This is a high-level overview of what you need to know about the present and future of the UMass football program.
The University of Massachusetts sports teams are nicknamed the Minutemen and Minutewomen. The colors worn by the athletic teams are maroon and white, with the primary color being maroon. The university’s mascot is Sam the Minuteman — who has been featured on numerous ESPN SportsCenter commercials.
A Great College Town
Amherst is consistently ranked as one of the best college towns. In 2012, U.S. News and World Report ranked Amherst amongst the “Top 10 Great College Towns in America.” From the picturesque scenery, to the downtown restaurants and bars — and lets not forget the high-level classroom learning — Amherst is a world class location when it comes to higher education.
The University of Massachusetts combines the amenities of a large top tier public research university with a smaller college town atmosphere.
Brand New Athletic Facilities
The university is providing ongoing investment to the athletic programs and facilities. This includes a brand new football building attached to McGuirk Stadium.
The university is also set to construct a new athletics facility dubbed the UMass Champions Center.
The new facility will include athletic practice facilities and a weight room.
Pro Quality Stadium
Massachusetts plays all home football games at Gillette Stadium, the home of the NFL’s New England Patriots.
The stadium can seat more than 68,000 fans. It is far and away the most high-end football stadium in the region. The UMass players have a dedicated locker room facility at Gillette. It’s the home of Massachusetts football thanks to a partnership with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Big Time Scheduling
The University of Massachusetts is one of only a handful of FBS programs in the Northeast. Further developing regional football rivalries is important in order to engage the local fanbase.
In 2012, UMass will visit East Hartford to play Uconn. In 2014, Boston College will make a trip to Gillette Stadium. In 2016 and 2018, Massachusetts will make return trips to Chestnut Hill to play BC. Additionally, through the MAC schedule, UMass will play the University of Buffalo multiple times over this time period.
Beyond the Northeast, Massachusetts has scheduled numerous “BCS” conference teams going forward. This ambitious schedule provides a big stage for the Minutemen players.
The first game played at Gillette Stadium during the FBS era will be against the Big Ten’s Indiana Hoosiers.
After nearly beating the Wolverines in their previous trip to the big house, UMass will once again head to Ann Harbor in September.
Massachusetts will have its first FBS contest with an SEC opponent when the Minutemen travel to Nashville to face Vanderbilt in October.
UMass will open up play in 2013 with a trip to Camp Randall. There they will face the Big Ten’s Wisconsin Badgers.
The first SEC team to make a return trip to Gillette will be Vanderbilt, during the 2013 season.
The Pac-12’s Colorado Buffaloes will take on the Minutemen at Gillette in 2014.
Two weeks later, Massachusetts will head to Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions.
To begin October, the Minutemen will once again be in SEC territory.
Massachusetts will make its first trip to a Pac-12 stadium in September 2015.
@ Notre Dame
The Minutemen will be in Charley Molnar’s old stomping grounds in 2015. With this game against the Fighting Irish, UMass will once again play in one of the most storied venues in all of collegiate athletics.
UMass will start the 2016 season with a road trip to Gainsville.
An Emerging History Of Success
Over the past several season, Massachusetts has seen multiple players make NFL squads. This includes a 2nd round draft pick in 2010 as well as an unsigned free agent who became a Super Bowl champion in 2012.