Richmond Spiders

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Richmond Spiders
University University of Richmond
Conference Atlantic 10 Conference
Colonial Athletic Association (football)
Patriot League (women's golf)
Southern Conference (men's lacrosse)
NCAA Division I
Athletic director John Hardt
Location Richmond, Virginia
Varsity teams 19
Football stadium E. Claiborne Robins Stadium
Basketball arena Robins Center
Baseball stadium Malcolm U. Pitt Field
Mascot WebstUR
Nickname Spiders
Colors Blue and Red[1]

The Richmond Spiders represent the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. The Spiders compete in the Division I FCS of the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference for most sports.

The Spider name[edit]

From 1876 through 1893, Richmond's sports teams were known as the "Colts", reportedly for their play as an "energetic group of young colts." But in 1894, a baseball team comprising Richmond students and city residents took on the "Spiders" name after Ragland Chesterman of the Richmond Times-Dispatch used the term to refer to pitcher Puss Ellyson's lanky arms and stretching kick. To this day, Richmond is the only university in the United States with the spider as its official nickname.[2]

Sports sponsored[edit]

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Field hockey
Football Golf
Golf Lacrosse
Lacrosse Soccer
Tennis Swimming and diving
Track and field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor

Women's basketball[edit]

The University of Richmond women's basketball team is coached by Michael Shafer, who is in his 12th season as head coach. The Spiders have qualified for the WNIT six times under Shafer, most recently in the 2014–15 season. Through the end of the 2016–17 season, Shafer had amassed an overall record of 200–176 record, including an 89–89 record in Atlantic 10 play.

The women's basketball team plays its home games in the Robins Center.

Men's cross country[edit]

The Spiders men's cross country team is coached by Steve Taylor, who has been the head coach since 2001. Lori Taylor serves as the overall director of all of Richmond's cross country and track and field teams.

In 2010, the men's team won the Atlantic 10 Championship as a team for the first time ever. They went on to place fourth at the NCAA Southeast Regional meet to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA National Championship. Seeded in 28th place, the Richmond Spiders placed 24th at the NCAA National Championship, beating, among others, top-ranked Notre Dame, Texas, Louisville, Penn State, and Georgetown.

Richmond previously sponsored men's indoor and outdoor track and field in addition to cross country, but the track and field programs were discontinued at the end of 2012–13 season as part of a realignment that also saw Richmond discontinue men's soccer and add men's lacrosse as varsity sports.[3] In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Richmond recruited several strong Kenyan runners, including three who qualified for Olympic teams: Sosthenes Bitok and Edwin Koech, who both competed in the 1984 Summer Olympics, and Hillary Tuwei, who qualified for both the 1976 and 1980 Summer Olympics but was unable to compete due to boycotts.[4]

Women's cross country and track & field[edit]

The Richmond Spiders Women's Cross Country and Track and Field teams are coached by Lori Taylor. In 2006-2007, she guided the Spider women to a second-place finish in the Cross Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track. In 2008, she coached the Spider women to a conference championship in Cross Country. In 2010 the conference championship again went the Spider women, making it their second championship to date. The home of the Spiders XC/Track program is the Fred Hardy Track, on the University of Richmond's campus just north of the Robins Center.

Field hockey[edit]

The University of Richmond's women's field hockey team finished the 2006 season with a record of 17-5 and captured their fifth straight Atlantic 10 Conference championship and NCAA Division I tournament berth. The history of the program dates to 1920, and it has been ranked as high as tenth among Division I programs in recent years. After six years with the Spiders, head coach Ange Bradley moved to Syracuse University at the conclusion of the 2006 season, and former Indiana University assistant coach Gina Lucido has taken the helm of the Spiders program. The team's home field is Crenshaw Field.

Men's golf[edit]

The University of Richmond's men's golf team finished fourth in the 2007 Atlantic 10 Conference championship tournament. The Spiders have captured three conference championships and qualified for four NCAA Regional Championships, as well as the 1999 NCAA National Championship. The current head coach of the Spiders is Adam Decker.

