Clemson Tigers

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Clemson Tigers
University Clemson University
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Dan Radakovich
Location Clemson, South Carolina
Varsity teams 19
Football stadium Memorial Stadium
Basketball arena Littlejohn Coliseum
Baseball stadium Doug Kingsmore Stadium
Soccer stadium Riggs Field
Mascot The Tiger
Nickname Tigers
Fight song "Tiger Rag"
Colors Orange and Regalia[1]
Atlantic Coast Conference logo in Clemson's colors

The Clemson Tigers are the athletic teams that represent Clemson University. They compete as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level (Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sub-level for football), primarily competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for all sports since the 1953-54 season. Clemson competes for and has won multiple NCAA Division I national championships in various sports, including football, men's soccer, and men's golf.

In 1896, football coach Walter Riggs came to Clemson, then Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina, from Auburn University. He had always admired the Princeton Tigers, and hence gave Clemson the Tiger mascot. The Clemson Tigers field seventeen athletic teams. Men's sports are football, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, track and field (indoor and outdoor) and cross-country. Women's sports are basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, volleyball, track and field (indoor and outdoor), cross-country and rowing. The South Carolina Gamecocks are Clemson's in-state athletic rival. The two institutions compete against each other in many sports, but the annual football game receives the most attention. Clemson's main rivals within the Atlantic Coast Conference are Georgia Tech and Florida State.


The Tiger Paw logo was introduced at a press conference on July 21, 1970. It was created by John Antonio and developed by Helen Weaver of Henderson Advertising in Greenville, South Carolina, from a mold of a Bengal tiger sent to the agency by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.[2][3] The telltale hook at the bottom of the paw is a sign that this is the official licensed trademark for the university.[4]


Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Golf
Football Lacrosse
Golf Rowing
Soccer Soccer
Tennis Tennis
Track and field Track and field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.

Clemson University sponsors teams in nine men's and nine and a half* women's NCAA sanctioned sports.[5] Women's diving completed its final season in 2017, and Clemson announced on March 14, 2017 that it would add college softball, targeting a 2020 start for the program.[6]



The Tiger football program has won 59.1% of its games through the 2010 season, placing it 34th on the all-time winning percentage list. Clemson also won two Southern Conference titles before joining the ACC. The program has participated in 33 bowl games over the years, winning 16. The 1981 squad, led by Head Coach Danny Ford, became the first athletic team in school history to win a national championship. Clemson defeated Nebraska 22–15 in the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida to win the 1981 NCAA Football National Championship. Stars of the game included Homer Jordan (QB) and Perry Tuttle (WR). Clemson finished the year 12–0 and ranked #1 in the Associated Press and Coaches polls.

Some of the most notable coaching names in Clemson football history are John Heisman (who also coached at Akron, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Penn, Washington & Jefferson, and Rice; the Heisman Trophy is named after him), Jess Neely, Frank Howard (whom the playing field at Death Valley is named after), and Danny Ford. After Tommy Bowden resigned midseason on October 13, 2008, Dabo Swinney took over as interim head coach.[7] On December 1, 2008, Swinney was named head coach of the Clemson Tigers football team.[8]

Before each home game, the team ends pre-game warm ups and proceeds to the locker room. With five minutes to go before game time, three buses leave the street behind the West Endzone carrying the Clemson football players. The buses pull to a stop at the gate in front of The Hill, and the Tigers gather at the top, where each player proceeds to rub "Howard's Rock," which is an imported rock from Death Valley, California that was presented to Frank Howard in 1967. While Tiger Rag is played and a cannon sounds, the Tigers run down the hill onto the field in front of over 83,000 screaming fans. This tradition has been dubbed "The most exciting 25 seconds in college football" by sportscaster Brent Musburger.[9]

National Champions 1981, 2016
National Championship Appearances 1981, 2015, 2016
ACC Champions 1956, 1958, 1959, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 2011, 2015, 2016
ACC Atlantic Division Champions 2009, 2011, 2012(t), 2015, 2016(t)
Southern Conference Champions 1940, 1948
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Champions 1900, 1902, 1903, 1906 (t)
Bowl victories 1940 Cotton Bowl Classic, 1949 Gator Bowl, 1951 Orange Bowl, 1959 Bluebonnet Bowl, 1978 Gator Bowl, 1982 Orange Bowl, 1986 Gator Bowl, 1988 Florida Citrus Bowl, 1989 Citrus Bowl, 1989 Gator Bowl, 1991 Hall of Fame Bowl, 1993 Peach Bowl, 2001 Humanitarian Bowl, 2004 Peach Bowl, 2005 Champs Sports Bowl, 2009 Music City Bowl, 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl, 2014 Orange Bowl, 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl, 2015 Orange Bowl, 2016 Fiesta Bowl, 2017 CFP National Championship
Playoff Appearances 2015, 2016
Undefeated Seasons 1900, 1906, 1948, 1950, 1981


