The Jacksonville Dolphins are the intercollegiate athletics teams that represent Jacksonville University, located in Jacksonville, Florida. The Dolphins participate in NCAA Division I athletics, and are primarily members of the Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN). Some teams in sports that are not sponsored by the A-Sun play in other conferences. The men's lacrosse team is a member of the Southern Conference, and the men's and women's rowing teams are in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
|Conference||Atlantic Sun Conference (primary)|
|Athletic director||Alex Ricker-Gilbert|
|Basketball arena||Swisher Gymnasium|
|Baseball stadium||John Sessions Stadium|
|Soccer stadium||Southern Oak Stadium|
|Other arenas||VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena|
|Mascot||Nellie the Dolphin|
|Colors||Green and White|
|Men's sports||Women's sports|
|Cross country||Cross country|
|Track and field†|
|† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor|
The Jacksonville Dolphins baseball team began play in 1957. It competed in the small-school College Division until 1969, its first season in the University Division (which later became NCAA Division I). Its first conference membership was in the Sun Belt Conference, where it first played in 1978. The Dolphins were affiliated with that conference until 1998, when they joined the Trans America Athletic Conference (later renamed the Atlantic Sun).
The Dolphins have participated in 15 NCAA tournaments, the first being in 1968, when they were in the College Division Tournament. The other 14 have come in Division I. Jacksonville's best showing in the NCAA tournament came in the 1976 South Regional, when they were one game away from the College World Series, but were eliminated by Auburn 7–5. The Dolphins also were part of the NCAA tournament in 1972, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2018.
The Jacksonville Dolphins men's basketball program was established in 1949.
Jacksonville has appeared in five NCAA Division I men's basketball tournaments, most recently in 1986. Their most successful tournament was the first they participated in, the 1970 NCAA tournament. The Dolphins, led by NBA Hall-of-Famer Artis Gilmore, the school's all-time leader in rebounds, blocks and field goals, and Rex Morgan, the career assists leader, advanced to the title game before losing to UCLA 80–69. During that 1969–70 season, the team became the first NCAA basketball program to average 100 points per game in a season.
The Dolphins have won one A-Sun regular-season title (2008–09), but have not yet won the conference tournament and the accompanying automatic bid to the NCAA tournament as an A-Sun member.
The Jacksonville Dolphins football team competed in the Pioneer Football League, a Division I football-only conference. Their first season of play was in 1998, and they had been members of the Pioneer Football League during 2001 and 2019.
They played their home games at D. B. Milne Field, which has a listed capacity of 5000 spectators.
Jacksonville fielded both men's and women's NCAA Division I lacrosse teams starting with the 2010 season; both programs became the first in Florida to compete in an official game on February 6, 2010.
The women's team was a founding member of the National Lacrosse Conference. In addition to Jacksonville, the eight-team conference includes southern-based universities Davidson, High Point, Presbyterian, Liberty, and Longwood, as well as northern programs Detroit-Mercy and Howard. The conference was a provisional conference for two years by NCAA standards; it must exist for two years to earn a potential automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament. The NLC disbanded after the 2012 season after the two all-sports conferences that contained most of that league's members, the A-Sun and Big South, began sponsoring women's lacrosse.
The men's team, the only men's Division I lacrosse team in Florida, is a member of the Southern Conference. Jacksonville University landed a lacrosse icon to lead its men's program when John Galloway was named head coach in June 2016. Galloway, one of the young legends in the sport, joined the Dolphins after a four-year stint at Providence College.
From Syracuse, N.Y., Galloway played goalkeeper for Syracuse University and ended his college career with an NCAA-record 59 wins while playing a record 3,776 minutes. He was a two-time First Team All-American at the position, and the only goalie in Orange history to earn the honor twice. He was also the only goalie in NCAA history to win national championships in his freshman and sophomore years. In his first season as a professional with the Rochester Rattlers (Major League Lacrosse), he was named Rookie of the Year, and in his fourth season, he was crowned the 2014 Warrior Goalie of the Year. Galloway helped lead the Rattlers to the MLL championship game and was selected to play in the MLL All-Star Game in 2015. In addition to playing professionally, he was a member of the U.S. Men's National Team in 2014. Galloway finished the 2016 regular season with 188 saves and a career-high save percentage at 56.3%. Galloway also had the lowest goals against averages in the League with 11.77 earning him the 2016 Brine Goalie of the Year Award.
Casey Powell came on board as Jacksonville University’s first assistant in June 2016. He was a four-time All-American at Syracuse and the only player to have been named National Player of the Year in both the midfield and attack positions. He began his Major League Lacrosse career in 2001, and heading into the 2016 season, was the all-time leader in MLL scoring with 504 points. Powell was the MLL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year in 2014 as well as the Offensive Player of the Year in 2005 when he scored 57 points on the season.
Traditions and rivalries
Jacksonville University's most notable rivalry is with crosstown opponents the University of North Florida Ospreys. The two universities contest the "River City Rumble", in which the school with the most wins over the other across all sports receives a trophy, the SunTrust Old Wooden Barrel. JU holds the edge in the men's basketball series 15–11 in favor of JU after the 2014–15 regular season. However, UNF leads the series 10–7 since UNF became a full Division I member.
|Years with barrel: UNF 7, JU 5|
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- Gene Frennette (January 27, 2011). "Gene Frenette: Coaches Matthew Driscoll, Cliff Warren elevate UNF-JU rivalry". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- "Suntrust River City Rumble". unfospreys.com. University of North Florida. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
- "North Florida Ospreys Head-to-Head Results". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 7 February 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015.