Written By: Joshua Brannock
The University of North Florida is a growing campus that in just a short amount of time has gone from being mainly a commuter school to being one of the best values in the college world. As the school continues to grow the sports programs at UNF continue to rise from the depths of hilarity to the podium of winners. In just its eighth year of division I play the Ospreys have already made it’s name known through out the Atlantic Sun conference.
UNF’s men’s basketball program went from being 8-22 during the 2088-2009 season to reaching the conference championship game last season. This year the team is in fourth place in the conference standings and is having its best season as of yet in its Division I history.
UNF’s men’s golf team might be the most impressive sports program this school will have for years. Ranked fifth nationally earlier in the year, the team is ranked twelfth and is in prime position to make a run at the first national championship in UNF history. The team features three top 50 individual players. Junior golfer Sean Dale is the highest ranked player for the Ospreys. He is sixth in the nation and has played in multiple amateur tournaments.
The women’s basketball team at UNF holds the most tradition at the campus. The team has never been ranked nationally nor have they ever won a national championship, but for the last 20 years the face of women’s basketball has been its head coach, Mary Tappmeyer. Tappmeyer has been the only coach for the Ospreys during their twenty year history. This season Tappmeyer has a group of players who are poised to make a run for their first A-Sun conference championship.
UNF men’s tennis continues to rise as it was ranked in the top 75 up until this past week. The team dominated in the regular season last year, but slipped in the semi-finals.
Staying in tennis, the women’s team won its first A-Sun conference championship in 2010 and continues to be one of the best squads in the A-Sun.
UNF has 18 sports team’s that are university funded, but they aren’t the only teams shining and putting their body on the line to wear the Osprey logo on the front of their jersey. The school also features multiple club sports.
The UNF hockey team is in its first season of Division III play and its already made a name for itself. Around the league the team is known for its hard hits, intensity and ability to overcome a lack of depth. The team can’t play for a championship this season, but its still fighting.
Although they may not be known as the Ospreys, the Deadbirds brings the next best thing to football to UNF. The UNF rugby team started its first season in Division III play this year as well and is currently dominating on all aspects of the field.
UNF also brings the game of lacrosse to its campus. The team is in its third season of play and is continuing to climb up the ranks.
If you’re a sports fan at the campus of UNF there is plenty of action to quench your pallet. Even though the school doesn’t have a football team, who cares? There is still over 20 different groups who entertain the crowd and compete at levels of excellence.