Gonzaga Bulldogs

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Gonzaga Bulldogs
University Gonzaga University
Conference West Coast Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Mike Roth
Location Spokane, Washington
Varsity teams 16
Basketball arena McCarthey Athletic Center
Baseball stadium Washington Trust Field and Patterson Baseball Complex
Mascot Spike the Bulldog
Nickname Bulldogs (official) / Zags
Fight song Go, Gonzaga![1]
     Blue       Red       White
Website www.gozags.com

The Gonzaga Bulldogs (also known unofficially as the Zags) are the intercollegiate athletic teams representing Gonzaga University, located in Spokane, Washington, United States. Gonzaga is a member of the West Coast Conference, which participates in the NCAA Division I.


Gonzaga University was founded in 1887 by Fr. Joseph Cataldo, a Sicilian-born priest. At one time, Gonzaga went by the nickname of Fighting Irish in the 1910s to early 1920s. This name was dropped in 1921 favor of the current "Bulldogs" mascot. Although the school's official mascot is a bulldog, fans and media have long used "Zags" as an alternate nickname.[2]

Gonzaga was an NAIA school from 1947 to 1957, when they moved to the NCAA as an independent. They were a charter member of the Big Sky Conference in 1963, the only one of the six without a football program.[3] In 1979, GU moved over to the West Coast Athletic Conference and the Big Sky added Nevada,[4] now in the Mountain West Conference. The WCAC was shortened to today's WCC in 1989.[5][6][7]


Gonzaga University sponsors teams in eight men's and nine women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[8]

Men's basketball[edit]

Men's basketball has been the most successful sport for the Bulldogs. Gonzaga home games have been played at the McCarthey Athletic Center since 2004. The Bulldogs opened the arena with a 38-game win streak, the longest at the time in the NCAA, eventually snapped in February 2007 by the Santa Clara Broncos.

The Bulldogs have established a reputation as one of the stronger teams in college basketball, having played in fifteen consecutive NCAA tournaments and ascending to the #1 ranking in both major polls during the 2012-13 season. They are generally reckoned as one of the closest things to a major basketball power in a mid-major conference.

Notable alumni of Gonzaga basketball include hall of famer John Stockton, Dan Dickau, Adam Morrison, Robert Sacre, Kelly Olynyk, Richie Frahm, J. P. Batista, Paul Rogers, Blake Stepp, Ronny Turiaf, and Austin Daye.


Men's soccer[edit]

Former teams[edit]


Gonzaga last fielded a varsity football team 75 years ago in 1941.[9][10] From 1892-1941 (excluding having no teams from 1894-1895 & 1900-1906), Gonzaga went 129-99-20.

Like many colleges, the football program went on hiatus during World War II (in April 1942),[11][12] but after the war the administration decided not to resume it. The program had been in financial difficulty prior to the war.[13][14][15]

GU's most notable football player was running back Tony Canadeo (1919–2003) from Chicago, who played in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers from 1941 to 1952 and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.[16] Ray Flaherty joined him as a hall of famer (as a head coach) in 1976.[17][18] Flaherty was a Gonzaga teammate of Hust Stockton, a noted halfback in the 1920s (and the paternal grandfather of basketball star John Stockton). Their head coach at Gonzaga was Gus Dorais, who threw to college teammate Knute Rockne at Notre Dame in 1913.

The Gonzaga football stadium, built in 1922,[19][20] was used for city high school football until it was deemed unsafe by the city after the 1947 season.[21][22] The white-painted wooden venue hosted a professional preseason game in 1946 under the lights, between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers of the new All-America Football Conference.[23][24] The southern portion of the football field is currently occupied by the Foley Library.[25] High school football moved to the new Memorial Stadium in 1950, later named for Gonzaga alumnus Joe Albi in 1962.

Head coaches[edit]



The university had a strong boxing program and shared the national title with Idaho in 1950.[41] Gonzaga dropped the sport in 1952,[42] Idaho in 1954, and the NCAA in 1960.[43] Football star Canadeo boxed during his senior year in 1941 at 175 lb (79 kg)[44] and was named team captain.[45][46]


