Iona Gaels

The Iona Gaels are the athletics teams of Iona College, in New Rochelle, New York. They compete in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and participate in 21 NCAA Division I programs.

Iona Gaels
UniversityIona College
ConferenceMetro Atlantic Athletic Conference
NCAADivision I
Athletic directorMatthew Glovaski
LocationNew Rochelle, New York
Varsity teams21
Basketball arenaHynes Center
Baseball stadiumCity Park
Soccer stadiumMazzella Field
Fight songHail To Iona
ColorsMaroon and Gold[1]

Other members of the MAAC include Canisius College, Fairfield University, Manhattan College, Marist College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter's University, and Siena College.

Varsity athletic programs

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross Country/Track & Field
Cross Country/Track & Field Lacrosse
Golf Rowing
Rowing Soccer
Soccer Softball
Swimming & Diving Swimming & Diving
Water Polo Volleyball
Water Polo

Men's basketball

Iona College has been competing in men's basketball since the inception of the school in 1940. Iona is an original member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, which began play in men's basketball with the 1981-82 season. The Gaels have compiled the most victories of any MAAC team since the founding of the conference and have won a league record seven MAAC titles. During their history, the Gaels have participated in 10 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships compiling a record of 1-10. The lone win for the Gaels came in 1980 against Holy Cross, 84-78, which was later vacated due to NCAA violations. The Gaels were the 2011 Tournament runners up.[2]

Victories against ranked opponents:

Notable Men's Basketball Coaches at Iona:

On April 9, 2010, Tim Cluess was named the 12th head coach in the history of Iona men's basketball. Cluess is a graduate of Hofstra University and formerly the head coach of the C.W. Post men's basketball team. He has won 20 games and a postseason berth in each of his first eight seasons as the head coach of Iona, the only coach in the history of the program to accomplish the feat.[3] As of January 30, 2019, Cluess is No. 2 on Iona's all-time wins list.[3]

Gaels who have played in the NBA:

Steve Burtt Sr. is Iona's all-time leading scorer with 2,534 career points.

Women's basketball

The Gaels have been competing in NCAA women's basketball since the 1974-75 season. They are a founding member of the MAAC and are coached by Billi Godsey, a graduate of Hofstra University. Godsey was named head coach for the 2013-14 season. In her first season, the Gaels earned their first ever MAAC Regular Season Championship. The program has five postseason appearances to their credit, the 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2014 Women's National Invitation Tournaments, and an appearance in the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament in 2016. They hold a 2-5 record in postseason play.

Gaels in the WNBA:



Cross country, track and field

Iona men's cross country is one of the top programs in NCAA Division I having earned 11 top 10 finishes at the NCAA Championship in the past 12 years from 2002–present.[4] The Gaels finished as the runner up at consecutive championships in 2007 and 2008. The program finished six overall in 2013. The Gaels have finished in the top three at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship in 17 of the last 19 years dating back to 1997, including titles in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2012.[4] The program has also captured 25 straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles, the longest active streak in NCAA.[5] Leonard Korir became the Gaels' first NCAA Championship winner when he won the 2011 NCAA Indoor 5000m title. Later that year he won the NCAA Outdoor 10000m championship.[6]

The women's cross country program also claimed their first NCAA Northeast Regional Title in the 2014 season, qualifying for their second NCAA National Appearance, the first being in 2006.[7] The College earned its first individual Cross Country title in 2014 when Kate Avery won the NCAA National title,[8] becoming only the second National Champion in Iona history and the first Female student-athlete from Iona to claim an NCAA title.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the program gained its first Olympians. The Gaels had three representatives in Track and Field. Leonard Korir competed in the 10,000m for the United States where he finished 14th in a time of 27:35.65.[9] The Women's program had two alumni compete at the games. Maya Rehberg represented Germany in the 3000m Steeplechase where she finished 15th in the third heat. Her time of 9:51.73 ranked Rehberg 44th over all.[10] Anna Baumeister competed for Denmark in the Women's Marathon. Baumeister finished in a time of 2:29.49 which earned her 55th place.

Ricardo Santos is the current head coach of both the men's and women's cross country and track and field programs. Santos is a graduate of Iona College, and received All-American Honors for cross-country in 1998 whilst representing the Gaels. Santos has been head coach of the cross country and track and field programs since 2008.[11]

Iona host their Meet of Champions cross country invitational annually at the start of each cross country season. Their home course is the cross country trails at Van Cortlandt Park, in the Bronx, New York.

Discontinued sports


Iona's football program ran from 1965 to 2008. The program was ended in part due to the dissolution of the MAAC Football League in 2007.

Ice Hockey

The Iona Gaels Ice Hockey program began as an NCAA Division III program in 1967 under coach Harry Nixon, under whom they enjoyed their first season unbeaten. Playing as an Independent program since the program's conception, the Gaels joined the Division III tier of the ECAC Ice Hockey Conference in 1977, before the MAAC introduced Ice Hockey as a sport within the conference in 1998. Their best finish in the MAAC tournament came in the 2000 season, where they placed second.[12]

The program ran until the end of the 2002-03 NCAA Ice Hockey season, after the Board of Trustees decided to remove the program from the Gaels' varsity sports teams.[13]

Notable non varsity sports


Iona offers a college rugby program. The rugby team is led by Head Coach Bruce McLane, who formerly coached the New York Athletic Club.[14]


  • Glen Island Park: Men's and Women's Rowing
  • Hynes Athletics Center: Men's and Women's Basketball, Swimming and Diving, and Water Polo, as well as Women's Volleyball
  • Mazzella Field: Men's and Women's Soccer, Women's Lacrosse, and Men's Rugby
  • Rice Oval: Men's and Women's Softball
  • City Park: Men's and Women's Baseball
  • Van Cortlandt Park Men's and Women's Cross Country


Iona's rivals include the following:


  1. "Logo Library -". June 26, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  2. "Santa Clara ends season with win in tourney final". March 31, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  3. Iona Men's Basketball Game Notes, December 10, 2014
  4. "Men's Cross Country - A Historical Perspective - - Official website of Iona College Athletics". Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  5. "Quarter Century Of Excellence: Iona MXC Wins 25th Straight MAAC Crown - Iona College". Iona College Athletics. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  6. "Official Website of Iona College Athletics". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  7. "WXC Claims First Ever Regional Crown - Iona College". Iona College Athletics. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  8. "Kate Avery Claims WXC NCAA Championship - Iona College". Iona College Athletics. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  9. "Team USA's Leonard Korir Finishes 14th In 10k At Rio 2016 - Iona College". Iona College Athletics. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  10. "Rehberg Competes In 3k Steeplechase At Rio 2016 - Iona College". Iona College Athletics. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  12. "MAAC Tournament". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  14. Rugby Mag, McLane to Coach Iona, Build Program, February 9, 2014,'s-di-college/10421-mclane-to-coach-iona-build-program.html

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