South Florida Bulls
|University of South Florida (USF) Bulls|
|University||University of South Florida|
|Athletic director||Mark Harlan (2014)|
|Football stadium||Raymond James Stadium|
|Basketball arena||USF Sun Dome|
|Baseball stadium||USF Baseball Stadium|
|Soccer stadium||Corbett Stadium|
|Mascot||Rocky the Bull|
The South Florida Bulls are the athletic teams for the University of South Florida. The university competes in NCAA Division I of the NCAA, and as a member of the American Athletic Conference (The American). The university currently sponsors varsity sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's golf, football, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's track, volleyball, sailing.
Men's athletic teams
Women's athletic teams
USF began college football play as a 1-AA independent in 1997, moved to 1-A in 2001, then to Conference USA in 2003, and then the Big East Conference in 2005 with its Bowl Championship Series (BCS) tie-ins. Additionally, USF's rapid advancement to the Big East Conference and the associated gains in recruiting have been helped greatly by its facilities. The Bulls recently opened an $18 million athletic facility on campus, and the football team plays its home games in Raymond James Stadium, also the home field of the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On September 24, 2005, USF surprised ninth-ranked University of Louisville for its first victory over a Big East conference foe, as well as its first victory over a ranked opponent. As a result, USF received its first-ever votes in the AP college football poll. USF went on to beat ranked opponents by defeating #7 West Virginia University on November 25, 2006, #17 Auburn University on September 8, 2007, #5 West Virginia again on September 28, 2007.
On September 16, 2007, a week after defeating Auburn, USF was nationally ranked for the first time in the young program's history. The AP poll listed USF at #23, while the USA Today coaches poll had the Bulls at #24. This is an NCAA record, as USF achieved its first Top 25 ranking faster than any other Division I-A school in the modern era. Since becoming a bowl-eligible Division I-A member in 2001, the Bulls were ranked after 104 AP polls during the fourth week of their seventh season. Boise State had the previous record, getting ranked after 115 AP polls during the 13th week of its seventh year as a bowl-eligible Division I-A member. On October 14, 2007, after the AP, Coaches', and BCS rankings were released, the Bulls were ranked #2, #3, and #2 respectively, the highest ranked the school's football program has ever been. However, on Thursday October 18, the Bulls lost to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a 30-27 upset in Piscataway, New Jersey. Two more losses followed in the next two games, knocking the Bulls out of the college rankings. The Bulls rebounded to finish the 2007 season 9–3, ranked #21 in the BCS standings, and played in the Brut Sun Bowl. The Bulls, however, lost to the Oregon Ducks by a score of 56–21 in that contest.
On October 4, 2009, the Bulls entered the rankings for the first time in the 2009-10 season at #23, after beating Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. They then lost to highly favored #5 Cincinnati and USF was dropped from the top 25.
The birth of the college basketball program at the University of South Florida was in 1971. The first game was a 74–73 victory over Stetson University. The season ended with eight wins and 17 losses. Home games are played at the USF Sun Dome.
The men's head coach is Orlando Antigua. Antigua was named USF head coach on April 1, 2014. Antigua has eight years of experience coaching at the collegiate level, and has been to the NCAA tournament eleven times as a player or coach.
The women's head coach is Jose Fernandez. Fernandez arrived in Tampa in April 2000, as an assistant women's basketball coach and was officially named head coach on December 14, 2000. As head coach at USF, he has guided the Bulls to an unprecedented five-straight postseason tournaments and to the cusp of bringing his program into the upper echelon of the Big East Conference. Under his tutelage, USF advanced to the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament during the 2005-06 season, and to 10 postseason tournaments in 11 years after the Bulls had recorded just three winning seasons, all 14-13 records, in the 25 years prior. Fernandez also guided USF to four 20-win campaigns — 21-11 in 2004-05, 21-12 in 2006-07, 27-10 in 2008-09, 22-11 in 2012-13 and 23-13 in 2013-14; in his career. On April 4, 2009, Fernandez led the team to their first-ever post season championship with a 75-71 win over the Kansas Jayhawks in the WNIT. Fernandez also won USF's first women's basketball NCAA Tournament game, beating Texas Tech in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
From 2006–2014, Lelo Prado was the program's head coach. He was a native of Cuba who grew up in Tampa before embarking on a successful college coaching career that includes back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championships in his hometown. He returned to Tampa on June 16, 2006, to become the fifth coach in the USF baseball program's history. In his first two years with the Bulls, Prado produced consecutive Big East Tournament appearances, picking up a pair of wins in the post-season tournament both years.
