|Central Oklahoma Bronchos|
|University||University of Central Oklahoma|
|Athletic director||Stan Wagnon|
|Football stadium||Chad Richison Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Hamilton Field House|
|Baseball stadium||Wendell Simmons Field|
|Fight song||UCO Fight Song|
|Colors||Blue and bronze|
The Central Oklahoma Bronchos, often referred to as Central Oklahoma, Central State or UCO, are the intercollegiate athletic teams representing University of Central Oklahoma, located in Edmond, Oklahoma. The 14 men's and women's varsity teams are called the "Bronchos", with a unique use of the letter H. The school's identification as Bronchos dates back to 1922, when the wife of football coach Charles W. Wantland suggested it for the school's mascot. The official colors of the teams are bronze and blue, which the institution adopted in 1895. The Bronchos compete in the NCAA's Division II and in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association in all sports except women's rowing, which will compete beginning in 2020 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The Bronchos have won eighteen national championships, with the most recent coming in 2019 as the women's rowing program won the NCAA Division II Rowing Championship. The university's current athletic director is Stan Wagnon, who has served in the position since 2020.
The Central Oklahoma Bronchos joined the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association in 2012, along with in-state rival Northeastern State University. Previously, Central Oklahoma competed in the first Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference from 1919 to 1929; the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference from 1929 to 1974; was a charter member of the second Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference from 1974 to 1976; as an NAIA Independent from 1976 to 1988, and the Lone Star Conference from 1988 to 2011. The Bronchos participated in the LSC's North Division from 1997 to 2011. In the 2011–12 sports season the Bronchos participated as an NCAA Division II independent before joining the MIAA the following year.
|Men's sports||Women's sports|
|Track and field†|
|† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor|
Main article: Central Oklahoma Bronchos football
The University of Central Oklahoma football team began in 1902 and has since compiled over 600 wins, two national championships, and 27 conference championships. As of 2016, the Bronchos were ranked fourth in NCAA Division II for total wins and ranked 12th in winning percentage (0.606). In 1962, the Bronchos went 11–0 on the season and defeated Lenoir-Rhyne University (NC) 28–13 in the Camellia Bowl to claim its first NAIA national championship. Twenty years later, Central Oklahoma defended its home turf and defeated Colorado Mesa University (then Mesa State College) 14–11 in the NAIA national championship game to take its second title and finish the season with a 10–2 record.
Despite its rich history in football, Central Oklahoma has struggled beginning in the late 2000s, posting a 29–58 record and attaining only two winning seasons since 2009. The decline in performance coincided with the NCAA's decision to place the Bronchos on three years probation for "lack of institutional control", starting in 2008. Chuck Langston, the Bronchos' head coach during the period when the rules violations occurred, was fired and replaced by Tracy Holland. As a result of penalties, UCO's roster was reduced from 100 players to 90 players each season during the probation, and Holland's win–loss record declined each year. In December 2011, Tracy Holland was fired as head coach after compiling a 15–29 record during his four seasons at the helm. The following month, Nick Bobeck, a UCO-alumnus and former fullback for the Bronchos, was hired to take the reins as head football coach at UCO. The Bronchos finished Bobeck's first two seasons with identical 2–8 records. In 2014 the Bronchos rebounded to finish third in the MIAA with an 8–3 record and a Mineral Water Bowl appearance. In 2015 the Bronchos finished with a 7–5 record victory and a victory in the Live United Texarkana Bowl. In 2016 UCO finished with a 3–8 record.
The Bronchos play their home games at Chad Richison Stadium, a 10,000 capacity football stadium built in 1965. The Bronchos have enjoyed nine undefeated home seasons and are 5–1 in playoff games at the venue. As of 2016, their current record at home stands at 168–97–5, a 62.9 winning percentage.
The men's basketball team has enjoyed recent success and rose to national prominence since the 2000s with head coach Terry Evans and national Division II player of the year Daunte Williams. It currently plays in Hamilton Field House. While the team has never won a national championship, it has played in 17 national tournaments, and has made the NAIA and NCAA Division II Elite Eight four times. The team played in the 2008 Elite Eight, and lost to Augusta State University in double overtime. The Bronchos hosted the South Central Regional in 2011 but lost to Midwestern State in the Regional finals.
The Bronchos have had at least two players in the BBA/NBA, Eddie Robinson who played five seasons with the Charlotte Hornets and the Chicago Bulls and Ken Corley who played briefly for the Cleveland Rebels.
The Central Oklahoma Baseball team began in 1896, and is currently coached by John Martin. The Bronchos have eight national tournament appearances, as most recently as 2017. The program had 16 All Americans, and 15 since 1990. The Bronchos highest national finish came in 1997, when they finished runner-up to Chico State in the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship. Their home field is Wendell Simmons Field, named for long time coach Wendell Simmons.
With seven NCAA Division II team national championships and eight NAIA championships, wrestling is one of the most successful sports at Central Oklahoma. The team is coached by Todd Steidley, who in 2016 took over from twelve time national champion David James. The Central Oklahoma wrestling team began in 1921. The program found immediate success, finishing in a second place tie with Oklahoma A&M in the 1936 NCAA Championship to champion Oklahoma. In 1947 the school cut the program. The program returned to campus in 1972 under coach Jimmy Rogers. After two years at the Division II ranks, the program became an NAIA power, winning national championships under Eddie Griffin in 1979, 1981, and 1982. James took over the program and won five more NAIA crowns in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1989. In the 1990s after rejoining Division II, the Bronchos enjoyed a streak of four straight national championships (1992–1995). UCO's three most recent crowns came in 2002, 2003, and 2007. Mixed Martial Artist and current UFC fighters Tim Elliott and Muhammed Lawal wrestled for the Bronchos while attending Central Oklahoma.
