Savannah State Tigers
Logo
UniversitySavannah State University
ConferenceSIAC (primary)
NCAADivision II
Athletic directorOpio Mashariki
LocationSavannah, Georgia
Varsity teams13 (6 men's, 7 women's)
Football stadiumTed Wright Stadium
Basketball arenaTiger Arena
Baseball stadiumTiger Baseball Field
Softball stadiumLady Tiger Softball Field
Tennis venueTiger Tennis Courts
NicknameTigers and Lady Tigers
ColorsBurnt orange and reflex blue[1]
   
Websitessuathletics.com

The Savannah State Tigers and Lady Tigers are the men's and women's intercollegiate athletic teams that play for Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia.

Conference affiliation

Former SSU Athletics logo (2000–2012)

Savannah State University holds membership in the NCAA Division II (as members of the SIAC) and participates in the following sports: football, baseball, basketball (men and women), cross-country (men and women), tennis (men and women), track and field (men and women), volleyball (women only), golf (men), and softball (women).[2][3][4] On March 20, 2010, the Tigers were accepted as provisional members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) beginning on July 1, 2010.[5] On September 8, 2011, the university was confirmed as a full member of the MEAC Conference, making the Tigers eligible to participate in all conference championships and earn the conference's automatic berth to NCAA postseason competition in all sponsored sports.[6] Before moving to Division I-AA, Savannah State was a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the NCAA Division II (1981–2005), NCAA Division II and the Southeastern Athletic Conference in the NAIA (1929–1961).

Savannah State announced on April 17, 2017, that all of its intercollegiate athletic programs were going to be reclassified to NCAA Division II, citing that maintaining Division I status was not financially feasible.[7] Just under eight months later on December 7, the university revealed its plans to apply for re-entry to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference by February 1, 2018.[8] These plans were later approved and Savannah State was re-admitted into the SIAC on July 2, 2019.

Conference championships

Season Sport Conference Notes References
1970 Men's Basketball SIAC [9]
1979 Men's Basketball SIAC regular season and tournament title [10][11]
1980 Men's Basketball SIAC regular season and tournament title [10][11]
1981 Men's Basketball SIAC regular season and tournament title [10][11]
1991 Women's Tennis SIAC [12]
1994 Women's Tennis SIAC [12]
1995 Baseball SIAC [13]
1996 Women's Tennis SIAC [12]
1996 Baseball SIAC [13]
1997 Women's Tennis SIAC [12]
1997 Baseball SIAC [13]
1998 Baseball SIAC [13]
1998 Women's Tennis SIAC [12]
1999 Baseball SIAC [13]
2012 Men's Basketball MEAC regular season conference champions
2012 Softball MEAC Southern Division Conference Champions
2013 Baseball MEAC Southern Division Conference Champions
Conference tournament champions
2015 Women's Basketball MEAC Conference tournament champions
2022 Men's Basketball SIAC Conference tournament champions [14]

Team colors

The official school colors for Savannah State are Burnt Orange and Reflex Blue.[15] White is often used as a secondary color and for alternate jerseys.

Organization

Athletics at Savannah State University are administered by the Savannah State University Athletic Department. The department is headed by an athletic director who is responsible for the department's oversight and all matters related to the school's 16 NCAA Division I sports teams for men and women.[16] The department dedicates about $2 million per year for its sports teams and facilities.[17]

The current athletic director is Sterling Steward Jr.[18]

Current facilities

Most athletic teams have on-campus facilities for competition, including Ted A. Wright Stadium for football and track and field,[19] and Tiger Arena for basketball and women's volleyball.

Ted A. Wright Stadium is an 8,500 seat multi purpose stadium which opened in 1969.[20] The stadium's name is an homage to former Savannah State Football coach Theodore Wright, who coached the team from 1947 to 1949.[21]

Track and field renovations were made at Ted A.Wright Stadium in the mid 1990s as part of the "Olympic Legacy Package". The "Olympic Legacy Package" included a 400-meter track and competitive field areas.[22]

Tiger Arena is a 5,000-seat multi purpose arena that opened in 2000. Tiger Arena replaced Willcox-Wiley Gymnasium,[23] costing $9.6 million to construct.[24]

Traditional rivals

The traditional rival, in all sports, is in-state Fort Valley State University.[25]

Sports sponsored

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Golf
Football Softball
Golf Tennis
Track and field Track and field
Volleyball
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.

Football

Sophomore quarterback A.J. Defillips warms up during the Savannah State vs. Old Dominion game. (Taken on November 6, 2010).

