|University||Trinity University (Texas)|
|Athletic director||Bob King|
|Location||San Antonio, TX|
|Football stadium||Trinity Football Stadium|
|Basketball arena||William H. Bell Athletic Center|
|Baseball stadium||Trinity Baseball Field|
|Fight song||"Go You Tigers"|
The Trinity Tigers is the nickname for the sports teams of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. They participate in the NCAA's Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The school mascot is LeeRoy, a Bengal Tiger. In the 1950s, LeeRoy was an actual tiger who was brought to sporting events, but today LeeRoy is portrayed by a student wearing a tiger suit.
Trinity has historically had a strong tennis program, with both the men's and women's programs winning national championships in 2000. The men's program also won the national championship in 2003. In recent years, Trinity has reached the national Division III playoffs in several sports, including football, women's basketball (2003 national champions), volleyball, baseball, women's cross country, men's and women's track and field and men's and women's soccer (men's team won the national title in 2003 and placed second in 2007). In the past, Trinity was a Division I tennis power, under tennis coach Clarency Mabry, winning the men's NCAA championship in 1972, as well as being runners up in 1970, 1971, 1977 and 1979. The women's team captured the first USLTA women's collegiate championship in 1968 and won several more titles. In the early 1960s the program was home to arguably some of the best tennis players in the world, and bypassed the NCAA tournament to enter Wimbledon. In 1963, Chuck McKinley of Trinity won the Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship. He was also the runner up in 1961. Other than McKinley, famous tennis players to attend Trinity included Butch Newman, Bob McKinley, Frank Froehling, Dick Stockton, Bill Scanlon and Gretchen Magers.
The Tigers had a brief but successful Men's Basketball program under Bob Polk from 1965-1968; Polk, an Indiana native had compiled a record of 197-106 at Vanderbilt but poor health led to his resignation on the advice of his doctors. However, he was out of basketball for only 18 months as his health rapidly improved. As both the head basketball coach and athletics director, Polk became Southland Conference Coach-of-the-Year in 1967. He was also the NCAA National Coach-of-the-Year for the College Division (today NCAA Div II) in 1968. In his three years at Trinity, Polk compiled a 69-28 record and led the Tigers to the 1968 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Tournament, where they finished 3rd overall.
In 2011-12, the Trinity sports program reclaimed Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference "President's Trophy," awarded to the school in the conference that has the best overall sports record for the year, for the first time in seven seasons. Prior to that drought the Tigers had won the award eleven out of the preceding twelve seasons.
In spite of these accomplishments Trinity athletics may be most famous for the “Mississippi Miracle” executed by the Tiger football team. 2007 Trinity vs. Millsaps football game On October 27, 2007, in a game played in Jackson, Mississippi, against conference rival Millsaps College, Trinity trailed by two points with two seconds left. With time for only one more play and needing to score a touchdown to win, the Tigers ran the “hook and lateral play,” in which a receiver runs a short hook route, and then laterals the ball to a trailing player. After the first lateral the Millsaps defense was not fooled and seemed about to tackle the ball carrier and end the game.
At this point the Tigers showed their knowledge of rugby by lining up across the field, rather than gathering in front of the ball carrier as is typical in American football. This meant that there was always a Tiger player in position, either even with or behind the ball carrier, to legally receive another lateral. Every time the Millsaps defense closed on the ball carrier the Trinity player was able to complete a legal lateral to a teammate. In what ESPN said may have been the "longest play in football history," in terms of time elapsed (sixty seconds exactly), Trinity completed 15 laterals before breaking through the Millsaps defense for a 61-yard touchdown. The score, known in Jackson, MS as the “Major Disaster,” (Millsaps’ nickname is “The Majors”) gave Trinity the victory and ultimately led to the conference championship. The Trinity community is especially proud of this play because it demonstrated not only the Tigers' athletic ability, but also their intelligence and poise under pressure. . The unlikely play was named the top sports moment of the year by Time Magazine as well as the "Game Changing Performance of the Year" by Pontiac. Trinity was the overall number one team in Texas from 1996 to 2008.
- "Athletics". Trinity.edu (Trinity University). Retrieved October 30, 2007.
- "Lee Roy the Tiger". Trinity Digital Collection (Trinity University). Retrieved October 30, 2007.
- "TRINITY WINS 10TH CONSECUTIVE TEAM TITLE; DOMINATES ALL-TOURNAMENT SELECTIONS" (PDF). May 2, 2003. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
- "TRINITY BRINGS SCAC PRESIDENTS TROPHY BACK TO SAN ANTONIO" (PDF). May 12, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
- "TRINITY WINS FOURTH CONSECUTIVE ALL-SPORTS TROPHY; 11TH OVERALL" (PDF). May 2, 2005. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
- Briggs, Jerry (October 27, 2007). "Football: Trinity wins on miracle play". San Antonio Express News. Retrieved October 28, 2007.
- "Video of the play". The Disney Company. Archived from the original on October 29, 2007. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
- "Lateralapalooza". SI.com (Time Warner). Archived from the original on November 5, 2007. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
- Christensen, Mike (October 28, 2007). "Wild finish – think Cal-Stanford, '82 – beats Majors". ClarionLedger.com (Gannett Company). Retrieved October 30, 2007.[dead link]
- Briggs, Jerry. "Football: Trinity wins on miracle play". MySanAntonio.com (San Antonio Express News).