Cincinnati Bearcats

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Cincinnati Bearcats
Logo
University University of Cincinnati
Conference The American
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Mike Bohn
Location Cincinnati, OH
Varsity teams 19
Football stadium Nippert Stadium
Basketball arena Fifth Third Arena
Baseball stadium Marge Schott Stadium
Other arenas Armory Fieldhouse, Riverfront Coliseum
Mascot Bearcat
Nickname Bearcats
Fight song "Cheer Cincinnati"
Colors
     Red       Black
Website gobearcats.cstv.com

The Cincinnati Bearcats are the NCAA athletic teams representing the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. The school's athletic teams are members of the American Athletic Conference (The American), which from 1979 to 2013 was known as the Big East Conference. Cincinnati is currently the only member of The American that is located in the Midwestern United States, all other members are in the Northeast or South.

The Bearcats were previously members of Conference USA, a conference of which they were a founding member. The creation of Conference USA was the result of a merger between the Great Midwest Conference (of which Cincinnati was a member) and the Metro Conference (whom Cincinnati had previously been a member) in 1995. Other collegiate athletic conferences which the school has belonged to includes the Missouri Valley Conference, 1957–1969; the Mid-American Conference, 1947–1952; the Buckeye Athletic Association, 1925–1935, and the Ohio Athletic Conference, 1910–1924.

The Bearcat[edit]

The Bearcat statue in front of Fifth Third Arena

The Bearcat became the UC mascot on October 31, 1914 in a football game against the UK Wildcats. The key players in the birth of the Bearcat were a star UC player named Baehr, a creative cheerleader, and a talented cartoonist. During the second half of that hard-fought football game, UC cheerleader Norman "Pat" Lyon, building on the efforts of fullback Leonard K. "Teddy" Baehr, created the chant: "They may be Wildcats, but we have a Baehr-cat on our side."

Current version of the The Bearcat.

The crowd took up the cry: "Come on, Baehr-cat!" Cincinnati prevailed, 14–7, and the victory was memorialized in a cartoon published on the front page of the student newspaper, the weekly University News, on November 3. The cartoon, by John "Paddy" Reece, depicted a bedraggled Kentucky Wildcat being chased by a creature labeled “Cincinnati Bear Cat".

The name stuck, but not immediately. Following Teddy Baehr's graduation in 1916, the name dropped out of use, at least in print, for a few years. On November 15, 1919, Cincinnati played at Tennessee. Cincinnati Enquirer writer Jack Ryder's dispatch on the game was the first time that the major media called UC's teams "Bearcats." From then on, the university's teams were regularly called Bearcats.[1]

In 2008 the Cincinnati Zoo adopted a three month old Binturong or "Bearcat". The zoo had a public naming contest where they decided on the name "Lucy." Lucy is now a prominent figure at the University of Cincinnati and can often be found on Sheakley Lawn before home football games.

National championships[edit]

The Bearcats have four individual and six team championships. The Bearcats won the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in 1961 and 1962, both times against Ohio State. Charles Keating won the 1946 200m butterfly national title for UC as a member of the men's swimming team and most recently, Josh Schneider[2] did the same in the 50-yard (46 m) freestyle in 2010. In men's diving, Pat Evans (3 m Dive – 1989) and women's diving Becky Ruehl (10 m dive – 1996) have brought home titles for the Bearcats. The UC Dance Team has won 4 National Championships from 2004 through 2006 and again in 2009. They are the first team in UC history to ever capture three consecutive national titles. They remain one of the top dance programs in the country and are the winningest team in University of Cincinnati history. In 2009 the dance team was also selected to represent the United States of America in the first ever world dance championships where they won the gold medal in all three dance categories.[3]

Student athletes[edit]

