Breaking News
More () »

2022 top moments in Connecticut sports

From UConn football's magical program turnaround to Xander Schauffele winning at Travelers, FOX61 recaps the biggest sports stories that the year had to offer.

CONNECTICUT, USA — 2022 was filled with thrilling, heartbreaking and unprecedented sports events in Connecticut that won't soon be forgotten. 

But, if you need a refresher on what went on in the world of Connecticut sports this year, FOX61 has you covered with the top 15 sports stories. 

15. 2022 CIAC Football State Championships

Recap of the six games played on Saturday December 11, 2022:

North Haven beats Killingly 51-34 to win Class MM State Championship

Ansonia beats Bloomfield 28-21 to win Class S State Championship

Greenwich beats Fairfield Prep 37-17 to win Class LL State Championship 

Joel Barlow beats Valley Regional / Old Lyme 61-6 to win Class SS State Championship 

Notre Dame-West Haven beats Berlin 35-8 to win Class M State Championship 

New Canaan beats Maloney 16-13 to win Class L State Championship

14. From the field to the ballet barre: How learning dance is helping these West Hartford football players

At Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford, the varsity and junior varsity football teams were introduced to a different form of practice. 

Broadway performer Tim Hughes (Hadestown, Frozen) was invited to the school by Theatre Director Kyle Reynolds. The mission for Tim: Teach the Wyverns ballet.

But while Hughes knows ballet, he's not a ballet teacher. So, while the players stepped out of their comfort zone and onto the dance floor, Hughes did as well.

Hughes got a chance to show the players that ballet takes an incredible amount of athleticism. Hughes stands at 6 feet and 7 inches tall, and he's also an athlete himself.

The ballet class lasted 30 minutes and was complete with plies and pirouettes.

Perhaps the challenge of the activity helped the players gain an appreciation for the arts.

13. CCSU Athletics host inclusive events with Beautiful Lives Project

Central Connecticut State University organized two events with the Beautiful Lives Project in October.

Founded five years ago, the Beautiful Lives Project is a non-profit organization that schedules immersive and inclusive events across the United States for people of all ages and all abilities.

The Blue Devils football team ran drills with the participants on October 20.

The Blue Devils basketball program followed with their own event on October 26.

12. Bloomfield high school coach remembered by loved ones

Kevin Moses, the head coach of the Bloomfield high school boys basketball team passed away on September 26.

The family said he died after being diagnosed with cancer. Moses was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer according to the family's GoFundMe, which was raising money for Moses' medical costs. 

Moses was an assistant coach for the Bloomfield High School football team as well. 

Moses led Bloomfield high to the division four state championship in 2022.

11. University of Hartford men's basketball coach announces resignation

The University of Hartford men's basketball coach, John Gallagher, announced his resignation from the program, amid the university's ongoing transition from Division I to Division III athletics.

Gallagher sent a letter to University of Hartford President Gregory Woodward announcing he would be leaving his position as head coach, just a day before the Hawks were set to open their 2022-23 season. It is the school's first season as an NCAA Independent school.

10. Rockville High School teen defies gender lines

In a male-dominated sport, a Vernon teen took on a challenge that few would. Freshman Molly Wilson of Rockville High School is the sole girl on an all-boys football team. She wears No. 65 and is their starting kicker. 

Wilson was noticed via Twitter when the head coach noticed of video of her kicking and quickly was given a spot on the team. 

Her teammates treat her just the same as everyone else on the team and that's something she insisted on. 

Wilson will continue to play football as her father once did. 

9. Tab Ramos hired by Hartford Athletic

The Hartford Athletic wanted to make a big splash in their coaching hire and that's just what they did in the hiring of Tab Ramos. Ramos agreed to a multiyear contract and started work on Sept. 1.

The 55-year-old coached the Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer for 2020 and ’21, led the U.S. at four consecutive Under-20 World Cups, and was an assistant to Jürgen Klinsmann with the full national team at the 2014 World Cup. 

Ramos coached his first game with the Athletic in September and the team finished the year with an overall record of 10-18-6 and missed out on the postseason.

He also helped in coverage at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with Telemundo. 

8.  Yale football becomes Ivy League champions

Yale football has become a powerhouse in the Ivy League conference and they only saw more success this year. 

The Bulldogs took down Harvard in "The Game" to secure their third Ivy League Championship in five years. This was also Yale's 17th championship in their program's history. 

They finished the year 8-2 and 6-1 in conference play. 

7. Connecticut natives shine at 2022 Winter Olympics

The 2022 winter Olympics brought the best out of so many Olympians, especially those that started their journey in Connecticut. 

Connecticut was represented in several different sports and events across the competition including, hockey, snowboarding, skiing, figure skating, luge and speedskating. 

