UNC Wilmington Seahawks
The UNC Wilmington (UNCW) Seahawks are the varsity athletic teams representing UNC Wilmington in Wilmington, North Carolina in intercollegiate athletics. The university sponsors eight teams for the men (baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and outdoor track & field only) and eleven for the women (basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track & field (indoor and outdoor), volleyball, and beach volleyball). With the exception of beach volleyball (Coastal Collegiate Sports Association), the Seahawks compete as a non-football member of NCAA Division I and are members of the Colonial Athletic Association.
|UNC Wilmington Seahawks|
|Conference||Colonial Athletic Association|
|Athletic director||Jimmy Bass|
|Location||Wilmington, North Carolina|
|Basketball arena||Trask Coliseum|
|Baseball stadium||Brooks Field|
|Softball stadium||Boseman Field|
|Soccer stadium||UNC Wilmington Soccer Stadium|
|Other arenas||Seahawk Natatorium (swimming and diving)|
Hanover Hall (volleyball)
|Colors||Teal, Gold, and Navy|
|Swimming & Diving||Swimming & Diving|
|Track & Field (outdoor only)||Track & Field (indoor and outdoor)|
UNC Wilmington won the Colonial Athletic Association's automatic bid to play in the NCAA regional playoffs in 2004, 2006, 2012, and 2015. In addition, the program received at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament in 2003, 2008 and 2016. UNCW set a Colonial Athletic Association record with four consecutive 40-win seasons from 2003–06 and set a school record with 44 victories in 2008, including a 21-game winning streak. The rich heritage of UNCW baseball began when the Seahawks captured the NCJAA 1961 and 1963 National Championships. The Seahawks have sent over 90 players to play professionally. UNCW has hosted the Colonial Athletic Association baseball tournament at Brooks Field eight consecutive years and 10 times overall.
The UNC Wilmington basketball program moved to Division I in 1976-77. In 1984, the Seahawks joined the ECAC-South Conference (also known as the Colonial Athletic Association). In their first conference home game at Trask Coliseum the Seahawks defeated George Mason. The first appearance in a Colonial Athletic Association championship game came in 1987, just their third season of league play that saw them finish the regular season in 2nd place. UNCW appeared in three more Colonial Athletic Association title games (1989, 1996, 1998) before capturing their first championship in 2000 with a 57-47 win over Richmond. UNCW won the title again in 2006 by beating Hofstra, 78-67.
The Seahawks’ first votes in any Top 25 poll came early in the 1992-93 season. Other notable wins that captured the attention of pollsters included roads wins at Miami(FL) and NC State (96-84). The first appearance in post-season play came in 1998 when they were selected for the NIT. They played again in the NIT in 2001.
UNCW has made six appearances in the NCAA Tournament (2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2016, 2017), two in the NIT (1998, 2001), and one in the CIT (2015).
Their first trip in 2000 they lost to the #2 seed Cincinnati, 64-47. In their second appearance in 2002, the 13th seeded Seahawks shocked the 4th seeded University of Southern California Trojans with a 93-89 overtime win. They were defeated by Indiana in the second round, 76-66. In 2003, they lost to Maryland on a last-second basket.
In 2006 the Seahawks earned a ninth seed and lost to #8 seed George Washington in overtime, 88-85. The Seahawks lost to Duke (93-85) in 2016. In 2017 Virginia beat UNCW in the first round.
The UNC Wilmington women's basketball program completed its 37th season of competition in 2010-11, including the last 25 as a member of the NCAA Division I ranks. The Seahawks began as a member of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women in 1973-74 and spent 10 years as a member until the association's disbandment following the 1982-83 season.
UNCW joined the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for one season, recording a program best mark of 22-6 that year before joining the NCAA Division I ranks as a member of the ECAC-South Conference in 1984 (the league changed its name to the Colonial Athletic Association in 1985).
The Seahawks have made two appearances in the Colonial Athletic Association championship game, falling both times to Old Dominion (92-49 in 2000 and 76-48 in 2002). UNCW's best regular-season finish came in 2010-11, when the Seahawks finished in a tie for second place with Old Dominion University, one game behind regular season champion James Madison.
The Seahawks are coached by Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, who was named the ninth coach in program history on May 10, 2010. A member of the Naismith Basketball Hall-of-Fame, Cooper-Dyke enjoyed a landmark playing career both in the WNBA as a member of the Houston Comets and internationally in Italy and Spain. She was a member of back-to-back national champion squads at the University of Southern California (1983, 1984) and represented the United States in international competition on five occasions, including the games of the 1988 and 1992 Olympiads.
In its first season under Cooper-Dyke, UNCW established a program record for victories in a season with 24 wins and made its first post-season appearance, accepting an at-large invitation to the 2011 Postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament. The Seahawks defeated Richmond, 63-54, in the first round, but fell to Eastern Michigan at home in the second round by an identical 63-54 margin.