The Clemson Men's Basketball team is coached by head coach Brad Brownell, announced April 13, 2010. Accomplishments include:

NCAA Tournament appearances 1980, 1987, 1989, 1990*, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
NCAA Elite 8 1980
NCAA Sweet 16 1990*, 1997
NIT appearances 1975, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2017
NIT Runner-Up 1999, 2007
NIT Semifinals 1999, 2007, 2014
Southern Conference Champions 1939
ACC Regular Season Champions 1990 (not officially recognized by the conference)[10][11]

*vacated by NCAA [12]

The Clemson women's basketball team is currently coached by head coach Audra Smith. Accomplishments include:

NCAA Tournament appearances 1982, 1988–1994, 1996–2002
NCAA Elite 8 1991
NCAA Sweet 16 1989, 1990, 1999
AIAW Tournament appearance 1981
WNIT Tournament appearances 1980, 1984 (3rd Place), 1995, 2004
ACC Tournament Champions 1996, 1999
ACC Regular Season Champions 1981


As of 2008, the Tiger baseball team has posted a combined 30 ACC regular season and tournament championships (the most in the conference), 34 NCAA Tournament appearances, 16 NCAA Regional Titles, 4 NCAA Super Regional Titles, and 12 College World Series appearances. Much of the baseball program's success occurred under Bill Wilhelm during his 35 seasons as Clemson's head coach. Monte Lee is the Tigers' current head coach, having replaced Jack Leggett after the conclusion of the 2015 season.

CWS appearances 1958, 1959, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2010
ACC Tournament Champions* 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 2006, 2016
ACC Regular Season Champions 1954*, 1958*, 1959*, 1967*, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979*, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2006
ACC Atlantic Division Champions§ 2006, 2010
Southern Conference Champions 1947

* - recognized ACC championships. ACC tournament has decided conference champion since 1973 (except for 1979 due to academic conflicts)

§ - the ACC does not recognize Division Championships in baseball. Divisions serve the purpose of simplifying conference scheduling during the regular season. Winning percentages in regular season conference play are then used to determine seedings for the Conference Tournament.

Men's Soccer[edit]

The men's soccer team was Clemson's second sports program to win a national championship, winning the NCAA Tournament in 1984 and again in 1987.[13][14] In their 26 appearances in the NCAA tournament, the men's soccer team garnered runner-up finishes in 1979 and 2015, and has appeared in the NCAA Final Four eight times, with the 2015 squad being the most recent team to accomplish that feat.[15] In addition to their NCAA titles, the men's program has won 16 combined ACC regular season and tournament titles, with the last one coming in the 2014 ACC Tournament. The Tigers have known only four coaches in their history: Dr. I.M. Ibrahim (1967–1994, 388–100–31 career record), Trevor Adair(1995–2008, 50–48–10 record at Clemson), Phil Hindson (Interim coach in 2009, 6-12-1 record) and Mike Noonan. Famous former Tigers include Oguchi Onyewu, Stuart Holden and Paul Stalteri, all three whom are capped for their respective nations.

NCAA Champions 1984, 1987
NCAA Runner-up 1979, 2015
NCAA Final Four 1973, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1984, 1987, 2005, 2015
NCAA Tournament appearances 1972–1979, 1981–1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000–2003, 2005, 2006, 2013-2017
ACC Tournament Champions* 1998, 2001, 2014
ACC Regular Season Champions 1972*, 1973*, 1974*, 1975*, 1976*, 1977*, 1978*, 1979*, 1981*, 1982*, 1985*, 1990, 1993, 1998
ACC Atlantic Division Champions 2014 (t)
Herman Trophy winners 2 (Bruce Murray - 1987, Wojtek Krakowiak - 1998)

* - recognized ACC championships. ACC champion decided by tournament since 1987

Women's Soccer[edit]

Women's soccer became a varsity sport at Clemson in 1994. The women's soccer team has won the ACC regular season crown twice, and advanced to the NCAA tournament sixteen times. The team has never been able to advance past the Quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. However, the team has been able to reach the Quarterfinals four times. The Tigers have known five coaches in their history Tracey Leone (1994-1998 89-39-4 career record), Ray Leone (1999-2000 33-10-3 career record), Todd Bramble (2001-2007 80-51-17 career record), Hershey Strosberg (2008-2010 14-39-1 career record), and Eddie Radwanski (2011-Current).

