FDU's Division I and Division III athletic programs have enjoyed remarkable successes, both on and off the field, in the last five years. At the Teaneck-Hackensack Campus, the University's Division I program has continued to outpace its competitors and is in the midst of a yearlong study dedicated to further enhancing its offerings. Slated for completion in February 1997, the study is being undertaken as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) certification program. The NCAA Committee on Athletics Certification will determine the University's certification status based on FDU's self-study and an evaluation team visit.
Gerald Oswald, director of athletics at Teaneck-Hackensack, said, "Our goal is to enhance FDU's rich tradition of quality athletic programs. Among our priorities are upgrading our facilities, further raising our winning percentage, increasing our alumni support and fan base and enhancing our rivalries with top-quality institutions."
At the Florham-Madison Campus, the Division III athletic program has benefited greatly from the strategic planning moves inspired by President Mertz. Athletic director Bill Klika said that in the last five years, "President Mertz has done a great deal to create a positive environment on campus. That environment fosters a feeling of pride that is vital to a successful athletic program. Not only have I seen increased school spirit on campus but, as I talked to high school coaches, teachers, students and parents, I saw a positive attitude toward the University."
Klika, who this year stepped down as head football coach, was closely associated with one of the highlights of not just the last five years, but the history of FDU athletics, the play of Vic Moncato. A wide receiver/punter/punt returner, Moncato was a two-time finalist for the Melberger and Gagliardi Awards (Division III Player of the Year) and was the first Devil player to grace the pages of Sports Illustrated. Moncato led the Devils to their first-ever national ranking and an appearance in the 1993 ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) championship. The Devils football squad also appeared in back-to-back Pride Bowls, an annual benefit game sponsored by Newark's Project Pride.
The baseball and men's tennis teams last year won the Mid-Atlantic Conference Championships and the diamond champs went to the NCAA championships. Also, both the men's and women's hoops teams have been perennial conference title contenders.
The addition of women's soccer in 1994 brought the number of Division III sports to 13. Women's lacrosse will be added next year and also being planned is the addition of men's and women's swimming teams and men's and women's cross country squads.
"We are reaching to become one of the top Division III programs in the country and one that is marked by integrity, class and fine student athletes," Klika said. "In the next five years, people are going to be more and more positive about FDU, and you will see the athletes cited for successes on and off the field."
In addition, many FDU athletes have continued to excel following their collegiate days. From Major League Baseball to Major League Soccer to the Olympics, former FDU standouts can be found striving to be the best. With the tremendous enthusiasm surrounding the Division I and Division III athletic programs, more and more FDU stars will be catapulted into future glory.New Looks for All Teams
New Knights and Devils logos were introduced in 1995 and proved popular with players and fans. A chess-piece knight was developed as the Division I athletics' signature mark, while the Devils now sport a sinister-looking version of the prince of darkness. The new logos are identical in look and typestyle. The FDU-Madison teams dropped the "Jersey" from "Jersey Devils" and are now known as "Devils."