Virginia Cavaliers

The Virginia Cavaliers, also known as Wahoos or Hoos, are the athletic teams representing the University of Virginia, located in Charlottesville. They compete at the NCAA Division I level (FBS for football), in the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1953. Known simply as Virginia in sports media, UVA has twice won the Capital One Cup for men's sports (in 2015 and 2019) after leading the nation in overall athletic excellence.[2][3] The Cavaliers have regularly placed among the Top 5 nationally.[4][5][6]

Virginia Cavaliers
UniversityUniversity of Virginia
ConferenceAtlantic Coast Conference
NCAADivision I (FBS)
Athletic directorCarla Williams
LocationCharlottesville, Virginia
Varsity teams27 (13 men's, 14 women's)
Football stadiumScott Stadium
Basketball arenaJohn Paul Jones Arena
Baseball stadiumDavenport Field at Disharoon Park
Softball stadiumPalmer Park
Soccer stadiumKlöckner Stadium
Lacrosse stadiumKlöckner Stadium
Other arenasLannigan Field
Memorial Gymnasium
Sheridan Snyder Tennis Center
University Hall
University Hall Turf Field
MascotCavalier (CavMan)
Fight songThe Cavalier Song
ColorsOrange and Blue[1]

Virginia leads the ACC with 20 NCAA Championships in men's sports. The program has added seven NCAA titles in women's sports for a grand total of 27 NCAA titles, second overall in the conference out of 15 programs.[7][8][9] In "revenue sports", Virginia men's basketball won the NCAA Tournament Championship in 2019, won ACC Tournaments in 1976, in 2014 and in 2018, and have finished first in the ACC standings nine times. College Football Hall of Fame coach George Welsh retired with the most wins in ACC history (as of 2019, he places second[lower-alpha 1]) after leading Virginia football for nineteen years.[10]

Prominent NCAA championship programs include Virginia men's soccer (7 NCAA Championships), Virginia men's lacrosse (8 national titles including 6 NCAA Championships), Virginia men's tennis (159–0 ACC win streak from 2006 to 2016;[11] 2013 and "three-peat" 2015–2017 NCAA Championships), and Virginia baseball (winners of the 2015 College World Series). Virginia women's rowing has added two recent NCAA Championships while Virginia women's lacrosse won NCAA Championships in 1991, 1993, and 2004. Women's cross country won repeat NCAA Championships in 1981 and 1982. Non-NCAA national championships include six national titles in indoor men's tennis, two USILA titles fin men's lacrosse, and one AIAW title in women's indoor track and field. UVA men's boxing was a leading collegiate program when boxing was a major national sport in the first half of the 20th century, completing four consecutive undefeated seasons between 1932 and 1936 and winning an unofficial NCAA Championship in 1938.[12]

The Cavalier mascot represents a mounted swordsman, and there are crossed swords or sabres in the official logo. An unofficial moniker, the “Wahoos”, or “Hoos” for short, based on the university's rallying cry "Wah-hoo-wah!" is also commonly used.[13] Though originally only used by the student body, both terms—“Wahoos” and “Hoos”—have come into widespread usage with the local media as well.

Origins and history

The school colors, adopted in 1888, are orange and navy blue.[14] The athletic teams had previously worn grey and cardinal red but those colors did not show up very well on dirty football fields as the school was sporting its first team. A mass meeting of the student body was called, and a star player showed up wearing a navy blue and orange scarf he had brought back from a University of Oxford summer rowing expedition. The colors were chosen when another student pulled the scarf from the player's neck, waved it to the crowd and yelled: "How will this do?" (Exactly 100 years later in 1988, Oxford named their own American football club the "Cavaliers," and soon after the Virginia team adopted its "curved sabres" logo in 1994, the Oxford team followed suit.)

