Arizona Wildcats
Logo
UniversityUniversity of Arizona
ConferencePac-12 (primary)
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (indoor track & field)
NCAADivision I (FBS)
Athletic directorMike Candrea (interim)
LocationTucson, Arizona
Varsity teams22 (9 Men's, 13 Women's)
Football stadiumArizona Stadium
Basketball arenaMcKale Center
Baseball stadiumHi Corbett Field
MascotWilbur and Wilma
NicknameWildcats
Fight songFight! Wildcats! Fight!
Bear Down
ColorsCardinal and navy[1]
   
Websitewww.arizonawildcats.com

The Arizona Wildcats are the athletic teams that represent the University of Arizona, located in Tucson. The Wildcats compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for college football) level as a member of the Pac-12 Conference. Arizona's chief intercollegiate rival is the Arizona State Sun Devils, and the two universities' athletic departments compete against each other in multiple sports via the State Farm Territorial Cup Series.

On August 4, 2023, Arizona accepted an invite to join the Big 12 Conference, effective August 2, 2024.[2]

Athletic program

The University of Arizona participates in the NCAA's Division I-A in the Pac-12 Conference Arizona participates in the conference's South Division, along with Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA, USC, and Utah.[3] Arizona joined the Pac-8 in 1978 along with Arizona State University, bringing the conference to 10 teams and the new name of the Pac-10 (the conference became the Pac-12 with the additions of Colorado and Utah in 2011). The school colors are cardinal red and navy blue since 1900, though originally sage green and silver.[4] The official fight song is "Fight! Wildcats! Fight!", though "Bear Down, Arizona!" is more commonly used and "Bear Down" is the university's slogan.

History

The Wildcats name derived from a 1914 football game with then California champions Occidental College, where the Los Angeles Times asserted that Arizona "showed the fight of wildcats."[5]

Mascot

Wilma & Wilbur Wildcat at the 100th homecoming at the University of Arizona

The university mascots are anthropomorphized wildcats named Wilbur and Wilma. The identities of Wilbur and Wilma are kept secret through the year as the mascots appear only in costume, except typically until the last home basketball game of the year. Then, at halftime, Wilbur and Wilma are exposed. In 1986, Wilbur and Wilma, a longtime couple, were married. Together, Wilbur and Wilma appear along with the cheerleading squad at most Wildcat sporting events.

Arizona's first mascot was a real desert bobcat named "Rufus Arizona", introduced in 1915 and named after the university's president at the time, Rufus B. von KleinSmid.

Rivalries

A strong athletic rivalry exists between the University of Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State University Sun Devils, the state's only two Division I-FBS teams. The rivalry has been recognized as one of the most bitter rivalries in college sports.[7] Both schools compete in the State Farm Territorial Cup Series, a head-to-head competition in 18 different sports. The football rivalry, nicknamed "The Duel in the Desert," is the oldest rivalry game in college football that features a trophy. The trophy awarded after each football game is the Territorial Cup. The teams first played in 1899, while the Territory of Arizona was an organized incorporated territory of the United States. As of May 8, 2023 The University of Arizona holds the all-time record (versus Arizona State) in all 3 major men's sports. Starting with basketball, they hold a record of 159–87 against ASU.[8] They also hold the all-time record in football 50–45–1.[9] Finally, Arizona holds the all-time record in baseball 260–227–1.[10]

Rivalries have also been created with other Pac-12 teams, especially University of California, Los Angeles which has been a consistent softball rival and was Arizona's main men's basketball rival from the late 1980s to the present.

Outside of the Pac-12, Arizona has two dormant rivalries with two other former Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association members, the New Mexico Lobos and Texas Tech Red Raiders. Although Arizona remained in the Border Conference until it folded in 1961, New Mexico and Texas Tech withdrew from the Border Conference in 1952 and 1956 respectively. Both football programs remained on Arizona's schedule annually until the late 1970s, even though Texas Tech was a member of the Southwest Conference and New Mexico was a member of the Skyline Eight. In 1962, Arizona and New Mexico once again became conference rivals as charter members of the Western Athletic Conference. The Kit Carson Rifle was a traveling trophy exchanged between the Wildcats and Lobos from 1938 though 1990. Prior to the 1997 Insight.com Bowl, two schools announced the Kit Carson Rifle would not be awarded to the bowl game's winner because the trophy may have been used against Native Americans.[11]

Varsity sports

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Beach volleyball
Cross country Cross country
Football Golf
Golf Gymnastics
Swimming & diving Soccer
Tennis Softball
Track and field Swimming & diving
Tennis
Track and field
Triathlon
Volleyball
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.

The University of Arizona sponsors teams in eight men's and twelve women's NCAA sanctioned sports.[12]

Baseball

Main article: Arizona Wildcats baseball

The baseball team is consistently one of the top teams in the country and has captured four national championship titles in 1976, 1980, 1986, and 2012. Arizona's baseball teams have appeared in the NCAA College World Series more than fifteen times. As of 2023, the team is coached by Chip Hale.

Men's basketball

Main article: Arizona Wildcats men's basketball

The men's basketball team has been one of the nation's most successful programs since Lute Olson was hired as head coach in 1983 and was known as a national powerhouse in Division I men's basketball. From 1988 to 2007, the team amassed 20 consecutive 20-win seasons. Arizona reached the NCAA tournament in 25 consecutive years from 1985 to 2009. The Wildcats reached the Final Four of the NCAA tournament in 1988, 1994, 1997, and 2001.

