Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles
Logo
UniversityUniversity of Southern Indiana
ConferenceOhio Valley Conference (Main Conference)
Summit (Men's soccer, swimming & diving)
Horizon (Men's tennis)
NCAADivision I
Athletic directorJon Mark Hall
LocationVanderburgh County, Indiana
Varsity teams19 (9 men's and 10 women's)
Basketball arenaScreaming Eagles Arena
Baseball stadiumUSI Baseball Field
Soccer stadiumStrassweg Field
MascotArchibald T. Eagle
NicknameScreaming Eagles
Fight song"Fight On, Screaming Eagles!"
ColorsRed, Navy, and White
     
Websitegousieagles.com
Southern Indiana joined the Ohio Valley Conference on July 1, 2022.
Southern Indiana joined the Ohio Valley Conference on July 1, 2022.

The Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles (colloquially known as Screagles[1]) are the athletic teams that represent the University of Southern Indiana, located outside Evansville in Vanderburgh County, Indiana, in NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports. The Screaming Eagles compete as members of the Ohio Valley Conference. Southern Indiana had previously been a member of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference from 1978 to 2022, when the school announced it would reclassify to NCAA Division I.[2][3]

USI was a founding member of the GLVC and began competing in 1979, leading to 188 NCAA Tournament appearances and 231 athletes earning All-American honors. USI has ten NCAA II individual national championships in cross country and track & field, and 16 NCAA II regional championships in baseball, men's basketball, women' basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country and softball. In 2018, USI won the NCAA II Softball National Championship, becoming the first softball team in Indiana to win an NCAA championship. In 2010, USI was the first GLVC member and university in the state of Indiana to win a national championship in baseball, repeating in 2014 to become the first NCAA II program to win multiple team titles. Men's basketball won the NCAA II National Championship in 1995 with 3.9 million viewers watching them on CBS Sports.[4]

USI boasts a strong academic record as well, with 228 Academic All-GLVC athletes in 2021–22 and 35 Academic All-America honors. Student athletes maintain an average GPA of 3.29 and are retained at a high percentage.[5]

History

Sports sponsored

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Golf
Golf Soccer
Soccer Softball
Swimming and diving Swimming and diving
Tennis Tennis
Track and field Track and field
Volleyball
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor
Screaming Eagles Arena
USI's Physical Activities Center, former home of the Screaming Eagles men's and women's basketball team
Display case at the Ford Center in Downtown Evansville, honoring USI's national championship in basketball

Individual sports

Basketball

Men's basketball has been a part of USI's athletic department since the 1970–71 season. The Screaming Eagles are currently one of the most successful basketball programs in Division II athletics. In 1994, USI finished runner-up at the Division II championship and the following year, in 1995, won the national championship. Overall, USI has made 23 NCAA tournament appearances and won the GLVC tournament in 2005, 2007, 2012, and 2014.

USI's success in basketball is due in part to the coaching leadership and legacy of Bruce Pearl, who coached the team from 1992 to 2001. During this nine-year span, USI went to nine straight NCAA D-II tournaments, won four GLVC regular season titles, and compiled a record of 231–46. Pearl's successor, Rick Herdes, led the team to a second-place finish at the 2004 Division II national championship and posted a record of 200–59. However, in 2009, USI submitted to the NCAA a list of NCAA rules violations committed by the men's basketball coaching staff, including Herdes. Three of the violations are related to extra benefits concerning transportation, one concerning academics, and the last concerning improper communication with a prospective student athlete.[8] When the announcement was made, Herdes promptly resigned and was replaced by Rodney Watson.

