Stony Brook Seawolves
The Stony Brook Seawolves are the athletic teams of Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, United States. The school competes at the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and participates in the America East Conference for all sports except football, in which they participate as an associate member of the Colonial Athletic Association, and women's tennis, which competes as an associate member of the Missouri Valley Conference. The official colors of the Seawolves are red, grey, and blue.
|Stony Brook Seawolves|
|University||Stony Brook University|
|NCAA||Division I FCS|
|Athletic director||Shawn Heilbron|
|Location||Stony Brook, New York|
|Football stadium||Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Island Federal Credit Union Arena|
|Baseball stadium||Joe Nathan Field|
|Soccer field||LaValle Stadium|
|Other arenas||Pritchard Gymnasium|
|Mascot||Wolfie the Seawolf|
|Fight song||We're the Red Hot Seawolves...|
|Colors||Red, Blue, and Gray|
The Seawolves currently field 17 varsity sports, including football and baseball for men only; softball, swimming and diving, tennis, and volleyball for women only; and basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, and track and field for both sexes. The most recent change to Stony Brook's roster of varsity sports was the discontinuation of men's tennis at the end of the 2016–17 school year.
Name and mascot
The university began in 1957 at Oyster Bay, with the teams known as the Soundmen or Baymen. The campus moved to its present location in 1962, and from 1960 to 1966, the programs competed as the Warriors. Beginning in 1966, the Stony Brook athletic teams were known as the Stony Brook Patriots. In 1994, as Stony Brook anticipated a rise to Division I in the NCAA, the nickname of the team was changed to the Seawolves. The Seawolf was said to be a mythical creature from the Tlingit tribe which brought good luck to those able to see it.
|Men's sports||Women's sports|
|Soccer||Swimming & diving|
|Track and field†||Tennis|
|Track and field†|
|† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.|
Stony Brook University sponsors teams in seven men's and 10 women's NCAA sanctioned sports and is a primary member of the America East Conference, with the football program competing in the Colonial Athletic Association and women's tennis in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Stony Brook first fielded a football team in 1984 as the Division III Stony Brook Patriots. In 1995, the team rose to Division II and changed the team name to the Seawolves. The team ascended to Division I in 1999, joining the Northeast Conference, where they won a share of the conference championship title for the first time in 2005. The program left the NEC and spent one year as a Division I-AA independent in 2007. From there, the Seawolves joined the Big South Conference in 2008 as a football-only member. Stony Brook won four straight Big South titles from 2009 to 2012, and made their first appearance in the FCS Playoffs in 2011, where they beat in-state rivals Albany at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium 31–28 in the first round before losing to top-seeded Sam Houston State in the second round. In 2012, the Seawolves returned to the FCS Playoffs, beating Villanova 20–10 at home in the first round before losing to Montana State. Stony Brook has beaten one FBS opponent, Army, with a 23–3 victory in 2012.
In August 2012, Stony Brook accepted an offer to join the Colonial Athletic Association as a football-only member. The team struggled initially, failing to put up a winning record during their first four seasons in the conference. However, the Seawolves finished 10–3 and second place in 2017, returning to the playoffs, where they beat Lehigh 59–29 in the first round but lost to James Madison in the second round. In 2018, the Seawolves made the FCS Playoffs for a second straight year but lost to Southeast Missouri State 28–14 in the first round.
Stony Brook men's basketball was founded in 1960 at the Division III level. When the Seawolves moved to Division I in 1999, they spent the first two years as an independent before accepting an invitation to join the America East in 2001. In 2005, Stony Brook hired Steve Pikiell to become the tenth head coach in program history. In the six seasons before his arrival, the Seawolves had gone 63–107. After going 20–67 in his first three seasons, Pikiell led Stony Brook to their first winning record as a Division I program after the 2008–09 season, ending the season 16–14 (8–8 America East).
In 2009-10, Stony Brook won their first America East regular season title after a 21–8 (13–3) season, but lost to Boston University in the semifinals of the America East Tournament. The Seawolves were invited to participate in the NIT, but fell in the first round to Illinois in a sellout crowd at the Stony Brook Sports Complex. Despite finishing the 2010–11 season with a 13–16 (8–8) record, the Seawolves entered the America East Tournament as the No. 5 seed and beat Albany and top seed Vermont to earn their first ever trip to the America East Finals. They fell to the Boston Terriers 56–54 in the closing seconds despite leading for most of the game.