In 1997, Arizona defeated the University of Kentucky, the defending national champions, to win the NCAA National Championship. Their championship team was led by future NBA players Mike Bibby and Michael Dickerson, as well as Final Four MVP Miles Simon. Bennett Davison and A. J. Bramlett rounded out the starting five. Other team members include Jason Terry, Eugene Edgerson and Josh Pastner. They defeated three number-one seeds in the same tournament: Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky in the Championship Game. They won a thriller game in the Elite Eight in double overtime to take them to the Final Four.

After 25 years of coaching Arizona, Lute Olson retired shortly before the 2008–2009 season, largely due to on-going health issues. After several years of coaching by interim head coaches, Arizona named Sean Miller, formerly the head coach of Xavier, as the next Wildcats head coach. In the NCAA Tournament, Sean Miller led the Wildcats to 3 Elite Eight appearances (2011, 2014, 2015).

After 12 years at the helm, Arizona and head coach Sean Miller parted ways.[13] In April 2021, it was announced that Tommy Lloyd, the longtime top assistant coach at Gonzaga under Mark Few, would become the next head coach of Arizona men's basketball.[14]

Women's basketball

Main article: Arizona Wildcats women's basketball

The women's basketball program began in its current form in 1972. Before that, it existed as an intramural sport. The team has twice been runner-up in the Pac-10 (forerunner of the Pac-12) Conference Tournament and has made seven appearances in NCAA tournaments, and gone abroad to play in four foreign countries. The program has had eight coaches in its forty-plus years, currently coached by former player Adia Barnes. The Wildcats have an all-time game record of 682–746.[15]

Football

Main article: Arizona Wildcats football

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The football team began at the University of Arizona in 1899 under the nickname "Varsity" (a name kept until the 1914 season when the team earned the name "Wildcats"). The football team was notably successful in the 1990s under head coach Dick Tomey and his "Desert Swarm" defense that was characterized by tough, hard-nosed tactics. In 1993, the team had its first 10-win season and drubbed the powerhouse Miami Hurricanes in the Fiesta Bowl by a score of 29–0. In 1998, the team posted a school-record 12–1 season and made the Holiday Bowl in which it defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Arizona ended that season ranked 3rd nationally and 2nd in several publications. Despite a stellar season, Arizona's single loss to UCLA caused the team to finish second in the Pac-10. From 1999 to 2007, Arizona had a mix of unsuccessful seasons without any bowl appearances. Then in 2008 Arizona returned to prominence with a successful season and a bowl win against BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl. Arizona has started to build up its old time success with a 6–2 record, and an appearance in the BCS standings ranked number 18. This is the first time they have been ranked in the BCS poll since 1998. After their win against Washington State, Arizona was bowl eligible for the third time in four years. After a win against USC, Arizona along with Nebraska was invited to the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. It was the first time since 1998 that Arizona had played in the Holiday Bowl and the second time both schools have met each other at the bowl game. From November 2003 until October 2011, the program was led by Mike Stoops, brother of Bob Stoops, the head football coach at the University of Oklahoma (the 2000 BCS national champions); Stoops was fired on October 10, 2011.

Former Michigan and West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez was hired on November 21, 2011, to lead the Wildcats. The announcement was made by UA athletic director Greg Byrne via Twitter. In his first season, Rodriguez took the Wildcats to the 2012 New Mexico Bowl, where they defeated the University of Nevada Wolfpack. The Wildcats finished the 2012 campaign with an 8–5 (4–5 Pac-12) record. In his second season, Rodriguez took the Wildcats to the 2013 AdvoCare V100 Bowl, where they defeated Boston College. The Wildcats finished the 2013 campaign with a (8–5, 4–5 Pac-12) record. In 2014, Rich Rodriguez led the Wildcats to a 10–3 regular season, behind generally solid team performance, including efforts from freshman QB Anu Solomon, sophomore LB Scooby Wright (who earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year among other honors), senior RB Terris Jones-Grigsby and freshman RB Nick Wilson. The Wildcats won the Pac-12 South Division, the first divisional championship in program history, advancing to the Pac-12 Football Championship Game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, where they were defeated by the Oregon Ducks 51–13. The Wildcats then played in the first College Football Playoff appearance, netting a berth in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, the school's third major-bowl appearance, where they faced the Boise State Broncos. Arizona lost the game to Boise State, 38–30. The Wildcats finished the 2014 season with a record of 10–4 (7–2 Pac-12), achieving only the second 10-win regular season in program history; the Wildcats also finished the season ranked number 17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and number 19 in the AP Poll. Jedd Fisch was hired on December 23, 2020, as the 30th head coach in school history, he finished his career at Arizona with a record of 16–21.[16]

Brent Brennan was hired on January 16, 2024, as the 31st head coach in school history.[17]

Men's golf

Main article: Arizona Wildcat men's golf

The university's golf teams have also been notably successful. The men's team won a national championship in 1992. Jim Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open champion attended the University of Arizona prior to turning professional in 1992. The men's team has won three Pac-12 Conference championships (1987, 1991, 2004). Starting in 2023, the Arizona Men will use Tucson Country Club as their home course.

