UMass Athletics
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican spoke with John McCutcheon on Wednesday about his thoughts on the progress the UMass football program has made during the first year of Mark Whipple's return as head coach.

"We go to MAC opponents now and I can see in the administrators when the games are over - particularly this past week (against Toledo) - that they know they got lucky getting away with a victory. They know they were in a dogfight," he said. "We're as competitive as any team in the MAC and we have the vast majority of the team coming back for next year. That is going to bring some expectations and I think we welcome that with open arms.  

"We're really positioned for future success."

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a starling lineup story focusing on the opportunity for Seth Berger to take a shot at starting Thursday's exhibition game against American International.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story focusing on the goals of UMass football's extended bye week prior to the Ball State game. With 16 days between the Toledo and Ball State contests, the Minutemen will have some extra time to heal up injuries and address preparation for its nationally televised Wednesday night match-up against the Cardinals on Nov. 12 (8 PM).

   The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitor's Bureau announced a partnership with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame to promote the 2014 Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase game between UMass and Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday, Dec. 7.
   Michael Hurwitz of the Western Massachusetts Sports Commission announced that business and restaurants in the downtown Springfield area will decorate their buildings for the event.
   A special Hall of Fame Tailgate was also announced that includes free admission to the Hall of Fame Museum and appearances by the UMass band, cheerleaders and Sam the Minuteman mascot.
   Fans can purchase tickets to the game and use the promo code: TAILGATE to get a FREE pass to the Hall of Fame Tailgate. This offer is valid with purchase of the $41 and $22 tickets only and is limited to the first 300 people so secure your pass today!

Frank Corona has a preview of UMass women's soccer's trips to Richmond and Davidson this weekend, which will close out the regular season for the Minutewomen, and focuses on the importance of scoring first in the matches.

Read: UMass women's soccer attempts to retain playoff position with pair of weekend games

In today's Daily Collegian, Jason Kates previews UMass hockey's weekend road trip to Maine for a pair of Hockey East games. The Minutemen are wrapping up a string of six straight on the road with this weekend's contests in Orono.

Read: UMass hockey looks to end road trip on a high note with weekend series against Maine

Outsports: Derrick Gordon is ready for his coming out season

Cyd Zeigler (@CydZeigler) of has a story on what things Derrick Gordon may face on and off the court this season, along with how his relationship has changed with his teammates over the past six months. 

     A year ago, University of Massachusetts shooting guard Derrick Gordon was contemplating his retirement from basketball. Hiding deep in the closet, Gordon had isolated himself from his teammates, choosing to spend each night alone in the gym or in his bedroom.
     Six months ago he came to a crossroads in his life: Quit basketball or come out as a gay man. He chose the latter, making him the first active Div. 1 male athlete in basketball, baseball, football or hockey to come out publicly. As Robert Frost one said, "That has made all the difference."
     Since coming out publicly and to his team last April, his relationships with his teammates have transformed. Whereas they suspected he was gay a year ago, Gordon taking the bold step of coming out liberated both him and his teammates. They now spend countless hours together on and off the practice court. Gordon no longer shies away from them, and according to Gordon they embrace him, inviting him to dinner, parties and to spend hours playing video games in their dorm rooms.
     "When I see that it tells me they want me to be around and it makes me a lot more comfortable," Gordon told Outsports. "The gay thing doesn't even run through their heads. They don't care about it at all."

Read the entire article here...

Listen to the podcast of the October 28, 2014 edition of The Bud Light UMass Hockey Show on WHMP live from The Hangar Pub & Grill in Amherst. Head coach John Micheletto and player guests Oleg Yevenko and Shane Walsh discuss last weekend's games at Northeastern and Boston College and preview this weekend's two-game Hockey East series at Maine with hosts Brock Hines and Adam Frenier.

UMass field hockey won a 3-1 game at La Salle on Friday, Oct. 24. It marked the first multi-goal performance of the season for sophomore forward Izzie Delario and became the 50th win for Carla Tagliente as a head coach overall and with the Minutewomen. Matthew Zackman caught up with Delario and Tagliente this week for a story on the milestone:

UMass field hockey led by Delario, Tagliente in milestone day

On Tuesday Anthony Chiusano spoke with UMass hockey coach John Micheletto and freshman goaltender Henry Dill about the rookie's recent success in net for the Minutemen as Dill has made three straight starts for UMass and is the reigning Hockey East Rookie of the Week.

Read: Dill taking advantage of playing time in net for UMass hockey