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Three UD players celebrate
The University of Delaware football team will play James Madison in a first-round NCAA playoff game on Nov. 24.

UD makes NCAA football playoffs

Photo by Mark Campbell

Blue Hens to play at James Madison on Nov. 24 in first-round game

The University of Delaware football team will return to the NCAA playoffs for the first time since 2010, capping a weekend that began with the announcement that construction will begin soon on a new athletic center, along with renovations to Delaware Stadium.

The Blue Hens will play James Madison University in a first-round game at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24, at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The game will be broadcast by ESPN3.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association Football Championship Subdivision selection committee announced the 24-team field for the playoffs on Sunday, Nov. 18. Delaware and James Madison were among six Colonial Athletic Association teams chosen for the 24-team field.

“Congratulations to the Blue Hens on making it to the FCS playoffs this year!” said UD President Dennis Assanis. “Every player on the team, along with Coach Danny Rocco and his excellent coaching staff, deserves to be proud of this accomplishment after such an exciting and successful season - which included two wins over top 25 ranked teams.  Good luck against James Madison on Saturday!”

Assanis also recognized the efforts of Athletics Director Chrissi Rawak in this success.

“My special thanks to Chrissi and her dedicated coaches and staff members for fostering an environment that promotes the success of our student athletes and tirelessly working to secure the resources to accomplish this,” Assanis said.

The Blue Hens finished the 2018 regular season with a  7-4 record.

“I’m extremely appreciative of the support here at Delaware, starting with President Dennis Assanis and Chrissi Rawak, who have been a critical part of giving our program the resources to bring us back to this stage,” head coach Danny Rocco said. “We’re excited about getting this opportunity and look forward to getting to work this week.”

On Saturday, Nov. 17, the University announced that renovation of Delaware Stadium and creation of the Whitney Athletic Center will begin at the conclusion of the 2018 football season. The projects are the focus of the $60 million Build Our Home fundraising initiative for athletics, which is one of the priorities of Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware.

The Whitney Athletic Center, which will be completed by the summer of 2020, will provide academic support and athletic training and well-being facilities for student-athletes. The center will be named for UD alumnus and Board of Trustees member Kenneth C. Whitney, Class of 1980, and his wife, Elizabeth K. Whitney, in recognition of their cornerstone gift of $10 million.

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