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Richmond Spiders

Richmond Spiders
University University of Richmond
Conference Atlantic 10 Conference
Colonial Athletic Association (football)
Patriot League (women's golf)
Southern Conference (men's lacrosse)
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Keith Gill
Location Richmond, VA
Varsity teams 19
Football stadium E. Claiborne Robins Stadium
Basketball arena Robins Center
Baseball stadium Malcolm U. Pitt Field
Mascot WebstUR
Nickname Spiders
     UR Blue       UR Red[1]

The Richmond Spiders represent the University of Richmond of Richmond, Virginia.[2] The Spiders compete in the Division I FCS of the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference for most sports.[3]

The Spider name

From 1876 through 1893, Richmond's sports teams were known as the "Colts", reportedly for their play as an "energetic group of young colts." But in 1894, a baseball team comprising Richmond students and city residents took on the "Spiders" name after Ragland Chesterman of the Richmond Times-Dispatch used the term to refer to pitcher Puss Ellyson's lanky arms and stretching kick. To this day, Richmond is the only university in the United States with the spider as its official nickname.[4]

Varsity Sports

A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, the University of Richmond sponsors teams in seven men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[5]


Men's Basketball

Women's Basketball

The University of Richmond Women's Basketball team is currently under the eighth season under Michael Shafer, who has posted a 107-94 coaching record, with the current 2012-2013 record at 12-11.

Men's Cross Country/Track & Field

The Spiders Men's Cross Country and Track and Field teams are coached by Steve Taylor, who has been the coach since 2001. In 2006, the Spiders Cross Country team finished fourth in the Atlantic Ten Cross Country Championships out of fourteen schools. At the Atlantic Ten Indoor Track and Field, the team finished 7th, and at the Outdoor championships, the team finished 10th. In 2010, the men's team won the Atlantic 10 Championship as a team for the first time ever. They went on to place fourth at the NCAA Southeast Regional meet to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA National Championship. Seeded in 28th place, the Richmond Spiders placed 24th at the NCAA National Championship beating, among others, top-ranked Notre Dame, Texas, Louisville, Penn State, and Georgetown. As of September 2012, the indoor and outdoor track & field teams are set to lose their support from the university at the close of the 2012-2013 season.[6] The cross country team will remain intact.

Women's Cross Country/Track & Field

The Richmond Spiders Women's Cross Country and Track and Field teams are coached by Lori Taylor. In 2006-2007, she guided the Spider women to a second place finish in the Cross Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track. In 2008, she coached the Spider women to a conference championship in Cross Country. In 2010 the conference championship again went the Spider women, making it their second championship to date. The home of the Spiders XC/Track program is the Fred Hardy Track, on the University of Richmond's campus just north of the Robins Center.

Field Hockey

The University of Richmond's women's field hockey team finished the 2006 season with a record of 17-5 and captured their fifth straight Atlantic 10 Conference championship and NCAA Division I tournament berth. The history of the program dates to 1920, and it has been ranked as high as tenth among Division I programs in recent years. After six years with the Spiders, head coach Ange Bradley moved to Syracuse University at the conclusion of the 2006 season, and former Indiana University assistant coach Gina Lucido has taken the helm of the Spiders program. The team's home field is Crenshaw Field.


Men's Golf

The University of Richmond's men's golf team finished fourth in the 2007 Atlantic 10 Conference championship tournament. The Spiders have captured three conference championships and qualified for four NCAA Regional Championships, as well as the 1999 NCAA National Championship. The current head coach of the Spiders is Adam Decker.

Women's Golf

The University of Richmond's women's golf team competes as a member of the Patriot League beginning in the 2014-15 season. They used to be a member of the Colonial Athletic Association and finished fourth in the 2007 championship tournament. The program came into existence in 2002, and since that time the Spiders have finished no lower than fourth in any of the five CAA championship tournaments in which they have competed. The current head coach of the Spiders is Ali Wright.