When boxing was a major collegiate sport, Virginia's teams boxed in Memorial Gymnasium and went undefeated on a six-year run between 1932 and 1937, winning an unofficial national championship in 1938.[15]

On December 4, 1953, the University of Virginia joined the Atlantic Coast Conference as the league's eighth member.[16] Its men's basketball team has seven times been part of the NCAA Elite Eight (1981, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2016, 2019), three times advancing to the Final Four (1981, 1984, and 2019). The baseball team won the College World Series in 2015 and has appeared in the CWS four times (2009, 2011, 2014, 2015). The football team has twice been honored as ACC Co-Champions (1989 and 1995). The soccer and lacrosse programs have both been tremendously successful. The men's soccer team has won seven national championships, four consecutively (1989, 1991–1994, 2009, 2014). The men's lacrosse team has also won seven national titles (1952, 1970, 1972, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2011), while the women have claimed three (1991, 1993, 2004). Women's cross country won national titles in 1981 and 1982. The men's tennis team won the national championships in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

In 2015, Virginia was named the nation's top athletics program for NCAA men's sports by virtue of winning the Capital One Cup, which was simultaneously awarded to Stanford University for women's sports.

In 2019, the men's basketball team qualified for the NCAA Final Four for the first time in 35 years, and won their first national championship in program history.

Fight song

The Cavalier Song is the University of Virginia's fight song. The song was a result of a contest held in 1923 by the university. The Cavalier Song, with lyrics by Lawrence Haywood Lee, Jr., and music by Fulton Lewis, Jr., was selected as the winner.[17] Generally the second half of the song is played during sporting events. The Good Ole Song dates to 1893 and, though not a fight song, is the de facto alma mater. It is set to the music of Auld Lang Syne and is sung after each victory in every sport, and after each touchdown in football.

Sports sponsored

Men's sports Women's sports
BasketballCross country
Cross countryField hockey
Swimming & divingSquash
TennisSwimming and diving
Track and fieldTennis
WrestlingTrack and field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor


After partial funding from benefactor Paul Tudor Jones with naming rights, John Paul Jones Arena opened in the Fall of 2006 and is the current venue for the men's and women's basketball teams. JPJ is the largest ACC arena outside of major metropolitan areas and the fifth-largest (of 15) in the conference overall. The men's team won the NCAA Championship in 2019 and the women's team finished as Runners-Up in 1990. The men's program is one of only two (with Kentucky) to have earned a No. 1 seed in all four regions of the NCAA Tournament.[lower-alpha 2] The Cavaliers have been ranked in the Top 5 of the AP Poll a total of 96 times in the past four decades, ranking the program 9th since 1980.[18] In the 18-game era (2012–2019) of ACC play Virginia had four of the five teams to go 16–2 or better.[19] UVA was also the only ACC program to finish a season 17–1 (none went undefeated).[19] Men's coach Tony Bennett has won the prestigious Henry Iba Award three times, second only to legend John Wooden.


Scott Stadium sits across from the first-year dorms along Alderman Road and is home to the University of Virginia's football program. The press box at Scott Stadium was a gift from an alumnus in honor of Norton G. Pritchett, the admired athletic director at UVA from 1934 until his death in 1950. Funding from benefactor Hunter Smith created the foundation for the 320-piece Cavalier Marching Band in 2004, replacing the Virginia Pep Band in its official capacity at athletic events. The late Cavalier head coach George Welsh is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and retired as the winningest head coach in ACC history. The current head coach is Bronco Mendenhall, former head coach at BYU, who replaced Mike London in December 2015.


With the departure of head coach Dennis Womack to the front office, the arrival of head coach Brian O'Connor from Notre Dame in 2004, and the opening of Davenport Field in 2002, the UVa baseball team experienced a rebirth. Since the inception of baseball at the university in 1889, the team has reached the NCAA Baseball Tournament fourteen times, once each of the past three decades (1972, 1985, 1996), but most recently thirteen years running (2004–2017). The 2009 season of the Cavaliers saw them through to the CWS (College World Series) with a 49-15-1 record. The team made a return trip to Omaha two years later in 2011, where they lost to eventual National Champion South Carolina in the semi-final round. In 2014, the team made a third trip to the CWS, beat Ole Miss and TCU to advance to their first ever CWS finals, but lost the three-game series to Vanderbilt 2–1. The following year, both they and Vanderbilt returned to the CWS finals in a rematch. On June 24, 2015, Virginia won in three games for their first NCAA championship in baseball and the first ACC team to win since 1955.


