of Collegiate Women's Athletics. Lenti Ponsetto is the first woman to chair the NCAA Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet, which oversees all the division's championship events, playing and practice rules, athlete safety and drug education, as well as the financial impact and image of all NCAA events.

DePaul's Athletics website: depaulbluedemons.com.