Davenport Panthers

Davenport Panthers

Davenport Panthers
University Davenport University
Conference Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference
Athletic director Paul Lowden
Location Caledonia, MI
Varsity teams 23
Basketball arena Student Center
Baseball stadium Baseball Sportsplex
Soccer stadium DU Turf Field
Other arenas Patterson Ice Center
Mascot Pounce the Panthers
Nickname Panthers
     Red       Black
Website .com.cstvdupanthers

The Davenport Panthers are the athletic teams of Davenport University located in Caledonia Township, Michigan. DU is a member of the NAIA and the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference for most sports. In addition to NAIA sports, DU also offers additional sports that the NAIA does not currently sponsor championships for. Men's lacrosse is a member of the MCLA Division I in the Central Collegiate Lacrosse Association;[1] women's lacrosse is a member of the National Women's Lacrosse League (NWLL). Men's rugby competes at the Division I level of USA Rugby's Midwest Rugby Union,[2] as well as a JV team at the DII level. Men's ice hockey competes in the ACHA Division I in the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (GLCHL),[3] as well as a JV team at the ACHA DIII level.


Men's basketball

The men's basketball team plays its games at 1,500-seat DU Student Center.[4] The Panthers won their first WHAC conference champions in 2012.[5] The team appeared three NAIA Men's Division II Basketball Championships tournaments 2010, 2011, and 2012.[6] The team reached the quarterfinal round in 2011 and in 2012, the Panthers reached the NAIA DII Final Four for the first time in the program's history.[7] In their first NAIA Final Four appearance, the third-ranked Panthers lost to the second-ranked and eventual 2012 Champions, Oregon Tech 50-55.[8]

Ice hockey

DU hockey player in an away uniform (2010).

The Davenport men's ice hockey program started in 2002 through the 2009-2010 season the program competed in at the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division II level in the Great Midwest Hockey League (GMHL). Since the 2008-2009 seasonn, DU has also fielded a second/JV team participating at the ACHA Division III level in the Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference (MCHC).

In recent years, Davenport University has become a powerhouse with numerous regular season and tournament championships, but more notably captured three straight Division II National Championships in 2008, 2009, and 2010.[9] As of the conclusion of the 2009-10 season the Panthers have a record of 325-75-13 (.803)[10] Beginning in the 2010-11 season the program will compete at the ACHA Division I level in the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League.[3] The team finished their first season at the ACHA DI level with an overall record of 36-10-0 and 15-4-0 in the GLCHL. The season concluded on March 9, 2011 won the ACHA Mens Division I National Championship 3-2 in overtime against two-time defending champions Lindenwood.[11] The team finished the 2011-12 regular season with an overall record of 21-21-0 and 15-5-0 in the GLCHL.[12] Despite, losing in the GLCHL playoffs, the Panthers received an at-large bid to the 2012 ACHA Mens Division I National Championship, ranked 14th.[13] In the opening round, the team defeated Drexel 4-1 before the team lost 1-3 to Delaware,[14] the eventual 2012 ACHA DI Champions.[13]

Men's Lacrosse

Men's lacrosse program began in 2008 and is coached by Bob Clarkson.[15] In 2011, the Panthers defeated the two-time defending champion, St. Thomas 14-9 in the MCLA Division II National Championship game to win the school's first lacrosse championship. The win concluded a program best record of 18-5. In addition to the 2011 Championship, the Panthers have received bids to the MCLA Division II Tournament three straight seasons in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The 2013 season will be their 1st season as a Division I program.[15]

Women's Lacrosse

Women's lacrosse joined the NAIA independent National Women's Lacrosse League (NWLL) starting in the 2011-12 academic year. The program began in 2008 as a member of the WDIA Division II in the Women's Collegiate Lacrosse League.[16] In the first four seasons the team complieed a record of 27-35-1 at the WDIA club level and a record of 10-9 in its first season of NAIA competition with a 4-6 NWLL record in 2011-12.[17]


Davenport Rugby competes in the Division 1-A of college rugby. The team plays its home games at DU Turf Field. College rugby is governed by USA Rugby as the sport is not governed by the NAIA or NCAA.[18] Men's rugby is one of the newest varsity sport offerings by Davenport University, first played in 2009. Davenport began its rugby program, in part due to the growth of rugby in Grand Rapids and throughout western Michigan.[18] Davenport began its rugby program with big ambitions, stating their goal of becoming a premier rugby program in the midwest and advancing to the USA Rugby national championship playoffs.[18]

Davenport played its inaugural 2009-2010 season in Division II. The team opened its season in September 2009 with a 100-0 shutout win over Wayne State.[19] The Panthers finished the 2009-2010 season with a record of 11-3, went 8-0 in conference play, and notched an impressive non-conference 27-5 win over DI-AA program Michigan State.[20]

The Panthers first-year success led the Panthers to compete in Division I-AA in the 2010-2011 season. Despite stepping up to a higher level of competition, the Panthers had another strong season, going 3-1 in conference play, and notching impressive non-conference wins against College Premier Division (DI-A) opponents Notre Dame and Ohio State, as well as DI-AA powerhouses Michigan State and Wisconsin.[21] A come-from-behind 29-27 win over Indiana in the fall of 2010 meant that Davenport qualified for the spring 2011 USA Rugby Division 1 National Championship tournament.[22] In the university's first appearance in the tournament, Davenport entered the 16-team tournament as the 16th seed and only at-large bid.[23] Davenport first shutout Minnesota 27-0 in the round of 16, before defeating Kansas State 46-5 in the quarterfinals to earn a spot in the USA Rugby semifinals, held in Stanford, California.[24] Davenport defeated Harvard 62-21 in the D1 National Semifinals to clinch a berth in the championship. In the championship game Davenport defeated UC-Santa Barbara 38-19 to win the USA Rugby Men's Division I Rugby Championship, in only the program's second season of play and the program's first season in Division 1.[25] Davenport's freshman flyhalf J.P. Eloff was named the tournament MVP, scoring 22 points in the semifinal and 25 points in the final.[25] Davenport finished the championship season with a record of 15-2 and outscored opponents by a combined score of 595 to 255.[21]

