Seattle Redhawks

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Seattle Redhawks
University Seattle University
Conference Western Athletic Conference
West Coast (1971–1980)
NCAA Division I-AAA Division I (2009–present)
Division II (2002–2009)
Division III (2001–2002)
NAIA (1980–2001)
Division I (1950–1980)
Athletic director Bill Hogan
Location Seattle, WA
Varsity teams 20
Basketball arena KeyArena at Seattle Center
Baseball stadium Bannerwood Park
(Bellevue, WA, USA)
Mascot Rudy the Redhawk
Nickname Redhawks (2000–present)
Chieftains (until 2000)
Fight song Ol' Seattle U.
     Red       White

The Seattle Redhawks are the intercollegiate varsity athletic teams of Seattle University of Seattle, Washington.[1] They compete in the NCAA's Division I as a member institution of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).[2]


Between 1950 and 1971, Seattle competed as a NCAA Division I independent, then joined the West Coast Athletic Conference (now West Coast Conference) in 1971.[3] Seattle grabbed national headlines in the mid-1950s when it defeated the Harlem Globetrotters. Seattle was led by the O'Brien twins, Eddie and Johnny (South Amboy, New Jersey). Johnny became the first college player to score 1,000 points in a season and both were named All-Americans. The O'Brien twins led Seattle to the NIT in Madison Square Garden and then onto its first NCAA Tournament berth. The O'Brien twins were also standouts in baseball. Upon graduation, Eddie and Johnny played together with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Seattle has eleven all-time men's basketball NCAA tournament appearances and participated in the men's basketball championship game in 1958 where they lost to the University of Kentucky. Seattle was led by Naismith and NBA Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor. Baylor was named MVP of the 1958 Final Four. During a period in the 1960s Seattle led the nation with the number of active players in the NBA. Notable basketball alums include Eddie Miles, Tom Workman, Rod Derline, and Clint Richardson, who won an NBA title with the Philadelphia 76ers. Tennis player Tom Gorman led Seattle before leading the USA Davis Cup teams. Janet Hopps (tennis) and Pat Lesser (golf) were trailblazers in the advancement of women's sports in the 1950s competing nationally as a part of the men's teams. In April 1980, the administration voluntarily downgraded its athletic program due to a recession that crippled the region, moving from NCAA D-I to NAIA.[4] In 2001 and under the leadership of University President Stephen Sundborg, SJ, Seattle University rejoined the NCAA and competed in Division III for a year, then in Division II from 2002 to 2009.[5]

In 2000, Seattle University changed its nickname from Chieftains to Redhawks.[6]

For the 2009–10 academic year, Seattle University's varsity teams played full schedules against Division I opponents. Although Seattle U. was then a Division I independent, the university had initially hoped to rejoin the West Coast Conference (where they played before leaving the NCAA), since all nine current members were private, religiously affiliated institutions (seven are Catholic and four share Seattle University's Jesuit affiliation). Seattle also explored membership in the Big Sky Conference.

Seattle once again became eligible for Division I NCAA Championships beginning in 2012–13. Seattle is a full Division I-AAA member in all 20 sports.[7]

During the 2010-13 NCAA conference realignment, the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) saw a large number of their members leave. From 2011 to 2013, twelve schools left the WAC. In June 2011, the WAC invited Seattle to join as a full member beginning July 2012. Seattle accepted soon after for all of the sports it sponsors at the varsity level except rowing, which the WAC does not sponsor and, initially, men's swimming and diving, which the WAC did not sponsor at the time. Men's swimming and diving was added as a WAC-sponsored sport in 2013.[8] For the 2013–14 season, only three members from the prior year remained in the conference (Seattle, New Mexico State, and Idaho). The WAC added six new members for 2013-14, and once Idaho left for the Big Sky Conference in 2014-15, Seattle became the second-longest tenured WAC school after just three seasons in the league. Since joining the WAC, the Redhawks have claimed five team titles and three individual titles, and have had four student-athletes named player of the year.

Stephanie Verdoia, women's soccer forward, was named two-time WAC Player of the Year, two time Academic All-American and was named an All-American and the Academic All-American of the Year for women's soccer in 2014. Verdoia also received the Senior CLASS Award as the sport's top scholar-athlete nationally and was the named the 2015 Seattle Sports Commission Female Sports Star of the Year. Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas was named the Male Sports Star of the Year.


Seattle University sponsors teams in nine men's and eleven women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[9]

  • * = The rowing team competes as an independent.

Men's basketball[edit]


For the 2010 baseball season, Seattle University hired Donny Harrel, formerly an assistant coach at Washington, as its head coach. Drills and practices began in late 2008 to prepare the program for re-entry into Division I play.[10] In 2010, Seattle home games will be played at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue.

Fight song[edit]

Let's give a cheer for Seattle

Ol' Seattle U
Show them the fight of the
Red and white
They will win for you
Fight, fight, fight
Over the foes we're victorious
And victory is our cheer
So let's give a cheer
For the whole gang is here
To cheer you Seattle U![11]


  • Baseball = Bannerwood Park (capacity 300+)
  • Men's Basketball = KeyArena (capacity 8,901)
  • Women's Basketball = Connolly Center (capacity 1,050)
  • Men's & Women's Cross Country = Several Seattle area sites
  • Men's & Women's Golf = The Golf Club at Newcastle & other Seattle area courses
  • Rowing = Seattle Rowing Center
  • Men's & Women's Soccer = Championship Field (capacity 650+)
  • Softball = Logan Field (capacity 250)
  • Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving = Connolly Center Pool
  • Men's & Women's Tennis = Seattle University Tennis Courts & Amy Yee Tennis Center (City of Seattle)
  • Men's & Women's Track & Field = No Home Facilities
  • Volleyball = Connolly Center (capacity 1,050)


  1. ^ "Seattle University". 2015-06-14. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  2. ^ "Western Athletic Conference Official Site". Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  3. ^ West Coast Conference. "History - WCC West Coast Conference". Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  4. ^ "Seattle U. to leave WCAC". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. April 4, 1980. p. 30. 
  5. ^ "Athletic History - Seattle University Redhawks Athletics". 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^ "SU Officially in the Western Athletic Conference! - News - Seattle University". Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  9. ^ "Seattle University Redhawks Athletics". Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  10. ^ "Baseball Starts Fall Drills". Seattle University. 2008-11-01. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  11. ^ Athletics Style Guide – Seattle University Athletics.
  12. ^ "Seattle University Facilities - Seattle University Redhawks Athletics". Retrieved 2015-07-12. 

External links[edit]