The tradition of athletics is deeply rooted at Babson College, dating all the way back to the spring of 1920. The size and stature of Babson athletics has grown significantly since Babson Institute faced the Babson Statistical Organization in baseball nearly 100 years ago, as evidenced by the Beavers’ five national championship teams returning to campus as part of the College’s Centennial Celebration on September 20.
On an evening that included inviting back more than three decades of conference champions across Babson’s 22 programs, the highlight of the event was celebrating Babson’s NCAA® Division III national championship teams. The 1975, 1979, and 1980 men’s soccer, 1984 men’s ice hockey, and 2017 men’s basketball squads were all inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame as part of a historic ceremony.
“Having our five national champion teams inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the Centennial Celebration was truly a special night for Babson athletics,” said Pamela P. and Brian M. Barefoot Director of Athletics and Athletics Advancement Mike Lynch. “Winning a national championship is a rare and historic accomplishment, and to have so many of the distinguished individuals that achieved the ultimate victory back to celebrate was inspiring.”
Although Babson’s first varsity competition came in 1931, a loss by the men’s basketball team to the Wollaston Ramblers, Babson’s success on the national stage would have to wait until 1975 when the men’s soccer program went 17-0-1 on the way to capturing the College’s first Division III national championship. The Beavers won a second national title in 1979 and repeated in 1980 with a thrilling victory on what is now Hartwell-Rogers Field, named for legendary coaches and Hall of Famers Bob Hartwell and Bill Rogers ’73.
While men’s ice hockey’s 1984 national championship gave Babson four titles in nine years, the men’s basketball championship in 2017 has come to define one of the most successful eras of athletics at Babson. Since 2014, the Beavers have earned 40 national tournament berths with six programs advancing to the round of 16 in their respective tournaments. This list includes field hockey becoming the first women’s program to reach a Division III Final Four in 2016, women’s volleyball advancing to the national quarterfinals in 2018, and baseball reaching the 2019 College World Series after two straight NCAA® regional final appearances.
“The growth and success of our programs has been outstanding,” Lynch said. “It’s an incredibly exciting time for our department with so many of our programs finding success on the national stage, which is a testament to the work of our coaches and student-athletes.”
The Babson Hall of Fame Centennial induction class brought together the greats of three programs that have reached the pinnacle of Division III athletics. While affording all five teams the chance to reminisce about their journeys as we celebrate each of their achievements, the historic event serves as inspiration for the student-athletes who continue to strive toward winning championships of their own.
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