Release Date:10/26/2011 5:28 PM
WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The University of New Haven Department of Athletics celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and the Chargers plan to celebrate all year long. The department will officially start the celebration during Homecoming weekend, at the 2011 Charger Huddle. UNH will also celebrate the 50 years at a men’s basketball game in February, at the 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in March and at the 22nd Annual Charger Classic in June.
In 1961-62, the men’s basketball program, at then New Haven College, started the storied history of Charger Athletics. Under the guidance of Don Ormrod, who served as head coach and Director of Athletics, the institution began its first athletic program. In their first season, the Chargers played 20 games and posted a 15-5 record.
Court's in session: The inaugural Chargers team included CT Supreme Court Justice Lubbie Harper (far right). Click the image for a larger version.
The following year, New Haven added men’s soccer, men’s track and baseball, further establishing the history of Charger Athletics. Since then, UNH has established one of the finest comprehensive athletic programs in New England. Throughout the 50-year history, New Haven has made 135 postseason appearances as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). In 1987, the women’s basketball team won the department’s first National Championship, while recent graduate Shannon Gagne won five individual track and field National Championships in 2011.
“Throughout the past 50 years, there have been many student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans who have made this a special year for Charger Athletics,” said Associate Vice President, Director of Athletics and Recreation, Deborah Chin. “We’re grateful for the many people who have laid the foundation and created the rich history and tradition of Charger Athletics. I hope you will join me this year in celebrating the outstanding achievements and accomplishments of the past 50 years.”
The 2011 Charger Huddle will take place on Friday, October 21 at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven. The Charger Huddle, an annual social event which reconnects alumni, coaches, administrators and supporters, will begin the 50-year celebration.
The men’s basketball team will also celebrate its 50th anniversary this season. On Saturday, February 18, 2012 the Chargers will host a 50th anniversary ceremony in conjunction with their game against Southern Connecticut State University at Charger Gymnasium.
The 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will also highlight the 50th anniversary of Charger Athletics. On Saturday, March 24 at Race Brook Country Club, the 29th class will be enshrined into the Athletics Hall of Fame and a 50th anniversary ceremony will also take place.
The 22nd Annual Charger Classic, the Department of Athletics major fundraiser, will take place on Monday, June 11 at Race Brook Country Club and the 50th anniversary theme will also be featured as part of the annual event.