Main article: Savannah State Tigers football

The football team is traditionally the most popular sport at Savannah State. The games are played at Ted A. Wright Stadium. Since moving to NCAA Division I – FCS in 2000, the Tigers have compiled a 17–88 record as of the 2009–2010 season.[26] Prior to moving to Division I – FCS, the team compiled a 97–108–4 record in NCAA Division II (1981–2000), a 15–20–0 record in NCAA Division III (1973–1980) and a 1–1–0 record as a member of the NAIA.[27][28]

Men's basketball

Main article: Savannah State Tigers men's basketball

Savannah State competes in NCAA Division II as a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference since July 2019, and plays home games in Tiger Arena on the university campus.

The school gained notoriety when they finished the 2004–2005 men's basketball season a winless 0–28, the first Division I team to do so since Prairie View A&M University in 1991–1992.[29][30][31] The Tigers were the 2011–12 MEAC regular season champions and received an automatic bid into the 2012 NIT, their first ever appearance in any Division I tournament as a Division I member. The team posted a 21–10 overall mark and lead the MEAC in scoring defense, only allowing 58.9 points per game and were second in the conference in scoring margin (+5.4).[32]

The Tigers defeated Benedict College, 76–62, to win the 2022 SIAC Men's Basketball Tournament.[14]

Baseball

Savannah State Tigers
Information
LeagueNCAA Division II
LocationSavannah, Georgia
Nickname(s)Tigers
MascotTiger
ManagerCarlton Hardy
Uniforms
Home
Away

The head coach is Carlton Hardy.[33]

Conference championships and NCAA playoffs

Team awards and NCAA records

Season-by-season record

  NCAA Division I Independent   SIAC (NCAA Division II)   NCAA Division III   NAIA Southeastern

Team awards and NCAA records

Head baseball coach Carlton Hardy, 2014

Notable players and coaches

Some notable Savannah State baseball players and coaches include:

Name Class year Position Notability Reference(s)
Mark Eric Alvarez Pitcher Signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006 [40]
Brandon Jackson Outfielder 16th round selection of the 1999 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim [41]
Kyle McGowin Pitcher First Team All-American in 2013, 5th round selection of the 2013 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim [42]
Jeff Urgelles Catcher Minor League Baseball player and Major League Baseball coach for the Miami Marlins [43]

Women's basketball

Main article: Savannah State Lady Tigers basketball

Savannah State Lady Tigers basketball is a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) member. They currently play in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).[44]

The Lady Tigers started playing in 1928 and in 1974 joined Division II. They compiled a 339–394 record in Division II before moving on to Division I in 2002.[45] In Division I, the Lady Tigers are 148–260.[45] The Lady Tigers won 6 total SEAC Championships.[45]

The Lady Tigers will move back to Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) after the 2018–19 season[46]

Women's tennis

The current coach is Don Andrews who entered his first season as head coach in 2008.[47]

Team awards and records

The Women's Tennis Team won the SIAC championship in 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1998.[12]

In 2014, the Women's Tennis team set the program record for Division I wins.[48]

The Women's tennis team started playing in 1984–85.[49] They joined the MEAC during the 2011–12 season.[49]

Women's volleyball

The current head coach is Jolanta Graham who replaced Schannon Gamble in 2012.

Savannah State's Women's volleyball team began play in 1985 before they moved to Division I in 2002.[50] They began MEAC play in 2011.[50]

Savannah State's Women's volleyball has not had much success in their previous 34 seasons.[50]

Women's softball

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2007)

The current head coach is Jose Gonzalez who entered his first season in 2008.[51]

In 2012, the Lady Tigers softball team completed their first .500 season and won a MEAC division title.[52]

Men's golf

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2007)

The current coach is Art Gelow.[53]

Track and field

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2007)

The current coach is Ted Whitaker who entered his first season as head coach in 1999.[54]