NCAA Tournament appearances 1994–2007, 2014-2017
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals 1997, 1999, 2000, 2006
ACC Regular Season Champions 2000, 2016(t)


The Tiger golf team have a tradition of being among the best in the ACC and the nation, having won several ACC titles and regularly qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. In 2003, Clemson defeated Oklahoma State to win its first National Championship in golf and the 4th overall for the school.[16] In addition to that victory, Clemson also won the ACC and NCAA East Regional titles that year, making the Tigers the first program in NCAA history to win its conference, regional, and national championship tournaments in the same year.[16] Clemson has also won seven regional titles since the NCAA adopted the regional tournament format in 1989.[citation needed] 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover played golf at Clemson.

NCAA Team Champions 2003
NCAA Individual Champions 1 (Charles Warren - 1997)
NCAA Team Runner-Up 1998, 2001
NCAA Individual Runner-up 3 (Charles Warren - 1998, Kyle Stanley - 2007, 2009)
NCAA Team 3rd Place 1989, 1997, 2002
NCAA East Regional Champions 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004
NCAA Individual Regional Champions 2 (Mark Swygert - 1994, D. J. Trahan - 2002)
All-Americans 51
ACC Team Champions 1982, 1987, 1988, 1990 (tie), 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2016
ACC Individual Champions 8
All-ACC 69

Other varsity sports[edit]

Men's track and field
NCAA Indoor Team Runner-Up 1992, 1993
NCAA Indoor Team 3rd Place 1998 (t), 1999
NCAA Individual/Relay Champions 8 (indoor)

3 (outdoor)

All-Americans 69 (indoor)

99 (outdoor)

NCAA East Region Individual/Relay Champions (outdoor) 4
NCAA All-East Region (outdoor) 18
ACC Team Indoor Champions 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
ACC Team Outdoor Champions 1980, 1982, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004
ACC Individual/Relay Champions 112 (indoor)

178 (outdoor)

All-ACC 174 (indoor)

227 (outdoor)

Women's track and field
NCAA Indoor 3rd Place 2001 (t)
NCAA Outdoor 4th Place 2012 (t)
NCAA Individual/Relay Champions 10 (indoor, individual) 4 (outdoor, relay)[17]
All-Americans 67 (indoor) 39 (outdoor)
NCAA All-East Region (outdoor) 8
ACC Indoor Team Champions 1992, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
ACC Outdoor Champions 1991, 1999, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015
ACC Individual/Relay Champions 70 (indoor, individual ), 45 (indoor, relay) 94 (outdoor, individual), 16 (outdoor, individual)
All-ACC 96 (indoor) 117 (outdoor)
Men's cross-country
NCAA Region Champions 1983
NCAA Individual Region Champions 4
All-Americans 11
ACC Team Champions 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988
ACC Individual Champions 11
All-ACC 35
Women's cross-country
NCAA Region Champions 1990
All-Americans 9
ACC Team Champions 1986
ACC Individual Champions 2
All-ACC 22
Men's tennis
NCAA Tournament appearances 1979–1989, 1992, 1996–2000, 2003–2007, 2013-2014
NCAA Individual Runner-up 1 (Lawson Duncan - 1984)
All-Americans 29
ACC Tournament Champions 1969, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1997
ACC Regular Season Champions 1969, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1997
ACC Single Flight Champions 43
ACC Doubles Flight Champions 25
SIAA Single Flight Champions 1
SIAA Doubles Flight Champions 1
Women's tennis
NCAA Final Four 2004, 2005
NCAA Tournament appearances 1982–1984, 1986, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002–2015
AIAW Tournament appearances 1978, 1980, 1981
NCAA Individual Runner-up 1 (Gigi Fernández - 1983)
All-Americans 24
ACC Tournament Champions 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 2004, 2008
ACC Regular Season Champions 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 2004, 2007
ACC Single Flight Champions 40
ACC Doubles Flight Champions 22
Women's volleyball
ACC Tournament Champions 1997*
ACC Regular Season Champions 1999, 2007*
NCAA Tournament 1993, 1994, 1997–1999, 2007–2009

* ACC Championship decided by tournament until 2004; regular season finish has determined the ACC champion since 2005 season.