Men's Lacrosse

The Richmond men's lacrosse team played its first full varsity season in 2014 as an associate member of the Atlantic Sun Conference (A-Sun).[7] Previously, the Spiders played at club level in the Tidewater Division of the National College Lacrosse League (NCLL). In 2007, the team recorded wins against Duke (7-3), Hampden-Sydney (10-2), and Georgetown (5-4). The team also participated in the Beltway Bash, hosted by the University of Maryland's club lacrosse team. Richmond men's lacrosse team is coached by Glenn Carter and the team's current president is Dan Colosimo.[6]

The Spiders spent only the 2014 season in the A-Sun. As part of a cooperative agreement between the A-Sun and Southern Conference (SoCon) in lacrosse, sponsorship of men's lacrosse shifted from the A-Sun to the SoCon following the 2014 season.[8]

Women's Lacrosse

The University of Richmond's women's lacrosse team finished the 2007 season with a record of 14-6 and has captured three consecutive Atlantic-10 championships and NCAA Division I tournament berths. The history of the program dates to 1957, although it did not compete on the NCAA Division I level until 1992. The program has been ranked as high ninth among Division I programs. The head coach of the Spiders is Stephanie Samaras Mantziaras and the assistant coach is Kelly Kasper Carter. The team's home field is Robins Stadium.

Men's Soccer

The history of the program dates to 1975, and the Spiders won or shared three conference title and advanced to three NCAA Division I championship tournaments. The head coach of the Spiders was Clint Peay and the team's home field was First Market Stadium. Notable Spiders that have played professionally include defender Craig Ziadie, who was selected 28th overall by D.C. United in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft, goalkeeper Shawn Alexander, who was selected in the first round of the 2002 USL A-League draft, and attacking midfielder Hristiyan Hristov,[9] who was the only Bulgarian to play for the team in its history.

The program played its final game on November 2, 2012, a 3-3 draw against crosstown rival VCU.[10]

Women's Soccer

The history of the program dates to 1996, and the Spiders have won the Atlantic 10 conference title once (2002) and advanced to two NCAA Division I championship tournaments. In 2002, the Spiders advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament before falling to the University of Portland, the eventual national champion. The head coach of the Spiders is Peter Albright and the team's home field is First Market Stadium. Spider standout defender Jaclyn Raveia was selected by the Carolina Courage in the second round of the 2001 Women's United Soccer Association supplemental draft.

Women's Swimming & Diving

The University of Richmond's women's swimming and diving team captured the 2013 Atlantic-10 championship. They also won in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 dating back to UR's entrance into the conference. The Spiders have qualified at least one swimmer for the NCAA Division I championship meet in six of the past eight seasons. The head coach of the Spiders is Matthew Barany and the team's home pool is the Robins Center Natatorium.

Men's Tennis

Women's Tennis


University of Richmond Stadium has served as the home of Spider football since 1929, located a few miles from campus. On September 16, 2009, it was announced by the university that the on-campus stadium (formally First Market Stadium) has been renamed the E. Claiborne Robins Stadium in honor of E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. and his historic philanthropy to the school.[11] The university is currently expanding Robins Stadium (currently home to the soccer, lacrosse, and track and field programs) to accommodate football as well.

The Robins Center arena serves as home to the men's and women's basketball programs. Other facilities at the Robins Center include the natatorium, home of the women's swimming and diving program, as well as offices and support facilities for most of the Spider athletic programs.

Club Sports


The University of Richmond Crew was founded in 1891. The team has come and gone several times throughout the 20th century, but is here to stay after a revival in the late 1980s. In 2012, the team moved from its home at Robious Landing Park, to downtown Richmond at Rockett's Landing. The team has constructed a new boathouse, acquired new equipment, and hired a new coach.

Ice Hockey

The University of Richmond's men's ice hockey team plays in the Blue Ridge Hockey Conference (BRHC) of the American Collegiate Hockey Association ( ACHA ). The University of Richmond's hockey team won the BRHC Playoff Championship four times in a row (2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006-07 seasons). They have also gone to the ACHA National Championship tournament multiple times. The team is coached by Kevin Silver.


The University of Richmond's men's rugby union team plays in the Virginia Rugby Union Division II. In 2007, the team finished in 2nd place, losing to eventual national champion Radford University in the VRU championship game. In each of the past three seasons the Spiders have placed high enough to advance to the first round of playoffs in the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union. In 2008, the Spiders lost to East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. In 2006 and 2007, they lost to Salisbury University of Maryland. In 2011, the team finished in 2nd place, losing to Longwood University. Division opponents of the UR Men's team are James Madison University, the University of Mary Washington, Radford University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Military Institute. The team is coached by Carl Schmitt, Matt Willson, and Sam Hall. The University of Richmond's women's rugby team is also gaining popularity.


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