Women's golf

Main article: Arizona Wildcat women's golf

The women's team is one of the most successful in all of collegiate golf. They have won three national championships in 1996, 2000, and 2018. Annika Sörenstam won an individual national title in 1991, and Lorena Ochoa was NCAA Women's Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002 before leaving UA early to turn pro. Erica Blasberg was the country's number 1 ranked college player as a freshman, compiling six victories before leaving in her sophomore year to turn pro, was an All-American golfer in 2003 and 2004, 2003 NCAA Freshman of the Year, 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, and won the 2003 Golfstat Cup, awarded for having the NCAA women's lowest stroke average (72.36).[18]

Softball

Main article: Arizona Wildcats softball

The Arizona softball program has arguably been the best college softball program over the last 20 years. The softball team has won eight NCAA Women's College World Series titles, in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2006 and 2007 under head coach Mike Candrea (NCAA Softball Championship). The team has appeared in the NCAA National Championship in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2010, a feat second only to UCLA. Mike Candrea also led the 2004 U.S. Olympic softball team to a gold medal in Athens, Greece & 2008 led the team to a silver medal in Beijing, China. Following the 2021 season, Candrea announced his retirement after the 35th season as head coach. He retired as the 2nd most winningest coach in NCAA Softball history with an overall record of 1,859−505−2 and his 8 National Titles were the most & current in NCAA softball history at the time of his retirement.[19] Former National Champion & NCAA All-American Caitlin Lowe was hired as only the 6th coach in team history.[20]

Arizona Wildcats softball

National
Champions

1991

National
Champions

1993

National
Champions

1994

National
Champions

1996

National
Champions

1997

National
Champions

2001

National
Champions

2006

National
Champions

2007
Retired softball jerseys

Jenny
Dalton


16

Nancy
Evans


13

Jennie
Finch


27

Susie
Parra


1

Julie
Reitan


10

Swimming

The women's and men's swimming & diving team won their first national championships in 2008.

In 2014–2015, women's team member Margo Geer was named the Pac-12 Conference Woman of the Year for the 2014–15 academic year.[21]

Synchronized swimming

The synchronized swimming team won three championships in 1980, 1981, and 1984, in the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.

Notable non-varsity teams

Arizona has three sports in its "Cactus Tier", an elevated level of intercollegiate club competition: ice hockey, lacrosse, and rugby.[22][23]

Men's ice hockey

The men's ice hockey team was established in 1979 by head coach and general manager Leo Golembiewski as a Division-1 non-varsity hockey team, the team was originally known as the Arizona IceCats.[24] The team was one of the founding programs of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) in 1991; and competes as an independent program at the ACHA Division I level.[24]

The team has played at the 7,000-seat Tucson Convention Center, affectionately known as "The Madhouse on Main Street,"[24] since the 1980–81 season and are consistently one of the university's top draws with an average attendance of 3,000 fans per game.[25]

Coach Golembiewski retired after 32 seasons as coach and general manager of the team at the conclusion of the 2010–2011 season. Golembiewski compiled a record of 634–217–23, in addition the IceCats won a National Tournament in 1985 and appeared in the National Tournament twenty-one straight seasons prior to 2004, including in eight Final Fours ('84, '86, '87, '88, '91, '93, '94, '97).[24]

The program was reorganized in 2011 under new head coach Sean Hogan. The team changed its name to the university's official 'Wildcats' name and changed the managerial structure in the whole organization. The new Wildcat hockey team is organized under the auspices of the Campus Recreation Department and began receiving increased financial backing from the university, which they have never had in their history under former head coach and general manager Leo Golembiewski.[24]

For the majority of the program's existence, the ice hockey team has competed independent of a conference. The IceCats were originally part of the Intercollegiate Pacific Conference, and later Pacific Hockey Conference, from 1980 until the formation of the ACHA in 1991.[26] Beginning in the 2013–14 season, the team will join the newly formed Western Collegiate Hockey League (WCHL). The new conference will be made of six member teams, including rival Arizona State.[26]

The Wildcats won the 2018–2019 WCHL Championship.

Rugby

Founded in 1969,[27] the University of Arizona rugby program plays in the PAC Rugby Conference against its conference rivals such as Arizona State and Utah. The Wildcats were led by head coach Dave Sitton from 1979 to 2013, who served as a board member of USA Rugby, and also worked as a rugby broadcaster for ESPN and Fox.[28]

The Wildcats have become one of the most successful college rugby programs in the country. The Wildcats reached the quarterfinals of the 2010 national collegiate rugby championships.[27] The Wildcats reached the playoffs in 2013, but lost in an upset to Long Beach. The Wildcats reached the D1-AA national playoffs in 2014, where they defeated Long Beach State, Stanford, and Bowling Green, but ultimately lost to Central Florida in the final.[29]

The Wildcats have a successful rugby sevens program. Arizona has regularly reached the quarterfinals of the Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC), the highest profile college rugby competition in the U.S., and the Wildcats finished second at the 2012 CRC.[citation needed] The CRC is played every June in Philadelphia and is broadcast live on NBC. Arizona's best known rugby players include Trevor Brady, who holds the record for the longest successful kick and most points in school history, Peter Tiberio and Brett Thompson, who play for the U.S. national rugby team.

