RIT Tigers

The RIT Tigers are composed of 22 teams representing Rochester Institute of Technology in intercollegiate athletics, including men and women's basketball, crew, cross country, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, and track and field. Men's sports include baseball and wrestling. Women's sports include softball, and volleyball. The Tigers compete in the NCAA Division III and are members of the Liberty League for all sports except ice hockey, which competes in NCAA Division I. The men's ice hockey team is a member of Atlantic Hockey, while the women's ice hockey team is a member of College Hockey America.[2]

RIT Tigers
UniversityRochester Institute of Technology
ConferenceLiberty League, Atlantic Hockey, College Hockey America
NCAADivision III / Division I
Athletic directorLou Spiotti Jr.
LocationHenrietta, New York
Varsity teams24
Basketball arenaClark Gymnasium
Ice hockey arenaGene Polisseni Center
Baseball stadiumTiger Stadium
Lacrosse stadiumTiger Stadium
NatatoriumJudson Pool
Other arenasFrank Ritter Memorial Ice Arena
MascotRITchie
NicknameTigers
ColorsPantone 1505 C (Orange), White, and Black[1]
              
Websitewww.ritathletics.com

Teams

Men's sports Women's sports
BaseballBasketball
BasketballCrew
CrewCross country
Cross countryIce hockey
Ice hockeyLacrosse
LacrosseSoccer
SoccerSoftball
Swimming & divingSwimming & diving
TennisTennis
Track & fieldTrack & field
WrestlingVolleyball
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.

History

RIT was a long-time member of the Empire 8, an NCAA Division III athletic conference, but moved to the Liberty League beginning with the 2011–2012 academic year. All of RIT's teams compete at the Division III level, with the exception of the men's and women's ice hockey programs, which play at the Division I level. In 2010, the men's ice hockey team was the first ever from the Atlantic Hockey conference to reach the NCAA tournament semi-finals: The Frozen Four.[3]

On March 17, 2012, the Women's ice hockey team, after finishing the regular season with a record of 28-1-1, won its first NCAA Division III national championship, defeating the defending champion Norwich University 4-1. The women's team had carried a record of 54-3-3 over their past 2 regular seasons leading up to that point.[4] Three days later, RIT successfully applied for the women's hockey team to move from Division III to Division I. Starting in the 2012-2013 season, the women's team joined the College Hockey America conference, and was be eligible for conference postseason play, but not NCAA postseason play. The moratorium on the NCAA postseason was lifted 2 years later beginning with the 2014-2015 season.[5]

Additionally, RIT has a wide variety of club, intramural, and pick-up sports and teams to provide a less-competitive recreational option to students.

Tom Coughlin, coach of the NFL's 2008 and 2012 Super Bowl champion New York Giants, taught physical education and coached the RIT Men's Varsity Football team in the 1970s.

Since 1968 the school's hockey teams played at Frank Ritter Memorial Ice Arena on campus but in 2010, the school launched the "Power Play" campaign, in which it hoped to raise 15 of the 30 million dollars it would cost to build a new arena.[6] On November 11, 2011 it was announced that B. Thomas Golisano and the Polisseni Foundation were donating 4.5 million to the new arena, which came to be named the Gene Polisseni Center.[7] The new 4,300 seat arena was completed in 2014 and the Men's and Women's teams moved into the new facility in September for the 2014-2015 season.

Mascot

RIT's athletics nickname is the "Tigers", a name given following the undefeated men's basketball season of 1955-56. Prior to that, RIT's athletic teams were called the "Techmen" and had blue and silver as the sports colors. In 1963, RIT purchased a rescued Bengal tiger which became the Institute's mascot, named SPIRIT. He was taken to sports events until late spring, when he was moved to the Seneca Park Zoo. A year and a half later, when X-rays revealed he was suffering from genetic pelvic and leg joint problems, he was humanely euthanized.[8] The original tiger's pelt now resides in the school's archives at the on-campus library. RIT helped the Seneca Park Zoo purchase a new tiger shortly after SPIRIT's death, but it was not used as a school mascot. A metal sculpture in the center of the Henrietta campus now provides an everlasting version of the mascot.

RIT's team mascot is a version of this Bengal Tiger named RITchie. RITchie was the selected name entered in 1989 by alumnus Richard P. Mislan [9] during a College Activities Board "Name the RIT Tiger" contest. After it was announced that the RIT Men's Hockey Team was moving from Division III to Division I in 2005, RITchie was redesigned and made his debut in the fall of 2006.

References

  1. RIT Color Palette. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  2. "RIT Athletics". ritathletics.com. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
  3. "RIT - RIT downs UNH, reaches Frozen Four". .espn.com. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
  4. "RIT Women's Hockey wins NCAA Division III National Title". RIT Athletics. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  5. "RIT Women's Hockey Making Move To Division I". RIT Athletics. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  6. "RIT Power Play Campaign". Rochester Institute of Technology. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  7. "Future RIT Hockey Arena to Become the Gene Polisseni Center".
  8. "RIT - 175 Year Anniversary". .rit.edu. Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  9. "Mislan Awards". .mislan.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04.


Further reading

  • Scott, Pitoniak (2015). Frozen in Time: the History of RIT Hockey. Rochester, NY: RIT Press. ISBN 1939125170.
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