Florida Gulf Coast Eagles

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Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
Logo
University Florida Gulf Coast University
Conference Atlantic Sun Conference
Coastal Collegiate Sports Association
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Ken Kavanagh
Location Fort Myers, Florida
Varsity teams 15
Basketball arena Alico Arena
Baseball stadium Swanson Stadium
Other arenas FGCU Soccer Complex
Nickname Eagles
Fight song Hail to the Eagles
Colors Cobalt Blue and Emerald Green[1]
         
Website www.fgcuathletics.com
FGCU wordmark.png

The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (also FGCU) refer to the fifteen sports teams representing Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida in intercollegiate athletics, including men and women's basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, and tennis; women's-only softball, swimming and diving, indoor volleyball, and sand volleyball; and men's-only baseball. The Eagles compete in the NCAA Division I and are members of the Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN).[2] FGCU is also notable as the youngest institution competing in NCAA Division I, having been officially founded in 1991 and started classes in 1997.[a]

FGCU athletics began in the NAIA. In 2002, Florida Gulf Coast became an independent member of NCAA Division II.[3] In 2006, Florida Gulf Coast applied for NCAA Division I status and became a transitory Division I effective in the 2007–08 season.[4] Florida Gulf Coast became a full Division I member on August 11, 2011.[5]

In the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, FGCU became the first number 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16.[6][7]

Teams[edit]

A member of the ASUN Conference, Florida Gulf Coast sponsors teams in six men's and nine women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[8]

Men's Intercollegiate Sports Team Article Head Coach Women's Intercollegiate Sports Team Article Head Coach
Baseball Dave Tollett Basketball Eagles women's basketball Karl Smesko
Basketball Eagles men's basketball Joe Dooley Beach volleyball [v 1] Matt Botsford
Cross country Cassandra Goodson Cross country Cassandra Goodson
Golf Eric Booker Golf Sarah Trew
Soccer Eagles men's soccer Jesse Cormier Soccer Jim Blankenship
Tennis C.J. Weber Softball David Deiros
Swimming and diving [v 2] Dave Rollins
Tennis Courtney Vernon
Volleyball Matthew Botsford
Notes
  1. ^ Beach volleyball is a fully sanctioned NCAA sport which had its first national championship in the spring of 2016.[9] The ASUN was the first conference to sponsor a championship in the sport.
  2. ^ The swimming team competes as a member of the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association.

Revenues[edit]

FGCU Athletics earned $4.5 million in revenue for the 2015 fiscal year, with revenue from ticket sales earning over $800,000 for FY 2015. Men’s basketball is the athletic department’s “cash cow.”[10] Men's and women's basketball account for over $600,000, and baseball draws $28,000 in ticket revenue.

Baseball[edit]

The FGCU baseball team became eligible to compete in the NCAA post season in the 2010 season after the two-year NCAA reclassifying period. FGCU has several former baseball players playing in the minor leagues, and has two pitchers (Chris Sale and Richard Bleier) pitching in the majors.

Men's basketball[edit]

The front of Alico Arena on the campus of FGCU

In 2012, FGCU's first year of full Division I post-season eligibility, the men's team played in the Atlantic Sun Championship final, losing to Belmont.

In 2013, the team won the Atlantic Sun championship, beating top-seeded Mercer in the conference tournament final. That earned the team an automatic invitation to the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. In its first-ever tournament appearance, the No. 15 seeded Eagles upset the No. 2 seeded Georgetown Hoyas in the first round of the tournament,[11] and the No. 7 seeded San Diego State Aztecs in the second round.[12] The Eagles became the seventh No. 15 seed to advance to the round of 32[11] and the first to advance to the Sweet 16.[12]

Women's basketball[edit]

On March 24, 2007, FGCU women's basketball team ended their 35–1 season with a loss in the Division II National Championship to Southern Connecticut State University.[13]

One year later, in 2008, the Women's Basketball team qualified for the WNIT, becoming the first team to qualify for the WNIT in its first season of Division I sports.[14] During the 2008 WNIT Tourney, the team became the first Atlantic Sun conference team to win a post-season game since 1998, when Florida International University won in the Women's NCAA tourney.[15] The Women's team won the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championship with a conference record of 17–3[16] but was ineligible to compete in the conference tourney, as the team was in transition from Division II to Division I athletics.

In the 2010–2011 season, the FGCU woman's basketball team won the Atlantic Sun Conference again. In the 2011–12 Season, the Women's team won both the Atlantic Sun Conference's regular season and conference tourney titles, earning its first berth into the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. The Eagles lost to St. Bonaventure University in the first round of the tournament 72-65 in Tallahassee, FL.

Men's soccer[edit]

The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles men's soccer team represents Florida Gulf Coast University in all NCAA Division I men's soccer competitions. Founded in 2007, the Eagles are one of the youngest men's soccer programs in the country. The team made the NCAA Tournament in the first year of eligibility, in 2011, and returned in 2012. They most recently returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2014 where they lost to Coastal Carolina 1–0. The men's soccer team plays its home games at the FGCU Soccer Complex.

Women's soccer[edit]

The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles women's soccer team represents Florida Gulf Coast University in all NCAA Division I women's soccer competitions. The women's team played their first home NCAA tournament game in 2014, before a record crowd of 2,014 at the FGCU Soccer Complex.[17]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Another Division I member, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), was founded in 2013 and began operation in 2015. However, UTRGV inherited its athletic program from one of its predecessor institutions, the University of Texas–Pan American, a Division I member that traced its history to a junior college that opened in 1927.

References[edit]

  1. ^ FGCU Visual Identity & Brand Guidelines (PDF). Retrieved April 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ http://www.asunsports.org/members/default/
  3. ^ "FGCU Terminates Membership in NAIA". Florida Gulf Coast University. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Introduction" (PDF). Florida Gulf Coast University Football Feasibility Study: Considerations for NCAA Division I and Football Championship Subdivision Football. Florida Gulf Coast University. pp. I–1. 
  5. ^ Caldwell, Dana (August 12, 2011). "FGCU officially becomes member of NCAA Division I". Naples Daily News. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ Florida Gulf Coast stuns San Diego State, advancing to Sweet 16
  7. ^ "Dunk City keeps on dancing: Florida Gulf Coast now first 15 seed in Sweet 16 - CollegeBasketballTalk". nbcsports.com. 
  8. ^ "FGCU (Eagles logo)". FGCU Athletics. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  9. ^ "NCAA DII, DIII membership approves Sand Volleyball as 90th championship". NCAA. January 17, 2015. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Spending money to make money: FGCU boosts basketball program and finds plenty of benefits", Naples Daily News, December 1, 2014
  11. ^ a b Associated Press (March 22, 2013). "Florida Gulf Coast Eagles vs. Georgetown Hoyas - NCAA Tournament Game - Recap - March 22, 2013 - ESPN". ESPN. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Florida Gulf Coast Eagles vs. San Diego State Aztecs - NCAA Tournament Game - Recap - March 24, 2013 - ESPN". ESPN. Associated Press. March 24, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  13. ^ Caldwell, Dana. "Disappointment, heartbreak". Naplesnews.com. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Women's Basketball to Host USF in First Round of WNIT". Fgcuathletics.com. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  15. ^ "FGCU Athletics – Official Site". Fgcuathletics.com. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Women's Basketball – Home – Atlantic Sun Conference Official Site". Atlanticsun.org. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  17. ^ "FGCU soccer leads fruitful fall sports campaigns", News Press, Seth Soffian, August 5, 2015.

External links[edit]