Michigan State Spartans
|Michigan State Spartans|
|University||Michigan State University|
|NCAA||Division I / FBS|
|Athletic director||Mark Hollis|
|Location||East Lansing, MI|
|Football stadium||Spartan Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Breslin Student Events Center|
|Baseball stadium||John H. Kobs Field|
|Other arenas||Munn Ice Arena
Jenison Field House (Wrestling)
|Fight song||MSU fight song|
The Michigan State Spartans are the athletic team that represent Michigan State University. The school's athletic program includes 25 varsity sports teams. Their mascot is a Spartan warrior named Sparty, and the school colors are green and white. The university participates in the NCAA's Division I-A and in the Big Ten Conference in all Varsity sports. Michigan State offers 12 varsity sports for men and 13 for women.
The university's athletic director is Mark Hollis, who was promoted to the position on January 1, 2008. Hollis replaced Ron Mason, who also served as head hockey coach from 1979 to 2002, retiring with a 608–261–68 record at MSU.
MSU's football team has won or shared six national championships in 1951, 1952, 1955, 1957, 1965 and 1966, and has won the Rose Bowl in 1954, 1956, 1988 and 2014. Its men's basketball team won the NCAA National Championship in 1979 and 2000. The MSU men's ice hockey has won national titles in 1966, 1986 and 2007. MSU's golf team won the Big Ten Championship in 1969 and again in 2005.
- 1 History
- 2 Varsity sports
- 3 Notable non varsity sports
- 4 MSU Athletics Hall of Fame
- 5 Awards
- 6 Academic All-Americans
- 7 Championships
- 8 Spartan sports almanac
- 9 Spartan traditions
- 10 NCAA Division I Director's Cup
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
In 1925, the institution changed its name to Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, and as an agricultural school, its teams were referred to as the Aggies. Looking to move beyond its agricultural roots, Michigan State held a contest to find a new nickname. They had decided to call the teams the "Michigan Staters" or the "Michigan State Sport Ons". MSU officials headed up by George S. Alderton and local sports writers for the Lansing State Journal and the Capital News went through the entries as well as met with long time Michigan State University supporters to find a better and more heroic name. They decided on the "Spartans", which had been suggested by Stephen G. Scofes and his two brothers Pete and Nick, all natives of Sparta, Greece. The three brothers met with MSU officials at their Lansing restaurant, The Coffee Cup then renamed the Famous Grill, when they told them the story of the Spartan war at Thermopylae, Greece in 480 B.C., where 300 Spartan warriors held back thousdand of Persian warriors lead by Persia King, Xerxes. Today the Scofes family still honors the Michigan State men's Basketball and Football teams with trophies awarded to MSU players and faculty, since the banquets began in the Scofes families Coffee Cup and Famous Grill restaurants. This story was also highlighted in the popular book entitled, "The Tradition Continues" authored by Constantine and Steven Demos, page 56. By coincidence, Justin Morrill had once compared the Land Grant colleges to the schools of ancient Sparta. With a heroic name and a historic precedent, the "Spartans" quickly caught on as the teams' new nickname. They later changed the lyrics of the Fight Song to reflect the name change of the College and its sports teams.
|1988||Michigan State||20||Southern California||17|
As the college grew in size, it looked to join a major collegiate conference. When the University of Chicago eliminated varsity football and withdrew from the Western Conference (now the Big Ten) in 1946, Michigan State president John A. Hannah lobbied hard to take its place. Despite opposition from the University of Michigan, the Big Ten finally admitted M.S.C. on May 20, 1949. After joining the conference, head football coach Clarence L. "Biggie" Munn led the Spartan football team to the Rose Bowl in the 1953–54 season, beating UCLA 28–20. Successor coach Hugh "Duffy" Daugherty carried the football team to a second Rose Bowl where it again defeated UCLA, 17–14.