In May 2006, Athletic Director (AD) Thomas introduced his vision for Bearcat Athletics, aptly titled CATAPULT —an acronym for Championships, Academics, and Together. Thomas's five-year vision for UC's 18-sport intercollegiate program was launched six months after his hiring as AD. The plan focuses on three main initiatives: winning BIG EAST team championships, high-level academic achievement, and a comprehensive integration with the Greater Cincinnati Community. This action initiative tracks UC's 18 teams towards BIG EAST Championships in every sport within the next five years, encourages continued leadership by UC student-athletes in academics, and stresses community engagement. CATAPULT sets the goal that in the next five years UC will win a BIG EAST championship in every sport; UC's student-athletes will lead the general student body in graduation rate and grade point average; and UC's student-athletes and coaches will engage the Cincinnati community in service. During the 2006 Fall Quarter, the first under the CATAPULT plan, UC's sports teams made major improvements in academics, achieving an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.938. Additionally, 11 of the 18 squads posted team GPAs higher than the general UC student body GPA of 2.965.

  • The Bearcat men's basketball team made the greatest improvement in the classroom, as its 2.875 team GPA a half a grade point better than that of last year's squad for Fall Quarter. Five Bearcats had GPAs of 3.0 or above with two student-athletes making the Dean's List.
  • The Bearcat women's soccer team also earned a national Team Academic Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for having a team GPA of at least 3.2 for the 2005–06 school year.
  • A total of 247 student-athletes from UC's athletic squads were named to either the Bearcat or the Topcat Honor Roll. To qualify for the Bearcat Honor Roll, a student-athlete must have earned a grade point average between 3.0 and 3.49 for the quarter, while Topcat honorees must maintain between a 3.5 and a 4.0 GPA.

In 2006, four of the six UC fall sports teams improved their finish in the final BIG EAST conference standings over that of Fall 2005. The Bearcat teams collectively posted an improvement of three places. UC's men's soccer team became the first Bearcat squad to claim a BIG EAST title, winning the Red Division of the league's regular season race. Most recently, football won the Big East Championship in 2008 and 2009 and Women's Volleyball won the Big East regular season title in 2010. In December 2007 ESPN stated that if Academics AND Athletics Achievement were factored in, that the University of Cincinnati football team would be playing in the BCS Championship game. UC finished the season with a 10–3 record and a No. 17 national ranking.[citation needed]

Rivalries[edit]

Cincinnati's oldest football rivalry, begun in 1888, is with Miami University, located in Oxford, Ohio about 40 miles to the northwest.

An early version of the UC Bearcats logo, from 1922

The Victory Bell awarded to the winner of each contest. It is the oldest college football rivalry west of the Allegheny Mountains and the third-oldest rivalry in college football. The first contest was also the first collegiate football game played in the state of Ohio. It is also the longest out-of-conference rivalry.

Cincinnati and the University of Louisville battle for the Keg of Nails annually. This rivalry dates back to 1929. As of 2009, there are no nails in the Keg of Nails, nor does anyone know if there ever were any in the first place.

When Cincinnati joined the Big East in 2005, they and the University of Pittsburgh started the River City Rivalry. The game is a battle for the River City Rivalry trophy.

In basketball, the Bearcats' crosstown rival is the Xavier University Musketeers. Xavier is a Jesuit university located less than 3 miles from the University of Cincinnati's main campus. The Bearcats and the Muskies meet annually in the popular Skyline Chili Crosstown Classic.

The Bearcats also have basketball rivalries with the Charlotte 49ers, and Memphis Tigers while Louisville Cardinals remains the biggest game.

In addition to the rivalries already mentioned, Cincinnati also has an intermittent rivalry with Ohio State University and the University of Kentucky. Although Cincinnati does not play either school regularly, these are geographic rivals. Other than Louisville, they are the closest universities of similar size and stature. In 1960 Cincinnati lost to the California Golden Bears in the National Semi-Finals. The next two years, they beat Ohio State in both of its back-to-back national title games in basketball.

Varsity sports[edit]

The University of Cincinnati sponsors teams in nine men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[4]

Men's basketball[edit]

Cincinnati's men's basketball squads have been a perennial bracket team in the NCAA tournament. A prolific era in Bearcats basketball was during the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the Bearcats posted five consecutive Final Four appearances. Unanimous three-time All American guard Oscar Robertson led the nation in scoring during the 1957–58, 1958–59, and 1959–60 seasons and posted a career average of 33.8 points per game, which ranks as the third all-time best in Division I.

