Arkansas Lady Razorbacks
|Arkansas Lady Razorbacks|
|University||University of Arkansas|
|Athletics director||Jeff Long
(de facto: Bev Lewis)
|Basketball arena||Bud Walton Arena|
|Mascot||Big Red, Sue E., and Tusk|
|Colors||Cardinal and White
The women's teams competing for the University of Arkansas (sometimes referred to colloquially as the Arkansas Lady Razorbacks, or Lady'Backs), refers to any of the women's sports teams that competes officially for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. The term Lady'Backs evolved over time as newspaper editors would shorten the mascot name. It was adopted by the Women's Athletics Department for secondary usage in 1991. (It is a deliberate contraction — always with the apostrophe between the two parts and a capital "B".) While many university sports teams have dropped the "Lady" portion of their nickname, it remains at the University of Arkansas as a marketing tool to emphasize the separate identity of the women's program. The Women's Athletics Department was formed at the University of Arkansas in 1971–1972, but merged with the Men's Athletics Department on January 1, 2008 to create one athletic department, much like the structure which most universities in the United States employ. Bev Lewis, who was the women's athletics director at the time of the merger, still heads women's programs in the unified structure.
For the 2007–2008 academic year, the University sponsors 11 varsity women's teams that compete in NCAA Division I. The Lady'Back "A" logo is the official logo for the Women's Athletics Department, but teams also employ the traditional University Razorback on uniforms.
The Lady'Back basketball team is led by head coach Tom Collen. They play home games in Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus. The women's basketball team completed its 32nd season in 2007–2008, and has made 17 post season appearances (from AIAW through the current NCAA era). Over 1 million fans have attended home women's basketball games at Fayetteville during the three decades of Lady'Back hoops. The Lady Razorbacks' basketball team made their first NCAA Women's Final Four appearance in 1998, with the help of team leader Christy Smith.
The Lady'Back cross country track team is led by head coach Lance Harter. They practice (and compete) on Agri Park cross country course (so named because it is located on the on campus agricultural area). Agri Park is also home to the men's cross country team. Harter is the first Lady'Back coach to have his team ranked No. 1 in the nation, and has won more SEC cross country titles than any other member institution.
The golf team is headed by coach Shauna Estes. The team practices both at Blessings course, which is located a few minutes from the University of Arkansas campus in Johnson, Arkansas, and also at the Fred W. and Mary B. Smith Razorback Golf Training Facility—which is also located at Blessings course—which features both indoor and outdoor practice areas. The men's golf team utilizes both areas as well.
The gymnastics team is referred to as the Gym’Backs. They are co-head coached by husband and wife team Mark and Rene Cook. They practice in the Bev Lewis Center for Women's Athletics and compete in Barnhill Arena, both of which are located on the University of Arkansas campus. Ranked nationally since the start of the program in 2003, Arkansas is top 10 in the nation in home attendance. The Gym'Backs have five NCAA Regional appearances (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008), advanced two individuals (Dana McQuillin and Casey Jo Magee) to the NCAA Championship and hosted the 2006 NCAA South Central Regional.
At the 2006 Regionals, the Gym'Backs placed second in a six-team field, qualifying them for the NCAA National Championships for the first time. They repeated this feat in 2008.
Also in 2008, team members Michelle Stout and Casey Jo Magee, became the Gym'Backs first All-Americans. Stout reached first-team status on vault while Magee became a two-time second-team member on vault and uneven bars.
The soccer team is head coached by Colby Hale, and practice/play on Lady’Back Field which is an exclusively soccer field on campus. Arkansas soccer is one of the oldest programs in the Southeastern Conference, competing as a varsity sport since 1986.
The softball team is coached by Mike Larabee. They practice and play at Bogle Park, which opened during the 2008-09 season.
Swimming and diving
The swimming and diving team is coached by Sean Schimmel. The team's facilities are the University of Arkansas Natatorium, which is located inside the HPER building (which also is home to student intramural facilities).
The tennis team's head coach is Michael Hegarty. The team's facilities are the University of Arkansas Varsity Courts (outdoor) and the adjacent Dills Indoor Tennis Center. Tennis is one of the oldest varsity sports at Arkansas with a continuous history from the first year of the Women's Athletics Department in 1971-1972.
Track and field
The track and field team is coached by Lance Harter. They have indoor facilities at The Randal Tyson Track Center and outdoor facilities at John McDonnell Field. Harter's teams are the most successful in the Southeastern Conference, winning 16 league titles including the first-ever SEC women's triple crown (a sweep of cross country, indoor and outdoor titles in the same season). His program produced numerous NCAA champions and most recently Athens Olympics medalists Veronica Campbell (two gold medals and a bronze for Jamaica in sprints) and Deena (Drossin) Kastor. Kastor is one of America's premier distance runners, earning a marathon bronze medal in Athens and holding numerous distance and marathon records.
Before Pulliza took over for Chris Poole in 2008, Poole's teams had won 11 SEC Western Division from their inaugural season in 1994.
- Veronica Campbell-Brown (Track) – Won three gold medals and a bronze in two Olympic Games competing for Jamaica in sprints. Won 100 meter and second in 200 meter at 2007 World Championships.
- Shameka Christon (Basketball) – Plays for WNBA's New York Liberty.
- Deena Kastor (Track) – Holder of the US marathon record. Won bronze medal in Olympic marathon in 2004.
- Stacy Lewis (Golf) – NCAA individual champion, 2007. Won individual and team championship at 2006 World Student Games. Finished 3rd in 2008 Women's U.S. Open, her professional debut.
- Amanda McCurdy (Golf) – Second place in 2006 U.S. Women's Amateur.
- Gi-Gi Miller-Johnson (Track) – Top heptathlete in US in 2006.
- List of college sports teams in the United States with different mascot names for men's and women's teams
Notes and references
- The school also has 8 men's teams; see Arkansas Razorbacks.