|University||Brigham Young University|
|Conference||West Coast Conference
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
|Athletic director||Tom Holmoe|
|Football stadium||LaVell Edwards Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Marriott Center|
|Baseball stadium||Larry H. Miller Field|
|Mascot||Cosmo the Cougar|
|Fight song||"The Cougar Song"|
The BYU Cougars are the collegiate athletic teams that represent Brigham Young University (BYU), a major university in Provo, Utah. BYU fields 21 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) varsity athletic teams. They are a member of the West Coast Conference for most sports. Other sports compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and as independents. They were a member of the Mountain West Conference (MW) from its formation in 1999 until leaving in 2011 as part of a major NCAA conference realignment. Before the formation of the MW, the Cougars competed in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, the Mountain States Conference, and the Western Athletic Conference.
All teams are named the "Cougars", a name that was first introduced by Eugene L. Roberts in the 1920s, initially only applied to the football team. In 1924 two live cougar kittens named Cleo and Tarbo were brought to BYU and used as its mascots. In 1930 Tarbo died and Cleo was sent to the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City. By the 1950s all sports teams were known as the Cougars and it was decided that having a person in a costume was a better mascot form than live animals. In 1953 Cosmo the Cougar was created by Dwayne Stevenson. The school's fight song is the "Cougar Fight Song".
BYU is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and the overwhelming majority of its students are members of that church. Because many of its players serve on full-time missions for two years, BYU's athletes are often older on average than other schools' players. The NCAA allows students to serve missions for two years without subtracting that time from their eligibility period. This has caused minor controversy, but is largely recognized as not lending the school any significant advantage, since players receive no athletic and little physical training during their missions. BYU has also received attention from sports networks for refusal to play games on Sunday, as well as disciplining players due to honor code violations.
- 1 Varsity sports
- 2 Extramural and recognized sports
- 3 Other sports
- 4 Former programs
- 5 Budget
- 6 National Championships
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 External links
Men's Intercollegiate Sports
Women's Intercollegiate Sports
- * = The football team competes as an FBS independent.
- † = The gymnastics team competes in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference.
- # = The men's and women's swimming and diving and indoor track and field teams and the men's volleyball team all compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
- ^ = The outdoor track and field teams compete in the IC4A (men)/ECAC (women).
The BYU men's basketball team is ranked among top 25 NCAA programs for all-time total victories. As of 2006, BYU had 82 winning seasons, 26 conference titles, 21 NCAA tournament invites, 10 NIT invites, and 2 NIT titles (1951 and 1966). In 2005, the program was ranked 36th in Street & Smiths "100 greatest College Basketball Programs of All Time", based on NCAA tournament success, NIT success, national championships, conference regular-season and tournament titles, all-time win-loss percentage, graduation percentage, NCAA infractions, NBA first round draft picks, and mascot ferocity. In the 2006-2007 season, the Cougars became nationally ranked for the first time since 1994 and won the Mountain West Conference regular season championship outright.
The BYU women's basketball team represents the university in the West Coast Conference and is coached by Jeff Judkins. The Cougars play their home games in the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. The team has made eight NCAA Tournament appearances in the last 30 years and has frequently been at the top of its conference.
Two BYU runners have won individual cross country national champions; Ed Eyestone in 1985 and Josh Rohatinsky in 2006. The BYU women's cross-country team has won National Championships in 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2002.
The Brigham Young University Cougars football program competes at the NCAA Division I FBS (formerly I-A) level. Coached by Bronco Mendenhall since 2005, the team plays at LaVell Edwards Stadium. In 1984, the undefeated Cougars were voted the consensus national champion. BYU is known as a "quarterback factory" for producing several successful quarterbacks, including 1990 Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer. Alumni who have played in the NFL include Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Gifford Nielsen, Bart Oates, Chad Lewis, Vai Sikahema, and Todd Christensen.
Track and field
The BYU track team has had several national champions and olympians. The 1970 Men's track and field team tied with Oregon and Kansas to win the National Championship. Miles Batty won the indoor national championship in the mile. In March 2011 BYU's Leif Arrhenius won the shot put competition in the NCAA track and field national championships and men's distance relay team also won the national title in their event.
BYU's men's volleyball has won the NCAA National Championship three times (1999, 2001, and 2004) and has been the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion six times (1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2013, and 2014). The women's volleyball team is also consistently nationally ranked, reaching the regional semifinal of the 2013 NCAA tournament.
In 2013, the Cougars defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-22) in the second semifinal of the NCAA championships on May 2, 2013 at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion and advanced to 2013 national championship match with UC Irvine on May 4, 2013. The Cougars lost the match 0-3 (23–25, 22–25, 24–26), unable to pick up a fourth title.
Extramural and recognized sports
BYU sponsors extramural competition in five sports - racquetball, men's lacrosse, men's rugby, women's rugby, and men's soccer. Men's hockey is not an "extramural sport" but is given "recognized sport" status.
