Athletics have been important at Bentley as connecting force for the school. From the first intramural sports, to the sports teams and clubs of today, athletics have brought Bentley together.
Exhibit prepared by Rebecca Sandler
Athletics at the Beginning
Bentley College in Boston was limited in its athletics. The school was limited in its athletics, because the school had limited space on its Boston campus, and many students were busy working commuters. . The main sports were intramural bowling, basketball, football, and tennis. The school also hosted an annual Field Day, where students played games, ran races, and went swimming and boating.
In October of 1979, Bentley joined with six other college and universities (American International, Assumption, Bryant, Hartford, Springfield and Stonehill) to form the Northeast Conference. The initial sports conference included men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s soccer, softball and women’s tennis. Al Shields, then director of Athletics at Bentley, became the first conference commissioner. As time went on some sports were added, such as football, lacrosse, swimming and diving, cross country, track and field, and field hockey. The conference later changed membership from the original 7 to 10, with some original members dropping out and being replaced.
For more information- http://www.northeast10.org/information/about_ne10/timeline
Baseball began at Bentley in the 1969 season. The field was the first on-campus sports area. The first field is near Fenway Hall. The current field is Robert DeFelice Field. Robert DeFelice has been the coach since 1969, and is the longest serving coach in the country.
The baseball team has led Division II in home runs in 1996 and 2001.
Basketball was one of the first sports at Bentley. It operated as a club team from the 1930’s to 1963.From 1963 to 1972 the Bentley Falcons were a division III team. Since 1973, the Falcons have been a division II team. From the 1930’s to 1973 the teams played in rented facilities. In 1973 the Dana Center was opened, and gave a home to the Basketball Team.The men’s basketball team has a great record, and sent players to the NBA.
The women’s basketball team started in 1974. The women’s team has had a series of awards from 1982 onward, including All-American. The 2014 season, was a “perfect season” with a NCAA Division II national championship . Bentley women’s basketball has appeared in the NCAA Div. II tournament a record 32 times with 14 Elite Eight appearances since 1989. Bentley women’s team has won more game all-time than any other Division II women’s basketball program.
Bowling was one of the first inter-mural sports at Bentley. A weekly bowling match was, for some Bentley students, the only extracurricular activity they had while attending school on Boylston Street. An annual awards banquet was also held in the 1950’s. Bowling lost popularity as time went on.
Cheerleading has been around in varying degrees from the early 1960’s onward. They have reformulated a number of times, and performed at the first Bentley Homecoming in 1975. They became a club in 1995.
Men’s cross country was one of the first five sports offered at Bentley.
Women’s cross country started in the 1980’s.
The Dance club began in the 1970’s. The dance team competed in 2005 in a national championship.
The field hockey team was one of the first women’s teams at Bentley. It began in 1973. The team has had many season championships. The team won Bentley’s first NCAA Division II National Championship in 2001.
Football started as a club sport in the 1970’s. Around 1971-1972, the Football Club advertised in the school newspaper and at campus events to raise the money needed to start an official team. Their success led us to the first Homecoming game, which was held in 1975.
Football became a varsity team in 1988. The football team played the NCAA Division II playoff games in 2003 and 2004.
Golf was one of the first five sports at Bentley. The sport has had a continuous presence through the years.
Hockey became a sport in the late 1960’s. Bentley Hockey started playing in ECAC Division III in 1977. Bentley Hockey started playing Division I in 1999.
Men’s Lacrosse started in the mid 1980’s. They started playing in tournament in 1993. The men’s team has had many players on the All-Northeast Team, and competed in the post-season in the ECAC Tournament and the Northeast 10 Tournament. Bentley won the Northeast 10 Tournament in 1995, 1996 and 1998.
Women’s Lacrosse started in the late 1990’s. They started playing in tournament in 1999. The women’s team has had many players on the All-Northeast Team, and competed in the post-season in the Northeast 10 Tournament.
Bentley’University had martial arts clubs during the 1980’s and 1990’s. They were active on campus and involved with health fairs.
The Bentley Racquetball club was a short lived club in the 1980’s.
Rugby started in the early 2000’s. Bentley men’s and women’s teams play for the Rugby Northeast Conference.
The men’s team has won division championships from 2006-2008, 2011 and 2012.
Skiing is one of the first sports at Bentley. “Ski trips were often a part of the social calendar for Bentley students in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, so the club sport may have evolved from there.”
The ski club was competitive for the 1960’s and 1970’s. The current ski and snowboard club was founded in 1995.
Men’s soccer began in the 1970’s. The team has sent many players to the All-Northeast team, and competed well in the Northeast 10 conference many years. Bentley won the Northeast 10 Tournament in 1992, 1993, and 1994.
Women’s soccer began in 1990’s. The team has sent many players to the All-Northeast team, and competed well in the Northeast 10 conference many years. Bentley won the Northeast 10 Tournament in 1998. Bentley won the ECAC Division II Tournament in 2001.
Softball was one of the first women’s sports at Bentley. The softball team started in the early 1970’s.
The Swimming and Diving team started in the 1990’s.
Men’s Tennis was one of the first sports at Bentley. The tennis team spent its first few years without a home court to practice on.
Women’s Tennis started in 1977. A large number of players were awarded All Academic team.
Men’s track started in 1970.
Women’s track started in 1984.
Ultimate Frisbee began in the late 1990’s.
Men’s Ultimate Frisbee competes in the Metro Boston Conference in the New England Division of USA Ultimate. The men’s team won the 2014 Division III national championship.
Women’s Ultimate Frisbee became a separate club sport in 2010. The women’s team has competed in Nationals multiple times.
Volleyball started at Bentley in 1985. The team has often been in the top three of the region, and has competed in the NCAA Division II tournament.