Competition cheerleading

Developed in 2014 and founded in 2015, the CO-ED competition cheerleading team was created to give individuals who participated in 4 person stunt groups and competitions a chance to represent the school. The team competes at national levels at the NCA national college competition in Daytona Florida, the USA national college competition in Anaheim California, and more. In 2020, the team placed 2nd in the Virtual Daytona competition and won 1st in the virtual national college classic competition. They have also won the club sport of the year award for the UofA two years in a row, as well as their coach Nicole Dudas receiving the club sports coach of the year award in 2021. The group does many fundraising activities and community service as well.

The team is separate from the sideline team seen at football games, as they focus more on competing at a national level. In a very short amount of time, the organization has grown from being a tier 3 club sport, to a tier one team, an NCA affiliated cheer team, and a national placing team in competitions.

Championships

Appearances

The Arizona Wildcats competed in the NCAA tournament across 20 active sports (8 men's and 12 women's) 519 times at the Division I FBS level.[30]

NCAA team championships

National championship banners displayed at the Cole and Jeannie Davis Sports Center

Arizona has won 19 NCAA team national championships.[31]

Results

Year Sport Opponent Result
1976 Baseball Eastern Michigan 7–1
1980 Baseball Hawaii 5–3
1986 Baseball Florida State 10–2
1991 Softball UCLA 5–1
1992 Men's golf Arizona State 1,129–1,136
1993 Softball UCLA 1–0
1994 Softball Cal State Northridge 4–0
1996 Women's golf San José State 1,240–1,240
1996 Softball Washington 6–4
1997 Men's basketball Kentucky 84–79OT
1997 Softball UCLA 10–2
2000 Women's golf Stanford 1,175–1,196
2001 Softball UCLA 1–0
2006 Softball Northwestern 2–0
2007 Softball Tennessee 2–1
2008 Women's swimming & diving Auburn 484–348
2008 Men's swimming & diving Texas 500.5–406
2012 Baseball South Carolina 2–0
2018 Women's golf Alabama 3–2

† Won sudden-death playoff

NCAA individual championships

Arizona has won 177 NCAA individual national championships.[32]