Klöckner Stadium is home to several successful programs, including Virginia men's and women's soccer. More years than not, the University of Virginia fields one of the best squads in the country, and the program has, by far, the most successful history in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. Since ACC Tournament play began in 1987, Virginia has played in 15 out of 19 ACC Tournament championship matches, winning ten ACC titles (including 2003, 2004, and 2009), to go with their seven NCAA Tournament championships (1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2009, 2014). Head Coach Bruce Arena, compiled a 295–58–32 record before leaving in 1995 to coach D.C. United to their first two Major League Soccer championship seasons, and later the United States to their best FIFA World Cup showing since 1930.

The women's soccer team has produced three FIFA Women's World Cup winners for the U.S. women's national team, Morgan Brian Emily Sonnett and Becky Sauerbrunn (both 2015),[20] and two Olympic gold medal winners, Sauerbrunn (2012) and Angela Hucles (2004 and 2008).[21]


The men's and women's lacrosse teams play their home games at Klöckner Stadium, or occasionally Turf Field or Scott Stadium. The men's program has won eight national championships (two pre-NCAA titles in 1952 and 1970 and six NCAA titles in 1972, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2011, and 2019) and the women's program has won three national championships (in 1991, 1993, and 2004).

The 2006 lacrosse season was noteworthy for the men's team as it established the best record in NCAA history with a perfect 17-0 season en route to winning the 2006 national championship. On the season, the team won its games by an average of more than eight goals per game and drew comparisons to some of the best lacrosse teams of all time.[22] Senior attackman Matt Ward won the Tewaaraton Trophy as the nation's best player, was selected as a First Team All-American and the USILA Player of the Year, and was named the Final Four MVP. He also broke the record for the most goals in the NCAA tournament with 16 goals (previously held by Gary Gait with 15). Eight Cavaliers were named All-Americans—three on the First Team, three on the Second Team, and two on the Third Team. Five Cavaliers were selected in the 2006 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. Matt Ward, Kyle Dixon, and Michael Culver were selected in the first round, Matt Poskay in the second, and J.J. Morrissey in the third.

On March 28, 2009, the men's team played in the longest game in the history of NCAA Division I lacrosse—a 10–9 victory over Maryland in seven overtime periods.


The Cavaliers softball team began play in 1980. The team has made one NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010. The current head coach is Joanna Hardin.


On June 30, 2017, Virginia promoted their men's and women's club squash teams to varsity status. In doing so, the Cavaliers became the first Power Five program to sponsor men's squash, and only the second Power Five women's team (after Stanford).[23]

Swimming and diving

The men's swimming and diving team has won 16 ACC championships while the women's team has won 11.


The men's tennis team rose to prominence in the 21st century under coach Brian Boland. The team won its first ACC regular season and tournament championships in 2004 and lost to Southern California in the NCAA final in 2011 and 2012. Behind standouts Jarmere Jenkins and Alex Domijan, the team won its first NCAA championship in 2013, defeating UCLA in the finals. The Cavaliers won three consecutive NCAA championships from 2015-2017, defeating Oklahoma for the first two and North Carolina for the third. Virginia also won the ITA national indoor tennis championship in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Several Virginia players have won individual national championships. Somdev Devvarman won in 2007 and 2008, while Ryan Shane won in 2015 and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski won in 2017. Michael Shabaz won the NCAA doubles championship in 2009 (with Dominic Inglot) and 2010 (with Drew Courtney), and Jenkins and Mac Styslinger won the doubles title in 2013.

On the women's side, Danielle Collins won the NCAA singles championship in 2014 and 2016.

Cross country

The men's and women's cross country teams race at Panorama Farms, located six miles from Grounds at the University of Virginia. It was the site of the 2006 and 2007 ACC Cross Country Championships. The men's team dates back to 1954 when they placed 4th at the ACC championships. The women's team won the NCAA national championships in 1981 and 1982 and won the ACC championships in 1982 and in 2015.


Dixon Brooke won the NCAA Golf Championship in 1940. Several golfers have played professionally on the PGA Tour including James Driscoll, Ben Kohles, and Steve Marino.


The first University of Virginia head coach was Bobby Mainfort, back in 1921.[24] Former Cavalier All-American Steve Garland has been the head wrestling coach at Virginia since the 2006-2007 season. Garland is the winner of the 2010 ACC Coach of the Year Award.[25] In the 2009-2010 wrestling season Garland led the Cavaliers to 1st place in the ACC and a 15th-place finish at the NCAA championships.[26] Virginia won its fifth ACC title in 2015. The wrestling team has produced four runners-up during its program history.