Cincinnati has won two national championships in 1961 and 1962. The 1961 and 1962 titles were won under rookie coach Ed Jucker.

Cincinnati fell out of prominence during the early 1970s. After a brief resurgence in the mid-1970s, the program fell on hard times in the 1980s, but was revitalized under head coach Bob Huggins following his hiring in 1989. Under Huggins, the Bearcats compiled a 399–127 record in sixteen seasons, and posted fourteen straight NCAA tournament appearances. The most notable of the teams from the Huggins era was the 1991–1992 team, which lost to the Michigan Wolverines in the Final Four. In addition, Huggins was responsible for recruiting several future NBA players including Kenyon Martin, Corie Blount, Ruben Patterson, Nick Van Exel and DerMarr Johnson.

Postseason tournaments[edit]

Football[edit]

Club sports[edit]

The university has a diverse number of intercollegiate club sports teams. Notable teams include alpine skiing (which competes in the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association), men's baseball, rowing, lacrosse, men's soccer, and the men's ice hockey team (which competes in the American Collegiate Hockey Association DII). The Tennis Club competes in the USTA Tennis on Campus and the Great Lakes Tennis Conference. The Waterski Team were 2008 DII National Champions. The University of Cincinnati Rugby Football Club was established in 1971 and competes in Division 1 college rugby in the MAC conference.

Club sports at Cincinnati operate in a tier system. The top tier are the Tier 5 sports, which are classified as semi-varsity. These clubs operate at a level similar to a varsity team in sports for which Cincinnati lacks varsity representation, and the tier reflects the commitment these students dedicate to their club. The three Tier 5 semi-varisty sports as of 2013 are equestrian, men's ice hockey, and men's and women's rowing.[5]

Athletic facilities[edit]

All of the athletic facilities (with the exception of Fifth Third Arena and Marge Schott Stadium) are open 24/7 for student use.[6]

  • Richard E. Lindner Varsity Village
    • Commissioned as part of UC's entrance into the Big East and serves as the centerpiece of UC's athletic facilities. It opened in 2006 and includes the Richard E. Linder Center, which provides training, meeting, studying, and classroom space, as well as the George and Helen Smith Athletics Museum. Also located here is the Sheakley Lawn, which is reserved for students and club sports.
  • Marge Schott Stadium
    • Home to the UC Baseball team. It is named for the former owner of the Cincinnati Reds, Marge Schott, and replaced Johnny Bench Field. Shortly after this facility opened in 2006, it was named by Big East coaches and players as the best baseball facility in the conference.
  • Armory Fieldhouse
Nippert Stadium
    • Home of UC indoor Track and Field teams and former home of the Men's and Women's Basketball teams
  • Fifth Third Arena
    • Home to UC Men's and Women's Basketball teams
  • Nippert Stadium
    • Home to UC's Football team
  • Ben and Dee Gettler Stadium
    • Home to UC Men's and Women's Soccer and Track and Field teams
  • Trabert-Talbert Tennis Center
    • Home to UC Men's and Women's Tennis teams
  • Keating Aquatics Center
    • Home to UC Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving teams
  • Sheakley Athletic Complex
    • Home to UC's Women's Lacrosse is a new facility constructed in 2010 that provides one full and one half football fields for varsity teams to practice on and a permanent home for the Women's Lacrosse team. From November to February a temporary bubble is inflated over the facility to provide teams practice space during cold months. Phase II was completed in September 2010, which includes bleachers, concessions, restrooms, video tower, and scoreboard. The facility also hosts high school football games

Radio and television[edit]

Since 1992, WLW has been the radio home for Bearcats athletics. Dan Hoard has been the play-by-play announcer for both basketball and football since 2000. Former Bearcat Chuck Machock started in 1992 as the color commentator for basketball games. Jim Kelly, a Bearcat wide receiver during the mid 70s, provides color commentary for football. Tommy Gelehrter has been the sideline reporter since 2007. WEBN or WKFS airs football or basketball games when there is a conflict on WLW with the Cincinnati Reds or Cincinnati Bengals. Tommy Gelehrter is the backup play-by-play announcer for both basketball and football when Dan Hoard is not available. Tony Pike is the backup sideline reporter for Football when Tommy Gelehrter is doing play-by-play or not available, replacing Artrell Hawkins Starting in 2008, Fox Sports Ohio became the local TV flagship station for basketball games, while WKRC-TV is the flagship for football games, with CinCW being the backup.

