Texas A&M Aggies

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Texas A&M Aggies
Logo
University Texas A&M University
Conference Southeastern Conference
NCAA Division I / FBS
Athletic director Eric Hyman
Location College Station, TX
Varsity teams 20
Football stadium Kyle Field
Basketball arena Reed Arena
Baseball stadium Olsen Field
Soccer stadium Ellis Field
Mascot Reveille
Nickname Aggies
Fight song Aggie War Hymn
Colors
     Maroon       White
Website www.aggieathletics.com

Texas A&M Aggies (variously A&M or Texas Aggies) refers to the students, graduates, and sports teams of Texas A&M University. The nickname "Aggie" is common at land-grant or "Ag" (agriculture) schools in many states. The teams compete in Division I of NCAA sports. Texas A&M was a charter member of the Southwest Conference until its dissolution and subsequent formation of the Big 12 Conference in 1996. The Aggies competed in the Big 12 until joining the Southeastern Conference (SEC) on July 1, 2012. Texas A&M's official school colors are maroon and white. The teams are referred to as Aggies and the mascot is a Rough Collie named Reveille.

Athletics[edit]

Texas A&M competes in the following varsity sports:

Football[edit]

Texas A&M Aggies vs. Texas Longhorns

The Texas A&M Aggies compete in the Southeastern Conference and will enter their 119th year of football competition in the 2013 season. Over the program's history, the Aggies have earned three national titles (1919, 1927, and 1939), 20 conference titles and two Heisman trophies won by John David Crow in 1957 and Johnny Manziel, the first freshman to ever win the award, in 2012.[1] A&M has had two perfect seasons having gone undefeated and unscored upon in both 1917[2] and 1919.[3] The football program experienced a period of little success lasting from 1944 to 1971, when the Aggies won only two conference titles. With Emory Bellard as head coach beginning in 1972, the Aggies returned to prominence with two 10 win seasons during his short tenure. He was replaced by Tom Wilson who had little success at Texas A&M before Jackie Sherrill took over the program. Sherrill won three consecutive conference titles and two Cotton Bowl Classic postseason games. His defensive coordinator, R. C. Slocum, replaced him as head coach in 1989. Slocum finished in the top 25 during 10 of his 14 years at Texas A&M[4] and won 4 conference titles, including the school's only Big 12 title in 1998.

In late 2002, Dennis Franchione left his position as head coach at the University of Alabama to take over Texas A&M's football program from Slocum. He finished the 2003 season at 4-8. Franchione finished the 2004 regular season with a 7-4 mark and an invitation to the Cotton Bowl Classic, a game the Aggies lost to Tennessee. The 2005 team regressed to 5-6 and defensive coordinator Carl Torbush was fired, and replaced by Gary Darnell. Due to the much-needed improvements on defense, the Aggies finished the 2006 regular season with a 9-3 record and a 5-3 mark in Big 12 play, including a 12-7 victory over the Texas Longhorns in Austin, the first over the Longhorns in 6 years.

In the 2007 season, when the Aggies finished in a three way tie for third place with Texas Tech and Oklahoma State in the Big 12 South, leading only Baylor, which finished last. Although the team pulled out a 38-30 victory over the Longhorns on the day after Thanksgiving, coach Dennis Franchione was forced to retire. Former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman was announced as his replacement three days later. Unfortunately, Sherman's first year at A&M resulted in one of the worst records in years, finishing at 4-8.[5] The 2009 season showed some improvement with a 5-2 home record and a 6-7 overall record.[6] More coaching changes were made after the 2009 season and the hiring of Tim DeRuyter lead the media coverage. In 2008, DeRuyter was the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Airforce where his defense finished 11th in the NCAA in total defense, and 5th in pass defense.[7]

The Aggie Football team was featured in the ESPN television movie, The Junction Boys. The film dramatized Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's grueling football practice sessions in 1954 at Junction, Texas.[8]

Basketball[edit]