The 2011–12 season saw the Seawolves return to the NIT after winning their second America East regular season title, finishing 22–10 (14–2), losing to Seton Hall in the first round. The Seawolves won their first NIT game in 2013 against UMass but lost to Iowa in the second round, capping off a 25–8 (14–2) season where they won their third America East regular season title. Stony Brook would lose to Albany in two straight America East Finals in 2014 and 2015, the second coming on a buzzer-beater three.
Stony Brook finally made their first NCAA Tournament appearance after besting Vermont in the 2016 America East Finals. As the No. 13 seed, they lost to Kentucky in the first round. Pikiell left the program three days later to accept the head coaching job at Rutgers. In April, longtime Ohio State assistant coach Jeff Boals was hired to be Pikiell's successor. After three seasons, Boals resigned in March 2019 to accept the head coaching position at Ohio University. Boals went 55–41 in three seasons at Stony Brook, including a 24–8 record, his first 20-win season, in his final year.
Since joining Division I in 2002, Stony Brook has won six conference tournaments: 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, and 2019. The Seawolves have participated NCAA tournament six times, winning their first game ever in the NCAA tournament in 2010 against North Carolina State. They are coached by Matt Senk, who has led the team since 1991.
The 2012 season was a breakthrough for Stony Brook baseball. The team won 10 consecutive games en route to their second consecutive regular season championship, and ended the regular season 43–11 (21–3 America East). Stony Brook won the America East Tournament to earn the program's fourth title, beating Maine 13–6 in the finals to advance to the 2012 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament with a 46–11 record, the best record in Division I. For the first time in the history of the program, Stony Brook was ranked at #25 in the Baseball America poll and #29 in the NCBWA poll.
Stony Brook played in the Coral Gables Regional as the fourth seed. The Seawolves topped Central Florida to win the regional and advance to face the LSU Tigers in the Super Regionals. In the Super Regional, Stony Brook defeated LSU and advanced to the College World Series. Stony Brook was ranked #7 in the NCBWA poll, their highest ranking ever, but suffered consecutive losses against UCLA and Florida State to end their run to the College World Series, finishing the season 52–15, the most wins by any Division I team in 2012. Seven players from the Stony Brook baseball team were selected in the 2012 MLB Draft including first round draftee Travis Jankowski. Matt Senk was announced to be the 2012 National Coach of Year.
Joe Nathan is the only Stony Brook baseball player to have his number retired (No. 22). Joe Nathan Field was named after him in honor of his $500,000 donation. Multiple Seawolves have gone on to play in the MLB, including Nathan, Jankowski, Tom Koehler, Nick Tropeano and Daniel Zamora.
Stony Brook first fielded a lacrosse program at the NCAA level in 1983. The team began play at the Division I level in 1988 with new head coach John Espey and earned full funding starting in 1998. Stony Brook was one of six founding members of the ECAC Lacrosse League, which began play in 2000, joining Georgetown, Navy, Penn State, Rutgers, and UMass. However, Stony Brook left after accepting an invitation from the America East Conference in 2002.
In their first season in the America East, Stony Brook finished 10–7 (3–2), and won the conference tournament with an 8–6 win over the Albany Great Danes to advance to the NCAA Tournament in their first year, where they lost 12–3 to Cornell in the first round. Espey's head coaching tenure ended in 2004 after 16 years, and Stony Brook hired Penn State assistant Lars Tiffany to take his place. The Seawolves lost in the America East playoffs to Albany in the finals in 2005 and the semifinals in 2006. Tiffany left his position to coach at Brown, and Rick Sowell took over his position.
In 2010, the Seawolves finished the season with a 13–4 record, and an undefeated 5–0 in the America East for the first time. Stony Brook won the America East Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time. As the No. 8 seed, the Seawolves beat Denver 9–7 in the first round to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time, where they fell 10–9 to No. 1 seed Virginia at LaValle Stadium in front of a record-setting crowd of 10,024.
Stony Brook entered the 2011 season ranked No. 5 in the USILA Coaches Poll in the preseason, and won the America East regular season for the second straight year. Jordan McBride and Rick Sowell were awarded the America East conference Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively. The Seawolves advanced to their third straight America East Championship, losing 11–10 to Hartford and failing to qualify for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid. Sowell resigned as head coach following the season to accept the same position at Navy.
