Virginia Commonwealth Rams men’s basketball program is establishedThe Virginia Commonwealth Rams men’s basketball program was established in 1968 as an independent team. The program played their first season in the 1968-69 season, and their first head coach was Chuck Noe. The team played their home games at Franklin Street Gymnasium.
Eric Maynor – Most Outstanding Player of CAA tournamentMaynor played for the Rams from 2005-2009 and was a key player during their historic run to the Final Four in 2011. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2007 CAA tournament and was selected by the Utah Jazz in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft.
VCU joins the Atlantic 10 ConferenceIn 2012, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) joined the Atlantic 10 Conference, a NCAA Division I collegiate athletic conference consisting of teams from the northeastern and midwestern United States. This move was considered a major step forward for VCU’s athletic program, as it provided the university with more exposure and competition against top-level teams. The Rams have been a member of ...
Rams women’s basketball team wins the Atlantic 10 Conference championshipIn 2015: The Rams women’s basketball team wins the Atlantic 10 Conference championship and participates in the NCAA Tournament.
History of the Rams
The Virginia Commonwealth Rams have been a mainstay in college sports for decades, and their NCAA tournament appearances are the stuff of legends. Since joining the Atlantic 10 Conference in 1995, VCU has established itself as one of the top programs in men’s basketball. The Rams have made it to at least one NCAA tournament yearly since the 2004-05 season, including Final Four, running during the 2011 and 2019 seasons.
VCU's success is rooted deep within its history, dating back to 1968 when they joined Division I play as members of the Sun Belt Conference (now known as CAA). During this period, VCU had some great teams that consistently competed for conference championships but only managed two trips to March Madness before moving up conferences into A-10 play.
After joining the A-10 conference, things began shifting upward quickly with three consecutive NIT berths from 1997–2000, followed by an Elite Eight appearance under then-head coach Jeff Capel during the 2002–03 season, which was later vacated due to recruiting violations involving former player Lamar Butler who was declared ineligible after playing his entire senior year without being cleared by school officials or NCAA investigators. Despite this setback, the program continued on a steady rise reaching five straight tournaments between 2004–08 under current head coach Shaka Smart who took over coaching duties prior 2010 -11 season. This streak included another Sweet Sixteen run and four consecutive first-round exits until finally breaking through into Final Four behind star players Jamie Skeen & Joey Rodriguez led the team during the 2011 – 12 campaign.
Today, the VCUs basketball program continues strong, having reached seven straight tournaments since 2013 while also winning multiple regular season titles along the way, culminating with the most recent trip back into the final four last spring, where eventual national champion Texas Tech University eventually eliminated them despite putting up valiant effort throughout the game. With all these accomplishments combined, it’s easy to see why Virginia Commonwealth Rams should be considered among elite programs not just regionally but nationally too!
College Sports Established
Virginia Commonwealth University
1979 - Present / NCAA Division I
2012 - Present / Atlantic 10 Conference
1995 - 2012 / Colonial Athletic Association
1979 - 1991 / Sun Belt Conference
Rams - The Virginia Commonwealth Rams are a well-known NCAA basketball team, but did you know the origins of their nickname? The Rams were first known as the “Panthers” when they were founded in 1968. However, after two years of use, the school changed its name and mascot to reflect its new status as an independent university. In 1970, VCU officially became known as the “Rams” and adopted a ram logo for their teams' jerseys.
Richmond's history with sheep farming during colonial times heavily influenced the choice behind this new moniker. At one point in time, it is estimated that more than 100 thousand sheep were roaming around what is now downtown Richmond! Furthermore, many local roads had names such as Sheep Hill Road or Sheeppen Road, which further solidified this connection between VCU and these four-legged animals from centuries ago!
Today Ram fans can be found all over campus proudly wearing their maroon & gold colors while shouting "Go RAMS!" at sporting events throughout Virginia Commonwealth University's athletic programs. Whether cheering on your favorite basketball team or looking for some school spirit, knowing where your beloved mascot comes from adds even more meaning to being part of something special here at VCU!
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