Army Black Knights

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Army Black Knights
University United States Military Academy
Conference Patriot League (primary)
Independent (football)
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Boo Corrigan
Location West Point, New York
Football stadium Michie Stadium
Basketball arena Christl Arena
Baseball stadium Johnson Stadium at Doubleday Field
Other arenas Tate Rink
Mascot Mule
Nickname Black Knights
Fight song On Brave Old Army Team
Colors Black, Gold, and Gray[1]

The Army Black Knights are the athletic teams that represent the United States Military Academy.[2] In sports contexts, the teams are commonly referred to as simply Army. They participate in NCAA Division I-A as a non-football member of the Patriot League, a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision independent school and a member of Atlantic Hockey, the Collegiate Sprint Football League (men), the Eastern Intercollegiate Gymnastics League (men), the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association, the Great America Rifle Conference, the National Collegiate Boxing Association, the National Collegiate Paintball Association[3] and the National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association. Army is also one of approximately 300 members of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).

Three of the service academies (Army, Air Force, and Navy) compete for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, which is awarded to the academy that defeats the others in football that year (or retained by the previous winner in the event of a three-way tie).


Since 1899, Army's mascot has officially been a mule because of the animal's historical importance in military operations.[4][5] For many years, Army's teams were known as the "Cadets." The academy's football team was nicknamed "The Black Knights of the Hudson" due to the black color of its uniforms.[6][7] In 1999, Army adopted "Black Knights" as its official nickname in all sports.[8] They may also use "Cadets" in certain circumstances.[9]

U.S. sports media use "Army" as a synonym for the academy, while in 2015, the academy declared their name to be "Army West Point."[9]

"On Brave Old Army Team", by Philip Egner, is the school's fight song.[10] Army's chief sports rival is the Naval Academy, due to its long-standing football rivalry and the inter-service rivalry with the Navy in general. Fourth class cadets verbally greet upper-class cadets and faculty with "Beat Navy", while the tunnel that runs under Washington Road is named the "Beat Navy" tunnel. In the first half of the 20th century, Army and Notre Dame were football rivals, but that rivalry has since died out.[11][12]

Sports sponsored[edit]

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Lacrosse
Football Rugby
Golf Swimming and diving
Gymnastics Soccer
Ice hockey Softball
Lacrosse Tennis
Rugby Track and field
Soccer Volleyball
Sprint football
Swimming and diving
Track and field
Co-ed sport
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor


"Beat Navy" tunnel

The Army Black Knights football program are one of the few NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision independent schools (not in a conference). Army was recognized as the national champions in 1944, 1945 and 1946. The annual Army-Navy Game between the Black Knights of Army and the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy at Annapolis (Navy) is among the most storied rivalries in all of college sports and currently marks the end of regular season play for college football each year.

Army lacrosse in action against Navy during the 2009 Day of Rivals.

Men's golf[edit]

The men's golf team has won 20 conference championships:

Men's soccer[edit]

Men's ice hockey[edit]

Every year, Army faces the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Paladins in the annual West Point Weekend hockey game.[15] This series, conceived in 1923, is the longest-running annual international sporting event in the world.[16]

Men's rugby[edit]

Army men's rugby

Army rugby plays college rugby in the Division 1–A Eastern Conference.[17] The Black Knights play their home games at the Anderson Rugby Complex on the campus of West Point. Rugby is a relatively popular sport at Army; for example, the 2012 game against Air Force was attended by 2,000 fans.[18] Army is led by Director of Rugby Matt Sherman.

Army has one of the most successful college rugby teams in the country. Army played in three consecutive national championship games from 1990–1992, and reached the national semi-finals four consecutive years from 2000–2003, and twice in a row in 2009 and 2010.[19] More recently, Army reached the quarterfinals in 2013. Army also plays in the Collegiate Rugby Championship, the highest profile college rugby tournament in the U.S., reaching the finals in 2011. The Collegiate Rugby Championship is played every year in early June at PPL Park in Philadelphia, and is broadcast live on NBC.


The Army Black Knights Wrestling team host home dual meets, tournaments, workout, and practice in the state of the art facility Arvin Gymnasium on campus. The team currently competes in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) since Army is a member of the non-wrestling Patriot League.

In 2014, Kevin Ward, a former Oklahoma State All-American, took over the program. Ward is best known for starting the Ouachita Baptist University wrestling program in 2010, the first NCAA wrestling program in Arkansas.

Non-varsity sports[edit]


The Army handball team has at least 31 men and 18 women National Championship titles.


  • Lt. Raymond Enners Award (national men's lacrosse award; named for a member of the Class of 1967)
  • Maggie Dixon Award (national women's basketball rookie coach award; named for Army women's basketball coach)
  • NCAA Award of Valor:
    • 2007 - Derek Hines (Class of 2003), who demonstrated valor in Afghanistan before being killed there.
    • 2008 - Emily Perez (Class of 2005), who died after an improvised explosive device exploded near her vehicle in Iraq and whose U.S. Army unit recognized her for her leadership after her death.
  • NCAA Theodore Roosevelt Award:

Hall of fame[edit]

For a list of members by name, sport, class year, or induction year, see footnote[20]

The Army West Point Sports Hall of Fame consists of displays in the Kenna Hall of Army Sports, which is located within the Kimsey Athletic Center.[21] The first set of members was inducted in 2004.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "USMA Publication Standards Manual Style Guide" (PDF). United States Military Academy–West Point. October 2, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Army West Point Athletics Rebrand" (PDF). Army Black Knights. April 13, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  3. ^ "National Collegiate Paintball Association —". Retrieved April 3, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Army Mules". Retrieved January 1, 2009. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Army Mules". The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  6. ^ Edson, James (1954). The Black Knights of West Point. New York: Bradbury & Sayles.
  7. ^ "Army plans games for home gridiron". The New York Times. January 15, 1947. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Quick Facts". Go Army Archived from the original on May 3, 2011. Retrieved January 1, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "'Army West Point': New logo highlights sports rebrand". Army Times. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  10. ^ "On Brave Old Army Team". Archived from the original on May 3, 2011. Retrieved January 1, 2009. 
  11. ^ Crowley and Guinzburg, pp. 243–245.
  12. ^ Lapointe, Joe (September 8, 2005). "Notre Dame and Army to Wake Up the Echoes". New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  13. ^ "MAAC Men's and Women's Golf Championships History". Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Golf". Army Sports Properties. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Army-RMC Rivalry". Go Army Retrieved January 1, 2009. [permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Crowly, R, and Guinzburg, T: "West Point: Two Centuries of Honor and Tradition" (ISBN 0-446-53018-2), page 234. Warner Books, 2002.
  17. ^ College Premier Division
  18. ^ Rugby Mag, Army Beats Air Force, November 2, 2012,
  19. ^ College rugby
  20. ^ a b For the 2004 induction year, go to "Hall of Fame". Army West Point. Retrieved April 6, 2017. , select "By Induction Year", press the black "Sort" icon (which will then produce a list of members by induction year (starting with the most recent year), and then scroll down to the bottom (for the first group of inductees, the Class of 2004).
  21. ^ "Army Sports Hall of Fame". Army Sports Properties. Archived from the original on May 1, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 

External links[edit]