Michigan State has 23 NCAA Division I-A varsity teams: 11 varsity sports for men and 12 for women. They participate in the Big Ten Conference except fencing, where until 1997, from the University founding, MSU featured fencing as a varsity sport. During that time, MSU was coached by the first American recognized as a master of fencing, Charles Schmitter, for 45 years, from 1939 to 1984. Upon his retirement, his student, Fred Freiheit, coached from 1984 until fencing was demoted from varsity status in 1997. The Michigan State University Fencing Club is a competing member of the Midwest Fencing Conference, which consists of sixteen (16) schools with varsity or club programs.
|Retired Basketball Jerseys|
|33||Earvin "Magic" Johnson||1977–1979|
MSU's men's basketball team has won the National Championship twice: in 1979 and 2000. In 1979, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, along with Greg Kelser, Jay Vincent and Mike Brkovich, carried the MSU team to a 75–64 win against the Larry Bird-led Indiana State Sycamores. In 2000, three players from Flint, Morris Peterson, Charlie Bell and Mateen Cleaves, carried the team to its second national title. Dubbed the "Flintstones", they were the key to the Spartans' win against the University of Florida. Lost to UNC 89-72 in the 2009 NCAA National Championship game. On December 13, 2003, Michigan State and Kentucky played at the most-attended basketball game in history, when they played a match in front of 78,130 at Ford Field, a stadium in Detroit. Kentucky won 79–74. Since 1995, Michigan State has been coached by Tom Izzo, who has a 364–146 record. Izzo's coaching helped the team make six of twelve NCAA Final Fours from 1999 to 2010, winning the title in 2000. Michigan State basketball has been selected for 16 consecutive NCAA tournament bids from 1998 to 2013, making six final fours during that span. This span has provided every four-year player under Tom Izzo the opportunity to play in a final four. Overall, Michigan State has made it to the final four eight times and has made 26 NCAA Tournament appearances.
Spartans formerly or currently in the NBA include Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Shawn Respert, Steve Smith, Greg Kelser, Jay Vincent, Steve Smith, Scott Skiles, Jason Richardson, Mateen Cleaves, Alan Anderson, Zach Randolph, Morris Peterson, Eric Snow, Mike Peplowski, Kevin Willis, Charlie Bell, Shannon Brown, Jamie Feick, Maurice Ager, Paul Davis and Drew Naymick.
MSU's women's basketball started in 1972-1973 under coach Mikki Baile and finished 6-3. In 1973-74 they finished 13-4, and in 1974-75 they finished 13-5. Mikki Baile's 3 year record was 32-12, for a .727 winning percentage.
For the 1975-76 season with Dominic Marino as coach the Lady Spartans finished 6-16.
In 1976 the Karen Langeland era started at MSU with a 23-6 record for the 1976-77 season. This was followed in 1977-78 with a 21-7 record, and then 15-11 in 1978-79, 16-11 in 1979-80, 13-9 in 1980-81, 15-11 (t-5th in Big Ten) in 1981-82, 11-16 (t-7th in Big Ten) in 1982-83, 18-10 (t-5th in Big Ten) in 1983-84, 11-16 (9th in Big Ten) in 1984-85, 15-12 (t-5th in Big Ten) in 1985-86, 16-12 (t-6th in Big Ten) in 1986-87, 16-12 (t-4th in Big Ten) in 1987-88, 15-13 (t-4th in Big Ten) in 1988-89, 11-17 (t-6th in Big Ten) in 1989-90, 21-8 (t-2nd in Big Ten) in 1990-91. The 1990-91 team got MSU's first NCAA bid. The Lady Spartans lost to #25 Oklahoma State 96-94 in 3OTs. In the 1991-92 season the Lady Spartans finished 14-14, good for 6th in the Big Ten, followed by 10-17 (8th in Big Ten) in 1992-93 and 12-15 (t-7th in the Big Ten) in 1993-94. The 1994-95 team finished 16-12 (t-5th in the Big Ten), the 1995-96 team finished 18-11 (5th in the Big Ten) and got the MSU Lady Spartans second NCAA bid. The Spartans beat UMass 60-57 in the OT in their first round game, but lost to #2 UConn 88-68 to end their NCAA run in 1995-96. In 1996-97 the Lady Spartans finished 22-8 and tied for 1st in the Big Ten (their first Big Ten Championship and finished #24 in the AP women's poll). They beat Portland 75-70 in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but lost to #18 North Carolina 81-71 to end the NCAA run. In 1997-98, the Lady Spartans finished 11-16 (9th in the Big Ten). In 1998-99, the Lady Spartans finished 17-14 (t-6th in the Big Ten) and got an NIT invitation. They beat UMich 69-68 in Ann Arbor, but lost to UWis 70-69 in OT in Madison to end their NIT run. In 1999-2000 the Lady Spartans finished 19-12 in Karen Langeland's last season as head coach. They were invited to the NIT and won first and second round games over Villanova 74-62, and UCinn 88-83, before losing in the NIT Quarterfinal 77-45 again in Madison. Karen Langeland finished her 24 year coaching career at MSU with a 376-290 record (.613 winning percentage) overall, and 156-165 record (.486 winning percentage) in the Big Ten. Her 1996-97 Big Ten Champion was MSU's first Big Ten championship.