Player introductions during the 2007 Lone Star Showdown at Reed Arena

Texas A&M basketball had been dormant for much of its recent history until the mid-2000s. The Aggies have won 11 conference championships, two conference tournament titles, and have 10 NCAA tournament appearances. Under former head coach Billy Gillispie, the Aggies finished fourth in conference in 2006 only two years removed from having zero wins in conference play. Gillispie then led the Aggies to their first NCAA tournament berth since 1987, playing as a 12 seed, and to A&M's first NCAA tournament win since 1980 over fifth seed Syracuse. The Aggies were one point short of advancing to the Sweet Sixteen over fourth seed LSU, with a final score of 57-58. In the 2007 season, A&M spent most of the season ranked in the top 10 of the polls and became the first Big 12 south team to win against the University of Kansas in Lawrence since the Big 12 was formed. The Aggies finished with a 27-7 record and finished 2nd in the Big 12. They earned a number 3 seed in the NCAA tournament where they made it to the sweet 16, but fell to the University of Memphis 64-65. Acie Law IV was named an All-American. Billy Gillispie left for the University of Kentucky soon after the season. Mark Turgeon was named head coach a few days later, and has amassed a 73-31 record in his first three years in College Station, along with three more NCAA tournament appearances and a 3-3 NCAA tournament record.

The women's basketball team had two NCAA tournament appearances, an NWIT title, and a Southwest Conference tournament title before entering the Big 12. The program experienced little success in the new conference until current head coach Gary Blair took over the program. Blair's teams advanced to the NCAA tournament multiple times. He led the 2011 team to the NCAA national championship.

Ground broke on the Cox-McFerrin Center in November 2006, a 68,000-square-foot (6,300 m2) expansion to Reed Arena which includes new locker rooms, meeting rooms, practice gyms, training rooms, player lounges, and reception areas.

Head coach Rob Childress (right) with two players in 2008

Baseball[edit]

The Aggie baseball team plays home games at Olsen Field, which went through major renovations and is now Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. The team is currently coached by Rob Childress, who joined the program in the 2006 season, after leaving his assistant coach position with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Since conference play began in 1915, the Aggies have won 15 Southwest Conference titles, three Big 12 regular-season and two tournament titles, and have made five College World Series appearances. 1989 was the high-water mark when the Aggies were ranking #1 for numerous weeks before ending the season ranked #2.

Softball[edit]

Aggie softball player at the Aggie Softball Complex

The softball team formed in the 1972–73 season. The team won NCAA championships in both 1983 and 1987,[9] and an AIAW championship in 1982. It also has six College World Series appearances. The team is currently coached by Jo Evans, who has led the program since 1996. Under her leadership, the Aggies have won two conference regular season championships (2005 and 2008), one conference tournament championship (2008), appeared in the NCAA Regionals nine times, winning two, and the Super Regionals thrice, winning two. They have also made two Women's College World Series appearances and finished 7th in 2007 and 2nd in 2008.[10]

Soccer[edit]

Women's soccer is coached by G. Guerreri, who has led the program since its inception in 1993. His Aggies have won 12 Big 12 titles (7 regular season and 5 tournament), including 4 straight regular season titles from 2004-2007. The Aggies have made 17 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament since 1995. Of those 17, 4 are Elite 8 finishes, and 6 are Sweet 16 finishes. Since 1999, the Aggies have advanced at least as far as the Sweet 16 during all but four of their NCAA Tournament appearances. The Aggies have never been eliminated in the round of 64.[11]

Volleyball[edit]

The Aggie volleyball team is coached by Laurie Corbelli, who has been at Texas A&M since 1993. The Texas A&M volleyball team participated in 13 consecutive NCAA postseasons, from Corbelli's first year in 1993 to 2005, reaching the Elite Eight twice and Sweet Sixteen three times. After several lean years, the Aggies returned to the NCAA tournament, advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2010 and the second round in 2011.

Track and Field[edit]

Track and field is coached by Pat Henry. In his 17 years at LSU, Henry won 27 national titles, 17 SEC titles, 15 SEC Coach of the Year awards, and five National Coach of the Year awards. Henry was hired by Texas A&M prior to the 2005 season, taking over a program that had never won a title in women's track. Within three years, in 2007, his teams won both women's indoor and outdoor Big 12 Conference titles. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, he won both the men's and women's NCAA outdoor titles, a feat he has accomplished four times and duplicated by no other coach.[12] Since arriving in College Station, Henry has won two National Coach of the Year and six Big 12 Coach of the Year awards.

Golf[edit]

Men's golf is coached by J.T. Higgins, who has been with the program since 2001. He has led the team to three top 15 finishes at the NCAA tournament. His 2009 team captured the NCAA title. They have won 11 conference championships:

Women's golf has been coached by Trelle McCombs since the summer of 2007 making 2007–08 her first year as head coach. The golf team won the Big 12 title in 1998, 2006, 2007, and 2010. In 2006, the team finished 19th at the NCAA Championship tournament. In 2008, the team was fifth in their regional advancing to the NCCA Championship tournament. In 2011, the team finished 7th at the NCAA Championships, which they hosted at the Traditions Championship Golf Course.