Women's golf[edit]

The University of Richmond's women's golf team competes as a member of the Patriot League beginning in the 2014-15 season. They used to be a member of the Colonial Athletic Association and finished fourth in the 2007 championship tournament. The program came into existence in 2002, and since that time the Spiders have finished no lower than fourth in any of the five CAA championship tournaments in which they have competed. The current head coach of the Spiders is Ali Wright.

Men's lacrosse[edit]

The Richmond men's lacrosse team played its first full varsity season in 2014 as an associate member of the Atlantic Sun Conference (A-Sun).[5] Previously, the Spiders played at club level in the Tidewater Division of the National College Lacrosse League (NCLL). In 2007, the team recorded wins against Duke (7-3), Hampden-Sydney (10-2), and Georgetown (5-4). The team also participated in the Beltway Bash, hosted by the University of Maryland's club lacrosse team. Richmond men's lacrosse team is coached by Glenn Carter and the team's current president is Dan Colosimo.[6]

The Spiders spent only the 2014 season in the A-Sun. As part of a cooperative agreement between the A-Sun and Southern Conference (SoCon) in lacrosse, sponsorship of men's lacrosse shifted from the A-Sun to the SoCon following the 2014 season.[7]

Women's lacrosse[edit]

The University of Richmond's women's lacrosse team finished the 2007 season with a record of 14-6 and has captured three consecutive Atlantic-10 championships and NCAA Division I tournament berths. The history of the program dates to 1957, although it did not compete on the NCAA Division I level until 1992. The program has been ranked as high ninth among Division I programs. The head coach of the Spiders is Allison Kwolek and the assistant coaches are Jenna Slowey and Anne Harrington. The team's home field is Robins Stadium.

Women's soccer[edit]

The history of the program dates to 1996, and the Spiders have won the Atlantic 10 conference title once (2002) and advanced to two NCAA Division I championship tournaments. In 2002, the Spiders advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament before falling to the University of Portland, the eventual national champion. The head coach of the Spiders is Peter Albright and the team's home field is First Market Stadium. Spider standout defender Jaclyn Raveia was selected by the Carolina Courage in the second round of the 2001 Women's United Soccer Association supplemental draft.

Women's swimming and diving[edit]

The University of Richmond's women's swimming and diving team captured the 2016 Atlantic-10 championship.[8] They also won in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, dating back to UR's entrance into the conference. The Spiders have qualified at least one swimmer for the NCAA Division I championship meet in six of the past eight seasons. The head coach of the Spiders is Matthew Barany and the team's home pool is the Robins Center Natatorium.


  • E. Claiborne Robins Stadium, named in honor of E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. and his historic philanthropy to the school, serves as the home for Richmond's football, soccer, lacrosse, and track and field programs.[9] Robins Stadium, which opened in 2010 with seating for 8,700 people, was built on the site of a smaller, previous stadium known at various times as the Soccer/Track Complex and First Market Stadium.
  • The Robins Center arena serves as home to the men's and women's basketball programs. The building originally opened in 1972, and underwent a $17 million renovation in 2013–14 to modernize the facilities.[10] The renovation reduced seating capacity from 9,071 to 7,201, replacing seats in the upper corners with terrace hospitality areas. In addition to the basketball arena, the Robins Center includes a natatorium, home of the women's swimming and diving program,[11] as well as offices and support facilities for most of the Spider athletic programs. The Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness, the university's recreational fitness facility, is attached to and integration with the Robins Center.
  • Malcolm U. Pitt Field is Richmond's baseball stadium with bleacher seating for 600 spectators. The stadium opened in 1975 and in 2015 was upgraded with an artificial turf field. Indoor training areas for the baseball program are located in Millhiser Gymnasium, adjacent to the Robins Center.[12]
  • Crenshaw Field serves as home to the women's field hockey program. The facility includes an AstroTurf field installed in 2011, and lights were added in 2014 to allow for night practices and games.[13]
  • The Westhampton Tennis Complex is home to the men's and women's tennis programs. The outdoor facility includes eight courts, an electronic scoreboard, and amphitheater-style seating for spectators.[14] A $1 million renovation of the complex in 2017 will expand the facility to ten courts with an all-new playing surface and spectator facilities.[15]
  • As of 2014, Richmond's men's and women's golf teams call Independence Golf Club in Midlothian, Virginia home.[16] The club was fully renovated in 2014 and includes an 18-hole championship course, a nine-hole par-3 short course, two driving ranges, three putting greens, and a short game practice area.[17]

