Oakland Golden Grizzlies
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|Oakland Golden Grizzlies|
|Athletics director||Tracy Huth|
|Basketball arena||Athletics Center O'rena|
|Baseball stadium||Oakland University Baseball Field|
|Fight song||OU Fight|
|Colors||black and gold
The Oakland University Golden Grizzlies represent Oakland University (OU) in the Horizon League and Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The school fields 16 athletic teams: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, women's tennis, men's and women's track, and volleyball.
The Golden Grizzlies have won 10 NCAA national championships and were runners-up 16 times.
- 1 History
- 2 National championships
- 3 Conference affiliation history
- 4 Sports
- 5 Club sports
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early in the history of Oakland University (OU), academic excellence was stressed at the expense of competitive intercollegiate athletics. While the focus on academic excellence has continued and expanded, the university has also come to recognize the importance of intercollegiate athletics. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, OU competed in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) as the Pioneers, becoming a perennial powerhouse in numerous sports and winning multiple National Championships in men's and women's swimming. During the transition to NCAA Division I status in 1998-99, OU's sports teams became the Golden Grizzlies.
In 2007 the OU Athletics Administration announced a marketing and sponsorship partnership with Palace Sports and Entertainment, which owns and operates the nearby The Palace of Auburn Hills, as well as the Detroit Pistons.
At the conclusion of the 2012–13 season, Oakland left The Summit League to become members of the Horizon League.
The current Athletic Director is Tracy Huth, a former swimmer at OU.
Oakland University won ten national NCAA Division II titles and 16 teams were national runner-up in NCAA Division II. Men's swimming and diving won five championships and finished as runner-up 10 times. Five women's swimming and diving teams also finished first and three came in second. The men's soccer team was NCAA Division II runner-up in 1986, 1994, and 1996.
National championships (10):
- 1980: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1990: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1991: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1992: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1993: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1994: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1994: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1995: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1996: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1997: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
National runners-up (16):
- 1979: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1981: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1983: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1984: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1986: Men's soccer – NCAA Division II
- 1987: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1988: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1989: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1990: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1991: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1993: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1994: Men's soccer – NCAA Division II
- 1995: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1996: Men's soccer – NCAA Division II
- 1996: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1997: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
Conference affiliation history
|1967–68 to 1972–73||Independent||Division II|
|1973–74 to 1996–97||Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Division II|
|1998–99 to 2012–13||The Summit League (known as Mid-Continent Conference until 2007)||Division I|
|2013–14 to present||Horizon League||Division I|
OU's baseball team is coached by John Musachio. The baseball program has produced nearly two dozen players who have gone on to play professional baseball, although at present the only former player who has made it to the Major Leagues is Don Kirkwood, who pitched for the California Angels, the Chicago White Sox, and the Toronto Blue Jays during his career.
The OU men's basketball team is coached by Greg Kampe, who is now among the top ten longest-serving coaches in the NCAA Division I ranks. OU qualified for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship tournament for the first time in 2005. The Golden Grizzlies defeated Alabama A&M University in the opening-round game at Dayton, Ohio on March 15, 2005, before being eliminated three days later by the North Carolina Tar Heels, who went on to win the National Championship.
In 2010, Oakland University made their second ever trip to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship tournament after winning The Summit League Tournament. They came in as a 14 seed against number 3 Pittsburgh, where they were eliminated.
Nearly two dozen OU players have gone on to play professional basketball. After being among the top ten scorers in all of NCAA Division I basketball in 2003 and 2004, Mike Helms was drafted into the Continental Basketball Association and played briefly for the Michigan Mayhem, in addition to playing in the National Basketball League of Australia, where he finished second in the league in scoring in 2006. His OU teammate, Kelly Williams, who is Filipino American, was the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2006 Philippine Basketball Association draft and was named the league's Rookie of the Year in 2007. Rawle Marshall, who led OU to its first NCAA tournament berth in 2005, became the first player from the university to make a National Basketball Association (NBA) roster, playing in 23 games for the Dallas Mavericks in the 2005–06 season and 40 games for the Indiana Pacers in the 2006–07 season. In the 2011 NBA draft the Atlanta Hawks selected OU All-American and Lou Henson Award winner Keith Benson in the second round (48th pick) making Benson the first basketball player from Oakland to be drafted by an NBA team.