NCAA individual championships
Year Athlete(s) Sport Event Source
1964 Gayle Hopkins Men's outdoor track and field Long jump [33][34]
1965 John Tushaus Men's outdoor track and field Javelin [33][34]
1968 Pat Arnold Men's gymnastics Rings [35]
1970 Doug Boger Men's gymnastics Vault [35]
1981 Doug Towne Men's swimming 500 freestyle [33][36]
1982 Vance Johnson Men's outdoor track and field Long jump [33][34]
1983 Meg Ritchie Women's indoor track and field Shot put [33][37]
1983 George DiCarlo Men's swimming 500 freestyle [33][36]
1984 George DiCarlo Men's swimming 500 freestyle [33][36]
1984 Ruth Waithera Women's outdoor track and field 400-meter dash [33][38]
1985 Katrina Johnson Women's outdoor track and field High jump [33][38]
1986 Katrina Johnson Women's indoor track and field High jump [33][37]
1986 Aaron Ramirez Men's cross country [33][39]
1988 Matt Guisto Men's outdoor track and field 5,000-meter run [33][34]
1989 Carla Garrett Women's indoor track and field Shot put [33][37]
1989 Mariusz Podkoschielny Men's swimming 1,650 freestyle [33][36]
1989 Carla Garrett Women's outdoor track and field Discus [33][38]
1989 Carla Garrett Women's outdoor track and field Shot put [33][38]
1989 Mark Davis Men's outdoor track and field 5,000-meter run [33][34]
1989 Derek Huff Men's outdoor track and field Decathlon [33][34]
1990 Susan Slaughter Women's golf [33]
1991 Crissy Ahmann Women's swimming 100 butterfly [33][40]
1991 Anna Basaldua Women's gymnastics Vault [33][41]
1991 Annika Sorenstam Women's golf [33]
1991 Tanya Hughes Women's indoor track and field High jump [33][37]
1991 Tanya Hughes Women's outdoor track and field High jump [33][38]
1992 Crissy Ahmann Women's swimming 100 butterfly [33][40]
1992 Mark Davis Men's outdoor track and field Steeplechase [33][34]
1992 Tanya Hughes Women's outdoor track and field High jump [33][38]
1993 J.C. Broughton Women's indoor track and field High jump [33][37]
1993 Seth Pepper Men's swimming 100 butterfly [33][36]
1993 Todd Newman
Robert Abernethy
Seth Pepper
Mike McQuitty
Men's swimming 200 medley relay [33][36]
1993 Tanya Hughes Women's outdoor track and field High jump [33][38]
1993 Alix Creek
Michelle Oldham
Women's tennis Doubles [33][42]
1994 Brenda Sleeuwenhoek Women's indoor track & field 5,000-meter run [33][37]
1994 Martin Keino Men's cross country [33][39]
1994 Chad Carvin Men's swimming 500 freestyle [33][36]
1994 Chad Carvin Men's swimming 1,650 freestyle [33][36]
1995 Ashley Tappin Women's swimming 50 freestyle [33][40]
1995 Ashley Tappin Women's swimming 200 freestyle [33][40]
1995 Martin Keino Men's outdoor track & field 5,000-meter run [33][34]
1996 Amy Skieresz Women's cross country [33]
1996 Martin Pepper Men's swimming 100 butterfly [33][36]
1996 Shannon Hosack
Liesl Kolbisen
Casey Legler
Ashley Tappin
Women's swimming 200 freestyle relay [33][40]
1996 Heidi Hornbeek Women's gymnastics Floor exercise [33][41]
1996 Marisa Baena Women's golf [33]
1997 Amy Skieresz Women's indoor track and field 5,000-meter run [33][37]
1997 Trina Jackson Women's swimming 1,650 freestyle [33][40]
1997 Shannon Hosack
Liesl Kolbisen
Denali Knapp
Ashley Tappin
Women's swimming 200 freestyle relay [33][40]
1997 Ryk Neethling Men's swimming 1,650 freestyle [33][36]
1997 Amy Skieresz Women's outdoor track & field 10,000-meter run [33][38]
1997 Amy Skieresz Women's outdoor track & field 5,000-meter run [33][38]
1998 Trina Jackson Women's swimming 1,650 freestyle [33][40]
1998 Ryk Neethling Men's swimming 200 freestyle [33][36]
1998 Ryk Neethling Men's swimming 500 freestyle [33][36]
1998 Ryk Neethling Men's swimming 1,650 freestyle [33][36]
1998 Amy Skieresz Women's indoor track and field 5,000-meter run [33][37]
1998 Klaus Ambrosch Men's outdoor track and field Decathlon [33][34]
1998 Esko Mikkola Men's outdoor track and field Javelin [33][34]
1998 Amy Skieresz Women's outdoor track and field 10,000-meter run [33][38]
1998 Amy Skieresz Women's outdoor track and field 5,000-meter run [33][38]
1998 Shannon Hosack
Liesl Kolbisen
Denali Knapp
Lindsey Farella
Women's swimming 200 freestyle relay [33][40]
1998 Shannon Hosack
Liesl Kolbisen
Lindsey Farella
Denali Knapp
Women's swimming 400 freestyle relay [33][40]
1998 Trina Jackson
Laurie Kline
Maureen Phillips
Lindsey Farella
Women's swimming 800 freestyle relay [33][40]
1999 Ryk Neethling Men's swimming 200 freestyle [33][36]
1999 Ryk Neethling Men's swimming 500 freestyle [33][36]
1999 Ryk Neethling Men's swimming 1,650 freestyle [33][36]
1999 Lindsey Farella
Denali Knapp
Emily Mastin
Sarah Tolar
Women's swimming 400 freestyle relay [33][40]
2000 Beth Botsford Women's swimming 200 backstroke [33][40]
2000 Trina Jackson
Sarah Tolar
Jenny Vanker
Emily Mastin
Women's swimming 800 freestyle relay [33][40]
2000 Ryk Neethling Men's swimming 200 freestyle [33][36]
2000 Ryk Neethling Men's swimming 500 freestyle [33][36]
2000 Jenna Daniels Women's golf [33]
2000 Esko Mikkola Men's outdoor track and field Javelin [33][34]
2000 Patrick Nduwimana Men's outdoor track and field 800-meter dash [33][34]
2001 Patrick Nduwimana Men's indoor track and field 800-meter dash [33][43]
2001 Amanda Beard Women's swimming 200 breaststroke [33][40]
2001 Sarah Tolar Women's swimming 200 freestyle [33][40]
2001 Andrea Dutoit Women's outdoor track and field Pole vault [33][38]
2001 Brianna Glenn Women's outdoor track and field Long jump [33][38]
2001 Brianna Glenn Women's outdoor track and field 200-meter dash [33][38]
2001 Tara Chaplin Women's cross country [33]
2002 Amy Linnen Women's indoor track and field Pole vault [33][37]
2002 Roland Schoeman Men's swimming 50 freestyle [33][36]
2002 Sarah Tolar Women's swimming 200 freestyle [33][40]
2002 Emily Mason
Jenny Vanker
Jessica Hayes
Sarah Tolar
Women's swimming 800 freestyle relay [33][40]
2003 Simon Burnett Men's swimming 200 freestyle [33][36]
2004 Emily Mason Women's swimming 400 freestyle [33][40]
2004 Robert Cheseret Men's outdoor track and field 5,000-meters [33][34]
2005 Simon Burnett Men's swimming 200-yard freestyle [33][36]
2005 Emily Mason Women's swimming 500-yard freestyle [33][40]
2005 Marshi Smith Women's swimming 100-yard backstroke [33][40]
2005 Robert Cheseret Men's outdoor track and field 10,000-meters [33][34]
