In 1986, the Valparaiso baseball team won the Mid-Continent Conference championship for the first time in program history, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The team was led by head coach Paul Twenge. In the first round of the tournament, the Crusaders faced off against the #4 seeded Arkansas Razorbacks. Despite being heavy underdogs, Valparaiso pulled off a ...
In 1996 Valparaiso basketball team, led by head coach Homer Drew and standout player Bryce Drew, wins the Mid-Continent Conference championship and advances to the NCAA tournament. The team earns national attention with a first-round upset of Ole Miss, as Bryce Drew hits a buzzer-beating three-pointer to win the game.
Bryce Drew is the most famous player in Valparaiso Beacons history. Drew played basketball for the Beacons from 1994 to 1998 and is remembered for hitting the game-winning shot in the first round of the 1998 NCAA tournament. He later became head coach of the Valparaiso basketball team, leading the program to two NCAA tournament appearances before leaving to become ...
In 2017, Valparaiso University announced that it would be discontinuing its football program due to budgetary constraints. The decision was made after a review of the university’s finances showed that the football program was operating at a significant deficit. The discontinuation of the football program was a difficult decision for the university, as football had been a part of the ...
History of the Beacons
Valparaiso University is home to the Valparaiso Beacons, an NCAA Division I sports team with a rich history of success. The school has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1906 and has won numerous conference championships. In addition, several former athletes have gone on to professional careers in various sports leagues worldwide.
The Valparaiso Beacons compete as members of both the Horizon League and Missouri Valley Conferences for most sports teams, including baseball, basketball (both men’s and women’s), cross country (men's & women's), golf (men's & women's), soccer (both men’s and women’s) softball, tennis( both men' s&women' s)and volleyball(both men & women). As part of their commitment to excellence on the field, they are proud members of NCAA Division I. This requires them to adhere strictly to its rules regarding athlete eligibility requirements and maintain an academic standard that ensures all student-athletes receive an education while playing at Valpo.
Over time, the Beacons have had great success across many sporting events. In Basketball alone, they've appeared in four national tournaments since 1998. They also made it into two Sweet 16 appearances during this same period. In recent years they've become regular contenders for conference titles within their respective divisions, such as winning or sharing six consecutive Horizon League Championships from 2011 - 2016. Their football program also saw some successes under head coach Dave Cecchini who led them through three consecutive playoff berths between 2008 - 2010 before retiring after his ninth season at the helm in 2013
For any true fan of college athletics looking for a team that represents hard work, dedication, and passion, look no further than Valpo Beacons! With more than 100 years' worth of championship-caliber experience behind them, you can rest assured knowing your rooting interest will always remain strong!
College Sports Established
1993 - Present / NCAA Division 1
2017 - Present / Missouri Valley Conference
2007 - 2017 / Horizon League
1993 - 2007 / Independent
Beacons - Valparaiso University is a small, private university in Valparaiso, Indiana. Recently, the school changed its mascot from the Crusaders to the Beacons and unveiled its new logo for 2021. The nickname “Beacons” was chosen as an homage to Valpo’s deep ties with aviation history and its commitment to helping students reach their highest potential.
Beacon has multiple meanings, making it an ideal fit for this college town outside Chicago. First, beacons are used as navigational aids by pilots when flying at night or in low visibility conditions; they serve as guides leading them safely home or towards a destination point on their journey. This symbolizes how Valpo strives for excellence and helps guide students through life's many paths so they can achieve success along whatever route they choose after graduation day arrives!
In addition, beacon lights have long been associated with lighthouses which historically were built near coasts where ships would need guidance navigating treacherous waters while heading out into open seas - much like how graduates embark on unknown paths once leaving campus life behind them! Lastly, beacons represent hope; even during times of darkness, these lights shone brightly, providing comfort & assurance that better days lie ahead no matter what challenges may come our way - something we all could use right now more than ever before!
Valparaiso University is proud of its new mascot choice and looks forward to seeing what impact it will have on both current & future generations who call themselves Beacons always!
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