One for the Record Books
With six ACC championships, two NCAA titles, and a bowl win, it was a golden year for the Cavaliers.
In 2003Ė2004, Virginia athletes achieved success in a broad
range of competition, earning for the University another topthirty
spot in the United States Sports Academy Directorsí Cup
standings. Thanks to the talent and hard work of players and
coaches, the University has remained in the top thirty in all
eleven years of the Directorsí Cup rankings, which are based on
the combined records of the menís and womenís teams.
In postseason play, our athletes captured the womenís
NCAA lacrosse national championship and the
womenís rowing championship in the varsity four
event. U.Va. tied for sixth in the NCAA womenís
rowing championship and placed thirteenth in
menís swimming and diving, tied for sixteenth in
wrestling, and nineteenth in womenís swimming
and diving. In addition, the menís tennis team
hosted an NCAA regional tournament and
advanced to the round of sixteen of the
NCAA Tournament for the first time.
Schaub led the
Cavaliers to a 23-16
win over Pittsburgh
in the Continental
Tire Bowl in Charlotte.
He was named the
Six of our teams, representing 24 percent
of our varsity sports programs,
took home ACC championships:
womenís lacrosse, womenís rowing,
womenís swimming and diving, menís soccer, menís tennis, and
menís swimming and diving. It was the sixth consecutive conference
championship for the menís swimming and diving team, the
fifth for the womenís rowing team, and the first for menís tennis.
Before this year,U.Va. had never won more than four conference
championships in a single year.
Dawn Staley (College í92) carries the
American flag for the U.S. team at the
opening of the Athens Olympics.
Coach Al Groh and the Virginia football team capped an 8-5
year with a big postseason victory. They defeated Pittsburgh
23-16 to win their second consecutive Continental Tire
Bowl in Charlotte.Quarterback Matt Schaub threw for
244 yards, while the team ran up 196 yards rushing.
The bowl made it possible for the Department of
Athletics to continue its tradition of supporting
the arts and academics at the University. Proceeds
from the bowl financed the first-ever
Afropop Festival, held in October 2004.
Featuring concerts by stars of contemporary
African popular music, workshops,
master classes, discussions, and
open rehearsals, the five-day event
was a forum for learning about the
culture, history, and traditions surrounding
African popular music.
GOING FOR GOLD IN THE OLYMPICS
Two years ago in the NCAA championship, Princetonís womenís
lacrosse team rallied in the final minutes to tie the game, then
pulled ahead in overtime to claim the title over Virginia. This
year, the Cavaliers evened the score, solidly besting the Tigers,
the two-time defending champions, 10-4, to bring the national
championship to Charlottesville.
Virginia made a solid showing at the
Athens Olympics. It began with former
U.Va. basketball star Dawn Staley
carrying the U.S. flag during the
opening ceremonies. The 34-yearold
point guard scored 14 points in
the final game to help the U.S.
womenís team win its third consecutive
gold medal. Former Cavalier
All-American Angela Hucles was a
member of the U.S. womenís soccer
team that captured the gold with a 2-1
overtime win against Brazil. Ms. Hucles,
who graduated in 2000, is still U.Va.ís alltime
leading scorer. Wyatt Allen, a 2001
graduate of the University,
earned a gold medal as a
member of the U.S. menís
eight crew. The last time the
Americans took gold in this
event was 1964. Allen rowed
with the Virginia menís club
team from 1998 to 2001.
Brian OíConnor was named ACC
Coach of the Year after his first
season with the Cavaliers.
MAKING AN AUSPICIOUS DEBUT
By the end of coach Brian
OíConnorís first season, it
was hard to find a seat at
Virginia baseball games.
Finishing a close second
place in the 2004 ACC
regular season standings,
OíConnorís squad posted an
18-6 record in conference
play. The Cavaliersí fortyfour
overall victories tied the
school record for most wins, and their eighteen ACC victories
were seven more than the previous record. Thanks to this performance,
Virginia was selected to host an NCAA regional tournament
for the first time in its history, and Coach OíConnor was
named the 2004 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year.
Also making its debut this year was the Cavalier Marching
Band. Made possible by Carl Smith (College í51) and Hunter
Smith of Charlottesville, the band under the direction of William
Pease wowed the crowd of 62,790 at the opening game of the
2004 football season. The extra enthusiasm inspired by the
marching musicians seemed to make a difference. The Cavaliers
soundly defeated the University of North Carolina, 56-24.
WINNERS IN THE CLASSROOM
A total of 224 Virginia athletes were named to the
2003Ė2004 Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll;
four Cavaliers (Luke Wagner, Whitney Ashcraft, Jennifer
Reck, and Doug Stewart) garnered 2003Ė2004 Virginia Sports
Information Directors (VaSID) Academic All-State honors.
The Universityís graduation rate for student-athletes is currently
83 percent, as compared with 62 percent for all Division
The first University of Virginia marching
band in forty years makes history as it
debuts at Carl Smith Center, home of David
A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium.