|NCAA||Division I (Bowl Subdivision)|
|Athletic director||Jim Schaus|
|Varsity teams||6 men and 10 women varsity teams|
|Football stadium||Peden Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Convocation Center|
|Mascot||Rufus the Bobcat|
|Fight song||"Stand Up and Cheer"|
Ohio University intercollegiate athletics include six men's squads and nine women's squads and range from individual athletics to team sports, all called the Bobcats. The Bobcats are 1946 charter members of the Mid-American Conference, one of 11 leagues to be NCAA Division FBS, the highest competition level within American intercollegiate athletics. The school colors are Ohio Green and White.[1 1]
- 1 Traditions and history
- 2 Baseball and softball
- 3 Basketball
- 4 Cross-Country
- 5 Football
- 6 Golf
- 7 Volleyball
- 8 Swimming and diving
- 9 Wrestling
- 10 Other teams
- 11 Arenas and facilities
- 12 Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame
- 13 Department administration
- 14 Radio network
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Traditions and history
For the 2004 bicentennial biography of the university, the institution commissioned a book documenting the university's history.[1 1] Betty Hollow's bicentennial publication Ohio University: The Spirit of a Singular Place describes many historical events in the university's athletic program.
In her book, Hollow records that Frank Super, the son of university president Charles W. Super, took time from his electrical engineering studies to quarterback Ohio's first gridiron squad in 1894. Local businesses and “sympathizers”, or fans, sported light-blue decorations and ribbons to show their support. Not only two years later, in 1896, did Ohio teams adopt green and white as school colors, chosen by the student body's vote. Hal Rowland, a former student, won the $10.00 contest to put forward the idea of a nickname that exemplified the team's tenacity and fighting spirit best: the Bobcat was born. Women's sports had advanced over many years at Ohio University, starting originally as the tennis club and participation in the field day, where women could only compete in the baseball throw. The football team's was invited to meet U.S. President Herbert Hoover at the White House in 1932. Despite wide acclaim, football's legacy at the university is presently out-shined by Bobcat baseball.[1 1]
Number “54” and is the only number ever retired at Ohio University.[1 1] It belonged to Frank Baumholtz, a two-sport star and one of the few athletes ever to play two professional sports.[1 1] Baumholtz and men's basketball head coach W.J. “Dutch” Trautwein led the Cats to the 1941 National Invitational Tournament championship, building upon standards established by Butch Grover during his 16-year run as head coach from 1922 to 1938. Larry Hunter is one on a distinguished list of coaches that also includes Jim Snyder, whose twenty-five seasons produced 355 wins, conference crowns, and NCAA and NIT appearances. Baumholtz signed with the Cincinnati Reds in 1941. Bob Wren, a Bobcat infielder, was named coach in 1949 and in his twenty-three seasons his teams won almost 500 games, never suffering a losing season. Future major leaguers like Phillies's Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt fueled Wren's powerhouse ballclubs. In fact, the 1970 team with Schmidt and future coach Joe Carbone as players advanced all the way to the College World Series, upsetting Southern California in the first round.
Instrumental within the university administrators building equal opportunities for women through increased spending and scholarship support was Peggy Pruitt,[1 1] who retired in 2001. Building upon a tradition that has produced such stand-outs as Anita Corl Miller-Huntsman, Shelly Morris's field hockey team earned a MAC championship and an NCAA appearance in 2001. Wendy Weeden Devine, 1974, became the first woman inducted into the Ohio University Athletic Hall of Fame.[1 1] An Ohio All-American and 1964 NCAA cross-country champion, Elmore “Mo” Banton led the cross-country and track and field teams as a coach to many MAC championships and NCAA highlights. Retiring in 1972, baseball's Coach Wren gave way to Jerry France, who coached future World Series skipper Bob Brenly of the Arizona Diamondbacks. France won almost 400 games, and his successor Joe Carbone added another 400 victories to the tradition.
The Marching 110
Ohio's marching band is The Ohio University Marching 110. On October 28, 1976, the Marching 110 became the first marching band in history to perform at Carnegie Hall. The Marching 110 performed in Bill Clinton's first inaugural parade through Washington, D.C., in 1992 when Clinton personally asked his campaign chairman, alumnus David Wilhelm, for the band to march and perform to throngs of thousands of Americans greeting the new first family. The band has also performed at many professional football games and has taken part in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2000 and 2005. Called "The Most Exciting Band in the Land," the band is widely regarded as one of the best in the nation[1 1] and was ranked by Link Magazine in 1996 as one of the Top 10 college marching bands in the nation.[1 1] They perform at every Ohio home football game.
Many of those traditions are associated with athletics events on campus. Ohio traditions include:
- Rufus the Bobcat - The school mascot, a fierce yet friendly looking Bobcat that always sports an Ohio jersey with a number "1" on the back.
- University Seal - legend has it that freshman must avoid stepping on the university seal or risk bad fortune in both athletics and in the classroom.
- "Stand Up and Cheer" - Ohio's fight song
- "Alma Mater, Ohio" - Ohio's alma mater song
- Salute to the Students - Following every Ohio home football game, win or lose, Ohio football players head to the student section to thank the Bobcats' most rabid fans for attending.
- The Cannon - After every Ohio score, a 19th-century style military cannon is fired. When the Bobcats enter the field, the cannon shoots off a smoke "O" that can be seen for several minutes before fading into the air.
- Rubbing the Bobcat - Supporters and students rub the head of the life-sized bobcat sculpture located at the front entrance to the stadium, before each game. Tradition has it that touching the statue before a game will ensure luck on the athletic field.
- The "O Zone" - The student cheering section at every Ohio men's basketball game.
- Tail-Great Park - The park across from Peden Stadium is transformed for every home football game into "Tail-Great Park". The park features kid's games, live music, and tailgating on gameday.
- Homecoming Parade - The annual homecoming parade at Ohio begins in downtown Athens and ends in the Peden Stadium parking lot just in time for the game. Always on a Saturday afternoon, homecoming is always one of the highest attended games of the football season.
- CatFX- The graphics and videos displayed on the videoboards at Peden Stadium and the Convocation center.
Varsity Ohio is the exclusive organization for student-athlete alumni, and sponsors the annual all-sports reunion during the week of Homecoming, with athletics alumni flying in from around the world.
Baseball and softball
The Ohio baseball program has won 14 MAC regular season titles in 1947, 1948, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1991. The team has also won a MAC tournament title in 1997, and has made a College World Series appearance in 1970. There have been a total of 23 Bobcats in the major leagues, and hundreds more in the minors.[1 1] Most notably, Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt was a Bobcat.
Ohio University Fastpitch won the 1995 MAC title.
Ohio's home basketball games are played at the 13,080-seat Convocation Center. Located on the West Green of Ohio University's main campus, the venue has a seating capacity of 13,080. The arena was completed in 1968 and is the largest basketball facility in the Mid-American Conference.[1 1] The Bobcats have won over 75% of their home games since the opening of The Convo.[1 1] Prior to playing at the Convo, Ohio basketball games were first played in Bentley Hall and then at Grover Center, two buildings that today exist as office space and classrooms for the university. The Convocation Center brought in its largest crowd on February 28, 1970, when 14,102 fans were in attendance to watch the Bobcats men's basketball team defeat the Bowling Green Falcons 77-76. Ohio is consistently one of the attendance leaders in the Mid-American Conference and has the ability to draw good crowds, win or lose.[1 1]
The first Ohio basketball game occurred in 1907 when the Bobcats defeated the Parkersburg YMCA 46-9. Since that day, Ohio has posted a .571 winning percentage over their 100 year history and a .566 winning percentage in their 65 years in the Mid-American Conference. The Bobcats have won 6 Mid-American Conference tournament titles in 1983, 1985, 1994, 2005, 2010, and 2012. As well as 9 MAC regular season titles in 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1985, and 1994. Prior to joining the MAC, the 'Cats won an Ohio Athletic Conference title in 1921 and three Buckeye Athletic Association championships in 1931, 1933, and 1937. In addition, Ohio has played in the NCAA Tournament 13 times, appearing in 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1983, 1985, 1994, 2005, 2010, and 2012. The Bobcats have been selected for the National Invitation Tournament 4 times in 1941 (runner-up), 1969, 1986, and 1995, while also appearing in the College Basketball Invitational in 2008. As a result of the storied tradition of Ohio Bobcats basketball, the program was recently ranked 86th in Street & Smith's 100 Greatest Basketball Programs of All Time, published in 2005.[1 1]
Some of Ohio's famous men's basketball coaches include Jim Snyder, Danny Nee, Larry Hunter and John Groce. Jim Snyder led the Bobcats for 26 years (1949–1974) and helped Ohio to 7 NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT appearance. Snyder's teams compiled a 355-255 record, good for a .581 winning percentage. Former Ohio Coach Danny Nee led Ohio for 7 years from 1980-1986. Nee helped rebuild the program from several years of losing records, and he helped lead the team to 2 MAC Tournament titles, 2 NCAA Tournament appearances, and one NIT appearance. Following Nee's tenure at Ohio, he took a job as head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Today Nee is head coach of the Duquesne University Dukes. Larry Hunter served as head coach of Ohio from 1989–2001, compiling a winning percentage of .580 (204-148). His teams made one NCAA Tournament appearance in 1994, an NIT appearance in 1995, and won the Pre-Season NIT in 1994. Despite his record as coach of the Bobcats, Hunter was relieved of his duties in 2001 for a lack of postseason success. Today, Hunter is head coach of the Western Carolina University Catamounts.
Ohio's head coach from 2001 to 2008 was Tim O'Shea. Coach O'Shea resigned on Monday June 23, 2008, in order to become the head coach of Bryant University in Rhode Island. Coach O'Shea had arrived at Ohio in 2001 after 4 seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Boston College. He came to Athens on March 29, 2001 and vowed to take the Ohio men's basketball program to what he called the "next level". This next level was realized in 2005 as he led to Bobcats to a 21-11 record, a MAC Tournament Title, and an NCAA Tournament appearance in which 13 seed Ohio nearly upset 4 seed Florida. O'Shea's 2005-2006 team proved successful as well, posting a 19-11 record with wins over teams such as Rhode Island and Samford, and a close loss to Kentucky. The 2006-2007 team also posted 19 wins, with a final record of 19-13. A 20 win campaign was had in the 2007-2008 season, including notable non-conference wins over Maryland, St. John's, George Mason, and Bucknell. The team was extended an invite to the College Basketball Invitational, where the Bobcats advanced to the second round. On June 27, 2008, former Ohio State Buckeyes associate head coach John Groce was named the sixteenth head coach in Bobcats history. Groce brings fourteen years of assistant coaching experience to Athens, along with a pair of outright Big Ten regular-season titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances, a berth in the 2007 NCAA National Championship game and the 2008 NIT title.
On March 18, 2010, the men's basketball program recorded a 97-83 blowout of the Georgetown Hoyas. The upset marked the first time in NCAA tournament history that a fourteen seed defeated a three seed by double digits. Ohio defeated 4th seeded Michigan in the 2012 Tournament. They followed up the 2012 victory over Michigan with a 62–56 win over 12th seeded South Florida, reaching the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1964. On March 28, 2012, John Groce left the program to coach at the University of Illinois. He was replaced by Texas Christian University head coach Jim Christian on April 3, 2012. Christian became Ohio University's highest paid faculty member in school history, having a base salary of $425,000 a year. He was replaced two years later on the same day after he got a coaching job at Boston College by Saul Phillips. Phillips was the head coach of North Dakota State.
Ohio's all-time NBA draft selections
- Frank Baumholtz, 1946, Cleveland Rebels
- Richard Schrider, 1948, New York Knicks
- Howard Jolliff, 1960, Minneapolis Lakers
- Larry Kruger, 1961, Cincinnati Royals
- Jerry Jackson, 1964, Detroit Pistons
- Bunk Adams, 1965, Baltimore Bullets
- John Schroeder, 1967, Seattle SuperSonics
- Gerald McKee, 1969, Baltimore Bullets
- John Canine, 1970, Phoenix Suns
- Greg McDivitt, 1970, Phoenix Suns
- Ken Kowall, 1971, Philadelphia 76ers
- Craig Love, 1971, Buffalo Braves
- Tom Corde, 1972, New York Knicks
- Walter Luckett, 1975, Detroit Pistons
- Steve Skaggs, 1979, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Tim Joyce, 1979, Cleveland Cavaliers
- John Devereaux, 1984, San Antonio Spurs
- Dave Jamerson, 1990, Miami Heat
- Paul "Snoopy" Graham, 1991, Atlanta Hawks
- Gary Trent, 1995, Milwaukee Bucks
- Brandon Hunter, 2003, Boston Celtics
The Ohio women's basketball program boasts the 1986 MAC championship, as well as several successful seasons and tournaments.
The men's and women's teams are now coached by Clay Calkins, Mitch Bentley, and Nick Pero. The teams were previously coached by Elmore "Mo" Banton, a well-respected coach in running circles who became Ohio's first African American head coach in 1980 and stayed with the program for more than 20 years. Many cross country runners also run for the track team in the spring, forming the core of the distance runners. The runners were greatly affected by the loss of the Men's Track program in 2007.
The Ohio Men's Cross-Country program claims MAC titles from 1962, 1964, and 1996. Recently, distance athlete and Ohio's former Director of Compliance Craig Leon became a qualifier to the U.S. Olympic Trials for the marathon in Eugene, Oregon. Leon finished 10th at the 2013 Boston Marathon, the same race during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Since the 2007 track team elimination, the cross-country squad competes in mid- and long-distance events each Spring as the Club Track Team at the annual Wake Forest University track meet.
The Women's Cross Country team claims more titles than any MAC program: 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1997, 2006, and 2007.
Ohio Bobcats football began in 1894 with an 8-0 loss to Marietta College. Since that day, the Bobcats have posted a 498-516-48 record over their 112 year existence and a 202-243-11 record over their 60 years in the Mid-American Conference.
Peden Stadium, built in 1929, is the oldest football venue in the MAC and among the oldest in the nation. Located on the south of Ohio University's campus in Athens, the venue has a seating capacity of 24,000. In 2010, Peden Stadium was designated an official Ohio Historical landmark site after a university alumnus, Michael A Massa, advanced the idea to Ohio University and State of Ohio officials. Many recent renovation and expansion efforts have allowed the stadium to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of college football stadiums.[1 1] As such, Peden Stadium is nicknamed "The Wrigley Field of College Football".[1 2] The historic stadium brought its largest crowd on September 8, 2012, when 25,893 fans were in attendance to watch the Bobcats decisively beat the New Mexico State Aggies by a score of 51-24. This mark overtook the previous record set on September 5, 2009, when 24,617 fans were in attendance to watch the Bobcats drop a 23-16 decision to the Connecticut Huskies. The third largest crowd came on September 9, 2005, when 24,545 fans watched the Bobcats defeat the Pittsburgh Panthers 16-10. The fourth largest crowd was on September 17, 2011, when 24,422 fans watched the Bobcats defeat the Marshall Thundering Herd 44-7 in the Battle of the Bell. Ohio is consistently one of the attendance leaders in the Mid-American Conference.
The Bobcats have won five MAC Football championships in 1953, 1960, 1963, 1967, and 1968, and MAC East Division championships in 2006, 2009, and 2011. Prior to joining the MAC, the Bobcats won six Buckeye Athletic Association championships in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1935, 1936, and 1938. In 1960, the Bobcats were crowned National Small College Champions after compiling a 10-0 record under Coach Bill Hess. The Bobcats have appeared in six bowl games, losing 15-14 to West Texas State in the 1962 Sun Bowl, losing 49-42 to Richmond in the 1968 Tangerine Bowl, falling 28-7 to Southern Mississippi in the 2007 GMAC Bowl, losing 21-17 to Marshall in the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, and losing to Troy in the 2010 New Orleans Bowl, 48-21, before finally winning a bowl game in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Utah State, 24-23.
Some of Ohio's notable football coaches include Don Peden, Bill Hess, Jim Grobe, and current head coach Frank Solich. Peden coached from 1924–1946, compiling a 121-46-11 record, good for a winning percentage of .711 that still stands as the best ever for an Ohio football coach. Peden's teams won a total of 6 Buckeye Athletic Association Championships in his tenure and left a lasting mark on the program when the Bobcat's football stadium, Peden Stadium, was named in his honor following his retirement. Bill Hess's time at Ohio was equally impressive. Coaching from 1958–1977, Hess had a 108-91-4 record, giving him a winning percentage of .542 that is second only to Peden on Ohio's all-time list. Coach Hess's teams won 4 MAC Championships, participated in 2 bowl games, and won a National Small College Championship in 1960 after having an undefeated season. Former Ohio Coach Jim Grobe took the helm of the Bobcats program in 1995, inheriting a squad that winless in the previous season. Grobe quickly turned the program around, as his teams went 8-3 in 1997 and 7-4 in 2000. Coach Grobe had a 33-33-1 record in his time at Ohio, good for a .500 winning percentage that is fourth among all Ohio football coaches. After the 2000 football season, Grobe took a job as head football coach at Wake Forest University.
Frank Solich was named the 28th football coach of the Bobcats on December 16, 2004. Prior to coming to Ohio, Solich spent many years as a part of the University of Nebraska football program, as a player, an assistant coach, and later as the head coach. Solich was head coach of the Cornhuskers from 1998-2003 where he directed Nebraska to 6 consecutive bowl games, including the national championship game in the 2002 Rose Bowl. Solich's impact on the Ohio program was immediate, as plans were put in place to renovate Ohio's football facilities and increase financial support for the football program. Also, Ohio was selected to appear on national television 6 times for the 2005 football season, a record for the program. Frank Solich's first home game as coach of Ohio was a memorable one, as Peden Stadium brought in its largest ever crowd to watch the Bobcats defeat the University of Pittsburgh Panthers 16-10.
Under the guidance of Frank Solich, the Ohio football program has enjoyed a return to national prominence. On November 16, 2006 the Bobcats secured their first-ever MAC East Division title and their first football championship of any sort since 1968 with a victory over the Akron Zips. They then advanced to the MAC Championship Game in Detroit, Michigan, where they were defeated by Central Michigan 31-10. On January 7, 2007, the Bobcats acted as the MAC representative in the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, losing 28-7 to The University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in a game nationally televised on ESPN. The Bobcats followed up the 2006 campaign with a 6-6 record in 2007, and was one of six bowl eligible programs that was not invited to post-season play. The Bobcats returned to the post-season in 2009, posting a 9-3 regular season record and another MAC East Championship. Ohio played in the MAC Championship Game, where they fell to Central Michigan 20-10. On December 26, 2009, the Bobcats fell 21-17 to the Thundering Herd in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
Ohio's all-time players in the NFL
- Russell Kepler—Halfback—1933-1936 Cleveland Rams, Boston Shamrocks
- William Snyder—Guard—1934-1935 Pittsburgh Pirates
- Lenny Sadosky—Halfback—1935-1936 Cleveland Rams
- Art Lewis—Tackle—1936 New York Giants; 1938-1939 Cleveland Rams
- Robert Snyder—Quarterback—1936 Pittsburgh Pirates; 1937-1938 Cleveland Rams; 1938–1941,1943 Chicago Bears
- Paul Halleck—End—1937 Cleveland Rams
- Len Janiak—Back—1940-1942 Cleveland Rams
- Chet Adams—Tackle—1939-1942 Cleveland Rams; 1943 Green Bay Packers; 1946-1948 Cleveland Browns; 1949 Buffalo Bisons
- John Fekete—Back—1946 Buffalo Bisons
- Vince Costello—Linebacker—1957-1966 Cleveland Browns; 1967-1968 New York Giants
- Robert Harrison—Back—1961 Baltimore Colts
- Dick Grecni—Linebacker—1961 Minnesota Vikings
- Robert Brooks—Back—1961 New York Titans
- Alan Miller—Linebacker—1962-1963 Washington Redskins
- Chuck Turner—Tackle—1966 Buffalo Bills
- Todd Snyder—Wide Receiver—1969-1973 Atlanta Falcons
- Jack Leveck—Linebacker—1973-1975 St. Louis Cardinals; 1976 Chicago Bears
- Dave Green—Punter—1972-1975 Cincinnati Bengals; 1976-1978 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Mike Green—Punter—1976 Miami Dolphins; 1977 Houston Oilers
- Brian Bertoia—Offensive Lineman—1985 Cleveland Browns
- Dr. Jason Carthen—Linebacker—1993-1997 New England Patriots; Buffalo Bills; Rhein Fire
- Darren Reese—Offensive Lineman—1994 New York Giants; 1995 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Andy Canter—Offensive Lineman—1995 Philadelphia Eagles
- Dave Zastudil—Punter—2002-2005 Baltimore Ravens; 2006–Present Cleveland Browns
- Chad Brinker—Running Back/Returner—2003 New York Jets
- Kevin Carberry—Defensive End—2005 Cleveland Browns
- Chip Cox—Defensive Back—2005 Detroit Lions; 2007 Washington Redskins
- Dion Byrum—Cornerback—2006-2007 Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers
- Scott Mayle—Wide Receiver—2007-2008 Buffalo Bills
- Matt Muncy—Linebacker—2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Tennessee Titans
- Voncarie Owens—Running Back—2007 New Orleans Saints
- Rudy Sylvan—Tight End—2007-2008 Detroit Lions
- T.J. Wright—Cornerback—2007 Cincinnati Bengals
- Landon Cohen—Defensive Lineman—2008–Present Chicago Bears
- Todd Koenig—Safety—2008 Cleveland Browns
- Kalvin McRae—Running Back—2008 Kansas City Chiefs
- Ryan Senser—Long-Snapper—2008 New Orleans Saints, 2009–Present Seattle Seahawks
- Joshua Abrams—Cornerback—2008–Present Green Bay Packers
- Michael Mitchell—Safety—2009–Present Oakland Raiders
- Taylor Price—Wide Receiver—2010–Present Jacksonville Jaguars
All players in bold are current NFL players.
- Joe Fladding-2011
- Gerald Moore-2009
- Lavon Brazil-2009
- Noah Keller-2009
- Matt Weller-2009
- Dion Byrum-2005
- Dave Zastudil-2001
- Cleve Bryant—1968
- Todd Snyder—1968
- Ken Carmon—1968
- John Frick—1966
- Skip Hoovler—1963
- Bob Brooks—1960
- Dick Grecni—1960
- Vince Costello—1952
- Al Scheider—1951
- John Kerns—1946
- Danny Risaliti—1940
- Art Lewis—1935
- Lenard Sadosky—1932
The Ohio Bobcats golf teams are two of the only teams in the MAC that possess their own golf course. Both the men's and women's teams have several notable victories in national tournaments and compete at regular matches across the country.
Through the 2014 season, the men's golf team has won 18 MAC tournament titles: 1951–55, 1957–61, 1963–65, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1979–80 (1954 co-champions with Kent State). PGA Tour golfer Dow Finsterwald is among the Ohio golf program's famous alumni.
Ohio's volleyball team has been steadily increasing national prominence: Under the direction of Coach Geoff Carlston, the team won five consecutive Mid-American Conference regular season championships from 2003 to 2007, and 4 consecutive MAC tournament titles from 2003 to 2006. The team has appeared in the NCAA Tournament every year since 2003, and made the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA tournament in 2005. Following the end of the 2007 season, Coach Geoff Carlston moved on to take the head coaching position at Ohio State University, with Ohio naming former Florida assistant Ryan Theis to the vacant head coaching position. Under the direction of Theis, the Bobcats have won 2 MAC regular season titles and have recorded 2 NCAA Tournament appearances.