Tom Gelehrter replaced Michael Reghi as the play by play for non-conference basketball games on FSN Ohio in 2010[7] former Bearcat Anthony Buford, was released from his color commentary duties after pleading guilty in a mortgage fraud scheme[8] Terry Nelson,[9] a former bearcat, replaced Buford for color commentary. For women's basketball games televised on Fox Sports Ohio, Betsy Ross provides color commentary with Tom Gelehrter providing Play by Play.

Fight songs and alma mater[edit]

Alma mater[edit]

Words and music by Otto Juettner
(Only the 1st verse is traditionally sung during special university events and before athletic events)

1st verse

The UC Bearcat Band charges down Nippert Stadium's steps.

O Cincinnati, magic name, I proudly to the world proclaim;
No sweeter word ever charmed my ear,
None to my heart was ever so dear,
A fountain of eternal youth, a tower of strength, a rock of truth.

Oh varsity, dear varsity, thy loyal children we will be,
Thy loyal, loyal children we will be.

2nd verse
Of wealth and station some may boast, of wide renown from coast to coast;
None nobler teachings did instill,
Than old McMicken on the hill,
The black and red banner floats on high, let all join in the battle cry.

Oh varsity, dear varsity, thy loyal children we will be,
Thy loyal, loyal children we will be.

3rd verse
Long may she live, her children's pride, and grow and prosper far and wide.
At all time let our motto be: stand first and last for old UC,
We dedicate with might and main, to Alma Mater this refrain:

Oh varsity, dear varsity, thy loyal children we will be,
Thy loyal, loyal children we will be.

Notable alumni[edit]

Baseball[edit]

Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax
All Star Kevin Youkilis

Basketball[edit]

Football[edit]

Other[edit]

References[edit]

Grace, Kevin. "Cincinnati on Field and Court: The Sports Legacy of the Queen City." Chicago, IL: Arcadia, 2002.

Grace, Kevin. "Cincinnati Hoops." Chicago, IL: Arcadia, 2003.

Grace, Kevin; Hand, Greg; Hathaway, Tom; Hoffman, Carey. "Bearcats! The Story of Basketball at the University of Cincinnati." Louisville, KY: Harmony House, 1998.

  1. ^ http://www.uc.edu/about/history.html
  2. ^ "University of Cincinnati swimmer Josh Schneider won national championship. Next up? Olympics, University of Cincinnati". Magazine.uc.edu. August 18, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ "World Champions!". Gobearcats.com. Retrieved July 27, 2011. 
  4. ^ http://www.gobearcats.com/
  5. ^ University of Cincinnati, Club Sports Handbook, http://www.uc.edu/content/dam/uc/sald/docs/CSB%20Documents/Club_Sports_Handbook_2012_13.pdf
  6. ^ "University of Cincinnati Official Athletic Site". Gobearcats.com. Retrieved January 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ "FOX Sports Ohio Announces 2010–11 UC Basketball Telecast Schedule". gobearcats.com. 
  8. ^ Eck, Denise. "Former UC star Anthony Buford admits guilt in mortgage fraud scheme". WCPO.com. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  9. ^ Kiesewetter, John. "Terry Nelson Joins UC TV Team". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved October 27, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Anthony Buford: Analyst, Cincinnati Bearcats". Foxsportsohio.com. November 19, 2009. Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  11. ^ Tim AdamsBearcatReport.com Senior Writer (October 11, 2009). "BearcatReport.com – Catching up with Bobby Brannen". Cincinnati.rivals.com. Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
  12. ^ Sacramento Kings – Boston Celtics Blog – ESPN Boston

External links[edit]