Track & Field
The men's and women's track & field programs have a long history of success including 11 Colonial Athletic Association Men's Team Championships, 168 Individual Champions, and 478 All-Colonial Athletic Association performances. The team has represented UNCW at the NCAA national level on 119 occasions, including nine times at the NCAA Finals. Anna Raynor was named an All-American in the javelin on three occasions. She also finished third at the USA National Championships in 2007 and competed at the US Olympic Trials in 2008. Seahawk track & field athletes have been named Colonial Athletic Association Most Valuable Athlete six times, and Colonial Athletic Association Athlete of the Year four times. Academically, they have earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic individual (35x) and team (38x) recognition, as well as Colonial Athletic Association Scholar Athlete of the Year on four occasions.
The men's swimming and diving team has won the Colonial Athletic Association title for 12 consecutive years, from 2002 through 2013. The men's tennis team has won the Colonial Athletic Association title twice in the last three years (2009, 2011) by defeating Virginia Commonwealth University. The men's golf team has won seven conference championships: 2004, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2018, and 2019. The women's golf team has won four conference championships: 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2012. UNC Wilmington also captured the men's and women's Colonial Athletic Association soccer titles in 2009.
UNC Wilmington introduced Beach Volleyball as a sponsored athletics offering in the spring of 2015 and participated in its first competitive season in the spring of 2016. UNCW joined the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association in 2016–17.
UNCW "Seamen" won the 1993 men's college ultimate frisbee championship.
Sammy C. Hawk
"Sammy" is the official name of UNCW's costumed Seahawk mascot. The name "Sammy" was selected for its gender neutral connotation.
Sammy is a Hebrew name meaning sun child. UNCW's Seahawk is a mythical creature, born from the sun, who lives in the Atlantic Ocean as a fish. During the sports season the Seahawk is able to shapeshift into the form of a bird of prey to feast on the opponents. In order to transmutate Sammy needs the mystical basketball that was left in Wilmington during the Blizzard that hit the city in the early part of the 21st century bringing with it 3 championships. What follows is the story behind the legend.
This same Blizzard also attracted a visitor from the Midwestern Lowlands who always enjoyed taking the dick of death, a bag of cash, an old car, a euphemism, a bowl of bar snacks, a lifetime student with an affinity for Polish food, a digit known for escorting themselves from the coliseum, a future reality TV producer, a drunk from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, a magician, and a narcoleptic. While the loyalty of these individuals was never questioned, their trustworthiness was cemented after fending off a pirate attack in their home port, proving to Sammy that they would be formidable asset in any situation that posed a threat to his ambitions. In a further display of prowess and power, the band of warriors demonstrated their skill with arrow and flame in advance of a monumental clash with the men of Troy. A historic battle followed, but the Trojan forces folded, when an assault reminiscent of the Boston tea party destroyed their chances of claiming victory.
Sammy's ability to move from sea to land was built out of necessity. A white bearded man, known only as 'Professor Sandbag,' stepped down from his position high atop Trask & Sammy was called upon to fill the void. Similar to Championship rings from Midwestern schools the bags gathered in the professors twisted games just don't count. During the early years Sammy struggled from drug addiction, having lived in the opioid capital of the country. Sammy enjoyed the Buzz it received for a few years, before being saved by another avian friend. Like a rolling stone that can gather no Moss, Sammy must always stay on the move. The University has gone through some stagnant periods, however the mythical Seahawk has always emerged stronger. This comes from the creatures love of Rocky Mountain water & cinnamon.
Sammy has an affinity for country music & has recently taken to gospel covers performed by Chris Stapleton. Despite being we all we got, we all we need, Sammy knows it can always count on the kindness of the club & a good pair of teal pants to bring the creature out of a slump. Sammy's partner in crime is a moray eel, who with the help of a magical baseball can transform into an eloquent equine. While gilping down on handfuls of oats this mustached filly may appear at first glance to need braces, but then again does the mythical horse even have a face?
The legend of Sammy was written by a group of wise thinkers, who were able to eloquently capture the history over an extended weekend trip. The story was inspired by the history of the Skyhawk from UT Martin. They were able to whittle down the story to a simple 4-part thesis.
1. UNCW has lovingly been referring to as UNC by the Sea. Having a mascot that lives in the ocean and can transmutate into a bird of prey was the most logical choice.
2. Having a 'Seahawk' mascot was only natural, especially with the number of osprey seen around the campus.
3. Having a bird as a mascot with such a wide wingspan is important, as it now feels the need to blow down the wolf's house that has been built just up the road. Although the FBI seems to be doing a good job of that.
4. The Screaming Seahawks were clowns.
A biopic will soon be available for enjoyment.
- UNCW Seahawks - Official Brand Identity Usage and Style Guide (PDF). January 28, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
- "1993 College". www.usaultimate.org. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
- "Speaker apologizes for crude language used during motivational speech with UNCW baseball". Retrieved 2018-06-20.
- ""'Hecklers' take team support to new lengths"". Wilmington Star News. 29 January 2002. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- "ECU player, UNCW student in post-game spitting incident". The Seahawk. Retrieved 2018-03-11.
- ScreaminSeahawk (2006-07-06), 2002 NCAA Men's Basketball Tourney- UNCW vs. USC- Highlights, retrieved 2018-03-11
- TV3, WWAY (2018-03-09). "NC State subpoenaed by Justice Department amid investigation of college basketball - WWAY TV". WWAY TV. Retrieved 2018-03-10.