The men's golf coach is Steve Bradley, the former assistant men's golf coach from Florida State University. The team has won 13 conference championships:
- Sun Belt Conference (11): 1979–89
- Big East Conference (1): 2013
- American Athletic Conference (1): 2015
The women's golf coach is Marci Kornegay. Kornegay was named head coach of the women's golf program in June 2007. She came to USF from the University of South Carolina, where she was an assistant coach from July 2004 until her appointment at USF. Kornegay was a nominee for the 2006-07 NGCA Assistant Golf Coach of the Year.
George Kiefer, the 2005 NCAA South Region Coach of the Year is a native of Bay Shore, NY. Kiefer was named USF’s head coach on June 21, 2002, becoming the program’s sixth coach in its 40-year history. Since arriving in Tampa, Kiefer has compiled a 64-38-13 (.613) record in six years at USF, leading the Bulls to four seasons of 10-or-more wins and a 37-9-7 (.764) record at home. Under Kiefer, USF has faced 29 nationally ranked opponents, registering a 14-11-4 record versus the nation’s elite.
The USF men's soccer team beat St. Johns to win the Big East Conference title in 2008. They made it to the Elite Eight of the 2008 NCAA College Cup Championships, where they lost to number 1 seed Wake Forest.
The USF men's soccer team tied with Rutgers in a 0-0 draw on October 31, 2011, to officially win the whole title of the Big East Red Division. They had an undefeated season in conference play. The USF men's soccer team made it to the Elite Eight in the 2011 NCAA College Cup Championships, where they lost to number 2 seed Creighton in overtime.
The USF women's soccer team is led by coach Denise Schilte Brown, who became the second coach in the program's history. She joined the program in December 2006 and had previously coached at Virginia Commonwealth and University of Maryland-Baltimore County. In 2010 the women's soccer teamed earned their first berth to the NCAA tournament.
Men's head coach Matt Hill joined USF during June 2012, replacing long-time coach Don Barr (1992-2012). Hill spent five years at Mississippi State as an assistant coach before coming to USF, and coached the Bulls to a conference championship in 2014. In 2015 the USF Men's Tennis Team captured once again the conference championship after beating Tulsa in the finals. During the 2015 NCAA team championships USF beat Boise State in the first round and number 15 seed Virginia Tech in the second round to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history. USF was eliminated by Baylor after an intense dual match that the Bears ended up winning 4-1.
Track & Field
Warren Bye has been the head coach for the USF men's & women's track & field team since the 2006 season. In 2012, both teams posted a program best at the Big East Outdoor Championships. The men's team placed 2nd in the Big East Outdoor Championships, while the women's team placed 3rd. Home meets are contested in the USF Track and Field Stadium.
Courtney Draper was named the 11th head coach in USF volleyball history in June 2012, and has started a program turnaround, leading USF to its best conference finish (4th) since 2002 during the 2013 season, and receiving top-100 ranking by PrepVolleyball.com for three consecutive recruiting classes (2012-2014).
Located on the Tampa campus, the USF Athletic District is the home for Bulls intercollegiate sports. The district includes the Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center, the Corbett Soccer Stadium, the Frank Morsani Football Practice Complex, the Pam & Les Muma Basketball Practice Center, the USF Sun Dome, The Claw, the USF Baseball Stadium, the USF Softball Stadium, the USF Track & Field Stadium, and the USF Varsity Tennis Courts.