Women's rowing
NCAA Individual Champions 1 (2009 Varsity 4+)
ACC Team Champions 2009
South Region Runner-Up 2008

* The Lady Tigers rowing team became the first team other than Virginia to win the ACC Championship since the ACC began sponsoring the women's rowing championship in 2000.

Discontinued varsity sports[edit]


Men's swimming and diving 1919-2012
ACC Team Champions 1986
ACC Individual/Relay Champions 49
All-ACC 43
SoCon Champions 1939
Women's swimming and diving 1975-2012 *
ACC Team Champions 1987, 1988, 1989, 1997
ACC Individual/Relay Champions 82
All-ACC 89

*Clemson sponsored a women's diving team from 2013–2017.


Wrestling 1975-1995
ACC Regular Season Champions 1991
ACC Individual Champions 28
NCAA Individual Champions Noel Loban (1980)

Sammie Henson (1993, 1994)

NCAA All-Americans 8

Wrestling at Clemson University was banned in 1995, despite the success of the program, due to financial shortages from Tiger Athletics' funding from the university. The wrestling program began in 1975 winning the ACC title as a team in 1991. The Tiger wrestling program produced 8 overall wrestlers with All-American status, two NCAA Champions, and a finish at the NCAA Championships as high as 7th in 1994.[19] Sammie Henson is a former standout at Clemson, as one of the most accomplished tiger wrestlers with a 1993 and 1994 NCAA Champion titles who eventually earned a 2000 Olympic silver medal and became a 1998 world champion in freestyle wrestling.

Boxing 1930s-1948
SoCon Team Champions 1938, 1940
Socon Individual Champions 7
Men's fencing 1970-1982
NCAA Runner-Up 1982
NCAA Tournament 1976-1982
ACC Champions 1979, 1981
ACC Regular Season Champions 1980
National Coach of the Year Charlie Poteat (1982)
All-Americans Steve Renshaw (1977-1980, 4x All-American)
Jay Thomas (1979, 1980, 1982)
Women's fencing 1975-1982
NCAA Tournament 1982
Women's field hockey 1977-1981
All-American Barbie Johnson (1981)


NCAA team championships[edit]

Clemson University has five NCAA team national championships.[20]

Notable non-varsity sports[edit]


Clemson Rugby was founded in 1967. Although rugby is a club sport at Clemson, the team receives significant support from the university and from the Clemson Rugby Foundation, which was founded in 2007 by Clemson alumni.[21] Clemson rugby has been led since 2010 by head coach Justin Hickey,[22] who has also served as team manager for the U.S. national under-20 team.[23]

Clemson's best season was 1996, when the team advanced to the national college rugby quarterfinals. Clemson also advanced to the round of 16 of the national playoffs for three consecutive years from 2005-2007. Clemson has played since 2011 in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League against its traditional ACC rivals. Clemson placed second in its conference in the spring 2012 season with a 6-1 conference record, narrowly missing out to Maryland for the conference title and a place in the national college rugby playoffs.[24] Clemson again finished the spring 2013 season with a 6-1 conference record, and then defeated South Carolina 29-7 in the round of 16 national playoffs, before losing in the quarterfinals to Central Florida 20-24.[25]

Olympic medalists[edit]


  • Mike Milchin (1988, United States, pitcher, gold)
  • Kris Benson (1996, United States, pitcher, bronze)
  • Billy Koch (1996, United States, pitcher, bronze)
  • Matthew LeCroy (1996, United States, Catcher, bronze)




Brianna Rollins
  • Desai Williams (1984, Canada, 4x100 relay, bronze)
  • Tony Sharpe (1984, Canada, 4x100 relay, bronze)
  • Mark McKoy (1992, Canada, 110 hurdles, gold)
  • Kim Graham (1996, United States, 4x400 relay, gold)
  • Carlton Chambers (1996, Canada, 4x100 relay, gold)
  • Shawn Crawford (2004 and 2008, United States, 200m gold and 4x100 relay silver (2004), 200m silver (2008))
  • Michelle Burgher (2004, Jamaica, 4x400 relay, bronze)
  • Brianna Rollins (2016, United States, 100m hurdles, gold)


  • Noel Loban (1984, Great Britain, bronze)
  • Sammie Henson (2000, United States, silver)

Clemson-South Carolina rivalry[edit]

Other rivalries[edit]

Clemson's intra-conference football rivalries include Georgia Tech (GT leads 50-29-2), NC State (Clemson leads 56-28-1 in the Textile Bowl), Boston College (O'Rourke-McFadden Trophy, Clemson leads 15-9-2), and Florida State (FSU leads 20-9).

