Albany Great Danes Tickets
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Albany Great Danes
University at Albany intercollegiate athletics dates back to the late 1890s. Soon after the foundation was laid, the further development of the University was hampered for several decades for want of adequate facilities, financial support, and the notable number of male students in an institution. The institution was primarily designed to develop elementary school teachers.
Tennis remained a constant from 1898 on and men's basketball court was built in 1909. The institution had to undergo even more difficult phase when it came to field teams in football (1922), baseball (1896-1901), swimming and hockey. Today, all athletics are run by the University at Albany Department of Athletics and Recreation.
Expansion into men's and women's sports increased after World War II, Sports expanded greatly in the 1960s. Men's sports of lacrosse, track & field, cross-country and swimming moved from club to varsity status, and women's tennis, softball, field hockey, basketball and swimming were introduced. Moreover, UAlbany competes in many sports at the club level such as men's hockey, rugby, crew and swim. These teams are funded by the Student Association.
A nickname change also occurred, the Pedagogues becoming the Great Danes turned UAlbany into the only American college or university with that mascot. After the 1972 NCAA renovating, the university competed in Division III athletics till the 1995-96 school year. UAlbany remained in Division II athletics until 1999 and at the moment has 19 varsity sports competing at the Division I level.
Little known to many, Richard ?Doc' Sauers is the second longest coach in Albany history. Sauers served as Great Danes men's basketball coach from 1955-1997 and is one of the most victorious coaches in the history of college basketball with 702 victories. Also goes on his credits is a program to eleven NCAA and four NAIA post-season tournament appearances that he led in his tenure. Sauers joined the program when the school was known as the State College for Teachers. He helped in the transition from the College Division into Division III and then Division II basketball.
Sauers finished his career with a 702-330 record in 41 seasons, also achieving the prestigious 700-win mark on Feb. 8, 1997 in an 89-71 victory over the University of Bridgeport. A banner is flown in the rafters of the SEFCU Arena honoring Sauers accomplishments. Even after retirement, he still coaches for UAlbany. Currently he is leading the Women's Golf program, in which he led the Great Danes to the 2004 America East Championship.
From the 1999-00 to the end of the 2004-05 season, UAlbany finished with over 10 wins. The team had a 48-118 record in only two seasons. However, in the 2005-06 campaign, the Great Danes compiled a 21-11 season where it took on both the eventual national champion Florida Gators and UCLA Bruins.
Having accomplished a 20-9 regular season in the 2006-07 season, the Great Danes faced a much stronger America East conference. The team would remain #2 seed in the conference tournament. The Great Danes, considered runner up, would not falter. On March 10, 2007, the men's basketball team made a mark winning their second consecutive America East title beating Vermont 60-59. The Danes seeded 13th in the South Division of the 2007 NCAA Division I Tournament.
In the 2007-08 season, the Great Danes played a nationally televised game against the Duke Blue Devils, and lost it by a score of 111-70. They took part in ESPNU Bracketbusters for the third consecutive year in 2007-08, against the Canisius Golden Griffins. In 2009, the University at Albany will host its nine-team tournament first America East Men's Basketball Championship on March 6 at the 4,538-seat SEFCU Arena on campus.