Akron Zips

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Akron Zips
Logo
University University of Akron
Conference Mid-American Conference
NCAA Division I (Bowl Subdivision)
Athletic director Larry Williams
Location Akron, Ohio
Varsity teams 16
Football stadium InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field
Arena James A. Rhodes Arena
Mascot Zippy the Kangaroo
Nickname Zips
Fight song Akron Blue & Gold
Colors Blue and Gold[1]
         
Website www.gozips.com

The intercollegiate athletic teams at the University of Akron are known as the Zips. Teams compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level and in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for college football. Since 1992, the Zips have been members of the Mid-American Conference. The Zips name is unique in college athletics and comes from "zippers", rubber overshoes made by the BF Goodrich Company that were popular in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1925, a campus-wide contest had been conducted to choose a nickname for the university's athletic teams. Suggestions submitted by students, faculty, and alumni included Golden Blue Devils, Tip Toppers, Rubbernecks, Hillbillies, Kangaroos, and Cheveliers. The winner, freshman Margaret Hamlin, received a prize of $10 for "Zippers". Athletic director Kenneth Cochrane officially shortened the nickname to Zips in 1950. The university's mascot is "Zippy", a kangaroo. Zippy is one of only a few female college mascots in the United States.

History[edit]

Mack Rhoades was hired as athletic director in 2005. That year, the men's basketball team, under head coach Keith Dambrot, won their first ever Division I post-season game by defeating Temple in the NIT, led by first team All-MAC performer Romeo Travis (former teammate of LeBron James in high school) and also won the most games in a season, 23. The football team won their very first MAC championship giving them a chance to play in the Motor City Bowl, Akron's first Division I bowl game appearance where they lost to the University of Memphis. That same year the women's cross country team and the men's soccer team also won the MAC championship in their respective sports. The men's soccer team was also the first team in the history of Akron sports to have a #1 rating in the nation.

Rhoades left Akron in 2009, taking the Athletic Director position at the University of Houston. He was replaced that year by Tom Wistrcill, who was the Athletic Director until his resignation in June 2015. Larry Williams II will become Athletic Director on September 1, 2015.

The 1978 men's archery team, led by 3-time national individual college champion Richard Bednar and hall-of-fame coach Bill Bednar, was the first team in UA history to win a national collegiate team championship.[2][3]

Facilities[edit]

A parachuter descends with American flag in tow onto the surface of Summa Field as part of the opening day festivities of the first game ever held in InfoCision Stadium on The University of Akron campus.

Teams[edit]

A member of the Mid-American Conference, Akron sponsors teams in six men's, ten women's, and one coed NCAA sanctioned sports:[4]

  • NOTE: Rifle is technically a men's sport, but men's, women's, and co-ed teams all compete against each other; Akron's coed team competes as a member of the Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference.

Football[edit]

Main article: Akron Zips football
The Akron Zips as they play during their 2009 home opener in Summa Field at InfoCision Stadium, a 41-0 victory over Morgan State.

Akron's major football rivalry is with Kent State University, whom they play for the Wagon Wheel. They also formerly played Youngstown State University for the Steel Tire until that series was discontinued in 1995. In 2005, the Akron Zips football team won their very first MAC championship giving them a chance to play in the Motor City Bowl, Akron's first Division I-A bowl game appearance where they lost to the University of Memphis.

Men's soccer[edit]

The Akron Zips men's soccer team, ranked number one throughout the 2009 regular season, went undefeated, making it to the NCAA Men's Division I Soccer Championship, but lost in penalty kicks to the University of Virginia Cavaliers. On December 12, 2010, Akron won the NCAA Division 1 national championship in men's soccer by defeating the Louisville Cardinals, 1–0. This was the first NCAA team championship for the school in any sport. The Zips play their home games at FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field.

Following the 2012 campaign, head coach Caleb Porter left the Zips to take the reins of the Portland Timbers MLS franchise.

Basketball[edit]

In 2006, the men's basketball team, under head coach Keith Dambrot, won its first ever Division I postseason game by defeating Temple University in the NIT.[5] The team, led by first team All-MAC performer Romeo Travis (former teammate of NBA star LeBron James in high school), won the most games in a season, 23.