Swimming and diving
Ohio's women's swimming and diving team has won 11 MAC championships in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2008 and 2011. This is more than any other women's swimming and diving program in the conference. The team competes in The Ohio University Aquatic Center, one of the finest swimming and diving facilities in the conference. The OUAC has hosted many Mid-American Conference Championship meets.
The Ohio University wrestling program's inception was in 1919, when Thor Olson, the so-called “Granddaddy of Collegiate Wrestling,” coached the very first Bobcat varsity wrestling team to a 1-1 record. The first of its kind at any university or institution in the state of Ohio,[1 1] that wrestling team established a tradition that has continued under the leadership of past coaches like Fred Schleicher and Harry Houska. Present coach Joel Greenlee is entering his 17th season as the head coach of the Bobcat wrestling program after helping five individuals earn bids for the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships. Recent Bobcat standout wrestler Jake Percival was at the 2004 NCAA meet, less than 40 seconds away from becoming Ohio’s fifth national champion, but a late two-point reversal by Stanford’s Matt Gentry in the 157-pound finals resulted in a second-place finish for Percival as the Bobcats placed 25th in the country under the guidance of Greenlee. Percival, the three-time MAC Wrestler of the Year, became the first four-time All-American in MAC history with a third-place finish at nationals in 2005. During his senior season, the Elyria native passed Enright (115-31) and Gardner (122-26) to become the school’s all-time wins leader. He ended his career with a 142-10 record, including 18-6 in the NCAA Tournament, 113-4 during the regular season and a 17-0 mark in the conference. Ohio University wrestling home dual meets and tournaments take place in the Convocation Center located on campus.
The Bobcat's Wrestling team achievements
- 15 MAC championships in 1955, 1956, 1957, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001
- 19 All-Americans (1931-2005)
- 4 individual NCAA Champions: 1932 - Kermit Blosser, 1964 - Harry Houska, 1978 - Andy Daniels, 1998 - Dwight Gardner
MAC Championships in parentheses:
- Women's golf
- Women's indoor track and field
- Women's outdoor track and field (1983, 1984, 1994)
- Women's field hockey (1987, 1991, 2006, 2007, 2009)
- Women's soccer (1998, 2001, 2004) more regular season titles than any MAC program
On January 25, 2007, then-Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt announced the elimination of four varsity sports at Ohio University. Those sports include: men's swimming and diving, men's indoor track, men's outdoor track and women's lacrosse. The decision was announced without any advance warning to the student athletes involved causing major tension between the student body and the administration. The Athletic Department later revealed that the money saved would be reinvested in forcible sports.
Arenas and facilities
Ohio's athletic facilities and the teams that utilize them are as follows:
- Peden Stadium (Football)
- Convocation Center (Basketball, Volleyball, Wrestling)
- Bob Wren Stadium (Baseball)
- Ohio Softball Field (Softball)
- Aquatic Center (Swimming and Diving)
- Chessa Field (Women's Soccer)
- Pruitt Field (Field Hockey
- Walters Inside Multipurpose Fieldhouse
- Goldsberry Track (Track and Field)
- Athens Country Club (Men's and Women's Golf)
- Ossian C. Bird Arena (Men's Club Ice Hockey)
Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame
The Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 1965. Inductees to the Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame are inducted during banquet ceremonies the evening prior to a designated home football game. Inductees are also recognized during a special halftime ceremony at the football game the following day. A portrait and accomplishments are displayed in the Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame located in the Convocation Center.
Jim Schaus was named the new Director of Athletics at Ohio University by President Roderick J. McDavis on April 7, 2008. Before accepting the job at Ohio, Schaus served in the same capacity at Wichita State University for 9 years. Schaus replaced Kirby Hocutt, who took the Director of Athletics position at the University of Miami. Schaus' senior staff at Ohio includes: Amy Dean (Senior Associate AD/Administration & Sport Programs), Dan Hauser (Associate AD/External Operations), Lauren Ashman (Associate AD/Compliance), Randee Duffy (Associate AD/NCAA Eligibility & Student Athlete Success), Ryan White (Associate AD/Development), Tim Knavel (Associate AD/Business Operations) and Matt Molde (General Manager Ohio IMG Sports Marketing).