Former Colgate head coach Jim Nagle succeeded Sowell. In Sowell's first year, the Seawolves captured their fourth consecutive regular season championship and defeated Albany in the conference finals to advance to their third NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Johns Hopkins, 19–9, in the first round. Nagle was named America East Coach of the Year.
Nagle would not win a conference regular season title until 2018, tying with Albany for first, and again in 2019, when Stony Brook won first place outright and hosted the America East Tournament as the No. 1 seed. However, after being upset by below–.500 UMBC in the semifinals, Nagle was let go by the program after compiling a 68–59 record in eight seasons as head coach.
Stony Brook's women's lacrosse team began play in 2003. Following the hiring of head coach Joe Spallina, Stony Brook women's lacrosse improved in 2012. The team advanced to the America East Conference Championships, where they fell to Albany. Petersen was named the America East Player of the Year, as well as Stony Brook's first ever All-American.
In the 2013 season, Stony Brook entered play rated in the preseason polls for the first time ever in school history. The Seawolves continued their success during the season. Following a win over University of Albany, Stony Brook was ranked 13th in both top national polls. Undefeated in conference play and the America East playoffs, the Seawolves advanced to the NCAA tournament, defeating Towson University in the first round, but losing in the second round to Maryland. Stony Brook finished the season with a 17–3 record and ranked #12 in the nation.
The Seawolves are 139–26 in eight seasons under Spallina, who has brought Stony Brook to seven straight NCAA tournaments and NCAA quarterfinal appearances in 2017 and 2018. The 2018 team finished the regular season undefeated before losing in the quarterfinals to Boston College to end their season at 20–1. The team had been ranked No. 1 for the majority of the season in all of the major lacrosse polls.
After years of little success, Stony Brook turned around the program and won their first regular season championship in 2005 ending the regular season with an 11–4–3, 6–1–1 America East record en route to their first America East tournament championship. The team went on to the NCAA College Cup for the first time ever and defeated Yale by a 2–1 score at New Haven to advance to the second round, where they lost 2–0 to the UConn Huskies. After four years of absence, the Seawolves returned the NCAA in 2009 but were ousted early in the first round. In 2010, they advanced to the America East semifinals but were defeated by eventual champions UMBC Retrievers by a score of 3–2. Chris Magaloudis, Petar Rakovic, and Michael Palacio are the first three players to sign professional contracts in Europe after graduation.
Ryan Anatol, who previously coached at South Florida, was announced as head coach of the soccer program. On November 13, 2011, the #2 Seawolves clinched their third America East Championship and their second in three seasons at LaValle Stadium against the Hartford Hawks with a 4–2 victory. They faced Monmouth in the first round, eventually falling in penalty kicks to close their season.
The Seawolves facilities are all located on the west campus at Stony Brook. The university is currently improving many of their facilities through funding by grants and donations of alumni to be completed in the upcoming years. The main facilities are:
- Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium: built in 2002, expanded in 2017, the stadium serves as the home of the football, men's and women's soccer and lacrosse teams with a capacity of 12,300 people (10,300 seating and 2,000 standing).
- Stony Brook Sports Complex: the main complex that houses offices and several athletic facilities.
- Island Federal Credit Union Arena: the 4,000 seat arena serves as the home of the men's and women's basketball teams, which opened in the fall of 2014 after extensive renovations. It also functions as an entertainment center.
- Pritchard Gymnasium: built in the early 1960s, the 1,630-seat gymnasium is currently the home of the volleyball team.
- Dubin Family Athletic Performance Center: the 8,000-square foot performance center began construction in mid-2011 and was completed with a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 6, 2012. The facility was named after the Dubin Family who donated $4.3 million for the construction of the project, the largest private athletic donation in the SUNY system.
- Stony Brook Swimming Pool: home to the Seawolves men's and women's swimming and diving teams. It contains bleacher seating for 250 spectators, and a 25-yard length pool.
- Joe Nathan Field: home to the Seawolves baseball team. It recently underwent major renovation after a $500,000 donation from major league pitcher and Stony Brook alumnus Joe Nathan. It is a 1,000-seat facility with a FieldTurf surface.