Opened in 2004, the Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center is the main hub for USF Athletics. In 2012, the facility was dedicated to the late Lee Roy Selmon, a Pro Football Hall of Fame member and former Director of USF Athletics. Selmon is considered by many to be the "Father of USF Football." The 104,000 square foot facility houses all USF sports teams, except for men's and women's basketball, sailing, and volleyball. The building features a large strength and conditioning center, a sports medicine clinic, and an Academic Enrichment Center complete with a computer study lab, a library, study lounges, and academic counseling.
The USF Sun Dome on the Tampa campus is the home facility of the men's and women's basketball teams and the women's volleyball team. The first event held in the facility was a basketball game in 1980. Since the opening of the arena, it has been the site for USF Commencement Ceremonies, orientation sessions, and other major university events. The facility has also played host to a number of outside events including sports and entertainment events, consumer shows, religious services, conventions, rodeos, youth sports camps, gymnastics and cheerleading competitions, lectures, and political rallies. The venue is also one of the top concert spots in the Tampa Bay region, having hosted musicians like Elton John, Florence and the Machine, Frank Sinatra, Heart, Sting, and more.
The USF football team began its inaugural football game in 1997 at Raymond James Stadium with an 80-3 win over Kentucky Wesleyan College. The stadium is home to the professional football team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making USF one of only a few American college teams to play in an NFL stadium. Located ten miles away from the USF Tampa campus, the stadium has a capacity of more than 65,000 people.
The Herd of Thunder, often called HOT or the Pride of the Bay, is the athletic band of the South Florida Bulls, including the show band, pep band, and marching band ensembles, although it is often used to refer simply to the marching band. It was founded in 1999, two years after USF fielded its first football team.
USF is known in the cheerleading world and has a strong co-ed team and all-girls squad. In 2010, the All-Girl squad finished 3rd at UCA nationals. The co-ed squad hopes to compete in future UCA Nationals.
The USF Sun Dolls are an all-girl dance team that perform at USF football and basketball games, in addition to competing in the annual Universal Dance Association College Nationals. The USF Cheerleading program consists of two teams — a co-ed team and a competitive all-girl squad. The all-girl squad continually ranks among the top five competitive college squads in the nation.
The USF Winter Guard consistently places in the top of the annual Winter Guard International World Championships, taking home the silver medal in the Independent Open category in 2012 and the bronze medal in the Independent A category in 2006.
Notable non varsity sports
The USF Bulls Rugby Football Club was founded in 1969. The Bulls play college rugby in the South Independent conference against local rivals such as Central Florida and Florida State. The Bulls were the USA Rugby South champions in 2009 and again in 2011. USF used to play Division II, but were promoted to Division I college rugby in 2011. The Bulls play sevens in the fall, and fifteens in the winter and spring. The Bulls are led by Head Coach Gordon Campbell. USF Rugby offers a limited number of scholarships for rugby student-athletes.
- South Florida Historical Data
- USF Earns 1st AP Ranking
- "Athletic Facilities". gousfbulls.com. USF Athletics. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center". gousfbulls.com. USF Athletics. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "USF Names Building Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center". gousfbulls.com. USF Athletics. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "USF History". usf.edu. University of South Florida. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
- "Commencement Ceremony Information". usf.edu. University of South florida. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- "Sun Dome". gousfbulls.com. USF Athletics. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- Louk, Jim. "Goodbye from an old friend". gousfbulls.com. USF Athletics. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "About the Stadium". raymondjamesstadium.com. Tampa Sports Authority. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "Info". usf-sundolls.com. USF Sun Dolls. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "USF Spirit Squads". gousfbulls.com. USF Athletics. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "About". herdofthunder.usf.edu. USF Herd of Thunder. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- Examiner.com, USF Bulls prepare for upcoming fall rugby season, August 11, 2012,
- USF Men's Rugby Club, Officials, http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/usfmensrugbyclub/officials/
- University of South Florida Scholarship Opportunities, USA Rugby. Retrieved October 7, 2014.