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History of Athletics at Mount Mary

Mount Mary has celebrated over 100 years in existence, and with that nearly a century's worth of athletics history. The following is an incomplete timeline of major events in Mount Mary Athletics history.

1929 - The first recorded athletic competition at Mount Mary College took place at the intramural level. Each class had designated teams competing against one another in baseball, basketball, bowling, field hockey, golf, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball. Mount Mary also held competitions against other neighboring institutions at the club level in equestrian, hiking and skating.

1939 - MMC adds archery, badminton, dancing and softball to the list of intramural competition.

1950 - Athletic infrastructure began to dot campus with the erecting of the light and airy Caroline Gymnasium, which would be home to the newly nicknamed Crusaders for several decades to come. Adjoining the gym with parquet-style flooring was a beautiful modern natatorium with four 25-meter competition lanes, and just to the south of the gym were built four brand new tennis courts. It was these years that truly ushered in a new era of college sports for the Mount Mary College campus.

1954 - Colleen Jacobson served at Mount Mary's first-ever Athletic Director and Chair of MMC's Physical Education Department. It was also around this time that Mount Mary aligned its intervarsity athletics with the first ever affiliation—the Athletic Federation of College Women (AFCW). Jacobson still is Mount Mary's longest-serving Athletic Director, retiring in 1989 after a 35-year tenure.

1975 - A collection of private, formerly independent colleges in greater Wisconsin formed the first regional conference called the Wisconsin Independent Colleges-Womens' Athletic Conference (WIC-WAC). Two years later, Mount Mary joined the likes of Beloit College, Cardinal Stritch College, Concordia College, Edgewood College, Lawrence University, Maranatha Baptist Bible College, Marian College, Milton College, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Ripon College, Silver Lake College, St. Norbert College and Wisconsin Lutheran College to create the WIC-WAC.

1989 - The WIC-WAC would eventually be renamed the Lake Michigan Conference (LMC)—mirroring the men's athletics league featuring the same institutions. Mount Mary would maintain its league affiliation, participating in cross country, indoor track, soccer, tennis and volleyball.

1996 - The LMC officially became affiliated as an NCAA Division III conference. Mount Mary, Cardinal Stritch and Silver Lake opted to remain without affiliation, a time in which the Crusaders played an independent schedule against teams from Division III, NAIA and unaffiliated schools across the Midwest.

2000 - The school colors were officially designated as Royal Blue, White and Gray.

2002 – Following the events of September 11, 2001, the student body elected to change the school mascot from Crusaders due to the violent nature associated with the name. By popular vote, the name Blue Angels was selected and officially adopted the following Spring.

2003 – Mount Mary was pursuing affiliation with the NCAA and applied for provisional membership with Division III designation. Three years later, its application was accepted as a provisional member coinciding with the state-of-the-art Bloechl Center hosting Mount Mary's basketball and volleyball programs.

2007 - The Blue Angels adopted their first official athletics logo that was integrated into team uniforms and department letterhead. The logo, which featured a faded "Blue Angels" script with a yellow halo around the "L," was maintained through the Spring of 2013.

2009 - In the fall, Mount Mary dropped its provisional status, becoming an official NCAA Division III institution for six programs: basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

2011 – Under the guidance of head coach Kelsi Miller, Mount Mary Volleyball posts the first winning season of any program since the school’s official NCAA affiliation.

2012 – In his first season at the helm, head coach Joe Shokatz leads the soccer program to its first winning season in program history, going 8-7 overall. Freshman Emily Ristow (Sheboygan, Wis.) was named the Association of Division III Independents Player of the Year, scoring a school record 33 goals while adding eight assists. Sophomore Rasika Perera joined Ristow on the AD3I First Team by scoring 14 goals and adding nine assists.

2013 – Debuting the Fall Semester, Mount Mary transitioned from College to University status, also rebranding the Department of Athletics. The newly coined MMU donned the new navy and gold color palate, utilizing an updated family of logos and other media. As an aside from the transition, Mount Mary launched its first ever Athletics-specific website, MtMaryAthletics.com, tailored to the needs of the department.

2013 – With an overall record of 8-6, head coach Tom Troast’s tennis squad posted the first winning season in program history. Traditionally a fall sport at MMU, tennis was also invited to participate in its first ever conference tournament, the Great South Athletic Conference, in the spring of 2014. The Blue Angels fell in the opening round to Mills College (Calif.), 5-2, before sweeping Rust College (Miss.) and Wesleyan College (Ga.) to earn a fifth place finish.