In its third season, the Panthers began the 2011-2012 season ranked #1 in preseason polls.[26] The 2011-2012 season was another successful campaign for the Panthers, going 6-0 in conference play, and finishing the regular season ranked #1 in D1-AA.[27] The strong play of flyhalf J.P. Eloff, the leading scorer in D1-AA,[28] led to Eloff being selected to participate in trials for the US national team. In the playoffs, Davenport beat Texas 87-0 in the round of 16, defeated Wisconsin 34-11 in the quarterfinals, and defeated Dartmouth 35-18 in the semifinals.[21] The win over Dartmouth placed the Panthers in the championship for the second consecutive season. In the 2012 championship game, Davenport shutout San Diego State 39-0 to win 2012 USA Rugby Division I-AA National Championship.[29] The Panthers 2011-12 season was marked by the Panthers going undefeated in collegiate competition.[29] The team had a loss to Utah in the semifinal round of Qualifier Tournament for the 2012 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship and exhibition losses against the Chicago Griffins and Chicago Lions, both of the Rugby Super League.[21][30]

For the 2012-13 season, Davenport moved up to play in Division 1-A.


National championships

Ice Hockey (M) 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Lacrosse (M) 2011
Rugby (M) 2011, 2012

Conference championships

i. Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC):
Basketball (M) 2012
Basketball (W) 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013
Golf (M) 2006, 2007, 2008
Soccer (M) 2005, 2010
Softball 2011, 2012
Tennis (W) 2012
ii. American Heartland Conference Champions
Bowling (W) 2010, 2011

iii. Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (GLCHL): 2011

iv. Great Midwest Hockey League (GMHL): 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

v. Great Lakes Intercollegiate Hockey Association (GLIHA): 2004

vi. Midwest Rugby Eastern Conference (MREC): 2011


  1. ^ Staff (May 1, 2010). "Davenport Edges Grove City in CCLA Quarterfinals". laxpower.com. Retrieved November 23, 2010. 
  2. ^ VanOchten, Brian (July 13, 2010). "Davenport rugby program promoted to Division 1 Eastern Conference".  
  3. ^ a b Staff (November 13, 2010). "All-Michigan GLCHL League To Debut in 2010-2011".  
  4. ^ "Main Arena". Davenport University. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ Hodge, Taylor (February 27, 2012). "Davenport Wins WHAC Tournament Championship".  
  6. ^ "2011-12 Davenport Men's Basketball Media Guide". Davenport University. November 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ VanOchten, Brian (March 10, 2012). "Davenport men's basketball team makes Final Four for first time".  
  8. ^ Amorose, Steve (March 13, 2012). "Davenport Falls in NAIA Semifinals".  
  9. ^ Staff (March 20, 2010). "Davenport men's hockey club seals third ACHA Division II title in a row with 12-4 win".  
  10. ^ "Hockey Records".  
  11. ^ "2010-2011 ACHA D1 National Champions! Panthers Defeat Lindenwood 3-2".  
  12. ^ "2011-2012 Men's Ice Hockey (DI) Schedule".  
  13. ^ a b "2012 M1 National Tournament".  
  14. ^ Backer, Joe (March 4, 2012). "Late goals key Delaware’s 3-1 tournament victory over Davenport".  
  15. ^ a b Hanson, Tim (May 31, 2011). "Davenport Lacrosse Wins MCLA National Championship". MLive.com. Retrieved May 31, 2011. 
  16. ^ "WCLL Locations". Womens Collegiate Lacrosse League. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  17. ^ "2012 Women's Lacrosse Schedule". Davenport University. 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c "Varsity Rugby Team Accepted into Midwest Rugby League". Davenport University. June 12, 2009. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Ruggers Dominate Wayne State for Program Opening Victory". Davenport University. September 5, 2009. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  20. ^ "2009-10 Men's Rugby Schedule". Davenport University. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  21. ^ a b c d "2010-11 Men's Rugby (DI) Schedule". Davenport University. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Ruggers Earn National Tournament Berth with 29-27 Win over Indiana". Davenport University. November 6, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  23. ^ Clifton, Pat (May 14, 2011). "Davenport Wins DI National Title". Rugby Magazine. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  24. ^ "D1 Rugby Advances to Final Four with 46-5 Win over Kansas State". Davenport University. May 1, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  25. ^ a b Chaney, Jeff (May 14, 2011). "Davenport rugby team beats University of California-Santa Barbara for national title". Mlive.com ( 
  26. ^ Staff (September 15, 2011). "Preseason D1 Top 25". Rugby Magazine. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  27. ^ Staff (April 9, 2012). "Men's D1-AA College Top 25, April 9, 2012". Rugby Magazine. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  28. ^ Ganline.us, Davenport 39 San Diego State 0, May 20, 2012, http://www.gainline.us/gainline/
  29. ^ a b Staff (May 20, 2012). "Davenport claims second consecutive club rugby title in a rout". MLive.com.  
  30. ^ "2012 LVI Scores - CRC Qualifier". Rugby Magazine. February 12, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 

External links

  • Panther Athletics
  • Davenport University

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