clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Top 10 Years In UConn Huskies History

Counting down the greatest calendar years in the illustrious history of UConn sports.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The history of UConn sports includes incredible accomplishments spanning decades of competition, so choosing the Top 10 Years In UConn Huskies History was quite the endeavor!

To get the ball rolling, I set out to determine which UConn programs to include in my research and started with the Huskies teams that had won national titles. The women’s basketball (11), field hockey (5), men’s basketball (4), and men’s soccer (3 including 1 from NSCAA) programs have all achieved this milestone so automatically qualified as a result. Other characteristics that I considered were national relevance, popularity among fans, and recent success, which landed the baseball, men’s hockey, women’s soccer, and football programs within the scope of my research as well.

Another necessary step was to develop a system to gauge the collective success of the Huskies within a given calendar year. It was obvious that this assessment would be based on an analysis of the historical performance of the eight programs mentioned above, but what data to use and exactly how to use it required some contemplation. I initially considered an extensive scoring system that would go something like this: UConn teams would be awarded points for national championships, conference titles, NCAA tournament appearances, winning seasons, and other categories, with loftier accomplishments garnering more points. Then, the team points would be totaled for each year, and the year with the most points would be the winner while the years coming in second through tenth place would take that same position on the list.

This method became too messy due to different postseason structures for different teams and other variables, so I settled on a less-quantitative approach and once again utilized national titles as a determining factor. In the system used for this list, national championships carry the most weight, with conference titles, postseason success, and sometimes strong regular season records helping to separate one year from another. I applied these parameters while researching the UConn programs I selected and compiled a slew of prolific years in Huskies sports history. From there, I whittled down the options to ten before ranking the remaining contenders in this list you’re about to enjoy!

Without further ado, it’s my pleasure to present the Top 10 Years In UConn Huskies History!


#10: 1948

The first national championship in UConn sports history was won by the men’s soccer team in 1948. Since the NCAA did not start awarding national championships in the sport until 1954, this title was granted by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The Huskies (pictured below) completed a perfect 11-0 season on their way to the championship and made their mark on the national soccer scene less than a decade after the program’s founding in 1939. Despite the fact that a majority of UConn sports had yet to be founded at this time, this first national championship put University of Connecticut athletics on the map and made 1948 a year worth remembering.

It’s also worth noting that the men’s basketball program won the Yankee Conference regular-season title and the baseball team had a .867 winning percentage, further cementing this year’s place in the top 10.

UConn Baseball: 13-2 record; playing as an Independent

UConn Field Hockey: N/A - program founded in 1974

UConn Football: 3-5 record; New England Conference member

UConn Men’s Basketball: Yankee Conference Regular Season Championship; 17-6 record

UConn Men’s Ice Hockey: N/A - program founded in 1960

UConn Men’s Soccer: NSCAA National Championship; 11-0 record

UConn Women’s Basketball: N/A - program founded in 1974

UConn Women’s Soccer: N/A - program founded in 1979


#9. 1995

After claiming both the Big East regular season and tournament titles, the 1994-95 UConn women’s basketball team (pictured below) entered the Big Dance undefeated. They then proceeded to run the table en route to a perfect 35-0 season and the program’s first national title. With the win, head coach Geno Auriemma and star player Rebecca Lobo became household names and paved the way for the Huskies’ dynasty that has forever changed women’s college basketball.

In addition to the success of Geno’s historic squad, the UConn men’s basketball team under Coach Jim Calhoun also had a season to remember when they won the Big East regular season title and made a deep March Madness run before getting knocked out in the Elite Eight. The two basketball outfits were so good, in fact, that UConn became the first school in NCAA history to have both their men’s and women’s teams ranked number one in the country at the same time.

In addition to the strong basketball showing, 1995 also saw the UConn women’s soccer team win the Big East regular season and make it all the way to the NCAA quarterfinals, while the football team went 8-3 en route to a second-place finish in the Yankee Conference. These collective accomplishments earn 1995 the #9 spot, with its multiple conference championships giving it the edge over 1948.

