Dear Alumni, Parents, Colleagues, and Friends of UNH:
Last year we were witness to the most successful competitive campaign in UNH history. I am proud to report that 2008-09 was similarly significant and highly successful as well. Across the nation everyone in every endeavor has struggled with the economic downturn, and UNH has been hit equally hard by the economy. While the institution and intercollegiate athletics has struggled to overcome a myriad of financial setbacks, our programs have risen above the fray and exhibited great resiliency. Across the board every coach and student-athlete has performed at the highest level regardless of any perceived or real disadvantages. Everyone is justifiably proud of the effort that was evident throughout the year.
Academically our students have once again exhibited their commitment to the classroom. They garnered many academic distinctions nationally, regionally and institutionally. At our very core the academic excellence achieved by UNH’s student-athletes is the foundation from which everything else emanates.
An additional area of emphasis in 2008-09 was our “re-commitment” to community service. This past year our student-athletes accrued over 3100 hours of service to the surrounding communities. We have had a strong history of such service, and it will be an even stronger point of emphasis going forward.
Competitively our programs have duplicated much of last year’s accomplishments which represented the most successful year in history. Clearly we are in the midst of a period of broad-based success on the fields, courts, and ice… Six of our teams went on to NCAA post-season play repeating last year’s achievement which represented the most ever in post-season play. At winter’s end UNH was in 52nd place in the NACDA Directors’ Cup standings. Once again UNH finished in the top 100 (78th overall) out of 350 Division I universities in the NACDA Director’s Cup. The Directors’ Cup is the NCAA’s “barometer” of broad-based Division I programmatic success. UNH was one of the highest-ranking public land grants in the Northeast with about every institution ahead of us representing a major conference or having many more resources. This is tangible evidence of the unwavering commitment, work ethic, and culture of success which embodies UNH athletics. Even more astounding is the fact that most every one of the institutions ahead of us represents the resource rich conferences such as the Big Ten, PAC-10, Big 12, SEC, Big East, ACC, etc.
Within this report you will find team-by-team results and success stories…what isn’t so evident in those results is the “ethos” that runs through every coach, student-athlete, and staff member. The culture that has been perpetuated at UNH not only embraces challenge, it welcomes it. Regardless of the odds or shortcomings, our programs always compete with great pride, integrity and class. It has become “who we are.”
During these difficult economic times, where every day presents a challenge, it is incumbent on all of us in higher education to produce the leaders of tomorrow. At UNH we take seriously our role as educators and mentors in the quest to produce individuals who will serve society well. While the accolades and accomplishments are many, the most important work is not so evident. Every day and in many ways more than 500 student-athletes are being developed into tomorrow’s leaders. That is the most important accomplishment of all!