Texas–Pan American Broncs
|Texas–Pan American Broncs|
|University||University of Texas–Pan American|
|Conference||Western Athletic Conference|
|Athletic director||Chris King|
|Varsity teams||15 (16 in 2015)|
|Basketball arena||UTPA Fieldhouse|
|Baseball stadium||Edinburg Stadium|
|Soccer stadium||Future UTRGV Vaqueros Soccer Stadium|
The Texas–Pan American Broncs (also UTPA) are the varsity athletic teams representing University of Texas–Pan American in Edinburg, Texas in intercollegiate athletics. The university currently sponsors 15 teams including men and women's basketball, cross country, golf, tennis, and track and field (indoor and outdoor); soccer and volleyball for women only; and baseball for men only. The newest varsity sport is women's soccer, added for the 2014 season (2014–15 school year). Men's soccer will be added in the following season, bringing the total to 16 sports. The Broncs compete in NCAA Division I and are currently members of the Western Athletic Conference.
The 2014–15 school year will be the last for UTPA as an institution. At that time, UTPA will merge with the University of Texas at Brownsville to create the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). The University of Texas System stated in July 2014 that "the UTPA athletics program will be converted into the athletics program at UTRGV".
On November 5, 2014, UTRGV's new nickname of Vaqueros was announced. Almost immediately, students on both campuses began objecting to the new name as a caricature and racial stereotype of Mexican, Latino, Chicano, and Hispanic culture. Two days after the new mascot was approved, the UTPA student government passed a resolution in opposition, and three days later, hundreds of students rallied on the Edinburg campus to protest the new name.
The University of Texas–Pan American sponsors teams in seven men's and eight women's NCAA sanctioned sports, with women's soccer the most recent addition in 2014. Men's soccer will be added when UTRGV is created in 2015.
Note that the NCAA classifies indoor and outdoor track and field as separate sports. However, when determining scholarship limits, it combines both forms of track and field with cross country.
Men's Intercollegiate Sports
Women's Intercollegiate Sports
UTPA, then Pan American College, won the 1963 NAIA national men's basketball championship under Coach Sam Williams. Lucious Jackson a/k/a Luscious "Luke" Jackson was one of the players on that championship team. Jackson was selected 4th overall during the 1964 NBA draft. He was selected to the 1964–65 NBA All-Rookie Team and played in the NBA All-Star Game that same year. He played his entire career with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The basketball program, during the mid-1970s was coached by Abe Lemons. Under Lemons, the program had very successful seasons but, lamentably, failed to get invited to any NCAA tournaments. Coach Lemons was later hired away by the University of Texas at Austin.
Upon Lemons' departure to the University of Texas at Austin, Bill White was named the head basketball coach. While at Pan American, Coach White led the Broncs to their first post-season tournament play at the Division I level. During the 1980–81 season, Pan American earned a berth to the 1981 National Invitation Tournament. The Broncs lost to the 1981 NIT champs, the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
UTPA Tennis program won several doubles NAIA championships from 1959 through 1962 under Coach Don Russell, who himself captured several championships while playing and coaching the team.
In 2008 it was announced that the Broncs would be charter members of the previously football-only Great West Conference when it began all-sports play in 2008. During the fall of 2008, the UTPA Cross Country team was the first to win a Great West Conference team title. UTPA exited Great West Conference after the 2012–2013 season.
UTPA was previously a member of the Sun Belt Conference from 1991 to 1998
The UTPA Broncs are one of the newest members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Women's soccer returned to the athletic program in 2014, and men's soccer will follow when UTRGV is created in 2015.
- "Project South Texas: Timeline". University of Texas System. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- "Project South Texas: Ask a Question". University of Texas System. July 30, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- Brito, Victoria (November 5, 2014). "UT-RGV mascot recommended to be the Vaquero". The Monitor (McAllen, Texas). Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- New Great West Conference