In its third annual College Golf Guide, Golf Digest ranked both the men's and women's golf programs among the best in the nation in terms of the team's scoring average, player growth, academics, climate, and facilities/coaches. The men's program ranked as the best in the Big 12 Conference and No. 15 nationally. The women's program ranked as the second best in the Big 12 Conference and No. 20 nationally.[13]

Tennis[edit]

Men's tennis debuted in 1978. Richard Barker coached the inaugural season, compiling a 9–12 record. David Kent took over in 1979, and coached until 1996. Under Kent, the Aggies made two NCAA Tournament appearances in 1985 and 1994, finishing in the First Round in both. The Aggies also appeared in the NCAA Region IV Championships from 1994–96, winning the 1994 championship. Tim Cass replaced Kent in 1997, coaching until 2006. In Cass's ten seasons at A&M, he won three Big 12 tournament titles and one conference title. He resigned in July 2006 to accept a position as Senior Associate Athletic Director at the University of New Mexico, his alma mater. In 2006, former ATP Tour player and Texas A&M–Corpus Christi head coach Steve Denton was named the new head men's tennis coach. Former Trinity University coach Bob McKinley became his assistant. Denton won three Southland Conference regular-season titles, two tournament titles, and had an overall conference record of 19-2, including two undefeated regular seasons, in his five years with the Islanders. In 2008, he was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame, joining former A&M coach David Kent, who was inducted in 1998, and McKinley, who was inducted in 2003. With both of the coaching staff in the ITA Hall of Fame, the A&M men's tennis program is the only program in the country with two ITA Hall of Fame coaches.[14] In 2011, the No. 3 seeded Texas A&M Men's Doubles team of Jeff Dadamo and Austin Krajicek defeated the No. 4 seeded Stanford University Men's Doubles team of Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher for the NCAA Men's Doubles Crown.

The women's tennis program started in 1980. The women's team has been coached by Bobby Kleinecke since 1985. In 2003 and 2004, he was voted Big 12 Coach of the Year. Kleinecke led the Aggies to two conference titles in 1986 and 2003 and a tournament title in 2004. The Aggies have also made a total of 13 NCAA Tournament appearances under Kleinecke.[15] In 2011, Howard Joffe, previously at Maryland, was named head coach after Kleinecke's contract was not renewed.[16]

The Student Rec Center, home of the swimming and diving natatorium

Swimming and diving[edit]

Both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams compete in the Student Rec Center Natatorium. Long-time assistant Jay Holmes, who has worked at Texas A&M since 1987, became the head coach of the men's swimming program in 2004. Women's swimming is led by Steve Bultman, who has been the head coach since 1999. The diving program is led by Jay Lerew.

The Texas A&M women's swimming program has several notable current and former swimmers. This includes 2008 Summer Olympics medalist Christine Marshall, who swam for the US, 2012 Summer Olympics gold medalist Breeja Larson and Olympian Cammile Adams, both who also swam for the US, Triin Aljand, who swam for Estonia, Alia Atkinson, who swam for Jamaica, and Julia Wilkinson, who swam for Canada. Team members Kristen Heiss and Emily Neal are members of the US National Team and Melanie Dodds is a member of the Canadian team and all will compete in the 2009 Summer World University Games .[17]

The women's program has won four of the last six Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships, including in 2012. They finished tenth in the 2011 NCAA championships. The men finished 13th, cracking the top 25 for the fifteenth consecutive year.

Equestrian[edit]

Coached by Tana Rawson, the women's equestrian team has been a varsity sport at Texas A&M since 1999. Although a group of administrators and coaches are currently working to make equestrian an NCAA-recognized sport,[18] A&M competes with 18 other equestrian teams from Division I schools.[19] For seven years, from 2000 to 2006, the program participated in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championship, winning the Western division national title three times. The program now competes only in the Varsity Equestrian National Championship, in which A&M won the overall national championship in 2002 and Western division titles in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010. Additionally, in 2010, Texas A&M won two individual national titles, with Caroline Gunn winning the national title for the second time in a row in Horsemanship, and Maggie Gratny winning the national title in reining.

Texas A&M won the inaugural Big 12 Classic in 2007, a competition between Big 12 programs with equestrian teams, which includes Baylor, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State.