- University Track: the track serves as the home of the Seawolves outdoor men's and women's track & field teams, and includes a field in the center used as a practice facility.
|Sport||Regular Season Conference Championships||Conference Tournament Championships|
|Baseball||2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2019||2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2019|
|Men's Basketball||2009–10, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2015–16||2015–16|
|Football||2005°, 2009°, 2010°, 2011, 2012||N/A – No conference tournaments for Football|
|Men's Lacrosse||2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2018°, 2019||2002, 2010, 2012|
|Women's Lacrosse||2007, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019||2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019|
|Men's Soccer||2005, 2018||2005, 2009, 2011|
|Women's Soccer||2018°, 2019°||2012, 2017, 2019|
|Men's Cross Country||2012, 2016, 2017, 2019|
|Women's Cross Country||2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012|
|Women's Tennis||2012, 2013, 2014|
|Women's Volleyball||2007, 2018||2017, 2018|
° – Signifies Co-Champions
In March 2012, Lucy Van Dalen became Stony Brook's first NCAA individual National Champion after winning the mile at the NCAA Indoor Track championship.
Albany Great Danes
Albany is Stony Brook's in-state rival, as both universities are part of the State University of New York system. Both schools are members of the America East conference and football-only members of the Colonial Athletic Association. Starting in 2013, the Albany–Stony Brook annual football game has become known as the Empire Clash. Since 2015, the winner of the Empire Clash has been awarded the Golden Apple trophy.
In men's basketball, Albany defeated Stony Brook in two consecutive America East Finals games, first in 2014 and then in 2015 to deny the Seawolves the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. While Stony Brook has won four America East regular season titles compared to Albany's two, Albany has won five America East Tournament titles (and NCAA berths) compared to Stony Brook's one.
Stony Brook and Albany have met five times in the America East Men's Lacrosse Championship game (2002, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2015). Stony Brook has won three of these matches. Stony Brook defeated Albany 12–10 in 2019 to clinch the conference regular season title and snap a ten-game losing streak against Albany. In women's lacrosse, Stony Brook and Albany have met in eight consecutive America East title games. After Albany won in 2012, Stony Brook won seven straight conference championships against the Great Danes.
The rivalry between the Seawolves and the Hofstra Pride is known as the Battle of Long Island. The two schools represent the only Division I programs on Long Island, with Stony Brook representing Suffolk County and Hofstra representing Nassau County. Historically, this rivalry has been dominated by Hofstra. As Hofstra closed their football program after the 2009 season, the rivalry was temporarily postponed due to a decision by the Pride. The rivalry was resumed in 2014 after a six-year break.
Stony Brook University also participates in competitive athletics through various leagues, associations, and unions not associated with the NCAA. Although not affiliated with the Athletics Department, these clubs fall under the purview of Campus Recreation. With over 25 men's, women's and co-ed teams, the sports clubs have embraced the new Seawolves mascot and compete across the United States and around the world.
Some of the larger and more well established programs are:
- Stony Brook Ice Hockey
- Stony Brook Roller Hockey
- Stony Brook Crew Team
- Stony Brook men's rugby
- Stony Brook soccer club
- Stony Brook Esports
In addition to the opportunities that Sports Clubs provide, the success of the program depends heavily upon the student leaders of each individual club. These student leaders handle administrative decisions regarding their club.
Founded in 1980, Stony Brook plays college rugby in the Empire Conference in Division I-AA. The Stony Brook Men's Rugby team is the first recorded athletic team to represent the Seawolves overseas, playing some of the toughest European competition against various Irish teams. Seawolves rugby won the Empire Conference in 2013 and again in 2014, and were ranked in the top 25 nationally in 2014. Stony Brook rugby has been led by head coach Jerry Mirro since 2013.
Fans and traditions
The student section at Stony Brook is known as The Red Zone. Red is the official color of Stony Brook Seawolves, and the fans at the section would be wearing red. The fans in the section known as the most spirited group of students in the University. They promote school spirit across the rest of the school. Students are admitted to games for free. More than a section, the Red Zone is also an undergraduate group devoted towards promoting school spirit and athletic events. They often participate in "dorm storming", increasing awareness of events by knocking on dorms across campus.
The following are the Alma Mater, fight song and the athletic chant of "Go...Fight...Win!" played at the athletic events by The Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band.
Stony Brook's Alma Mater, Sandy Shore, was adopted in 1985 after a composition contest. Dr. Peter Winkler, a professor in the Department of Music, in conjunction with lyricist Winston Clark, wrote the winning submission. Carol Marburger, the wife of former University President John Marburger, is credited as the guiding spirit of the song.
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