Savannah State Tigers and Lady Tigers

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Savannah State Tigers
University Savannah State University
Conference Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
Athletic director Sterling Steward Jr.
Location Savannah, Georgia
Varsity teams 16
Football stadium Ted A. Wright Stadium
Basketball arena Tiger Arena
Nickname Tigers and Lady Tigers
Colors Burnt Orange and Reflex Blue[1]

The Savannah State Tigers and Lady Tigers are the men's and women's intercollegiate athletic teams that play for Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia.

Conference affiliation[edit]

Former SSU Athletics logo (2000-2012)

Savannah State University holds membership in the NCAA Division I (as members of the MEAC) and participates in the following sports: football, baseball, basketball (men and women), cross-country (men and women), tennis (men and women), track and field (men and women), volleyball (women only), golf (men), and softball (women).[2][3][4] On March 20, 2010, the Tigers were accepted as provisional members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) beginning on July 1, 2010.[5] On September 8, 2011, the university was confirmed as a full member of the MEAC Conference, making the Tigers eligible to participate in all conference championships and earn the conference's automatic berth to NCAA postseason competition in all sponsored sports.[6] Before moving to Division I-AA, Savannah State was a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the NCAA Division II (1981–2005), NCAA Division II and the Southeastern Athletic Conference in the NAIA (1929–1961).

On April 13, 2017 it was announced that Savannah State would drop from Division I back to Division II starting in the Fall of 2019. The move was being made as a financial one for the university. [7] Conference affiliation for Savannah State in Division II has yet to be determined.


Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Southeastern Athletic Conference

Conference championships[edit]

Season Sport Conference Notes References
1970 Basketball ball.svg Men's Basketball SIAC [8]
1979 Basketball ball.svg Men's Basketball SIAC regular season and tournament title [9][10]
1980 Basketball ball.svg Men's Basketball SIAC regular season and tournament title [9][10]
1981 Basketball ball.svg Men's Basketball SIAC regular season and tournament title [9][10]
1991 Tennis ball.svg Women's Tennis SIAC [11]
1994 Tennis ball.svg Women's Tennis SIAC [11]
1995 Baseball SIAC [12]
1996 Tennis ball.svg Women's Tennis SIAC [11]
1996 Baseball SIAC [12]
1997 Tennis ball.svg Women's Tennis SIAC [11]
1997 Baseball SIAC [12]
1998 Baseball SIAC [12]
1998 Tennis ball.svg Women's Tennis SIAC [11]
1999 Baseball SIAC [12]
2012 Basketball ball.svg Men's Basketball MEAC regular season conference champions
2012 Softball MEAC Southern Division Conference Champions
2013 Baseball MEAC Southern Division Conference Champions
Conference Tournament Champions
2015 Basketball ball.svg Women's Basketball MEAC Conference Tournament Champions

Team colors[edit]

The official school colors for Savannah State are Burnt Orange and Reflex Blue.[13] White is often used as a secondary color and for alternate jerseys.


Athletics at Savannah State University are administered by the Savannah State University Athletic Department. The department is headed by an athletic director who is responsible for the department's oversight and all matters related to the school's 16 NCAA Division I sports teams for men and women.[14] The department dedicates about $2 million per year for its sports teams and facilities.[15]

The current athletic director is Sterling Steward Jr.[16]

Current facilities[edit]

Most athletic teams have on-campus facilities for competition, including Ted A. Wright Stadium for football, and Tiger Arena for basketball and women’s volleyball.


Sophomore quarterback A.J. Defillips warms up during the Savannah State vs. Old Dominion game. (Taken on November 6, 2010).

The football team is traditionally the most popular sport at Savannah State. The games are played at Ted A. Wright Stadium. Since moving to NCAA Division I - FCS in 2000, the Tigers have compiled a 17-88 record as of the 2009–2010 season.[17] Prior to moving to Division I-AA the team compiled a 97-108-4 record in NCAA Division II (1981–2000), a 15-20-0 record in NCAA Division III (1973–1980) and a 1-1-0 record as a member of the NAIA.[18][19]

Men's basketball[edit]

Savannah State competes in NCAA Division I as an independent and plays home games in Tiger Arena on the university campus.

The school gained notoriety when they finished the 2004–2005 men's basketball season a winless 0-28, the first Division I team to do so since Prairie View A&M University in 1991–1992.[20][21][22] The Tigers were the 2011-12 MEAC regular season champions and received an automatic bid into the 2012 NIT, their first ever appearance in any Division I tournament as a Division I member. The team posted a 21-10 overall mark and lead the MEAC in scoring defense, only allowing 58.9 points per game and were second in the conference in scoring margin (+5.4).[23]


Savannah State Tigers
League NCAA Division I
Location Savannah, Georgia
Nickname(s) Tigers
Mascot Tiger
Manager Carlton Hardy
Kit trousers beltonwhite.png


Kit trousers beltonwhite.png


The head coach is Carlton Hardy.[24]

Conference championships and NCAA playoffs[edit]

  • The Savannah State Tigers finished as SIAC baseball champions for five consecutive seasons (1995–1999).[12]
  • In 1999, the Tigers were the #4 seed in the NCAA Division II South Regional baseball Tournament[25]
  • In 2013, the Tigers were the co-champions of the MEAC Southern Division and won the conference baseball tournament and the conferences automatic NCAA bid.