In 2008, Keith Dambrot led Akron to the MAC Tournament Final for a second year in a row, yet the team fell for a second time, this time to archrival Kent State.[6] The Zips advanced to the NIT for a second time in Dambrot's four years as head coach and won their first game at Florida State,[7] eventually falling in the Sweet 16 in a game at UMass.[8]

In 2009, the men's basketball team captured the MAC Tournament title, defeating Buffalo in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena 65–53, thus qualifying Akron for its first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 1986 and first as a MAC member.[9]

In 2010, the team reached the MAC Tournament Championship game for the fourth straight year, but lost to Ohio 75–81 in overtime.[10] The Zips played in the postseason CBI tournament where they lost to Wisconsin–Green Bay 70–66.[11] The men's basketball team advanced to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2011 and 2013 as well.

Baseball[edit]

Main article: Akron Zips baseball

Other sports[edit]

In 2005, the women's cross country team, women's indoor track and the men's soccer team also won the MAC championship in their respective sports, making the 2005–06 year the most successful in Akron athletics history with a total of four Mid-American Conference championships in the same year.

The 2005 men's soccer team was the first team in UA history to hold a national no. 1 ranking in any sport, and was coached by Ken Lolla, now the head coach at the University of Louisville.

The 1978 men's archery team, led by 3-time national individual college champion Richard Bednar and hall-of-fame coach Bill Bednar, was the first team in UA history to win a national collegiate team championship.[12]

The University of Akron has produced five individual national champions, including 4 NCAA national champions:[13]

  • Shawn Barber, indoor and outdoor pole vault, 2014–15, World Champion, 2015 (story)[14]
  • Jenna Compton, air rifle, 2009 (story)[15]
  • Stevi Large, track and field (weight throw), 2009 (story)[16]
  • Christi Smith, track and field (heptathlon), 2000 (story)[17]
  • Richard Bednar, archery (a 3-time champion), 1976–78.[18][19]

The Akron Zips compete in the following sports:

* the golf, rifle, and women's tennis teams begin their seasons in the Fall, but conclude in the Spring with conference and NCAA tournaments.

** the baseball team was cut in July 2015 due to financial issues. See citation. [20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The University of Akron Department of Athletics Brand Guide (PDF). 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2016-03-28. 
  2. ^ Archery World, "1978 Intercollegiate National Championships," Sept 1978, Vol 27, No 5, p84
  3. ^ http://www.archeryhalloffame.org/Bednar%20William.html
  4. ^ "Akron Zips". The University of Akron. Retrieved June 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Chaney's career over as Temple falls in NIT first round". ESPN.com. 
  6. ^ "Kent State crushes Akron to complete season-long dominance of MAC". ESPN.com. 
  7. ^ "Akron 65, Florida St. 60". ESPN.com. 
  8. ^ "Massachusetts 68, Akron 63". ESPN.com. 
  9. ^ "Freshman guard Hitchens sparks Akron to its first NCAA tourney berth since 1986". ESPN.com. 
  10. ^ "Ohio overcomes Akron in overtime, earns improbable NCAA tournament bid". ESPN.com. 
  11. ^ "Green Bay Phoenix vs. Akron Zips - Box Score - March 17, 2010 - ESPN". ESPN.com. 
  12. ^ Archery World, "1978 Intercollegiate National Championships," Sept 1978, Vol 27, No 5, p84
  13. ^ "College life at UA: Athletics : The University of Akron". www.uakron.edu. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  14. ^ "Barber captures third NCAA title to lead Zips' efforts on the opening day of the NCAA Championship". Akron. 2015-06-10. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  15. ^ "Jenna Compton Named No. 3 Female Athlete in School History". Akron. 2012-10-03. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  16. ^ "Stevi Large Gruber Named No. 2 Female Athlete In School History". Akron. 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  17. ^ "Christi Smith Named No. 1 Female Athlete In School History". Akron. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 
  18. ^ "UA athlete is national champion : UA News". uakron.edu. 
  19. ^ Inductee - William Bednar - Archery Hall of Fame and Museum
  20. ^ "University of Akron to eliminate 215 jobs and baseball; take other measures to solve '$60 million financial problem'". cleveland.com. Retrieved 2015-10-08. 

External links[edit]