Karen Langeland was followed by Joanne P. McCallie as head coach. Joanne started with a 10-18 record in 2000-2001 (9th in the Big Ten). Her 2001-2002 team finished 19-13, a 9 game improvement in wins, but again finished 9th in the Big Ten. During the next two years, the Lady Spartans finished 17-12 and 22-9 and finished 4th in the Big Ten both years. Her 2004-2005 team finished 33-4 and tied for 1st in the Big Ten and finished 13-0 at home. The 2004-2005 Lady Spartans got to the NCAA women's final only to lose to Baylor 84-62. They had NCAA wins over Alcorn State (73-41), USC (61-59), Vanderbilt (76-64), #1 Stanford (76-69), #3 Tennessee (68-64) before falling to the #5 ranked Baylor Bears. The Spartans had finished #2 in the AP polls to #1 Stanford who they beat in the NCAA tournament. During the next two years, the Lady Spartans finished 24-10 in 2005-2006 and 24-9 in 2006-2007, respectively, and finished 3rd both years in the Big Ten. At the end of the 2006-2007 season, Joanne P. McCallie resigned her head coaching position at MSU to assume head coaching position at Duke University, where she has been ever since. Joanne final record at MSU was 149-75 (.665 winning percentage) overall and 68-44 (.607 winning percentage) in the Big Ten.
Suzy Merchant took over as head coach in 2007, and replaced Joanne P. McCallie who left MSU to coach for Duke University. Before coming to Michigan State, Merchant spent nine years as head coach of Eastern Michigan University's team, where she won the most games in the school's history. During the 2007–2008 season, the team won more games, 23, than any other Big Ten team. The 2008-09 team finished 22-11 (13-5 and t-2nd in the Big Ten), while the 2009-10 team finished 23-10 (12-6 and 2nd in the Big Ten). The 2010-11 Lady Spartans won their 3rd Big Ten Championship with a 27-6 record (13-13 in the Big Ten). Finally, the 2012-2013 Lady Spartans finished 25-9 (10-6 in the Big Ten, tied for 3rd). They got an NCAA bid and won their first round game with the Marist Red Foxes 55-47, but lost to Maryland 74-49 to end their NCAA run. Suzy Merchant's 6 year record at MSU is 140-62 (.693 winning percentage) overall and 69-33 (.676 winning percentage) in the Big Ten. Her overall winning percentage is 2nd only to Mikki Baile's .727 (32-12), MSU's first head coach from 1972-1975. The Lady Spartans graduated only 3 seniors from the 2012-13 roster, Jasmine Thomas, Tracy Nogle and Courtney Schiffauer. During the season they lost Madison Williams, Aerial Powers, and Branndais Agee to season ending injuries, all three of whom should return for 2013-14, in addition to junior starters Annalise Pickrel and Klarissa Bell, sophomores Becca Mills, Jasmine Hines, Anna Morrissey, and Kiana Johnson, freshman Mariah Harris, Cara Miller and Akyah Taylor, and finally Auburn University transfer Camille Glymph. Hence the 2013-2014 Lady Spartans should be very competitive in the Big Ten and may get the Lady Spartans their 4th Big Ten Championship.