Notable non varsity sports[edit]

Rugby[edit]

Founded in 1968, Texas A&M Rugby plays in Division 1-A in the Allied Rugby Conference against traditional rivals such as Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma.[20][21] The Aggies are led by Head Coach Brett Mills, former coach/manager of the US U-17 and U-18 national teams.[22] Texas A&M offers scholarships to in-state and out-of-state rugby players, and qualifying out-of-state rugby players may attend Texas A&M at the in-state tuition rate.[23]

Texas A&M finished the 2011-12 season ranked 16th in the country.[24] The Aggies won the 2012 Allied Rugby Conference 7s tournament, racking up wins against Oklahoma and Texas Tech along the way.[25] The Aggies also won the 2012 Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference 7s, defeating Georgia in the final 28-10. This victory qualified the Aggies for the 2012 USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships,[26] where they reached the quarterfinals. In the 2012-13 season, Texas A&M defeated Texas to win the Allied Rugby Conference.[27]

Championship history[edit]

National titles (18)[edit]

Texas A&M has a total of 17 team national championships. 12 are NCAA titles, two of which were won by the softball team in 1983 and 1987, while the third was won by the men's golf team in 2009. The fourth and fifth were won in 2009 by the men's and women's outdoor track teams; when the Aggies garnered a rare, double national title. The men's and women's track teams also added the sixth and seventh titles in 2010, repeating the double national title feat.[28] Both teams added yet another two in 2011. The women's basketball team won in 2011. The men's outdoor track and field team won the Aggies' eleventh national title at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship in its first year of SEC competition. The twelfth NCAA title was won by the women's outdoor track and field team in 2014.

The 1982 softball team won the AIAW championship, which all women's intercollegiate athletic teams competed for before they joined the NCAA in mid-1982. The 1939 football team was designated national champions by multiple selectors, including the Associated Press, the Helms Athletic Foundation, the National Championship Foundation, and the College Football Researchers Association.[29] Additionally to the 1939 national title the football program claimed the two national titles in the 2011 offseason that in 1919 and 1927 which listed the Aggies as national champions by one selector poll. The equestrian team has won the Varsity Equestrian National Championship in 2002 and 2012, and the Varsity Equestrian Western Division National Championship in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2012.[30] It also won the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Western Championship in 2002, 2003, and 2004.[31]

Football
  • 1919, 1927, 1939[32]
Men's Golf
Men's Outdoor Track & Field
  • 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013[28]
Softball
  • 1982*, 1983, 1987[34]
Women's Outdoor Track & Field
  • 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014[28]
Women's Basketball
Equestrian**
  • Overall: 2002, 2012 (VE)
  • Western: 2002, 2003, 2004 (IHSA); 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 (VE)

*AIAW Championship
**Not an NCAA-sanctioned sport, but competed at the varsity level

Texas A&M athletes have won 66 individual NCAA national championships.[35]

Conference titles (161)[edit]

Texas A&M has won a total of 161 team conference and tournament championships. 96 titles were won during play in the Southwest Conference (93 men's/3 women's) while 58 were won in Big 12 Conference play (19 men's/39 women's). Texas A&M has won 7 titles in the Southeastern Conference (2 men's/5 women's) with the 2014 Men's Outdoor Track and Field title being the most recent.

Division titles (7)[edit]

Football (3)
  • 1997, 1998, 2010
Soccer (1)
  • 2012
Volleyball (1)
  • 2012
Men's Tennis (1)
  • 2013
Women's Tennis (1)
  • 2013

Director's Cup all-time final standings[edit]

The NACDA Director's Cup is an award given annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics to the colleges and universities with the most success in collegiate athletics. Points for the NACDA Director's Cup are based on order of finish in various NCAA sponsored championships or in the case of Division I Football media base polls. The award originated in 1993, and was presented to NCAA Division I schools only. In 1995, it was extended to Division II, Division III, and NAIA schools as well, each division receiving its own award.

Texas A&M's yearly final standings among other Division I schools since the cup originated in 1993 are as follows:[57][58]

Year Standing Points
1993-94 24th 454.50
1994-95 37th 329.50
1995-96 20th 524.50
1996-97 30th 427.00
1997-98 38th 230.00
1998-99 39th 230.00
1999-00 27th 522.00
2000-01 26th 517.00
2001-02 37th 519.50
2002-03 28th 551.25
2003-04 16th 714.00
2004-05 26th 566.25
2005-06 23rd 649.50
2006-07 18th 881.00
2007-08 12th 1,031.00
2008-09 13th 976.00
2009-10 6th 1,070.75
2010-11 8th 1,090.50
2011-12 9th 990.25
2012-13 5th 1,131.50
2013-14 10th 1,022.00

Rivalries[edit]

Texas A&M has two active, long-time rivals, the LSU Tigers and the Arkansas Razorbacks. After playing LSU sporadically throughout the 20th Century, the LSU–Texas A&M Rivalry is the Aggies' seventh oldest, with the series dating back to 1899. Since Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012, fans anticipate LSU to become Texas A&M's primary rival. Texas A&M and Arkansas share a rich history, since both were members of the Southwest Conference, first playing each other in football in 1903. When Arkansas left the SWC in 1991, this rivalry was put on eighteen-year hiatus until the rivalry was reborn with the formation of the Southwest Classic in 2009.