Team awards and NCAA records[edit]

Season-by-season record[edit]

     NCAA Division I Independent        SIAC (NCAA Division II)       NCAA Division III        NAIA Southeastern

Team awards and NCAA records[edit]

Head baseball coach Carlton Hardy, 2014
  • Savannah State holds the NCAA Division II records of 46 consecutive victories in baseball and 46 consecutive victories to start of a season (2000). The team also hold the NCAA Division II records of 12.59 average runs per game in a season (2000), 58 total triples in a season (1998) and 1.18 average triples per game in a season (1998).[30]
  • Theophalus Gregory established the NCAA Division III record of 1.92 average stolen bases per game in 1974 as a member of the Savannah State baseball team.[30]
  • Gerald Smith, held the 2005 NCAA Division I top slugging percentage (.785) as a member of the Savannah State baseball team.[30]
  • Savannah State baseball player Brett Higgins (2000) holds the NCAA Division II record of 32 doubles in a season (in 49 games) with four other players and led the NCAA in RBIs (93), slugging percentage (1.010), and total bases (193) in 2000.[30]
  • Willie Melendez, former Savannah State baseball player holds the NCAA Division II record of 16 triples in a season (1998).[30]

Notable players and coaches[edit]

Some notable Savannah State baseball players and coaches include:

Name Class year Position Notability Reference(s)
Mark Eric Alvarez Pitcher Signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006 [31]
Brandon Jackson Outfielder 16th round selection of the 1999 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim [32]
McGowin, KyleKyle McGowin Pitcher First Team All-American in 2013, 5th round selection of the 2013 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim [33]
Urgelles, JeffJeff Urgelles Catcher Minor League Baseball player and Major League Baseball coach for the Miami Marlins [34]

Women's basketball[edit]

Women's tennis[edit]

The current coach is Don Andrews who entered his first season as head coach in 2008.[35]

Team awards and records[edit]

The Women's Tennis Team won the SIAC championship in 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1998[11]

Women's volleyball[edit]

The current head coach is Jolanta Graham who replaced Schannon Gamble in 2012.

Women's Softball[edit]

The current head coach is Jose Gonzalez who entered his first season in 2008.[36]

Men's golf[edit]

The current coach is Art Gelow.[37]

Track and field[edit]

The current coach is Ted Whitaker who entered his first season as head coach in 1999.[38]


  1. ^ "Savannah State University Athletics – 2016 Football Quick Facts". Retrieved 2016-09-05. 
  2. ^ "Savannah State University Athletics". Savannah State University. 2007. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  3. ^ "Savannah State's bid to join MEAC on hold; Winston-Salem State to get vote soon". Black College Sports Page. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  4. ^ Barnidge, Noell (2008-08-24). "Flythe: SSU to stay Division I; eyes conference". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 2008-08-26. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Barnidge, Noell (2010-03-11). "Savannah State joins Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  6. ^ "N.C. Central and Savannah State Become Full Members". Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "BREAKING: Savannah State athletics to drop to Division II". WJCL 22 ABC. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "SIAC Basketball Champions". Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  9. ^ a b c "Former Savannah State Men's Basketball Coach Dies". Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  10. ^ a b c "Georgia Sports HOF To Induct Nine". Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "SIAC Tennis Champs". Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "1999 NCAA Post-Season Playoff Recap". Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  13. ^ "Savannah State University Athletics". Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  14. ^ Barnidge, Noell (2010-12-09). "Suggs named Savannah State athletics director". Savannah Morning News and Evening Press. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  15. ^ "The Mid-majority Report: Savannah State". Archived from the original on 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  16. ^ "Sterling Steward Jr.: Director of Athletics". Staff Directory. Savannah State University. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  17. ^ "Football Championship Subdivision Records Book" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-02-28. 
  18. ^ "DIAAFOOTBALL.COM - Savannah State". Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  19. ^ "Official 2007 NCAA Division II and III Football Records Book" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-11-20. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Tigers finish season 0-28". 2005-05-28. Retrieved 2005-02-15. 
  21. ^ "Winless Savannah State Gets New Coach". Retrieved 2007-06-05. 
  22. ^ "SSU fires men's basketball coach Daniels". 2005-02-17. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  23. ^ "MEAC announces All-MEAC Men's Basketball Honors". Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c "Savannah State University Baseball Head Coach: Carlton Hardy". Savannah State University. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  25. ^ a b "From the Onnidan Online News Room". Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  26. ^ "Savannah State Univ. Season Statistics". Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Northwestern Oklahoma State University - Ranger Athletics". Archived from the original on 2007-10-27. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  28. ^ "Savannah State Receives Probation, Financial Aid cuts". [permanent dead link]
  29. ^ a b c d "Player Bio:Wesley McGriff". Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  30. ^ a b c d e "Official 2006 NCAA Records Book" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-30. Retrieved 2006-12-05. 
  31. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates Scoutinig Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  32. ^ "First-year Player Draft". Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  33. ^ "Savannah State's Kyle McGowin named to All-America team". Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  34. ^ "PLAYER DEVELOPMENT AND SCOUTING" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  35. ^ "Savannah State University VOLLEYBALL/TENNIS Head Coach:Yocaira Basilio". Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  36. ^ "Savannah State University Softball Head Coach: Henry Banks". Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  37. ^ "Savannah State University GOLF Head Coach: Art Gelow". Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  38. ^ "Savannah State University TRACK & FIELD Head Coach: Ted Whitaker". Retrieved 2007-11-21. 

External links[edit]