Despite a one-year probation on postseason play imposed by the GLVC and NCAA, Watson led USI to a 23–0 start and a #2 ranking in the NABC Division II Top 25 Poll, making it the best start for a first-year coach at USI. In his 11 seasons as coach, USI had a 251–82 overall record and a 141–59 record within the conference. Watson's Screaming Eagles made one trip to the Elite Eight during the 2019 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament, advancing all the way to the Final Four before bowing out to eventually runner-up Point Lima 71–81. Watson is the Screaming Eagles' all-time wins leader and longest tenured coach in program history.[9]

Following Watson's retirement after the 2019–20 season, two time NABC Division II Player of the Year and USI all-time great Stan Gouard was named head basketball coach at his alma mater. Gouard had previously been the head coach at GLVC rival Indianapolis.

USI owns an all-time record of 861–416 following the 2020–21 season.

Baseball

Men's baseball began at USI in 1971. Recently, USI has established itself as a top competitor nationally in Division II. In 2010, the school won the NCAA DII National Championship and won their second NCAA title in 2014, defeating Colorado Mesa by a final score of 3–2 in 12 innings. The team also earned a third-place finish in 2007 under head coach Tracy Archuleta.

Softball

The USI softball team was started in 1977 and has been under the direction of coach Sue Kunkle for 16 seasons. The team made its first trip to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship in 2017, losing to West Florida in the opening rounds. In 2018, the Screaming Eagles returned to the tournament as an 8-seed and went undefeated in the tournament to capture their first, and the university’s first women's national championship, defeating Saint Anslem 4–0 and 8–3 in consecutive games in the final.[10] Sophomore pitcher Jennifer Leonhardt started all five games in the NCAA tournament, including a complete-game no-hitter in her second game against Angelo State.[11]

Championships

NCAA

USI has won four NCAA national championships (men's basketball, 1995; baseball, 2010 and 2014, women's softball 2018), finished three times as the national finalist (men's basketball, 1994 and 2004; and women's basketball 1997), and earned two third-place finishes (men's cross country, 1982; baseball, 2007). The men's and women's cross country/track teams have produced five individual national championships since 1997.

Association Division Sport Year Opponent Score
NCAA Division II Men's Basketball[12] 1995 UC Riverside 71–63
NCAA Division II Baseball[13] 2010 UC San Diego 6–4
2014 Colorado Mesa 3–2
NCAA Division II Softball[14] 2018 Saint Anslem 4–0; 8–3

Great Lakes Valley Conference

The Screaming Eagles won the 2003–04 GLVC All-Sports Trophy by nine points, the largest margin of victory since Lewis University edged USI by 9.5 points in 1986–87. In the 25-year history of the trophy, USI has finished first three times (2003–04, 1993–94, 1982–83); second nine times; third twice; and fourth three times.

References

  1. ^ "Screagles Mentoring Program".
  2. ^ Magley, Hendrix (2022-02-07). "University of Southern Indiana moving to NCAA Division I sports". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 2022-02-07.
  3. ^ "Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles to apply to NCAA for move to Division I" ESPN. Retrieved 2022-02-09.
  4. ^ "USI announces OVC as partner for NCAA reclassification". USI. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  5. ^ "USI announces OVC as partner for NCAA reclassification". USI. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Lindenwood, Southern Indiana added as affiliate members for men's soccer and swimming and diving" (Press release). The Summit League. May 11, 2022. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  7. ^ "Horizon League Announces Innovative Partnership with Ohio Valley Conference and Men's Tennis Programs, Adds Chicago State as an Affiliate Member for Men's and Women's Tennis" (Press release). Horizon League. July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  8. ^ "USI Violations". University of Southern Indiana. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  9. ^ "Men's Basketball Quick Facts". Retrieved 2018-05-25.
  10. ^ "2018 DII Softball Championship: Southern Indiana sweeps championship series to win first title". NCAA.com. 2018-05-28. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  11. ^ "Angelo State vs Southern Ind. - Div II Softball". NCAA.com. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  12. ^ "Division II Baseball Championship Results" (PDF). Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  13. ^ "Division II Baseball Championship Results" (PDF). NCAA. NCAA.org. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  14. ^ "2018 DII Softball Championship: Southern Indiana sweeps championship series to win first title". Retrieved May 28, 2018.