|University||University of Memphis|
|Conference(s)||American Athletic Conference (2013)
Great America Rifle Conference
|Athletics director||Tom Bowen|
|Football stadium||Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium|
|Soccer stadium||Mike Rose Soccer Complex|
|Other arenas||Elma Roane Fieldhouse|
|Fight song||Go, Tigers! Go!|
|Colors||Blue and Gray
The Memphis Tigers represent the University of Memphis in Division I of the NCAA. They are members of the American Athletic Conference. The rifle team is a member of the single-sport Great America Rifle Conference.
When the Memphis State University first fielded a football team in the fall of 1912, no one had selected a nickname for the squad. Early references to the football team tabbed them only as the Blue and Gray Warriors.
After the final game of the 1914 season, there was a student parade. During this event, several University students shouted, "We fight like Tigers!" The nickname was born. As time passed, the nickname "Tigers" was increasingly used, particularly in campus publications, but did not catch on with the newspapers downtown. They continued to use "the Blue and Gray" when referring to the University.
Under Coach Lester Barnard in 1922, Memphis's football team gave a ring of truth to that old student yell about Tigers. The team adopted a motto - "Every Man a Tiger" - and went on to score 174 points while allowing its opponents just 29 points. The Tiger nickname continued on with students and alumni, eventually being adopted as the official nickname for the University of Memphis in 1939.
The official mascot is TOM III, a live bengal tiger. The university is one of a few schools in the country that keep a live tiger as a mascot, although the practice of live animals serving as university mascots is carried on by a number of other universities.
There are nine women's sports and nine men's sports:
The Memphis Tigers men's basketball program first gained national prominence when it reached the 1973 NCAA Division I basketball championship game. The Tigers, led by Larry Finch, Larry Kenon, Ronnie Robinson, Bill Cook and others, eventually lost to John Wooden's UCLA Bruins, led by Bill Walton.
The Tigers continued an era of excellence throughout the 1980s and went to the Final Four in 1985 losing to Villanova, the ultimate winner of the tournament. The 1985 Final Four trip has since been vacated by the NCAA due to several recruiting violations committed by head coach Dana Kirk and his staff. Success continued through much of the 1990s. Under head coach John Calipari, the Tigers reached the Elite Eight three years in a row (2006–2008) and those same years won the conference championship, going undefeated in conference play in 2007 and 2008. Their record for those three seasons is 106-9. In 2007, the team was ranked #1 in ESPN's and CBSSports.com Pre-Season Polls and for the first time in 25 years, earned a #1 ranking on Jan. 21, 2008 in the both the AP Poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll. The 2008 season took the Tigers to the Final Four where Memphis lost the championship game to the Kansas Jayhawks in overtime, but later the Tigers' season and NCAA tournament appearance were vacated. In 2009, the Tigers entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 2 seed. However, they lost in the Sweet Sixteen to Missouri, 102-91. In April 2009, Josh Pastner was named head coach of the Tigers.
Perennial rivals include UAB, the University of Southern Mississippi, in-state rival University of Tennessee, and former Conference USA members University of Cincinnati and University of Louisville. The world record holder for the highest slam dunk (12 feet from floor to rim) is a former University of Memphis basketball forward, and current Harlem Globetrotter Michael Wilson. At home, the Tigers play on Beale Street in the state-of-the-art FedExForum.
The University of Memphis football program dates back to 1912.
After decades of independence, the Memphis football program currently competes in Conference USA until 2013 at which time it will join the American Athletic. As of December 8, 2011, the team is currently under new head coach Justin Fuente who replaced Larry Porter. The Tigers' home field is 62,380 seat Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The U of M played in five bowl games in six seasons from 2003 to 2008. In 2005, the Tigers football team was led in the Motor City Bowl by DeAngelo Williams, a then-senior All-American running back and eventual first-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers of the NFL.
The men's golf team has won five conference championship:
- Missouri Valley Conference (1): 1967
- Metro Conference (2): 1976, 1988
- Great Midwest Conference: 1992
- Conference USA (1): 2012
Memphis Tigers Pom Squad
The Memphis Tigers Pom Squad is recognized as one of the best collegiate dance squads in the country, having won national championships in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2012.
Recent professional athletes from the University of Memphis include:
- Elliot Williams (guard, Portland Trail Blazers)
- Tyreke Evans (guard, Sacramento Kings) (2010 NBA Rookie of the Year)
- Derrick Rose (guard, Chicago Bulls) (2009 NBA Rookie of the Year, 2011 NBA MVP)
- Chris Douglas-Roberts (guard, Milwaukee Bucks)
- Joey Dorsey (center, Olympiakos Piraeus)
- Earl Barron (center, Phoenix Suns)
- Rodney Carney (guard/forward, Golden State Warriors)
- Sean Banks
- Antonio Burks (guard, KK Crvena zvezda)
- Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway
- Keith Lee
- Dajuan Wagner
- Lorenzen Wright
- Shawne Williams (Guard, New York Knicks)
- Elliot Perry
- Darius Washington Jr.
- Cedric Henderson
- DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers)
- Stephen Gostkowski (kicker, New England Patriots)
- Tony Brown (Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Amsterdam Admirals, Tennessee Titans)
- Isaac Bruce (Los Angeles Rams, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers)
- Mike McKenzie (Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints)
- Brandon McDonald (Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2009)|