The university decided to create the women's varsity softball program in 1975 and the Central Oklahoma softball team officially started competing under former head coach Gerry Pinkston. Since the beginning of the program, the program has won several championships, five conference championships (three in the Lone Star Conference, and two in the MIAA), and one national championship. The program has made eleven appearances in the NCAA tournament, including two appearances in the NCAA Division II Women's College World Series (2012, 2013), and one College World Series national championship (2013).
The Bronchos most recently won the MIAA regular season and tournament championship in 2017. In 2012, they played for the NCAA softball championship in the Women's College World Series, losing to the UC San Diego Tritons in the semifinals. The Bronchos advanced to the finals of the 2013 Women's College World Series this time defeating the Kutztown Golden Bears to win their first national championship.
The current head coach is Cody White; the 2017 season was his fourth as the Bronchos' coach. He was previously the Bronchos' assistant coach, and a softball and baseball assistant at Edmond Memorial High School. He played baseball for Southern Nazarene University. Entering the 2017 season, White has a record of 102–57.
The Bronchos softball team plays its home games at the Broncho Softball field which has recently been renovated.
The Central Oklahoma men's golf program is currently led by Josh Fosdick. The Bronchos have had two golfers win the individual national championship, Dax Johnston in 1996, and Josh Creel in 2011. The Bronchos have finished as high as third in the national tournament.
The Central Oklahoma women's golf program is currently led by Michael Bond. The Bronchos have finished as high as sixth in the national tournament. In 2010, two Broncho golfers and sisters Lindsey and Erica Bensch both made an ace on the same day.
Women's rowing was established by the university in 2008. The team competes from a state-of-the-art boathouse facility located on the Oklahoma River. In addition to accommodating the UCO rowing team, the facility is used as a training facility for United States Olympic and Paralympic programs. The Bronchos won back to back NCAA Division II Rowing Championships in 2018 and 2019.
In their 120-year history of intercollegiate competition, the University of Central Oklahoma's varsity athletic teams have won eighteen national team championships (including nine sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and ten by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
Men's national championships
Women's national championships
The University of Central Oklahoma is a member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA), one of the nation's premier intercollegiate sports conferences, and fourteen of the fifteen Broncho sports teams compete in the MIAA. The MIAA does not sponsor women's rowing. Since the Bronchos joined the MIAA in 2012. Central Oklahoma's varsity athletic teams have won eighty-three total conference championship and six MIAA team championships. Prior to MIAA competition, the Bronchos competed in the Lone Star Conference, from 1988 to 2011. The second incarnation of the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference, Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference, and the first incarnation of the OIC The Bronchos conference championships include:
Men's conference championships
Women's conference championships
The Bronchos have had nine athletic directors.
|Charles W. Wantland||1912–1931|
|Dale E. Hamilton||1941–1976|
Central Oklahoma's official school colors are bronze and blue. Edmund Murdaugh, the president of the institution, selected these colors in 1895. The first recorded use of these colors was in 1895 as a student represented Territorial Normal School with these colors at an oratory competition in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
The Central Oklahoma Bronchos mascot is Buddy Broncho, who has served as UCO's mascot since 1932.
The university also offers various sports outside of the NCAA at the club level:
The UCO men's ice hockey team was founded in 2006 and currently competes in the American Collegiate Hockey Association as an independent team at the ACHA Division I level. UCO Bronchos main rival is the University of Oklahoma Sooners. The home games are played off campus at the Arctic Edge Ice Arena and is coached by Craig McAlister, the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I Coach of the Year for 2008–2009. The 2009–10 season saw the Bronchos advance to the Semi-Final Round of the ACHA Men's Division I National Tournament before losing to the eventual nation champions, Lindenwood University. The 2010 fourth-place finish was the team's highest in its history at the time; following the season the team was honored by the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The team finished the 2011–12 regular season with a 15–22–1 record and qualified for the 2012 ACHA Division I Nationals, ranked 15th. UCO defeated Kent State 2–1 in the opening round before the team lost to Lindenwood 5–2 in the round. In 2015, the hockey club captured the ACHA National Championship with a win over Stony Brook by a score of 4–0. In 2017, the hockey club captured their second ACHA National Championship with a win over Ohio by a score of 3–0.
In 2012, the Men's Track & Field team was reorganized. Although short lived, they did secure the USATF Southwest Regional Championship the same year.
The University of Central Oklahoma Rugby Football Club existed from 2007–2011. The rugby team recorded their most famous victory of The University of Tulsa on January 31, 2009, by winning the match 26–0.
The University of Central Oklahoma Cheerleaders currently compete in the Universal Cheerleaders Association in Division II coached by Jenni Hawkins since April 2019.
They have won 11 National Cheerleaders Association national team championships in the following divisions:
NCA Intermediate All Girl Div. II Cheer National Champions - 2007, 2016, and 2017. NCA All-Girl II Cheer National Champions - 2002, 2003, 2012, and 2013. NCA Co-Ed Intermediate National Champions - 2008, 2009, 2010. NCA Small Co-Ed II National Champions - 2004
The University of Central Oklahoma STUNT team competes in Stunt Division II coached by Jenni Hawkins since April 2019.
They have won 3 Stunt national team championships in the following years: 2012, 2013, and 2014