Clemson has a lesser rivalry with the University of Georgia, born because of the two institutions' close proximity (roughly 75 miles apart). Clemson and Georgia first met in 1897, only the second year the Tigers fielded a football team. The rivalry was at its height in the 1980s. The athletic departments recently added games to be played in 2013 at Clemson and 2014 in Athens. Georgia leads the football series 41–18–4, winning the past five meetings in a row until losing to the Tigers in 2013.[26]

Fight song[edit]

Clemson's fight song is the "Tiger Rag", the "Song that Shakes the Southland", a variation of the song originally recorded by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. The song is played at all Clemson sporting events, particularly following scores or big plays, and during the "Most Exciting 25 Seconds in College Football". The song's lyrics are not used, save for the spell-out of "Clemson" at the end.


The most prominent of Clemson's facilities is Memorial Stadium, Frank Howard Field, home to the Clemson University men's football team. Memorial Stadium is also known by its nickname, "Death Valley." Memorial Stadium is also home to the WestZone, which was completed in 2006. With the completion of the first phase of the WestZone, the listed capacity for Memorial Stadium is 80,301. The WestZone holds many IPTAY offices, Clemson football coach's offices, weight rooms, locker rooms, and a recruiting center.

The men's and women's basketball teams play at Littlejohn Coliseum, which has a listed capacity of 10,000 spectators. Littlejohn also acts as a venue for a variety of campus functions throughout the year, including concerts and graduation ceremonies.

Recently renovated Doug Kingsmore Stadium is home to Clemson's men's baseball team.

The men's and women's soccer teams play their home games at historic Riggs Field.

Other home venues for these sports are: Walker Golf Course, Hoke Sloan Tennis Center, Jervey Gym (volleyball), Rock Norman Track Complex, and McHugh Natatorium. Women's rowing holds home events on nearby Lake Hartwell.


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  2. ^ Robinson, Mandrallius (2013-05-31). "Antonio, creator of Clemson's paw logo, dies". The Greenville News. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  3. ^ Brenner, Aaron (2013-05-30). "1970 designer of Clemson's Tiger Paw logo, John Antonio, dies of cancer". The Post and Courier. Archived from the original on 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  4. ^ "Clemson Login Service". 
  5. ^ "Clemson Tigers Official Athletics Site". 
  6. ^ "Clemson to Add Softball". Clemson Tigers. March 14, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  7. ^ Mark Schlabach, Bowden ousted at Clemson; coach 'deserved' to be fired, QB says,, October 13, 2008, Accessed October 13, 2008.
  8. ^ Associated Press, Clemson promotes interim coach Swinney to permanent job with 5-year deal,, December 1, 2008, Accessed December 1, 2008.
  9. ^ "Page Not Found - Clemson University, South Carolina". 
  10. ^ Moran, Malcolm; Times, Special to The New York (17 March 1990). "Basketball; Well-Matched Teams To Square Off in East" – via 
  11. ^ List of Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball regular season champions
  12. ^ NCAA Major Infractions[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ 1984 National Championship (Soccer) Archived 2006-10-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ 1987 National Championship (Soccer) Archived 2006-10-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Tigers Advance to Final Four with 1-0 Win over Creighton Archived 2007-12-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ a b Canfield, Owen (May 31, 2003). "Trahan, Tigers take title". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Spartanburg, South Carolina. AP. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ Blackman, Sam; Bradley, Bob; Kriese, Chuck (1 July 2001). "Clemson: Where the Tigers Play". Sports Publishing LLC – via Google Books. 
  19. ^ "Clemson Wrestling History" (PDF). Clemson University Athletics. Retrieved 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  20. ^
  21. ^ Rugby Mag, Clemson Announces Recruiting Class, Sep. 10, 2012,'s-di-college/5745-clemson-announces-recruiting-class.html
  22. ^ "COACHING STAFF". Clemson Rugby. 
  23. ^ Clemson Rugby, Coaching Staff,
  24. ^ Atlantic Coast Rugby League, Standings 2012, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-19. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  25. ^ Rugby Mag, UCF Earns 1st Final Four Bid, April 28, 2013,'s-di-college/7884-golden-knights-earn-1st-final-four-bid.html
  26. ^ Georgia Game by Game against Opponents Archived 2007-11-30 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]