Howard Bison
UniversityHoward University
ConferenceMEAC (primary)
NEC (m & w golf, w lacrosse, m & w soccer, m & w swimming)
NCAADivision I (FCS)
Athletic directorKery Davis
LocationWashington, D.C.
Varsity teams21
Football stadiumWilliam H. Greene Stadium
Basketball arenaBurr Gymnasium
Softball stadiumWashington Nationals Youth Academy
Other venuesWTEF-East Capitol Campus
ColorsNavy blue and white[1]
Howard Bison wordmark.svg

The Howard Bison and Lady Bison are the intercollegiate athletic teams that represent Howard University, located in Washington, D.C. The Bison compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s and Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)[2] and are members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference for most sports. On July 16, 2015, the Athletics Department unveiled new logos, replacing the previous logo that was nearly identical to that used by the National Football League's Buffalo Bills.[3]

Varsity teams

A member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Howard University currently sponsors teams in nine men's and 12 women's NCAA sanctioned sports. Men's and women's golf became the newest varsity sports in the 2020–21 school year, with six years of program funding guaranteed by NBA superstar Stephen Curry.[4]

Men's Intercollegiate Sports Team Article Head Coach Women's Intercollegiate Sports Team Article Head Coach
Basketball Bison basketball Keith Blakeney Basketball Bison basketball Tiesha "Ty" Grace
Cross country David Oliver Bowling Ron Davis
Football Bison football Larry Scott Cross country David Oliver
Golf [a] Sam Puryear Golf [a] Sam Puryear
Soccer [b] Bison soccer Phillip Gyau Lacrosse [c]
Swimming & Diving [d][e] Nicholas Askew Soccer [b] Brent Leiba
Tennis Nicholas Askew Softball Victoria Tyson
Track & Field (Indoor) & (Outdoor) [f] David Oliver Swimming & Diving[d][e] Nicholas Askew
Tennis Nicholas Askew
Track & Field (Indoor) & (Outdoor) [f] David Oliver
Volleyball Shaun Kupferberg
  1. ^ a b Both golf teams compete as associate members of the Northeast Conference.
  2. ^ a b Both soccer teams compete as associate members of the Northeast Conference.
  3. ^ The lacrosse team competes as an associate member of the Northeast Conference. Howard is the first HBCU with a Division I women's lacrosse team.
  4. ^ a b The men's and women's swimming teams compete as members of the Northeast Conference. Howard is the only HBCU with competitive swim and dive teams.
  5. ^ a b The NCAA considers swimming & diving to be a single sport.
  6. ^ a b The NCAA considers indoor and outdoor track & field to be two separate sports.

Howard University announced in July 2020 that it would join the Northeast Conference (NEC) as an associate member in six sports. Men's and women's swimming joined in 2020–21, with men's and women's soccer, women's lacrosse and women's golf following in 2021–22.[5] Howard added men's golf to its NEC membership in 2022–23 after the MEAC and NEC entered into a partnership in baseball and golf that provided NEC associate membership to all MEAC members with teams in those sports.[6]


The Howard Bison have won 14 MEAC championships, including the last 6 fall championships. The Bison have competed in the NCAA tournament on seven occasions (1994, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021). Their success in the classroom has been honored as well by repeatedly winning the US Marine Corps / AVCA Team Academic Award.

The Bison women made history being the first USA collegiate team to take an international tour to Africa (Botswana and Zimbabwe) in 2018. They competed with the national teams from both countries and sponsored camps for local children.


The Howard Bison have won 4 regular season conference championships, 3 conference tournament championships, and have appeared in 2 NCAA tournaments (1981 & 1992).


As the only team in the MEAC playing men's soccer, the Bison's men's soccer team competed as an independent for many years, but the Bison became an affiliate member of the Sun Belt Conference when the conference resumed men's soccer after a 20-year absence in 2014. Over the years, Howard has had an up and down history, with NCAA championship seasons and other years seeing little success; the 2013 team had only one win in eighteen games.[7]

Bison teams qualified for the NCAA tournament in 1962, 1963, 1970†, 1971†, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1988, 1989, and 1997. In six College Cup appearances, they were NCAA Champions in 1974, runners-up in 1988, third in 1972, and fourth in 1975; additional first (1971) and third (1970) place finishes were vacated by the NCAA.[8]

The women's soccer team joined the Southwestern Athletic Conference in 2014 and won the regular season & tournament titles in its first year. As a first-year member of the conference, Howard was not allowed to accept the SWAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament (runner up Prairie View A&M went instead).

