A beginners guide to being an Omaha sports fan


Jack Hoover

Durango, Omaha’s beloved bovine mascot. Photo by Andre Sessions.

So, you have found yourself somewhere you never expected to be.

Somehow, against all explanation, you have found yourself rooting for the Omaha Mavericks.

No need to panic. You have found a very passionate community of sports fans to be a part of. You’re in good company. But now that you’re here, now that you yourself are a Maverick, there’s a a few things you might want to learn.

First off, if you’re going to cheer for this school, you should know some of the basics. You should know what teams you’re going to be cheering for. If you’re a fan of soccer, volleyball, cross country, tennis, golf, hockey, basketball, swimming, track, baseball or softball, then you’re in luck. The Mavericks field teams in all of those sports. Feel free to check them all out.

Now that you know the teams that you are going to be rooting for, you should know a little about what they’re all about: winning. These teams have won a lot. It does not matter who the opponent is or what division they compete in.

For a long time, Omaha competed almost solely in DII (except hockey, we’ll get to that later). Across the board, Maverick teams won a lot. Of the teams currently competing for Omaha, three have won national championships. Softball won in 1975 and 2001, while women’s soccer won in 2005. Volleyball took home the gold in 1996.

Of course, the pastures of DII got too small for these bulls. If there is another thing you need to about this school, it’s that it has big aspirations. So naturally, in 2011, Omaha made the jump to DI– and what a jump it has been.

The Mavericks needed a conference for DI and the Summit League graciously provided a landing spot. Now, Maverick teams are in DI competing against some of the best collegiate teams in the country in all sports, and holding their own against them. Sometimes, they even beat them. To find some glimpses of Omaha’s success in DI sports, then look no further than their conference championships, which they won in 2017 in men’s soccer and 2019 in baseball. Only two for now, but more will follow.

It is hard to talk about Omaha athletics without getting you acquainted with one of the true gems of this school: Maverick Hockey. Yes, you might not expect to see an elite hockey program here in Omaha, Nebraska, but it exists here, nonetheless.

Omaha Hockey had been competing in DI well before any other team on campus. Since its founding in 1997, this team has always competed at the DI level. The Mavericks compete in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, a conference dedicated to college hockey nationally (as the name might imply). This conference is amongst the best in nation, if not the very best, and Omaha plays a part in that.

There is always more to learn about UNO athletics, but part of the fun is figuring that out for yourself. Once sports return to normal and have returned to campus, immerse yourself in the culture and see what this school and its teams are all about.

But before you go, there’s one more simple phrase you need to learn: Go Mavericks.