St Johns Red Storm
St. John's University presents sixteen athletic programs under the umbrella of St. John's Red Storm. The teams are associated members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I. All teams play from the Big East Conference except one, the fencing team, which participates in the ECAC. The intercollegiate teams include men teams of fencing, tennis, baseball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse and golf along with women teams of softball, tennis, cross country, fencing, basketball, soccer, volleyball, track and field and golf. In order to abide by the Title IX rules, the university was bound to eliminate five athletic teams for men and one for women. The rules supported removal of any such team that could be discriminated on the basis of gender and could be given federal assistance.
Chris Monasch is the athletic director for the teams in red and white. Because of the red uniforms worn by the teams prior to the 1994-1995 school years, the university was known by the name of St. John’s Redmen. This name was an interpretation of the Native American reference from the sixties. The university also had a mascot who was dressed in a Native American costume dress. This ultimately enticed the team to change the name to “Red Storm”. The change in name took place when the colleges and universities were pressurized to take on names that were more receptive to the Native American culture. The students voted a new mascot named Johnny Thunderbird in 2009. The names ‘Redmen’ and ‘Johnnies’ still remain popular amongst fans.
The tradition of playing intercollegiate games has continued for over hundred years now. It initiated for St. John’s University with basketball program for men in 1907. The “Wonder Five” dominated in the early days. The football program began in 1923. In the first eight years of existence, the robust team won the Metropolitan Conference Championship thrice. This was the time when Ray Lynch, football coach and director of athletics had his team play in red uniforms. The local media picked up the name and referred to them as the Red Men. James "Buck" Freeman coached the basketball team for nine years. He graduated in 1927 from the St John’s. The St. John’s Wonder Five gained national dominance for the University. With about sixteen hundred wins, St. John’s ranked at number seven among the programs in the history of college basketball. St. John’s has made twenty-seven NCAA tournament appearances and is the winner of two Wooden Awards as a national player. Six members of the program made it to the College Basketball Hall of Fame and fifty-nine players sent to the National Basketball Association. The athletic team holds the record for majority of ‘NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship’ appearances. St John’s has made appearances in twenty-seven National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and six championships. They also received a Helms Athletic Foundation Championship award.
The St. John's baseball program began full throttle when Walter McLaughlin took charge as the director of athletics. By reaching the College World Series in 1949, 1960, 1966 and 1968, the team was recognized as one of the best in the country. The women’s program was added in the academic year 1974-75 with the sports tennis, fencing, basketball and swimming. Belson Stadium became home to soccer programs for both men and women with a seating capacity of approximately twenty three hundred fans. The teams appeared in the NCAA College Cup four times in the years 1996, 2001, 2003 and 2008 and triumphed the ‘1996 NCAA Men's Division I Soccer Championship’. Additionally, teams also made it to NCAA post-season tournaments sixteen times including a streak of fifteen from 1992 to 2006. The Red Storm earned seven Big East Tournament titles under the leadership of Coach Masur. In addition, the teams also won regular season crowns six times and appeared in Big East tournaments eighteen times, back to back. These vigorous athletic teams are visiting the Madison Square Garden to entertain the audience with an exceptional set of games. Good seats tend to run out quickly, reserve them by getting St Johns Red Storm tickets as soon as possible. The venue has a seating capacity to accommodate approximately eighteen thousand sports fans.