As of the 2021–2022 season, the men's and women's soccer teams are no longer affiliate members of the Sun Belt Conference, and are now affiliate members of the Northeast Conference.[9]

Athletic facilities

William H. Greene Stadium is a 7,086-seat multi-purpose stadium in Washington, D.C., in the United States, which opened in 1926. It is home to the Howard University Bison football, soccer, track & field, and Women's lacrosse teams. Originally called Howard Stadium, it was renamed William H. Greene Stadium in 1986 in honor of William H. Greene, M.D., a Washington, D.C., physician.[10]

Marching band

Further information: "Showtime" Marching Band

Howard's marching band is known as the "Showtime" Marching Band and it also features auxiliaries, the "Ooh La La!" dance team and the "Flashy Flags" color guard. The band has performed at several NFL games, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Honda Battle of the Bands, and the 56th Inaugural Parade for former U.S. President Barack Obama. The marching band's mission is to serve as a Howard ambassador and Bison athletics supporter.[11]


Division I National Championships

Men's Soccer – 1971 (Vacated) See Note

Men's Soccer – 1974[12]


Main article: The Real HU (Howard-Hampton)

Main article: Howard–Morgan State football rivalry

Howard's top rival is Hampton University. The two schools call their intense rivalry Battle of "The Real HU".[15][16] [17][18][19]

Howard also has a strong rivalry with Morgan State University.[20][21][22]

Another of Howard's historic rivals is Morehouse College, more popularly known as the Howard/ "Spel-House" rivalry due to Morehouse's close association with the all-women's HBCU Spelman College. This rivalry is not often played because Morehouse is an NCAA Division II athletic program, while Howard is NCAA Division I.[23][24][25]


  1. ^ Howard Bison Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Identity Guide (PDF). December 13, 2018. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  2. ^ "The Official Website of NCAA Championships". Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  3. ^ "Howard Unveils New Athletics Logo". July 16, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2022.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "Stephen Curry Partners With Howard University to Launch First Division I Golf Program" (Press release). Howard Bison. August 19, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  5. ^ "Six Howard University Athletics Programs Join the Northeast Conference As Associate Members" (Press release). Northeast Conference. July 6, 2020. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  6. ^ "NEC & MEAC Announce Three-Sport Associate Member Partnership" (Press release). Northeast Conference. July 12, 2022. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  7. ^ "Howard University Bison". Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  8. ^ Williams, Jack (December 6, 2016). "Howard's history-making men's soccer champions needed to be twice as good". the Guardian. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  9. ^ "Six Howard University Sports to Join the Northeast Conference as Associate Members". July 6, 2020.
  10. ^ "William H. Greene Memorial Stadium" (PDF). Footsteps of Achievement: Historic Kappa Heritage Trail (Report). Washington, D.C.: Humanities Council of Washington, D.C. 2010. pp. 12–13. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  11. ^ "Howard University Bands - Pep - Marching - Concert". Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  12. ^ "DI Men's Soccer".
  13. ^ "Division I Men's Soccer Championship History". February 25, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  14. ^ Wahl, Grant (February 24, 1997). "Men on a mission: The 1974 Howard University soccer team wanted to win more than an NCAA title". Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  15. ^ "Column: Historically, Who's the Real HU?". Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  16. ^ "Howard and Hampton reprise the battle for the 'real HU'". Washington Post. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  17. ^ "Howard-Hampton: the real 'HU' rivalry continues – News4usonline". September 22, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  18. ^ "HU VS HU: Nation's Classic To Highlight The Greatest HBCU Rivalry". Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  19. ^ "Who is the real HU? 100 year old football rivalry kicks off". Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  20. ^ Wilbon, Michael (November 21, 1980). "Howard-Morgan State: The Game". Retrieved August 3, 2018 – via
  21. ^ "Rivalry And Revelry". Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  22. ^ "Howard & Morgan Take Rivalry North to a Big Stage in the Big Apple - Afro". September 25, 2011. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  23. ^ "With rivalry renewed, Morehouse and Howard wrap up four-year series at RFK Stadium". Washington Post. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  24. ^ Crockett Jr., Stephen A. "Howard vs. Morehouse: A Rivalry for the Ages". Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  25. ^ Seymour Jr., Add. "Morehouse and Howard Renew Rivalry in the 2011 Nation's Football Classic in Washington, D.C." (Press release). Retrieved August 2, 2018.