UConn Baseball: 13-30-1 record

UConn Field Hockey: 11-7 record

UConn Football: 8-3 record; #2 in Yankee Conference

UConn Men’s Basketball: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; 28-5 record; lost in NCAA Tournament Elite 8

UConn Men’s Ice Hockey: 15-7-5 record; lost in ECAC East (D-III) Tournament semifinals

UConn Men’s Soccer: 7-11-2 record

UConn Women’s Basketball: NCAA National Championship; Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 35-0 record

UConn Women’s Soccer: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; 19-3-2 record; lost in NCAA Tournaments quarterfinals


#8. 2011

Any true UConn fan will associate 2011 with Kemba Walker and the improbable winning streak the men’s basketball team went on en route to a national championship (shown below). The Huskies went on an improbable five-day run to win the Big East Tournament, then followed that up with an even more impressive performance on their way to the program’s third national title. “Cardiac Kemba” fueled the Huskies’ fire and became immortalized in NCAA basketball lore after breaking ankles and hitting clutch shots throughout the postseason.

Coach Calhoun’s squad wasn’t the only UConn team to have success in 2011, however. The women’s basketball team won Big East regular-season and tournament titles before falling in the NCAA Final Four, while the baseball and field hockey programs also finished first in the Big East regular season before getting knocked out in their respective NCAA tournaments. An NCAA quarterfinal appearance and strong record by the men’s soccer team can’t be ignored either, helping 2011 push past 1995 to come in at #8.

UConn Baseball: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; 45-20-1 record; lost in NCAA Super Regionals

UConn Field Hockey: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; 21-3 record; lost in NCAA Tournament semifinals

UConn Football: 5-7 record; #6 in Big East Conference

UConn Men’s Basketball: NCAA National Championship; Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 32-9 record

UConn Men’s Ice Hockey: 16-19-4 record; lost in Atlantic Hockey Conference Tournament semifinals

UConn Men’s Soccer: 19-3-3 record; lost in NCAA Tournament quarterfinals

UConn Women’s Basketball: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 36-2 record; lost in NCAA Tournament Final Four

UConn Women’s Soccer: 9-8-2 record


#7. 2016

After winning the American Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles, the UConn women’s basketball team ran the table in the NCAA Tournament en route to a 38-0 undefeated season and their fourth-straight national championship. In the process, the talented trio of Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck, and Moriah Jefferson (pictured below) closed out their impressive college careers by winning their fourth national title in four years and helping the Huskies reach new heights while further cementing themselves as UConn legends.

The women’s soccer and field hockey squads followed in the women’s basketball team’s footsteps to win both the regular-season and conference championships in 2016, with field hockey making it all the way to the NCAA semifinals before their national championship aspirations were extinguished. The men’s basketball and baseball teams also took home AAC Tournament titles, helping 2016 edge out 2011 for the #7 spot.

UConn Baseball: American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship; 38-25 record; lost in NCAA Tournament Regionals

UConn Field Hockey: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 23-2 record; lost in NCAA Tournament semifinals

UConn Football: 3-9 record; tied for #4 in American Athletic Conference

UConn Men’s Basketball: American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship; 25-11 record; lost in NCAA Tournament Round of 32

UConn Men’s Ice Hockey: 11-21-4 record; lost in opening round of Hockey East Conference Tournament

UConn Men’s Soccer: 11-7-1 record

UConn Women’s Basketball: NCAA National Championship; American Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship; American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship; 38-0 record

UConn Women’s Soccer: American Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship; American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship; 19-3-1; lost in second round of NCAA Tournament


#6. 1999

To say UConn men’s basketball had a special 1998-99 season would be a drastic understatement. Coach Calhoun’s talented team won both the Big East regular season and tournament titles before crushing the NCAA Tournament competition en route to a trip to the national championship. Despite entering the game as an underdog to dreaded Duke, the Huskies beat the odds and downed the Blue Devils (shown below) behind the inspired play of Rip Hamilton, Khalid El-Amin, Kevin Freeman, Ricky Moore, and a strong cast of contributors. This win gave the program their first national championship and helped Jim Calhoun earn some long-overdue recognition as one of the top coaches in the college game.

1999 was also a big year for a slew of other UConn teams as the field hockey, men’s soccer, and women’s basketball squads all took home Big East regular season and tournament titles before making deeps runs in their NCAA tournaments. On top of that, the women’s soccer team finished first in the Big East regular season before getting knocked out in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. Add in a 20-10-4 record from the men’s ice hockey team and 1999 has a resume worthy of our #6 slot.

