Lehigh Mountain Hawks
|Lehigh Mountain Hawks|
|NCAA||Division I FCS|
|Athletic director||Joe Sterrett|
|Football stadium||Goodman Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Stabler Arena|
|Baseball stadium||Lehigh Baseball Field|
|Other arenas||Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall|
The Lehigh Mountain Hawks are the athletic teams representing Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States. The Hawks participate in NCAA Division I competition as a member of the Patriot League. In football, Lehigh competes in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), still frequently known by its former designation of Division I-AA.
Nickname, logo, and mascot
The athletic teams of Lehigh (founded in 1865) were known as the Engineers until the 1995-1996 academic year. Some believe that this nickname was a reference to the Lehigh Valley Railroad, not to the school's academic engineering program. However, there was also a logo of a giant Lehigh Engineer looking through a surveyor's transit while an airliner flew over him and a diesel passenger train steamed beneath his feet in use at Lehigh during the 1950s and 60s. As the university expanded following the advent of coeducation in 1971, while the number of engineering students remained steady, the percentage of students enrolled in engineering declined from 50% to about 30%. As a result, during the school's 1988 appearance in the men's NCAA basketball tournament, TV commentators were encouraged to refer to the school by its colors, Brown and White.
Beginning in the 1980s and until 1995, the team used a logo of a train locomotive with an "L" on the front. In November 1995, the school introduced the Mountain Hawk as a mascot, replacing the "L train", which stemmed from a popular, student-based movement to come up with a suitable mascot; the Mountain Hawk was officially voted in as the new mascot by the Lehigh Student Senate soon after. Controversy arose the following year, when the school's nickname was changed to the Mountain Hawks. Many alumni and students, including various members of Lehigh's Marching 97, still object, though the school's athletes were cited as being strong supporters of this change. The school still lists all three nicknames (Engineers, Brown & White, and Mountain Hawks) in its media guides. In November 2008, just before the 144th game against Lafayette, the mascot was given the name "Clutch." The name was chosen after a long contest of name suggestions and voting.
Baseball and softball
Lehigh is also competitive in men's and women's basketball. Both teams play in Stabler Arena. The men's and women's teams both won the Patriot League championship in 2010. The Men's team went on to the NCAA Tournament, losing in the first round to top-ranked University of Kansas.
The Mountain Hawks men's basketball team is best known for its first-round game in the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament as a #15 seed on March 16, 2012 against the #2 seed Duke Blue Devils. Despite being a heavy underdog, thanks to C. J. McCollum's 30-point heroics, the Mountain Hawks pulled off the stunning upset, defeating the Blue Devils 75-70 and making it only the sixth time that a 15th seed has defeated a 2nd seed.
The varsity football team competes at the Division I FCS level. Lehigh is a highly respected FCS program with a rich tradition. Lehigh won the 1977 Division II National Championship by defeating Jacksonville State 33-0 in the Pioneer Bowl. The Engineers were 1979 1-AA National Runners-up after falling to Eastern Kentucky in the title game. Lehigh has ten Patriot League championships, which is the most amongst league members. The program has also enjoyed seven FCS playoff appearances: 1980, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2010 and 2011.
Lehigh is also part of the most played rivalry in college football. The Mountain Hawks have met the Lafayette Leopards 150 times. Lafayette leads the all-time series 78-67-5. The game is traditionally played on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
Football games are well-attended at Lehigh's Goodman Stadium which has been voted the best place to watch a Patriot League football game for the past six years. Tailgate parties are a big part of the experience, attracting many students and alumni who attend the games.
See also, Lehigh Mountain Hawks men's lacrosse
Lehigh's lacrosse team competes in the nine-team Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks have a strong tradition in lacrosse, but have only appeared twice (2012, 2013) in the present NCAA championships since its formation in 1971. Lehigh has accumulated seven national lacrosse titles under the former USILA national title format and strongly contributed to the growth of lacrosse in Pennsylvania.
Both the men's and women's soccer teams are highly competitive. The 2006 Men's team had a 15-2-3 overall record and became the first Patriot League team to go a perfect 7-0 in league play. They advanced to the third round of the NCAA play-offs before losing to the number-one seed.
The women's team was Patriot League co-champion in 2005 and is coached by Manny Oudin.
Lehigh's wrestling team competes in the EIWA (The Patriot League does not sponsor wrestling). Lehigh has a strong tradition in wrestling dating back to 1910, and often wins the league and places in the top 10 at the NCAA National Championships. Lehigh is considered one of the best private schools in the country for wrestling, having had 27 National NCAA individual champions, 136 NCAA All-Americans, 16 top five NCAA team finishes, 34-time EIWA Champions, and 203 individual EIWA Champions. Its last national champion was Zack Rey.
Lehigh alumni coach wrestling at many institutions, including Jason Kutz (1998), head wrestling coach at East Stroudsburg University; Chris Ayres (1999), head wrestling coach at Princeton University; Cory Cooperman (2006), assistant wrestling coach at Rutgers University; Troy Letters (2006), and Derek Zinck (2006), assistant wrestling coaches at Princeton University.
In 2006, the wrestling team marked its fifth straight EIWA championship. The current head coach is Pat Santoro and the team's home Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall, often referred to as "The Snakepit", with a capacity of 2,200.
- The railroad was authorized on April 21, 1846, in Pennsylvania and was incorporated on September 20, 1847, as the "Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad Company". On January 7, 1853, the name was changed to "Lehigh Valley Railroad".
- Blockus, Gary R. (November 8, 1995). "Lehigh Gets An Actual Mascot Engineers Have Been Joined By Mountain Hawks". The Morning Call. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
- Blockus, Gary R. (March 7, 1999). "Hawking -- A Nickname The Lehigh Community Was Assured By The School's Administration That Mountain Hawks Would Be Just A Mascot. That Has Changed". The Morning Call. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
- Housenick, Tom (March 16, 2012). "NCAA basketball: Lehigh pulls off monumental upset of Duke". MCall.com. The Morning Call. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
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- "United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Team Championship Records". Wikipedia.
- "LU Wrestling History". Lehigh University Athletics. Retrieved 2014.
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