2006 Lyndon Ferns Men's swimming 100-yard butterfly [33][36]
2006 Simon Burnett Men's swimming 200-yard freestyle [33][36]
2006 Nick Thoman
Ivan Barnes
Albert Subirats
Adam Ritter
Men's swimming 400 Medley Relay [33][36]
2006 Albert Subirats
Dave Rollins
Lyndon Ferns
Simon Burnett
Men's swimming 200 medley relay [33][36]
2006 Simon Burnett
Lyndon Ferns
Tyler DeBerry
Adam Ritter
Men's swimming 800 freestyle relay [33][36]
2006 Simon Burnett
Lyndon Ferns
Albert Subirats
Adam Ritter
Men's swimming 400 freestyle relay [33][36]
2006 Whitney Myers Women's swimming 200 individual medley [33][40]
2006 Whitney Myers Women's swimming 400 individual medley [33][40]
2006 Courtney Cashion
Jenna Gresdal
Anna Turner
Lindsey Kelly
Women's swimming 200 freestyle relay [33][40]
2006 Courtney Cashion
Jenna Gresdal
Whitney Myers
Lacey Nymeyer
Women's swimming 400 freestyle relay [33][40]
2006 Jenna Gresdal
Erin Sieper
Whitney Myers
Lacey Nymeyer
Women's swimming 400 medley relay [33][40]
2006 Jake Arnold Men's outdoor track and field Decathlon [33][34]
2007 Nicolas Nilo
Jean Basson
Darian Townsend
Adam Ritter
Men's swimming 200 individual medley [33][36]
2007 Adam Ritter Men's swimming 200 individual medley [33][36]
2007 Albert Subirats Men's swimming 100 butterfly [33][36]
2007 Albert Subirats Men's swimming 100 backstroke [33][36]
2007 Darian Townsend Men's swimming 200 freestyle [33][36]
2007 Hailey DeGolia
Annie Chandler
Lara Jackson
Lindsey Kelly
Women's swimming 200 medley relay [33][40]
2007 Lara Jackson
Lacey Nymeyer
Anna Turner
Lindsey Kelly
Women's swimming 200 freestyle relay [33][40]
2007 Jake Arnold Men's outdoor track and field Decathlon [33][34]
2008 Albert Subirats Men's swimming 100 butterfly [33][36]
2008 Darian Townsend Men's swimming 200 individual medley [33][36]
2008 Albert Subirats
Darian Townsend
Nicolas Nilo
Joel Greenshields
Men's swimming 400 freestyle relay [33][36]
2008 Jean Basson
Darian Townsend
Joel Greenshields
Nicolas Nilo
Men's swimming 800 freestyle relay [33][36]
2008 Albert Subirats
Ivan Barnes
Darian Townsend
Joel Greenshields
Men's swimming 400 medley relay [33][36]
2008 Lara Jackson Women's swimming 50 freestyle [33][40]
2008 Lacey Nymeyer Women's swimming 100 freestyle [33][40]
2008 Lara Jackson
Lacey Nymeyer
Anna Turner
Taylor Baughman
Women's swimming 200 freestyle relay [33][40]
2008 Lacey Nymeyer
Anna Turner
Lara Jackson
Taylor Baughman
Women's swimming 400 freestyle relay [33][40]
2008 Justine Schluntz
Lacey Nymeyer
Leone Vorster
Taylor Baughman
Women's swimming 800 freestyle relay [33][40]
2008 Hailey DeGolia
Annie Chandler
Lara Jackson
Anna Turner
Women's swimming 200 medley relay [33][40]
2008 Hailey DeGolia
Annie Chandler
Ana Agy
Lacey Nymeyer
Women's swimming 400 medley relay [33][40]
2008 Liz Patterson Women's outdoor track and field High jump [33][38]
2009 Jean Basson Men's swimming 500 freestyle [33][36]
2009 Lara Jackson Women's swimming 50 freestyle [33][40]
2009 Lara Jackson
Lindsey Kelly
Justine Schluntz
Taylor Baughman
Women's swimming 200 freestyle relay [33][40]
2009 Ana Agy
Annie Chandler
Lara Jackson
Justine Schluntz
Women's swimming 400 medley relay [33][40]
2010 Liz Patterson Women's indoor track and field High jump [33][37]
2010 Annie Chandler Women's swimming 100 breaststroke [33][40]
2010 Ana Agy
Ann Chandler
Erin Campbell
Justine Schluntz
Women's swimming 200 medley relay [33][40]
2010 Ana Agy
Ann Chandler
Whitney Lopus
Justine Schluntz
Women's swimming 400 medley relay [33][40]
2010 Cory Chitwood Men's swimming 200 backstroke [33][36]
2010 Clark Burckle Men's swimming 200 breaststroke [33][36]
2011 Julie Labonte Women's indoor track and field Shot put [33][37]
2011 Brigetta Barrett Women's indoor track and field High jump [33][37]
2011 Cory Chitwood Men's swimming 200 backstroke [33][36]
2011 Julie Labonte Women's outdoor track and field Shot put [33][38]
2011 Brigetta Barrett Women's outdoor track and field High jump [33][38]
2011 Lawi Lalang Men's cross country [33][39]
2012 Brigetta Barrett Women's indoor track and field High jump [33][37]
2012 Lawi Lalang Men's indoor track and field 3,000-meter run [33][43]
2012 Lawi Lalang Men's indoor track and field 5,000-meter run [33][43]
2012 Nick Ross Men's indoor track and field High jump [33][43]
2012 Cory Chitwood Men's swimming 200 backstroke [33][36]
2012 Kevin Cordes Men's swimming 100 breaststroke [33][36]
2012 Austen Thompson Men's swimming 400 individual medley [33][36]
2012 Mitchell Friedemann
Kevin Cordes
Giles Smith
Adam Small
Men's swimming 200 medley relay [33][36]
2012 Ben Grado Men's diving Platform [33][36]
2012 Brigetta Barrett Women's outdoor track and field High jump [33][38]
2013 Lawi Lalang Men's indoor track and field Mile run [33][43]
2013 Lawi Lalang Men's indoor track and field 3,000-meter run [33][43]
2013 Brigetta Barrett Women's indoor track and field High jump [33][37]
2013 Kevin Cordes Men's swimming 100 breaststroke [33][36]
2013 Kevin Cordes Men's swimming 200 breaststroke [33][36]
2013 Mitchell Friedemann
Kevin Cordes
Giles Smith
Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or
Men's swimming 400 medley relay [33][36]
2013 Margo Geer Women's swimming 50 freestyle [33][40]
2013 Margo Geer Women's swimming 100 freestyle [33][40]
2013 Samantha Pickens Women's diving 1-meter springboard [33][40]
2013 Lawi Lalang Men's outdoor track and field 5,000-meter run [33][34]
2013 Lawi Lalang Men's outdoor track and field 10,000-meter run [33][34]
2013 Brigetta Barrett Women's outdoor track and field High jump [33][38]
2014 Kevin Cordes Men's swimming 100 breaststroke [33][36]
2014 Kevin Cordes Men's swimming 200 breaststroke [33][36]
2014 Brad Tandy Men's swimming 50 freestyle [33][36]
2014 Margo Geer Women's swimming 100 freestyle [33][40]
2014 Lawi Lalang Men's outdoor track and field 5,000-meter run [33][34]
2015 Samantha Pickens Women's diving 1-meter springboard [33][40]
2015 Kevin Cordes Men's swimming 100 breaststroke [33][36]
2017 Sage Watson Women's outdoor track and field 400-meter hurdles [33][38]
2023 Jordan Geist Men's indoor track and field Shot put [44]
2023 Delaney Schnell Women's diving Platform [45]
2023 Jordan Geist Men's outdoor track and field Shot put [46]