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Football has a long tradition at Michigan State. Starting as a club sport in 1884, football gained varsity status in 1896. During that time, the Spartans had a roster of impressive players, including Lynn Chandnois, Dorne Dibble, Meredith Assaly, and Don McAulliffe. In 1951, the Spartans finished the season undefeated, and performed the same feat the following year in addition to the nation's longest winning streak of 24 games. The team was named the "undisputed national champions by every official poll".
After waiting for several years, the team was finally admitted into the Big Ten Conference as a regular member in 1953. They promptly went on to capture the league championship (losing only one game during the season) and beating UCLA in their first Rose Bowl game. After the 1953 season Biggie Munn, the legendary Spartan coach, turned the team over to his protégé and future legend Duffy Daugherty. Daughtery went on to win the 1956 Rose Bowl. George Perles was the head coach when the Spartans defeated USC in the 1988 Rose Bowl. All told, Michigan State has won six national championships and nine Big Ten championships.
Today, the football team competes in Spartan Stadium, a renovated 75,005-person football stadium in the center of campus. The coach is Mark Dantonio, who was hired on November 27, 2006. Dantonio has a 63-29 record in his coaching tenure as of the end of the 2013 season. Dantonio won the Big Ten Championship and was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2013. He also led the Spartans to a victory in the 2014 Rose Bowl, the 100th edition of the "Grandaddy of them all."
MSU's traditional archrival is the University of Michigan, against whom they compete for the Paul Bunyan Trophy; MSU has a 23–34–1 record in the annual trophy game. The Spartans have won the trophy five of the past six years, as of 2013 season. [dated info] Michigan State is one of three Big Ten teams to have an annual non-conference football game against Notre Dame, with whom they compete for the Megaphone Trophy. MSU's record in the trophy series against the Fighting Irish is 26–31–1. The one tie, dubbed the "Game of the Century", occurred in 1966, when Notre Dame was ranked first and MSU second in the country. The result of the game was a 10–10 tie, after Notre Dame elected not to attempt a score when they had the ball late in the game. Michigan State won the Megaphone Trophy in 2010 after beating the Irish 34–31 in East Lansing on an OT fake field goal play known as "Little Giants". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5pQh12PzMs
In the National Football League, MSU alumni include Morten Andersen, Plaxico Burress, Andre Rison, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, T. J. Duckett, Flozell Adams, Julian Peterson, Herb Haygood, Charles Rogers, Jim Miller, Earl Morrall, Wayne Fontes, Bubba Smith, Tony Banks, Percy Snow, Rob Fredrickson, Jeff Smoker, Tony Mandarich, Lorenzo White, Hank Bullough, Drew Stanton, Devin Thomas, Tupe Peko, Domata Peko, Chris Morris, Javon Ringer, Chris L. Rucker, Greg Jones, and Kirk Cousins.
The men's ice hockey team plays at the Munn Ice Arena. The head coach was Rick Comley, who had a 116–73–19 record at MSU. The current head coach is Tom Anastos. In the 2013-2014 campaign, the Big Ten Conference debuted Division I ice hockey, (Michigan State formerly competed in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association with Big Ten sister schools University of Michigan (U-M) and the Ohio State University).
On October 6, 2001, the team was involved in what was then the most-attended hockey game in history: The Cold War. The Spartans set up a hockey rink in the middle of their football stadium, Spartan Stadium and played U-M before a crowd of 74,554. The game ended in a 3–3 tie. A decade later, the same two teams were involved again in the most-attended ice hockey game in history. This time, Michigan hosted the rivalry game at its own Michigan Stadium. The Big Chill at the Big House set the current record with an officially certified crowd of 104,173.
The MSU ice hockey program has seven CCHA regular season championships and 11 CCHA Tournament titles. MSU has also won 11 Great Lakes Invitational titles. The Spartans have been in the NCAA tournament 23 times, with nine Frozen Four appearances and three national titles (1966, 1986 and 2007). On April 7, 2007, the Michigan State Spartans won their third Collegiate Championship by beating the Boston College Eagles 3–1.
