U of Wisconsin-Green Bay 2014 College Champions
The University of Wisconsin- Green Bay won the 2014 USA Curling College Championship by defeating Villanova University at the Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine, Minnesota the weekend of March 14-16. Curlers from sixteen colleges and universities took part in the first college championship sanctioned by the US Curling Association. Villanova and UW-Green Bay were joined in the Final Four by Carroll University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The MIT team was making their second consecutive Final Four.
The Championship culminated a season that saw college curling soar to new heights of activity. Over 30 schools took part in 64 college curling events during the 2013-14 season, including eight bonspiels and 23 head to head events. Each of these events earned their schools points, and the top schools at the end of the year received an invitation to the Championship.
Knowing that many schools were travelling long distances to attend this event, we tried to provide as many perks as possible on our limited budget. This year all schools invited to the Championship received a unique event patch. Nancy Myers (advisor, University of Nebraska Curling Club) organized a formal Opening Ceremony including Piper, walk on by the participants, and ceremonial toast (non-alcoholic).Two on-site meals were provided to the participants and a voluntary Skills Clinic run by Joe Murphy was held for teams during the draws when there were not actively playing. I also want to express my appreciation to Joe for assisting with the Draw Shot Challenge measurements and acting as our de facto Event Official.
We would like to thank the US Curling Association for providing funding for this championship. The 2013-14 College Curling season also saw several important corporate sponsorships that made many of the extra features of the 2014 Championship possible.
These sponsors include: Brooms Up Curling Supply, who provided 6 brooms to the school of the winning Championship logo design (congratulations Nebraska), Taco Bell which provided an unrestricted cash stipend for the championship event and Taco Bell Gift Cards to every participant, and Gabrielle Coleman who provided copies of her new book "Introduction to Curling Strategy" to participants of the "Final Four".
In return for their donations, the sponsors logo appeared on; the Banners that were presented to each of the four finalists, on the College Curling USA website, and in the 2014 USA Curling College Championship Program
Looking ahead to the 2014-15 season, we expect several new schools coming into the sport, especially at facilities with new dedicated ice such as the Ft Wayne and Triangle Curling Clubs, and continued growth in both traditional and non-traditional regions of the country.