References

  1. ^ "Savannah State University Athletics – 2016 Football Quick Facts". Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "Savannah State University Athletics". Savannah State University. 2007. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2007.
  3. ^ "Savannah State's bid to join MEAC on hold; Winston-Salem State to get vote soon". Black College Sports Page. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  4. ^ Barnidge, Noell (August 24, 2008). "Flythe: SSU to stay Division I; eyes conference". SavannahNow.com. Savannah Morning News. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
  5. ^ Barnidge, Noell (March 11, 2010). "Savannah State joins Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference". SavannahNow.com. Savannah Morning News. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
  6. ^ "N.C. Central and Savannah State Become Full Members". MEACSports.com. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
  7. ^ Heath, Donald. "Savannah State plans to move athletics down to Division II," Savannah (GA) Morning News, Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018
  8. ^ "SSU moves to Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference," Savannah State University, Thursday, December 7, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018
  9. ^ "SIAC Basketball Champions". Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  10. ^ a b c "Former Savannah State Men's Basketball Coach Dies". Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  11. ^ a b c "Georgia Sports HOF To Induct Nine". Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved September 4, 2008.
  12. ^ a b c d e f "SIAC Tennis Champs". Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "1999 NCAA Post-Season Playoff Recap". Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  14. ^ a b "Marsh Madness Savannah State Tigers win SIAC Championship". WJCL.com. Hearst Television Inc. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  15. ^ "Savannah State University Athletics". Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  16. ^ Barnidge, Noell (December 9, 2010). "Suggs named Savannah State athletics director". SavannahNow.com. Savannah Morning News and Evening Press. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  17. ^ "The Mid-majority Report: Savannah State". Archived from the original on May 17, 2007. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  18. ^ "Sterling Steward Jr.: Director of Athletics". Staff Directory. Savannah State University. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  19. ^ "Mercer Returns to Savannah for Orange & Blue Classic". Mercer Bears. Mercer Bears. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  20. ^ "Theodore A. Wright Stadium". Savannah State University Athletics. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  21. ^ "Savannah State Athletics". SSU Athletics. SSU Athletics. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  22. ^ "Track & Field – Wright Stadium". Chatham County. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  23. ^ "Wilcox Gymnasium". Savannah State University. Archived from the original on February 6, 2008. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  24. ^ Glier, Ray (February 4, 2005). "Savannah State is in quite a struggle". USATODAY.com. USA Today. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  25. ^ "Watch Shannon Sharpe dominates-college competition at Savannah State". HBCU Gameday. HBCU Gameday. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  26. ^ "Football Championship Subdivision Records Book" (PDF). Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  27. ^ "DIAAFOOTBALL.COM – Savannah State". Archived from the original on March 21, 2008. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  28. ^ "Official 2007 NCAA Division II and III Football Records Book" (PDF). Retrieved November 20, 2007. [dead link]
  29. ^ "Tigers finish season 0–28". ESPN.com. May 28, 2005. Retrieved February 15, 2005.
  30. ^ "Winless Savannah State Gets New Coach". CSTV.com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2008. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  31. ^ "SSU fires men's basketball coach Daniels". February 17, 2005. Retrieved November 22, 2007.
  32. ^ "MEAC announces All-MEAC Men's Basketball Honors". MEACSports.com. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  33. ^ a b c "Savannah State University Baseball Head Coach: Carlton Hardy". Savannah State University. Retrieved November 22, 2007.
  34. ^ a b "From the Onnidan Online News Room". Retrieved November 26, 2007.
  35. ^ "Savannah State Univ. Season Statistics". Retrieved November 22, 2007.
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Northwestern Oklahoma State University – Ranger Athletics". Archived from the original on October 27, 2007. Retrieved November 22, 2007.
  37. ^ "Savannah State Receives Probation, Financial Aid cuts".[permanent dead link]
  38. ^ a b c d "Player Bio:Wesley McGriff". Archived from the original on November 11, 2007. Retrieved November 22, 2007.
  39. ^ a b c d e "Official 2006 NCAA Records Book" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 30, 2006. Retrieved December 5, 2006.
  40. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates Scoutinig Report" (PDF). Retrieved September 5, 2008.
  41. ^ "First-year Player Draft". Retrieved September 5, 2008.
  42. ^ "Savannah State's Kyle McGowin named to All-America team". Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  43. ^ "PLAYER DEVELOPMENT AND SCOUTING" (PDF). Retrieved September 5, 2008.
  44. ^ "Savannah State Lady Tigers Schedule – 2018–19". ESPN. ESPN. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  45. ^ a b c "Savannah State University" (PDF). Amaza News. Amaza News. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 7, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  46. ^ "Savannah State plans move athletics down division ii". Savannah Now. Savannah Now. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  47. ^ "Savannah State University Volleyball/Tennis Head Coach: Yocaira Basilio". Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  48. ^ "Women's Tennis Sets Division I School Record". SSU Athletics. SSU Athletics. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  49. ^ a b "Savannah State University 2017–18 Women's Tennis" (PDF). Amazonaws. Amazonaws. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  50. ^ a b c "Savannah State Volleyball 2014 Quick Facts Sheet" (PDF). XOSN. XOSN. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  51. ^ "Savannah State University Softball Head Coach: Henry Banks". Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  52. ^ "Savannah State Softball Wins MEAC Southern Division Title". SSU Athletics. SSU Athletics. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  53. ^ "Savannah State University GOLF Head Coach: Art Gelow". Retrieved November 21, 2007.
  54. ^ "Savannah State University TRACK & FIELD Head Coach: Ted Whitaker". Retrieved November 21, 2007.