UConn Baseball: 27-24 record

UConn Field Hockey: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 23-1 record; lost in NCAA semifinals

UConn Football: 4-7 record; #6 in Atlantic-10 Conference

UConn Men’s Basketball: NCAA National Championship; Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 32-4 record

UConn Men’s Ice Hockey: 20-10-4 record; lost in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals

UConn Men’s Soccer: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 19-5 record; lost in NCAA Tournament semifinals

UConn Women’s Basketball: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 29-5 record; lost in NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen

UConn Women’s Soccer: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; 17-8 record; lost in NCAA Tournament quarterfinals


#5. 1981

The first time two major UConn programs won a national championship in the same year was 1981, with the field hockey and men’s soccer teams reigning supreme over their respective sports. The field hockey title was especially memorable as it was the school’s first-ever NCAA national championship and the first field hockey national championship in NCAA history. It also just so happened to have taken place inside the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium in Storrs. The men’s soccer title (shown below) was quite a milestone as well, as it served as the program’s first NCAA national championship since their 1948 national title was presented by the NSCAA as mentioned in year #10 above.

Other than the field hockey and men’s soccer teams, 1981 was a disappointing year for the other UConn programs, with the only other achievement worth mentioning being the men’s basketball going 20-9 before losing in the second round of the NIT. While there’s no denying 1981 is a huge year in Huskies history, the lack of success experienced by a majority of the UConn teams holds it back from climbing higher than #5.

UConn Baseball: 24-19-2 record; Eastern College Athletic Conference member

UConn Field Hockey: NCAA National Championship; 15-2-3 record

UConn Football: 4-7 record; #5 in Yankee Conference

UConn Men’s Basketball: 20-9 record; lost in NIT 2nd Round

UConn Men’s Ice Hockey: 5-16-0 record; Eastern College Athletic Conference East (D-III) member

UConn Men’s Soccer: NCAA National Championship; 20-3-2 record

UConn Women’s Basketball: 16-14 record

UConn Women’s Soccer: Program elevated to varsity sport in 1979 but NCAA Tournament did not begin until 1982


#4. 2013

Another year in which UConn claimed two national championships was 2013 when the field hockey and women’s basketball teams won their game’s highest prize. After failing to win any conference regular season or tournament titles, both teams rallied and played their best when it mattered most en route to their respective titles. Field hockey (pictured below) finished their historic season 22-4 while women’s basketball cut down the nets after putting the final touches on a spectacular 35-4 campaign.

The main reason 2013 eked out 1981 for the #4 spot on this list is thanks in part to the performance of the baseball team in 2013. During that decisive season, Hook C won the Big East Tournament title, giving 2013 the conference championship that eluded all UConn programs in 1981. Adding even more icing on the cake for 2013 was a 20-win season by the men’s basketball squad and a trip to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals for men’s soccer.

UConn Baseball: Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 35-28 record

UConn Field Hockey: NCAA National Championship; 22-4 record

UConn Football: 3-9 record

UConn Men’s Basketball: 20-10 record

UConn Men’s Ice Hockey: 19-14-4 record; lost in Atlantic Hockey Tournament semifinals

UConn Men’s Soccer: 12-3-8 record; lost in NCAA Tournament quarterfinals

UConn Women’s Basketball: NCAA National Championship; 35-4 record

UConn Women’s Soccer: 12-9 record


#3. 2000

Y2K was not only a big year for Planet Earth, it was a monumental one for UConn athletics. The year 2000 saw the women’s basketball team (pictured above) flirt with an undefeated season en route to a national championship, the men’s soccer squad (shown below) take down their second NCAA title (3rd overall) after a 20-3-2 campaign, and a slew of other programs achieve success while wearing the blue and white of the Huskies.

In terms of conference titles, let’s just say a lot of banners were hung in Storrs thanks to the Huskies’ success in the year 2000. As you might assume from their 36-1 record and national championship, the women’s basketball squad won both the Big East regular-season and tournament titles that year. The field hockey team also completed this difficult feat but couldn’t keep the magic going and failed to win the NCAA Tournament title.

As mentioned previously, the men’s soccer team took home the top trophy in 2000 and did so after winning the Big East regular-season championship. Additionally, the women’s soccer team won their conference’s regular-season title but lost in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. The men’s hockey program did its part as well by taking home the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament title, while strong seasons from the baseball (32-7) and men’s basketball (25-10) teams also played a role in the year 2000 comfortably claiming the #3 spot.