Notable athletic venues

Wildcats in the Olympics

In addition to the successful athletic program, Arizona has produced 122 Olympians making 187 appearances between 1952 through 2021.[47]

Notable Wildcat Olympians include Delaney Schnell (women's diving, silver), Amy Van Dyken (women's swimming, gold), Josh Green (men's basketball, bronze), Jennie Finch (softball, gold and silver), Andre Iguodala (men's basketball, gold), Amanda Beard (women's swimming, multiple medals), and Richard Jefferson (men's basketball, bronze).

Gold Silver Bronze Total Olympic Medals
36 24 14 74

Traditions

History of Bear Down, Arizona!

In 1952, Jack K. Lee, an applicant for the UA's band directorship, departed Tucson by air following an interview with UA administration. From his airplane window, Lee observed the huge letters on the roof of the UA gymnasium reading "BEAR DOWN". Inspired, Lee scribbled down what was at first a poem, but later turned into a song. By the time his plane landed, he had virtually finished it. A few weeks later Lee was named the UA band director, and in September 1952, the UA band performed "Bear Down, Arizona!" in public for the first time. Soon thereafter, "Bear Down, Arizona!" became accepted as UA's fight song despite the fact that the Chicago Bears fight song, "Bear Down, Chicago Bears", was introduced in 1941.

History behind the motto Bear Down

The battle cry was created by a popular student athlete, John "Button" Salmon, who was the student body president, as well as the starting quarterback for the Wildcat football team and the catcher for the Wildcat baseball team.

The day before the first game of the 1926 football season, Salmon and three friends were involved in an automobile accident and their vehicle flipped over a ravine. Although Salmon's friends were not injured, Salmon incurred a severe spinal cord injury.

In the aftermath of the accident, football coach Pop McKale visited him in the hospital every day. During McKale's last visit, Salmon's last message to his teammates was, "Tell them...tell the team to bear down." John Salmon died on October 18, 1926.

The following year, the University of Arizona student body approved that "Bear Down" would be the new slogan for all Wildcat athletic teams. In 1939, the Arizona state legislature issued a decree that "Bear Down" would be the exclusive property of the University of Arizona.

Arizona Sports Ring of Honor

A heritage committee, organized by current and former longtime athletics department staff, manages these through reviews and makes recommendations based on all available information, resources, and considerations.[48]

Ring of Honor criteria:

Baseball Legends Plaza Wall of Fame

Athlete Year(s) at Arizona
Hank Leiber 1930
Robert Murray 1947–1950
Don Lee 1954–1956
Carl Thomas 1954–1956
Dick Griesser 1954–1958
Tom Clarkson 1955–1957
Matt Encinas 1957–1959
Alan Hall 1958–1960
C. Shoemaker 1959–1961
Dan Schneider 1961–1962
Eddie Leon 1965–1967
Pat O'Brien 1966–1968
Jerry Stitt 1966–1968
Tim Plodinec 1967–1968
Steve Miklulic 1970–1971
John Glenn 1970–1972
Dennis Haines 1971–1974
Dave Stegman 1973–1976
Ron Hassey 1974–1976
Steve Powers 1974–1976
Les Pearsey 1975–1978
Terry Francona 1978–1980
Craig Leffery 1978–1980
Wes Clements 1979–1980
John Moses 1979–1980
Ed Vosberg 1980–1983
Jack Howell 1983
Bob Ralston 1983–1984
Joe Magrane 1983–1985
Chip Hale 1984–1987
Gil Heredia 1986–1987
Kenny Lofton 1988
JT Snow 1987–1989
Alan Zinter 1987–1989
Trevor Hoffman 1988–1989
Robbie Moen 1990–1993
George Arias 1992–1993
Scott Erickson 1989
Ben Diggins 1999–2000
Shelley Duncan 1999–2001
Trevor Crowe 2003–2005
Keoni DeRenne 1998–2000
Brian Anderson 2001–2003
Nick Hundley 2003–2005
Brad Boyer 2003–2006
Derek Decater 2003–2006
Jason Donald 2004–2006
Eric Berger 2005–2008
Preston Guilmet 2006–2009