  1. ^ http://news.gonzaga.edu/archives/4387
  2. ^ May, Danny (February 12, 1960). "Zags beat Bobcats; Frank breaks mark". Spokesman-Review. p. 14. 
  3. ^ "Jack Friel named Big Sky executive". Spokesman-Review. June 8, 1963. p. 8. 
  4. ^ "Nevada-Reno added to Big Sky". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. May 26, 1979. p. 5B. 
  5. ^ "Transactions: College". Times Daily (Florence, AL). Associated Press. July 14, 1989. p. 2B. 
  6. ^ "WCAC shortens its name to West Coast Conference". Spokane Chronicle. July 14, 1989. p. B5. 
  7. ^ West Coast Conference Official Athletics Site – On Campus. Wccsports.cstv.com (July 1, 2011).
  8. ^ http://www.gozags.com/
  9. ^ "Kennedy scores on Gonzaga as Cougars romp through to lopsided victory". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 24, 1941. p. 12. 
  10. ^ "Gonzaga Bulldogs". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Gonzaga cancels its intercollegiate football program". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 7, 1942. p. 11. 
  12. ^ a b "Unofficial word says Hunton will be dismissed at Gonzaga". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 8, 1942. p. 17. 
  13. ^ "Gonzaga might drop football". Ellensburg Daily Record (Washington). Associated Press. October 23, 1939. p. 6. 
  14. ^ Ashlock, Herb (October 23, 1939). "Financial problem may force Gonzaga University to drop collegiate football program". Spokane Daily Chronicle. p. 11. 
  15. ^ "Gonzaga looks for supporters". Spokesman-Review. October 24, 1939. p. 14. 
  16. ^ "Tony Canadeo". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Missildine, Harry (January 27, 1976). "Flaherty named to pro grid hall". Spokesman-Review. p. 11. 
  18. ^ "Flaherty gains Hall induction today". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. July 24, 1976. p. 13. 
  19. ^ "Gonzaga's new stadium is ready for opening game". Spokane Daily Chronicle. October 13, 1922. p. 1. 
  20. ^ Duffy, Bernard (October 24, 1965). "Life and death of the Gonzaga Stadium". Spokesman-Review. Inland Empire. p. 4. 
  21. ^ "City says stadium must be repaired". Spokane Daily Chronicle. December 17, 1947. p. 1. 
  22. ^ "Historic Gonzaga Stadium finally will be "retired"". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 8, 1949. p. 15. 
  23. ^ "Top pro teams in game tonight". Spokesman-Review. August 24, 1946. p. 9. 
  24. ^ "Yankees winners; may return here". Spokane Daily Chronicle. August 26, 1946. p. 15. 
  25. ^ "Photograph taken from speeding airplane". Spokane Daily Chronicle. May 13, 1939. p. 1. 
  26. ^ "Gonzaga seeks mentor to succeed Gus Dorais". Spokane Daily Chronicle. February 3, 1925. p. 16. 
  27. ^ "Gonzaga coach to be Detroit mentor". The Evening Record (Ellensburg, Washington). Associated Press. February 4, 1925. p. 8. 
  28. ^ a b Thorpe, Ellsworth (September 11, 1933). "Famous gridiron men developed at Gonzaga". Spokane Daily Chronicle. p. 10. 
  29. ^ "Clipper Smith works his outfit overtime". Spokane Daily Chronicle. October 28, 1925. p. 18. 
  30. ^ "Clipper Smith may change job". Spokane Daily Chronicle. May 18, 1929. p. 1. 
  31. ^ "Clipper Smith heading south". Spokane Daily Chronicle. May 30, 1929. p. 14. 
  32. ^ "Mathews leaves post at Gonzaga". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 26, 1930. p. 1, sports. 
  33. ^ "Ray Flaherty, Gonzaga coach". Spokesman-Review. May 4, 1930. p. 1, sports. 
  34. ^ "Gonzaga coach ready for work". Spokesman-Review. August 18, 1930. p. 10. 
  35. ^ "Eight football games on Gonzaga's 1931 grid schedule; new coach arrives". Spokane Daily Chronicle. February 23, 1931. p. 14. 
  36. ^ "Mike Pecarovich goes to Loyola". Spokesman-Review. February 4, 1939. p. 14. 
  37. ^ "Gonzaga selects John Hunton to handle university football coach job". Spokesman-Review. March 7, 1939. p. 12. 
  38. ^ "Puggy Hunton will continue as head man of the Gonzaga University football machine". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 15, 1939. p. 15. 
  39. ^ Stark, C.R., Jr. (September 8, 1943). "Gonzaga squad may be formed". Spokesman-Review. p. 9. 
  40. ^ "Gonzaga: coaching records". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  41. ^ "The bond was boxing". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Associated Press. March 16, 1999. p. 1B. 
  42. ^ "Gonzaga drops mitt sport; may resume in the future". Spokane Daily Chronicle. August 20, 1952. p. 17. 
  43. ^ Kershner, Jim (March 15, 1999). "Crowning the kings of swing". Spokesman-Review. p. A1. 
  44. ^ "Canadeo makes ring debut soon; to captain Bulldogs". Spokane Daily Chronicle. February 5, 1941. p. 15. 
  45. ^ "Canadeo shows boxing promise". Spokane Daily Chronicle. February 14, 1941. p. 12. 
  46. ^ "Gonzaga opens boxing season December 12". Spokane Daily Chronicle. December 5, 1941. p. 11. 

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