UConn Baseball: 32-7 record

UConn Field Hockey: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 16-7 record

UConn Football: 3-8 record; playing as an Independent

UConn Men’s Basketball: 25-10 record; lost in NCAA Tournament Round of 32

UConn Men’s Ice Hockey: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament Championship; 19-16-1 record; season ended after conference tournament due to MAAC postseason ban

UConn Men’s Soccer: NCAA National Championship; Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; 20-3-2 record

UConn Women’s Basketball: NCAA National Championship; Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 36-1 record

UConn Women’s Soccer: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; 17-7-2 record; lost in NCAA Tournament quarterfinals


#2. 2004

Both UConn basketball programs had historic seasons in 2004. The women’s squad (31-4) claimed the Big East regular season title and national championship while the men’s team (32-6) won the Big East Tournament before also cutting down the nets as national champs. UConn’s dual national championship was the first time in NCAA history that a school won both the men’s and women’s titles in the same year and gave credence to claims that the Storrs, Connecticut is “The Mecca of College Basketball.”

In addition to the basketball teams, 2004 saw a lot of UConn’s major sports programs find success. The field hockey squad (20-2) won the Big East regular season and tournament titles, the men’s soccer and women’s soccer teams both won their respective conference tournaments, and the football team went 8-4 including a win in the Motor City Bowl that capped off one of the program’s best seasons in recent history.

With plenty of UConn sports achievements to celebrate in 2004, this incredible year comes in at #2 on our list. While the magnitude of the dual basketball national titles certainly makes it a contender for the top year in UConn sports history, especially in the hearts of the many Huskies fans who attended the “Parade of Champions” (shown below), UConn’s other top programs didn’t win enough championships for 2004 to take the top spot.

UConn Baseball: 26-29-1 record

UConn Field Hockey: Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 20-2 record

UConn Football: Motor City Bowl victory; 8-4 record; #5 in Big East Conference

UConn Men’s Basketball: NCAA National Championship; Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 32-6 record

UConn Men’s Ice Hockey: 12-16-7 record; lost in Atlantic Hockey Tournament quarterfinals

UConn Men’s Soccer: Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 12-8-3 record; lost in NCAA Tournament early round

UConn Women’s Basketball: NCAA National Championship; Big East Conference Regular Season Championship; 31-4 record

UConn Women’s Soccer: Big East Conference Tournament Championship; 18-7-1 record; lost in third-round of NCAA Tournament


#1. 2014

What’s better than UConn winning two national championships in the same year? How about UConn winning three national championships in the same year! That’s exactly what the Huskies did in 2014 when the men’s and women’s basketball teams won dual national titles for the second time and the field hockey squad got in the mix with their second-straight national championship.

The women’s basketball team truly had a season to remember (shown below) where they went 40-0 and claimed both the American Athletic Conference regular season and tournament title before cruising to yet another NCAA Tournament victory for the prestigious program. The men’s basketball squad (pictured above) may not have won any conference titles in 2014, but they epitomized the spirit of March Madness and cut down the nets after making an NCAA Tournament run for the ages. The field hockey team took a similar path to their national championship as they failed to win the conference regular season or tournament but ended their 22-2 season by hoisting their sports’ most coveted trophy.

As if the title trifecta those UConn sports programs achieved in 2014 wasn’t enough to claim the #1 spot on our list already, the women’s soccer squad also won the American Athletic Conference Tournament title and their first round game in the NCAA Tournament. These accomplishments are the cherry on top of a magnificent year for the Huskies and help 2014 earn the title as the top year in UConn sports history!

UConn Baseball: 27-31 record

UConn Field Hockey: NCAA National Championship; 22-2 record

UConn Football: 2-10 record; #10 in American Athletic Conference

UConn Men’s Basketball: NCAA National Championship; 32-8 record

UConn Men’s Ice Hockey: 18-14-4 record; lost in Atlantic Hockey Tournament quarterfinals

UConn Men’s Soccer: 10-6-3 record

UConn Women’s Basketball: NCAA National Championship; American Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship; American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship; 40-0 record

UConn Women’s Soccer: American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship; 15-5-5 record; lost in second round of NCAA Tournament


Thanks for checking out the Top 10 Years In UConn Huskies History! I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane and encourage you to share your thoughts on the list by leaving a comment on the blog or joining the conversation on social media via The UConn Blog Twitter and Facebook pages!