Thanks to an anonymous donation of $1.5 million, Memorial Gymnasium received a full renovation in 2005.[27]

Notable non-varsity sports


Virginia rugby competes in Division 1 in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League, which is composed of schools mostly from the Atlantic Coast Conference.[28] Virginia also competes in the annual Atlantic Coast Invitational tournament, which Virginia won in 2008. Virginia also participates in an annual rivalry match against Virginia Tech for the Commonwealth Shield.[29]

Virginia finished second in the ACI tournament in 2011,[30] and again finished second in the 2012 ACI sevens tournament, losing to rival Virginia Tech by 33-31, and secured a place at the 2012 USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships.

Men's rowing

Men's rowing has won the American Collegiate Rowing Association national championship in 2011 and 2012.


From 2001 until 2017, the athletic director was Craig Littlepage, a former men's basketball head coach at the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University, who has held a variety of coaching and administrative titles at the University of Virginia. Following his retirement, former Georgia Bulldogs deputy athletic director Carla Williams was named as his replacement.

Athletics apparel sponsorships

During the 1990s, the football team's uniforms were provided by Russell Athletic and Reebok, before Nike took over those responsibilities. During the early 2000s, the men's basketball team was outfitted by And1, making them just one of four teams in the nation to wear that brand and making the Cavaliers their de facto flagship program (much like Oregon's relationship with Nike and Maryland's relationship with Under Armour. In 2004, the basketball team joined the rest of their Cavalier brethren in wearing Nike. In 2015, UVA renewed their Nike commitment, signing a 10-year, $35 million deal that includes bonuses for nationally successful finishes in football, basketball, soccer, and lacrosse. The $3.5 million a year deal is the fourth most lucrative in the ACC, following Nike's deal with Florida State, North Carolina's deal with Jordan, and Notre Dame's deal with Under Armour.[31]

As of 2018, 24 of the 27 UVA sports teams are outfitted by Nike. One exception is the national powerhouse baseball program that currently serves as the flagship school for Rawlings. The others are the nationally relevant men's and women's swimming and diving programs that are currently outfitted by Speedo.

Radio network affiliates

Virginia Sports Radio Network Affiliates

CityCall SignFrequency
BlackstoneWKLV / W230BW1440 AM / 93.9 FM
CharlottesvilleWINA / W255CT1070 AM / 98.9 FM
CharlottesvilleWWWV97.5 FM
CovingtonWXCF / W298BQ1230 AM / 107.5 FM
LynchburgWZZU97.9 FM
MartinsvilleWHEE1370 AM
NorfolkWTAR / W243DJ850 AM / 96.5 FM
RichmondWRVA / W241AP1140 AM / 96.1 FM
RoanokeWVBB97.7 FM
StauntonWTON-FM94.3 FM
TappahannockWRAR-FM105.5 FM
WarrentonWRCW1250 AM
Washington, D.C.WWRC570 AM

WINA and WWWV are the network flagship stations. Affiliates broadcast football and men's basketball games, as well as a live coach's show for the in-season sport on Monday evenings. WKLV, WRAR and WWWV do not carry the coach's show. Richmond's WRVA is a 50,000-watt clear-channel station, bringing the Cavaliers' nighttime games to most of the eastern half of North America.

The network additionally produces selected baseball, women's basketball, and lacrosse games for broadcast on WINA and Internet streaming.[32]


NCAA team championships

Virginia has won 27 NCAA team national championships.[33]

Other national team championships

Below are 9 national team titles that were not bestowed by the NCAA:

National individual championships

  • Men's Tennis
  • Men's Golf
    • Dixon Brooke, 1940
  • Men's Track
    • Jordan Scott, indoor triple jump, 2019
    • Henry Wynne, indoor mile, 2016
    • Filip Mihaljevic, outdoor discus, 2017
    • Filip Mihaljevic, outdoor shot put, 2017
    • Filip Mihaljevic, outdoor shot put, 2016
    • Robby Andrews, indoor 800 meters, 2010
    • Paul Ereng, indoor 800 meters, 1989
    • Paul Ereng, outdoor 800 meters, 1988 and 1989
  • Men's Swimming & Diving
  • Women's Tennis
  • Women's Cross Country
  • Women's Swimming & Diving
    • Leah Smith, 500-meter freestyle, 2015
    • Leah Smith, 1,650-meter freestyle, 2015
    • Cara Lane, 1,650-meter freestyle, 2001
    • Cara Lane, 1,500-meter freestyle, 2000