Former Michigan State players in the National Hockey League include Rod Brind'Amour, Anson Carter, Donald McSween, Adam Hall, John-Michael Liles, Torey Krug, Shawn Horcoff, Justin Abdelkader, Jim Slater, brothers Kelly Miller and Kip Miller, as well as their cousins, brothers Ryan Miller and Drew Miller. Two players for MSU have won the Hobey Baker Award: Kip Miller in 1990 and Ryan Miller in 2001. Few other players also excelling in other leagues including forward Brock Radunske and defenseman Brad Fast.
Historically, the Michigan State Cross Country men's team has been one of the school's most successful programs. Between World War I and World War II, Michigan State College competed in the Central Collegiate Conference, winning titles in 1926-1929, 1932, 1933 and 1935. Michigan State also experienced success in the IC4A, at New York’s Van Cortlandt Park, winning 15 team titles (1933–1937, 1949, 1953, 1956–1960, 1962, 1963 and 1968). Since entering the Big Ten in 1950, Michigan State has won 14 men’s titles (1951–1953, 1955–1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1970 and 1971). Michigan State hosted the inaugural NCAA cross country championships in 1938 and every year thereafter through 1964 (except a one-year vacation in 1943 due to war). The Spartans won eight NCAA championships from 1930 to 1959, including 1939, 1948, 1949, 1952, and 1955-1959 (minus 1957). Walt Drenth is the current director of both the men's and women's cross country and track and field programs. After joining MSU in 2004, Drenth led the men's cross country team to a NCAA Championship bid during the 2004 season. The women's cross country team also advanced to the NCAA Championship Meet after winning the Great Lakes Regional race.
Wrestling was one of the earliest sports formed at the Michigan Agricultural College. While the sport was dropped in 1906, it was reformed by the college 16 years later in 1922, and has been going strong since. MSU Wrestling is part of the Big Ten Conference. The school's wrestling team has won the NCAA Division I championship once, in 1967. Its current coach, Tom Minkel, has produced 33 All-Americans, 11 Big Ten Champions and one NCAA Champion currently in his 23rd season as the Spartans Head coach, and 25th as a coach. The Spartan wrestling team competes on campus at the Jenison Field House which has a capacity of 5,017 people. Alumni and standout Spartan Wrestlers Gray Maynard & Rashad Evans are former UFC champions and currently ranked in the top-ten in their weight classes respectively.
Starting in the mid-2000s. the Spartan wrestling team started to decline. From 2004-2015, the team had one season better than .500 and finished in the bottom half of the Big Ten, including last on four occasions. During the 2015 championship tournament, the team finished dead last with negative team points (-0.5).
Michigan State University Spartan Wrestling team accomplishments:
- 8 Big Ten Titles (1961, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972)
- 57 individual Big Ten Conference Champions
- finished in the top-five at the NCAA Championships 9 times
- 24 individual NCAA Champions dating back to 1936
- 100+ All-Americans dating back to 1931
Other varsity sports
MSU has a number of other team sports. As in many other NCAA institutions, Michigan State has a baseball team for men and a softball team for women. Jake Boss Jr. is head coach of the MSU baseball team. Former Michigan State players in Major League Baseball include Kirk Gibson, Steve Garvey, John Smoltz, Robin Roberts and Mark Mulder. Since 2007, the baseball team plays a popular annual exhibition game against the nearby minor-league Lansing Lugnuts. The MSU women's fastpitch softball team won the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Division I national title in 1976. Its coach, Jacquie Joseph, has headed the program since 1994. Since taking over the program, Joseph has helped bring MSU to a record of 445–372–1 and four NCAA Regional appearances.
The Spartans also have a men's soccer team, which won two back-to-back championships in 1967 and 1968. They shared the 1968 title with the University of Maryland, College Park. The men's coach is Damon Rensing, who is in his 6th year as head coach at Michigan State. The men's soccer team battles Michigan annually in the Big Bear Trophy game, a series in which the Spartans lead 10-3-1 against their in-state rival. Coaching the women's team is Tom Saxton.
There is also a volleyball team; Cathy George has been the head coach of the women's volleyball team since 2005. During her first year at Michigan State, she led her team to a 12–18 record, including a 5–15, ninth-place finish in the conference standings.