The BYU Cougars Men's Lacrosse team currently competes in the Men's College Lacrosse Association (MCLA) as a member of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference (RMLC). The BYU Lacrosse team was founded in 1975; however, significant records of the team only date back to 1995 when Jason Lamb began his tenure as head coach. The BYU Lacrosse team had four wins and five losses (4-5) in their first season under Coach Lamb, accounting for their only losing season on record. The Cougars went 13-3 in his second season and have not had a losing season since. The team’s worst record since 1995 came in 2006 when they went 12-8, although during the 2006 national tournament they advanced to the Final Four. The summer of 2009 brought a coaching change to the lacrosse team when long-time assistant, Matt Schneck took over the reigns as the Head Coach. In his second season as Head Coach, Schneck led the Cougars to their fourth National Championship. With the 2011 Championship, Schneck became the first person in MCLA History to win a National Championship as both player and Head Coach.
The Cougars won the national championship in 1997, 2000, 2007, and 2011. The Cougars have won the RMLC championship eight times in the past 15 years, capturing the title in 1997-1999, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009.
BYU's men's racquetball team placed third at the 2008 USA Racquetball National Intercollegiate Championships. The BYU women's raquetball team has had nine national championships: in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2008.
Founded in 1965, the BYU men's rugby team plays college rugby in the Utah conference of Division 1-AA. BYU has been led since 2006 by head coach David Smyth, who was also head coach of the collegiate All-Americans in 2006 & 2007. BYU plays its home games at South Field. Several BYU players have gone on to play for the U.S. national team.
BYU has been is a major force in American college rugby. BYU reached the USA Rugby national championship match in 7 consecutive years from 2006 to 2012. BYU rugby won its first national championship in 2009 by defeating the University of California, Berkeley, and again won the national championship in 2012. The following season, several of the top college rugby teams withdrew from the USA Rugby D1A competition and organized their own championship called the Varsity Cup, which many view as equivalent to a national championship. In 2013, BYU had an undefeated season, won the Varsity Cup by beating Cal in the final, and finished the season ranked the #1 team in college rugby.
The BYU Cougars men's soccer competes in the USL Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. The team plays its home games at The Stadium at South Field on the campus of Brigham Young University, where they have played since 2003.
Ice hockey has been a part of BYU for many years, but at the beginning of the 2007/2008 season, the Provo IceCats, a club team composed of Brigham Young students which had been around since at least 1970, finally gained recognition as an official sport at BYU. Upon being officially recognized, the Cougar hockey team began representing their school by wearing the BYU logo on their uniforms and in their advertising. Although the team is officially recognized and sponsored by the university, it will continue to be funded by donors and private individuals. The Cougar ice hockey team now competes in the Division II Western Conference of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).
The BYU softball team rejoined the bulk of the school's teams in the WCC in July 2013, when the conference began sponsoring softball once Pacific rejoined after an absence of more than 40 years. BYU softball had returned to the Western Athletic Conference as part of the school's 2011 conference change, but played only one season in the WAC, moving to the Pacific Coast Softball Conference after the 2012 season and playing there for what proved to be the PCSC's final season in 2013.
The BYU men's golf team won the 1981 NCAA Championship. They have won 24 conference championships: 21 Western Athletic Conference (1966, 1968, 1970, 1972–77, 1980–84, 1986–87, 1990–92, 1995, 1999), two Mountain West Conference (2001, 2007) and one West Coast Conference (2014).
BYU ended its wrestling and men's gymnastics programs at the end of the 1999-2000 season. This decision was officially made largely due to a lack of other teams in the region to compete with, when in actuality, it was mostly Title IX reasons. For wrestling this reason was highly debated at the time, and now with the Western Wrestling Conference formed, there are plenty of teams to compete with in the area, including Utah Valley University.
Similar to other Division I programs, football and men's basketball provide the majority of BYU's athletics revenue and profits. Revenue comes from ticket sales, corporate sponsors, broadcasting contracts, and contributions. In 2009 BYU athletics had revenue of $41 million and expenses of $35 million, resulting in a profit of $5.5 million or about 16%. That year football provided more than 60% of revenue, used 42% of total expenses, and had a profit margin of 53%. Men's basketball provided about 15% of revenue and had an 8% profit margin. Women's basketball provided less than 3% of revenue and was unprofitable, as were all other sports.
As of the start of the 2014–15 school year, BYU claims 16 national championships. Ten are official NCAA championships, four are in a sport not governed by the NCAA, and two are in an NCAA-governed sport but stem from a non-NCAA tournament.
- Cross Country: 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002
- Beehive Boot
- Brigham Young University
- Haka performed by non-New Zealand sports teams § Brigham Young University
- Holy War, the football version of the above rivalry
- Old Oquirrh Bucket
- Utah–BYU rivalry
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- The National Invitation Tournament is now operated by the NCAA, but did not come under NCAA control until 2006.