Atlantic Coast Conference championships

  • Men's:(80)
    • Baseball: 1972, 1996, 2009, 2011
    • Basketball: 1976, 2014, 2018
    • Cross Country: 1984, 2005, 2007, 2008
    • Football: 1989 (co-champions), 1995 (co-champions)
    • Lacrosse: 1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2019
    • Outdoor Track & Field: 2009
    • Soccer: 1969, 1970, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2009
    • Swimming & Diving: 1987, 1990, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
    • Tennis: 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017
    • Wrestling: 1974, 1975, 1977, 2010, 2015
  • Women's:(58)
    • Basketball: 1990, 1992, 1993
    • Cross Country: 1981, 1982, 2015
    • Field Hockey: 2016
    • Golf: 2015, 2016
    • Indoor Track & Field: 1987
    • Lacrosse: 1998, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008
    • Outdoor Track & Field: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987
    • Rowing: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
    • Soccer: 2004, 2012
    • Softball: 1994
    • Swimming & Diving: 1990, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
    • Tennis: 2014, 2015

See also


  1. to Bobby Bowden
  2. First attaining the No. 1 seed in the East in 1981, No. 1 in the South in 1982, No. 1 in the West in 1983, and No. 1 in the Midwest in 2016.


  1. University of Virginia Athletics Current Logo Sheet (PDF). July 10, 2017. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  2. UVa wins Capital One Cup for men's sports. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  3. Virginia Men Win Capital One Cup. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  4. 2010-11 Capital One Cup standings. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  5. 2013-14 Capital One Cup standings. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  6. Current Capital One Cup standings. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
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  8. "2006/2007 Men's National Collegiate/Division I" (PDF) (Press release). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved November 13, 2007.
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  10. ACC History in Numbers: Coaching. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  11. Cavs recruit near home and win. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  12. Lights Out. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  13. Nichols, Mark W. (February 1, 2014). From Azaleas to Zydeco: My 4,600-Mile Journey Through the South. University of Arkansas Press. p. 33. ISBN 9781935106654.
  14. Kazek, Kelly (January 1, 2011). Hidden History of Auburn. The History Press. p. 71. ISBN 9781609492922.
  15. "Discontinued Championships" (PDF) (Press release). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 25, 2008. Retrieved November 13, 2007.
  16. "History of the Atlantic Coast Conference" (August 10, 2005). Chatham Journal.
  17. "Traditions – University of Virginia Cavaliers Official Athletic Site –".
  18. Men's Basketball Appearances in the AP Top 5: 1980 to Present. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  19. Cavs' in league of their own in ACC. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  20. "Former Virginia standouts help United States win World Cup". Daily Progress. July 5, 2015. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  21. "Becky Sauerbrunn Wins Olympic Gold with US Soccer" (Press release). University of Virginia. August 10, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  22. In Final, Virginia Lacrosse Team Has Eye on Victory and Legacy, The New York Times, May 29, 2006.
  23. Ramspacher, Andrew (June 30, 2017). "UVa squash goes varsity". The Daily Progress. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  24. "UV Wrestling History". University of Virginia Athletics. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  25. "UV Wrestling Archives". University of Virginia Athletics. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  26. "Steve Garland Bio". University of Virginia Athletics. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  27. "UV Wrestling Facilities". University of Virginia Athletics. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  28. "USA Rugby - College Conferences". Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  29. "Virginia, Virginia Tech Introduce Rivalry Trophy", Rugby Today, July 1, 2011.
  30. Atlantic Coast Rugby League
  31. Teel, David. "U.Va. signs 10-year extension with Nike, more than doubles cash, apparel".
  32. "WINA Radio Announces Baseball, Lacrosse Broadcast Schedules".
  34. Virginia 2010 Men's Lacrosse Media Guide (PDF). University of Virginia Athletics Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 6, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
  35. "Virginia Crowned Three-Time Defending Champion of the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship". Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Archived from the original on February 26, 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2010.
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