Texas A&M's traditional rival was the Texas Longhorns. The university has had other significant rivals, but few came close to the rivalry shared between Texas A&M and the University of Texas. The mutual respect and desire to win gave rise to the Lone Star Showdown, an athletic competition that lasted year-round and encompassed all regular-season NCAA athletic events between the two schools. Though the showdown officially began in 2004, the two teams had been competing with one another for more than a century. The rivalry ended in 2012 when the Aggies moved to the Southeastern Conference.

Other historical rivalries that are no longer active include those from its membership in the Southwest Conference (Baylor, Texas Tech, Rice, Houston, SMU, and TCU). Texas A&M also competed against Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech in the Big 12 Conference.

Venues and facilities[edit]

Athletic venues and facilities include:
Football: Kyle Field

Basketball: Reed Arena

Baseball: Olsen Field

Softball: Aggie Softball Complex

Volleyball: Reed Arena
Soccer: Ellis Field

Golf: Traditions Club Championship Golf Course

Tennis: George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
Track and Field:

Swimming and Diving: Student Rec Center Natatorium
Equestrian: Brazos County Expo Complex

Athletic training, rehabilitation, and student-services facilities include:

Additionally, Texas A&M houses two dedications to student-athletes of the past:

Traditions[edit]

Former U.S. President George H. W. Bush (right) and Texas Governor Rick Perry (f. left) along with the wife of a veteran (center) give the sign

Texas A&M values traditions very highly, many of which revolve around the sports in which the school competes. A few of the athletic traditions of Texas A&M include:

  • The 12th Man — The entire student body is referred to as The 12th Man after E. King Gill stood ready to play on the sidelines in 1922.
  • The Aggie War Hymn — The War Hymn is played at athletic events during the game and after a win.
  • Aggie Bonfire — Built and burned prior to the annual football game with the University of Texas. Bonfire is now an off-campus event after the University cancelled it following the 1999 collapse.
  • Fightin' Texas Aggie Band — The Aggie Band is the largest military-style marching band in the United States and performs at halftime during the football games.
  • Midnight Yell Practice — Held the night before a home game, the student body gathers at Kyle Field to excite the crowd.
  • Yell Leaders — Attending many events, wearing uniforms modeled after a milkman uniform the yell leaders use hand signals to keep the crowd yelling in unison.
  • Gig 'em — The slogan used by Aggie supporters, often accompanied with a thumbs-up sign, the first hand sign of the Southwest Conference.
  • Reveille — The official mascot of Texas A&M since 1931. Since Reveille II, all A&M mascots have been collies.
  • Maroon Out — One designated home football game of the year is a "maroon out" game. All Aggies are instructed to wear maroon.

Athletic directors[edit]

Name Years served Reference
Various Committees 1895-1949 [59]
Joe Utay 1912–1913 [60]
Homer Norton 1934–1947 [59]
J.W. Rollins 1947 [59]
Bill Carmichael 1947-1949 [59]
Barlow Irvin 1949–1954 [59]
Bear Bryant 1954–1957 [61]
Jim Myers 1957–1962 [59]
Hank Foldberg 1962-1965 [59]
Barlow Irvin 1965-1968 [59]
Gene Stallings 1968-1972 [59]
Emory Bellard 1972-1978 [59]
Marvin Tate 1978-1981 [62]
Wally Groff 1981-1982 [59]
Jackie Sherrill 1982–1988 [63]
John David Crow 1988–1993 [64]
Wally Groff 1993–2002 [65]
Bill Byrne 2003–2012 [66]
Dr. John Thornton (interim) 2012 [67]
Eric Hyman 2012–Present [68]

Notable athletes and coaches[edit]

Former student-athletes and coaches at Texas A&M include:

References[edit]

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  55. ^ "Big 12 Record Book - Women's Outdoor Track and Field" (PDF). Fansonly.com. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
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