History of Regis Athletics
Founded in 1927 as a Catholic liberal arts institution for women, Regis College did not begin its first athletic program until 1982. Regis began competitive sports in the late 1940s. Edwina Hughes and Olive Nolan started a basketball team in 1948; the team played against Emmanuel, Clark, and Newton College of the Sacred Heart.
Field hockey was started in 1950 with participation in play days at Wellesley College and Jackson College (Tufts) being common through 1953. Field hockey disappeared in the 1950s and was replaced by volleyball. Volleyball began in 1955 with early competition in play days, but moved to play against other colleges in 1962.
From 1962-1967 marked the existence of the sailing program. The current sports era began with the planning for the new athletic complex and the hiring of Dave Cowens as the first athletic director. The present facility opened in November 1981. Cowens marked the opening of the facility with the First Annual Regis College Sports Festival, which hosted Brandeis, Mt. Holyoke, and Wellesley. The teams competed in basketball, cross-country and swimming.
Under Cowens began the Mother Regis Award, given to the most outstanding senior athlete. Ellen Beaumont '82 was the first recipient of the award.
Judy Burling would become director of athletics in 1982 and serve almost 20 years. In that time Regis College would join the Commonwealth Coast Conference and National Collegiate Athletic Association.
In 1991, head coach Donna Tanner and the women's basketball program made its first appearance in the Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship. The then Beacons, would win in 1991, and return to the CCC finals three other times (1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96), winning back-to-back titles during 1993-1995.
Also during the mid-1990s, softball made its first CCC Championship appearance in 1995. The Beacons would also win the finals that year.
The Beacons name stood until 1996 when a school-wide contest to rename the teams produced the Pride as its new mascot. To symbolize the Pride, a lioness was drawn and became the visual representation of Regis College Athletics.
However, the mark did not become a prominent fixture until 2001.
The "Lioness" represented the all-women's institution for six years when Regis College made the decision to become a co-educational institution in 2007. With the introduction of men to the community, a lion was added to the lioness.
In 2009 the visual mark changed again. The Pride mascot did not change, only the visual representation. Each mark, and its years used are included.
The first two men's programs to be introduced were basketball, coached by Nathan Hager, and swimming and diving, coached by Mindy Williams. Williams was also the coach for the women's program.
Beginning in 2008, Jon Keefe became the men's soccer head coach, and he and the team took the field as the third male varsity sport. In March of 2009 Regis College began construction of its outdoor facilities. The facilities included an eight-lane track, synthetic turf field lined for lacrosse, field hockey, and soccer. It also included a new softball diamond and six tennis courts. In 2009, men's volleyball, lacrosse, and tennis joined varsity status.
*History of athletics was compiled by various sources.