Brian Gregory, Oakland's career assist leader, played under Kampe from 1987–90 before beginning a coaching career. He was an assistant under Tom Izzo when Michigan State University won the 2000 NCAA title, and is now the head coach for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men's basketball team.
In the 2010–11 season, Oakland narrowly lost 77–76 to then-No. 7 Michigan State before beating then-No. 7 University of Tennessee 89–82. In the 2011–12 season, Oakland beat Tennessee for the second year in a row 89–81.
The OU women's basketball team is coached by Jeff Tungate. In June 2013, former coach Beckie Francis was fired for intimidation and emotional abuse, because of her fixation on players weight and pushing her religious views upon the team.
On March 7, 2006, the women's basketball team defeated Western Illinois University to capture the 2006 Mid-Continent title. On March 19, in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the #16 Grizzlies lost to #1 Ohio State Buckeyes 68-45. Both basketball teams host games at the Athletics Center O'rena.
Cross country (men's and women's)
Both the men's and women's Cross Country teams at OU are coached by Paul Rice.
Golf (men's and women's)
OU's golf program benefits from the two world-class golf courses located on the university's campus. Both the men's and women's golf teams are coached by Russ Cunningham.
The men's soccer team at OU will be coached by Eric Pogue, starting in the 2009 season. Pogue was an assistant under Gary Parsons for seven years. Parsons coached Oakland for 28 years and accumulated 363 wins in his coaching career, and made the NCAA Division I tournament on multiple occasions. Another of Parsons' former players, Jason Perry, will serve as an assistant to Pogue. In 2004, Perry was drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the third round of the Major League Soccer draft.
The women's soccer team at OU is coached by Nick O'Shea. In addition to making the NCAA Division I tournament in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2006, the team qualified again in 2007. They lost to Purdue University, 4-0, in the first round of the tournament on November 16, 2007.
The OU women's softball team is coached by Glenn MacDonald.
Swimming and diving (men's and women's)
Both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams at Oakland are coached by Pete Hovland. Hovland began coaching the men's team in 1981–82. He took over the women's program in 2001 and has been coaching the two since.
Oakland's men's team has won five NCAA Division II national championships (1980, 1994–1997) and were runners-up 10 times (1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1987–1991, 1993). The men's team has won 35 conference meets, including every GLIAC (21) and The Summit League (14) conference meet the team has participated in.
The Golden Grizzlies women's team won five consecutive NCAA Division II national championships from 1990–1994. They were runners-up the following three seasons (1995–1997). The team has won 26 conference meets, 8 in the GLIAC, 4 in the National Independent Conference (NIC) and 14 in The Summit League. The team won every The Summit League conference meet (14), 4 of the 8 NIC conference meets, and 8 of the 9 GLIAC conference meets it participated in.
The women's tennis team at OU is coached by Heather Redshaw.
Track (men's and women's)
The coach of the men's and women's track teams at OU is Paul Rice. Track is the newest of OU's 16 NCAA Division I sports.
The women's volleyball team at OU is coached by Rob Beam, who became head coach in March 2007.
Ice Hockey (men's)
The Oakland men's club ice hockey team won the American Collegiate Hockey Association's Division II national championship in 2004, was national runner-up in 2005, and in 2006 again won the Division II championship. The team moved up to ACHA Division I for the 2006-2007 season and won the national championship over perennial power Penn State University by a score of 5-1. In addition, the Grizzlies career scoring leader, Will McMahon, was named tournament and regular season MVP after tallying 47 goals and 29 assists in 36 games (including playoffs). McMahon finished his career with 4 ACHA National Player of the Year awards with career totals of 240 goals and 140 assists (380 total points). McMahon was drafted by the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL following his final season (2007) making him the first Grizzly drafted in a professional hockey league. The team is currently coached by former Lake Superior State Lakers men's ice hockey Captain Jeremy Bachusz, who led Oakland to a 25-11-3 record in his first season. The 25 wins was the most for OU Hockey at the DI level. The Grizzlies currently compete in the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League conference.
Club team national championships (4):
- 2004: Men's Ice Hockey – ACHA Division II
- 2006: Curling – CCUSA Division IV
- 2006: Men's Ice Hockey – ACHA Division II
- 2007: Men's Ice Hockey – ACHA Division I
Club team national runners-up (1):
- 2005: Men's Ice Hockey – ACHA Division II
- "Oakland University to Join". Horizon League. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
- Players' shocking allegations against former NCAA women's basketball coach; USA Today; July 21, 2013.