Water sports at MSU include rowing and swimming. MSU's women's rowing crew coach is Matt Weise who is in his tenth year as the Spartan Crew Coach. In his third year as MSU head coach, Weise coached the Spartans to a program-best sixth-place team finish at the NCAA Championship. He has continued to be a great coach for the sport. Matt Gianiodis is the head coach of both the men and women's swimming and diving. In his four years as head coach, Spartan swimmers and divers have broken 14 varsity records.
Other sports at MSU include golf, gymnastics and tennis. Golf has had a long tradition at MSU. Hall of Fame Coach Bruce Fossum helped carry MSU to its first Big Ten title in 1969. The Big Ten title would elude the Spartans until 2005, when arguably, the best team ever assembled, took home the rings in stellar fashion. Not only did the Spartans win the Big Ten Championship in 2005, but they captured two other titles along the way and rose all the way to #5 in the U.S. Casey Lubahn coaches the men's golf team. A former assistant coach at Stanford University, this is his fourth year as a head coach. Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll coaches the women's team. In the last ten seasons, she has brought the Spartans to nine straight NCAA regional appearances.
The men's gymnastics team at MSU won one national title, which they shared with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1958. In 2001, the MSU Board of Trustees disbanded the team in order to comply with Title IX regulations. The women's team retained its varsity status. Its coach is Kathie Klages, who has had 16 winning seasons in a row. In 2008, the team ranked 17th in the nation in the final season standings, the highest placement in program history.
Gene Orlando is the coach of the men's tennis team. In his 17 years as MSU head coach, Orlando has taken the Spartan men to four NCAA Championship singles qualifiers. Coaching the women's team is Erica Perkins, a second-year head coach who, in her first year, led the Spartan women to a 12–11 record (2–8, Big Ten.)
Notable non varsity sports
The Michigan State University Rugby Football Club was founded in 1964. Michigan State rugby has been steadily improving in college rugby in recent years. During the 2010-11 season, the Spartans played in Division 2, finishing with a 10-3 record and qualifying for the playoffs. The Spartans' success led to them moving up to Division 1-AA for the 2011-12 season. For the 2012-13 season, the Spartans once again moved to a higher level of competition—the Big Ten Universities D1-A conference, against traditional Big Ten rivals such as Michigan. The Spartans are led by head coach Dave Poquette, who has been coaching at Michigan State since 1992.
MSU Athletics Hall of Fame
In 1992, thirty former Spartan athletes, coaches, and administrators were inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame as its charter class. On October 1, 1999, the University opened its new Athletics Hall of Fame, in the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Academic Center.
- See footnote
- See footnote
National team championships
As of July 2, 2014, Michigan State has 19 National team titles.
- Men's (19)
- See also:
Below are the 7 National team titles that are not recognized by the NCAA
- Football (6): 1951, 1952, 1955, 1957, 1965, 1966
- Softball (1): 1976
Spartan sports almanac
- See footnote
- See footnote
NCAA Division I Director's Cup
|Year||Rank: National||Rank: Big Ten|
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- "Player Bio: Matt Weise". MSU Spartans. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
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- "Men's Golf Set to Host 2006 Fossum Invitational". CBS College Sports Network. 2006-04-06. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
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- Dunlap, Keith (2001-04-23). "Gymnasts don’t get their wish". The State News. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
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- The State News, MSU Rugby Club plans to advance to Division 1, increase recruitment, April 21, 2011, http://statenews.com/index.php/article/2011/04/msu_rugby_club_plans_to_advance_in_division_increase_recruitment
- Rugby Mag, Final Men's DII College Top 25, 2010-2011, May 5, 2011, http://www.rugbymag.com/men-dii-college/747-final-mens-dii-college-top-25-2010-2011.html
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- Major MSU Awards. Michigan State Spartan Athletics official website. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
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- For awards, records, media guides, and other information—by varsity sport—see: Spartan Sports Almanac. Michigan State Spartan Athletics official website. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
- Traditions. Michigan State Spartan Athletics official website. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
- "NACDA official website". Retrieved 2010-11-28. See also: National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).