- Academic Center Campaign - In 2014, the administration of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, along with Varsity OHIO and affiliated university alumni organizations and bodies, began a cooperative campaign for a state-of-the-art academic wing at Peden Stadium due to crowded interior space for students.
NCAA guidelines promote student-athletes across several leadership channels for decision making. The university nominates a student-athlete each year to represent Ohio University at the annual NCAA National Student-Athlete Leadership and Development Conference, where ambassadors from universities across the country converge to discuss pressing issues facing their campus's athletes. Student ambassadors then give executive recommendations to their departments.
The university sponsors a trio of student-athletes to attend the NCAA's annual APPLE Conference on Drugs & Alcohol, along with administration advisors, to learn more about implementing wellness programming into athletic life at Ohio University.
After the election for Student Senate in 2008, students initiated the position of Athletic Affairs Senator to be the voting member for student-athletes inside the Ohio University Student Senate. The Athletic Affairs Senator must first be elected Vice President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (or S.A.A.C.). S.A.A.C. is composed of five officers, usually of different athletic teams, and influences department-wide activities for student-athletes.
Furthermore, each team usually elects its own captain during the teams' end-of-season dinners; results are presented later at practices or via email. Coaches have played more of a role in the determination process in recent years, and some teams maintain devolved captainships.
During the 2011 Student Senate election, the social democratic of the two major parties held the first formal nominating process. A men's cross-country runner became the vice presidential candidate and that election saw the highest percentage of voters turnout, with 4,057 votes cast representing roughly 20 percent of the student body, and despite the election's outcome, was a pivotal moment for athletes' voices. The 2011 election set a course for student-trustee suffrage throughout the state; drew attention to Budget Planning Council meetings' inaccessibility; and highlighted the plight facing student-employees. The result fomented a linear case for the 2014 election outcome.
Between 2011 and 2012, the university administration sponsored a select committee for leveraging talks for a multipurpose center for the football program. The student-athletes' leadership both at the S.A.A.C. and Student Senate levels were represented by runners who were adversely effected and negatively impacted by the loss of the men's track program. As talks progressed, athletes from various backgrounds worked together for proposals about the interior design of the facility, ultimately persuading the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to construct an indoor track. Although discussion over the size of the track varied, the department honored the work of the athletes by incorporating a track into the blueprints. As the budget for the planned facility was discussed, proposals centered on moving expenditures for the building's facade into the interior expenses. Despite the addition of the track into the financial plan, the student body's general fee was invoked as a means to finish the building without subtractions from the exterior. Therefore, the Department of Student Affairs was enlisted to manage the day-to-day operations of the building as cost adjustments pan out over the years after construction. The building was dedicated after nearly five years of planning on August 26, 2014, track included.
The official radio home of the Ohio Bobcats is the Ohio IMG Sports Network. The first MAC network to reach into Columbus, the Ohio IMG Sports Network continues to serve the university's alumni base and fans in other parts of southeastern Ohio and parts of northern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. The radio voice of the Bobcats is Russ Eisenstein with Rob Cornelius as color analyst for Bobcat football and men's basketball and Tom Hodson as the football sideline reporter.
The network features 13 radio affiliations throughout southeast and central Ohio, and into West Virginia:
- WXTQ-FM 105.5 Athens, Ohio
- WOUC-FM 89.1 Cambridge, Ohio
- WOUH-FM 91.9 Chillicothe, Ohio
- WYTS-AM 1230 Columbus, Ohio
- WOUL-FM 89.1 Ironton, Ohio
- WMOA-AM 1490 Marietta, Ohio
- WJAW-FM 100.9 McConnelsville, Ohio
- WMPO-AM 1390 Middleport, Ohio
- WMPO-FM 97.1 Pomeroy, Ohio
- WHNK-AM 1450 Parkersburg, West Virginia
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