Men's Basketball Ring of Honor

Athlete Year(s) at Arizona
Bob Elliott 1973–1977
Steve Kerr 1983–1988
Sean Elliott 1985–1989
Jud Buechler 1986–1990
Sean Rooks 1989–1992
Chris Mills 1990–1993
Khalid Reeves 1990–1994
Damon Stoudamire 1991–1995
Miles Simon 1994–1998
Jason Terry 1995–1999
Mike Bibby 1996–1998
Michael Wright 1998–2001
Richard Jefferson 1999–2001
Jason Gardner 1999–2003
Luke Walton 1998–2003
Salim Stoudamire 2002–2005
Gilbert Arenas 1999–2001
Chase Budinger 2006–2009
Jerryd Bayless 2007–2008
Derrick Williams 2009–2011
Andre Iguodala 2002–2004
Nick Johnson 2011–2014
Aaron Gordon 2013–2014
Channing Frye 2001–2005
Stanley Johnson 2014–2015
Deandre Ayton 2017–2018
Albert "Al" Fleming 1972–1976
Ernie McCray 1957–1960
Zeke Nnaji 2019–2020
Josh Green 2019–2020
Bennedict Mathurin 2021–2022

Women's Basketball Ring of Honor

Athlete Year(s) at Arizona
Adia Barnes 1995–1998
Shawtinice Polk 2001–2005
Dee Dee Wheeler 2002–2005
Ifunanya "Ify" Ibekwe 2007–2011
Davellyn Whyte 2009–2013
Aari McDonald 2017–2021
Kirsten Smith 1982–1986

Football Ring of Honor

Athlete Year(s) at Arizona
Dave Hibbert 1958
Hank Stanton 1939–1941
Walt Nielsen 1936–1938
Tony Bouie 1991–1994
Allan Durden 1982–1985
Harold McClellan 1920–1922
Eddie Wilson 1959–1961
Ted Bland 1933–1935
Tom Greenfield 1936–1938
Fred W. Enke 1946–1947
Art Luppino 1953–1956
Jackie Wallace 1970–1972
Chris McAlister 1996–1998
Theopolis Bell 1972–1975
Steve McLaughlin 1991–1994
Josh Miller 1990–1992
Chuck Cecil 1984–1987
Mark Arneson 1969–1971
Ricky Hunley 1980–1983
Tedy Bruschi 1992–1995
Darryll Lewis 1987–1990
Joe Tofflemire 1985–1988
Dennis Northcutt 1996–1999
Rob Waldrop 1990–1993
Tom Tunnicliffe 1980–1983
Byron Evans 1983–1986
Glenn Parker 1988–1989
Brant Boyer 1992–1993
Michael Bates 1989–1990
John Fina 1988–1991
Dana Wells 1985–1988
Max Zendejas 1982–1985
Lance Briggs 1999–2002
Antonio Pierce 1999–2000
Mike Dawson 1972–1975
Antoine Cason 2004–2007
Edwin Mulitalo 1997–1998
Nick Folk 2003–2006
Mike Thomas 2005–2008
Nick Foles 2009–2010
Ka'Deem Carey 2011–2013
Bobby Wade 1999–2002
Rob Gronkowski 2007–2009
Scooby Wright 2013–2015
Trung Canidate 1996–1999
Brandon Manumaleuna 1997–2000
Keith Smith 1996–1999
Earl Mitchell 2006–2009
Brooks Reed 2007–2010

Gymnastics Ring of Honor

Athlete Year(s) at Arizona
Mary-Kay Brown 1984–1988
Kelly Chaplin 1984–1988
Caroline Wood 1986–1989
Diane Monty 1998–1991
Anna Basaldua 1990–1993
Kristi Gunning 1991–1994
Stacy Fowlkes 1992–1993
Jenna Karadbil 1992–1995
Shane Allbritton 1993–1996
Tenli Poggemeyer 1994–1998
Maureen Kealey 1996–1999
Kristin McDermott 1996–1999
Heidi Hornbeek 1996–2000
Kara Fry 1998–2001
Monica Bisordi 2002–2005
Randi Liljenquist 1999–2003
Katie Johnson 2002–2005
Karin Wurm 2005–2008
Katie Matusik 2009–2012

Volleyball Ring of Honor

Athlete Year(s) at Arizona
Melissa McLinden 1982–1985
Caren Kemner 1983–1984
Terry Lauchner 1987–1990
Barb Bell 1993–1996
Dana Burkholder 1998–2001
Jill Talbot 1998–2001
Kim Glass 2002–2005
Penina Snuka 2013–2016
Whitney Dosty 2006–2009

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