Club sports[edit]


The University of Richmond Crew was founded in 1891. The team has come and gone several times throughout the 20th century, but is here to stay after a revival in the late 1980s. In 2012, the team moved from its home at Robious Landing Park, to downtown Richmond at Rockett's Landing. The team has constructed a new boathouse, acquired new equipment, and hired a new coach.

Ice hockey[edit]

The University of Richmond's men's ice hockey team plays in the East Coast Collegiate Hockey Association (ECCHA) of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). The University of Richmond's hockey team won the Conference’s Playoff Championship four times in a row (2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006-07 seasons) and again in 2017-2018. They have also gone to the ACHA National Championship tournament multiple times. The team is coached by Jason Block.


The University of Richmond's men's rugby union team plays in the Virginia Rugby Union Division II. In 2007, the team finished in 2nd place, losing to eventual national champion Radford University in the VRU championship game. In each of the past three seasons the Spiders have placed high enough to advance to the first round of playoffs in the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union. In 2008, the Spiders lost to East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. In 2006 and 2007, they lost to Salisbury University of Maryland. In 2011, the team finished in 2nd place, losing to Longwood University. Division opponents of the UR Men's team are James Madison University, the University of Mary Washington, Radford University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Military Institute. The team is coached by Carl Schmitt, Matt Willson, and Sam Hall. The University of Richmond's women's rugby team is also gaining popularity.

Discontinued varsity sports[edit]

Men's soccer[edit]

The history of the program dates to 1975, and the Spiders won or shared three conference titles and advanced to three NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship tournaments (1990, 1998, and 2002). The final permanent head coach of the Spiders was Clint Peay, who led the team from 2009–12, with Leigh Cowlishaw leading the team on an interim basis in its final season. Notable alumni of the Spider program include Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko, defender Craig Ziadie, who was selected 28th overall by D.C. United in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft, and former Virginia Tech head coach Oliver Weiss.

The program played its final game on November 2, 2012, a 3–3 draw against crosstown rival VCU.[18]


  1. ^ "Institutional Identity - Colors". Retrieved February 9, 2018. 
  2. ^ Richmond Official Athletic Site - Traditions - The University of Richmond Spiders
  3. ^ "Richmond Athletics Announces Sports Reconfiguration". Richmond Athletics. September 21, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Richmond Olympians" (PDF). Richmond Athletics. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Richmond Joins Atlantic Sun For Men's Lacrosse" (Press release). University of Richmond Athletics. February 11, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  6. ^ "University of Richmond Set to Add Men's Division I Lacrosse". 
  7. ^ "SoCon, A-Sun Partner to Enhance Lacrosse" (Press release). Southern Conference. January 9, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Robins Stadium". Richmond Athletics. February 9, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Robins Center". Richmond Athletics. July 20, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Robins Center Natatorium". February 9, 2015. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Pitt Field". Richmond Athletics. July 20, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Crenshaw Field". Richmond Athletics. July 20, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Tennis Complex". Richmond Athletics. July 20, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Tennis Facility Construction Begins". Richmond Athletics. Retrieved July 3, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Independence Golf Club". Richmond Athletics. August 2, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Overview – Independence Golf Club". Independence Golf Club. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  18. ^ Woody, Paul (November 3, 2012). "As Richmond soccer ends, players face difficult choices". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 

External links[edit]