Lindsey Jacobellis, the Roxbury native participating in women's snowboarding events, took home the first gold medal for Team USA and finished the competition with two gold medals. 

To see the results from all of Connecticut's participants click here

6. UConn men's basketball's record start

Although we won't know the full story of the 2022-23 UConn men's basketball season until next year, from what we saw this year, they're poised to become legendary. 

After suffering another first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament in March, UConn headed into the off-season with a lot of roster spots to fill and uncertainty surrounding the team. But all doubt was quickly erased after the Huskies season began as they swept through the Phil Knight Invitational, winning the championship after defeating Iowa State 71-53. Then proceeding to stay undefeated and not beat a team by less than single digits once. 

This success vaulted the Huskie's AP rank all the way to No. 2 in the country at the time of this article. This is the highest ranking the team has had since 2009.

5. UConn women's basketball team lose at NCAA Championship 

UConn's championship drought was extended to six years with their loss to South Carolina in the NCAA Championship game. Everything seemed to be lining up for the Huskies as star Paige Bueckers, who'd gotten injured earlier and the year and missed several months, was back and healthy in time for the tournament. 

They went into March Madness as a No. 2 seed and beat Mercer and UCF in the first two rounds, then took down Indiana in the Sweet 16 and NC State in the Round of 8. They then battled Stanford in the Final Four in Minneapolis to advance to the championship game.

But in the championship game, UConn couldn't muster up any more magic as Dawn Staley and her Gamecocks won their second national title.

4. Xander Schauffele wins Travelers Championship

The 2022 Travelers Championship did not disappoint as packed crowds and a star-studded slate of golfers showed out at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell. Rory McIlroy was the leader on day one and day two of the early rounds and caused a firestorm on social media after his comments on LIV golf and some of the previous PGA golfers pulling out of Travelers for it. Mcllroy would eventually fallout off the leaderboards as the tournament went on.

On the final day, two players, Xander Schauffele and Saheeth Theegala were at the top of the leaderboards coming down the home stretch at hole 18. Theegala had a fateful double bogey with the Connecticut crowd watching and Schauffele calmy put in for birdie to capture Travelers' glory.

Schauffele finished the tournament at -19 and shot -2 on the final day. 

3. Connecticut Sun lose in WNBA Finals

The Sun were an interesting team all 2022 as they never impressed during the regular season until they caught fire at the end.

It was the playoffs where they took off. In the first round, they beat the Dallas Wings in a best-of-3 series. In the semi-finals, they beat their rival the Chicago Sky who'd beaten them the year previous, in a best-of-5 series to get to the WNBA Finals.

In the finals, they faced the Las Vegas Aces and would leave fans at Mohegan Sun in heartbreak as they lost game four on their homecourt to the Aces and failed to capture their elusive WNBA Championship rings. 

The fallout from their loss caused head coach Curt Miller to leave the franchise for the LA Sparks later in the year. Stephanie White was announced as their new head coach in November. 

2. Paige Bueckers suffers season-ending injury 

The news of Buecker's injury sent shockwaves across Connecticut. UConn was just coming off a heartbreaking defeat in the NCAA Championship game to South Carolina and a season in which Bueckers was not a full participant of due to a different knee injury. So hopes were high for the Huskies in the off-season until UConn announced she'd suffered an ACL tear playing pickup basketball and would miss the 2022-23 season. 

The loss was a brutal blow to the team as players were in shock when they heard the news. Bueckers although disappointed, took it in stride and had a new approach to the current 2022-23 season. She said she spend this season as a player-coach sitting on the Huskies' sidelines every game helping the team succeed. 

The young phenom still has a year left to play at the school so she's expected to return for her senior year season. 

1. UConn football makes history

In a year where UConn dominated national headlines, none were more surprising than the rise of UConn football. Last year, the school hired Jim Mora to be their new head coach, who inherited a 1-11 team.

UConn football had always been an afterthought in Connecticut as success was relatively non-existent for the past few years. But Mora since day one instilled a new culture in the program and that culture led to success. 

UConn finished their regular season 6-6 despite major injuries to key positions, with key upset wins over No. 19 ranked Liberty and Fresno St. A 5-1 stretch during the season led them to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2015, where later in December it was announced they'd play Marshall in the Myrtle Beach Bowl

Despite losing in the Myrtle Beach Bowl to the Thundering Herd 28-14, the progress they made in one season in turning around the program is unprecedented and has garnered national attention. 

The Huskies can now build off this season and hope to become a college football powerhouse in the future. 

Daniel Dashefsky is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at ddashefsky@fox61.com.

Jonah Karp is a sports anchor at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jkarp@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com



Download the FOX61 News APP

iTunes: Click here to download

Google Play: Click here to download

Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.

Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.


Before You Leave, Check This Out