UC Irvine Anteaters
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2015)|
|UC Irvine Anteaters|
|University||University of California, Irvine|
|Conference||Big West Conference
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
|Athletic director||Mike Izzi|
|Basketball arena||Bren Events Center|
|Baseball stadium||Anteater Ballpark|
|Soccer stadium||Anteater Stadium|
|Other arenas||Crawford Hall
Anteater Aquatics Complex
Anteater Recreation Center
UC Irvine Tennis Stadium
|Fight song||"Anteaters, Go!" and "The Big C"|
The UC Irvine Anteaters is the nickname used for the sports teams representing the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine).
UC Irvine fields nationally competitive teams in men's baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country running, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, women's indoor track & field, men's and women's outdoor track & field, men's and women's volleyball, and men's and women's water polo. The Anteaters have won 28 national championships in nine different team sports. 64 Anteaters have won individual national championships, and 53 Anteaters have competed in the Olympics.
|This section does not cite any sources. (October 2014)|
|This section requires expansion with: coverage of women's athletic teams. (October 2015)|
During the 1982 season the men's basketball team were led by two-time first team All-American Kevin Magee. That season, the team was ranked as high as No. 19 in the nation for NCAA Division I basketball. During the 1986 season the Anteaters were led by future NBA player and former head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Scott Brooks.
The Anteaters hired Golden State Warriors assistant Russell Turner as the head men's basketball coach in 2010. Turner was named Big West Conference Coach of the Year after he led the Anteaters to the 2013-2014 conference regular season championship.
UC Irvine's baseball team won two national championships at the College Division and the Division II level in 1973 and 1974, prior to moving to Division I. The program was eliminated in 1992 due to state budget cuts, but was reinstated in 2002.
Since the return of its baseball program in 2002, UCI has been ranked as high as No. 1 in the country. In 2007, UCI participated in the College World Series for the first time in school history. The Anteaters eliminated both Cal State Fullerton and Arizona State before losing to Oregon State, earning a 3rd place finish. In 2014, the Anteaters returned to the College World Series and earned a 5th place finish.
The man who helped rebuild UCI's baseball program, manager Dave Serrano, left after the 2007 season to manage at Cal State Fullerton. Mike Gillespie, who is best known for leading USC to the 1998 national championship, replaced Serrano and is the current manager of the Anteaters.
UCI soccer plays its home games at Anteater Stadium. The men's team has been ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation and has made five Division I NCAA tournament appearances with berths in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2014. In addition, since the introduction of the Big West Conference Tournament for soccer in 2008 the Anteaters have won the tournament championship four times. The women's team has made two Division I NCAA tournament appearances with berths in 2010 and 2011.
UC Irvine men's volleyball has won a total of four national championships, with titles in 2007, 2009, 2012, and 2013.
The Anteaters made their first final four appearance in 2006, losing in the NCAA semi-finals to Penn State. They won their first national championship in 2007 by defeating IPFW 3–1 in the NCAA final. UCI won its second national championship in 2009 after defeating USC 3-2 in a five-set comeback victory in the NCAA final. The Anteaters won their third NCAA men's volleyball title in 2012 after defeating USC again in the NCAA final, this time in a 3-0 sweep at the Galen Center. UCI's longtime head coach John Speraw had guided the Anteaters to three national championships in six years but immediately after winning the 2012 national title he left UCI after accepting the head coaching position at UCLA.
UC Irvine alum and former assistant coach David Kniffin took over the Anteater program in 2013 and became just the second head coach in NCAA men's volleyball history to win a national championship in his first season. In the 2013 NCAA final the Anteaters defeated BYU in a 3-0 sweep to win back-to-back national championships.
UC Irvine's men's water polo team won three NCAA Division I national championships in 1970, 1982, and 1989.
UCI's head men's water polo coach for many years was Ted Newland. As the Anteaters' head coach from 1966-2005, Newland had a lifetime record of 714–345–5. In his 39 years at the helm the Anteaters won three national championships, and the team was consistently rated among the nation's top 5 programs. Many world-class water polo players have been affiliated with UCI, with more than 70 NCAA All-Americans and 13 Olympians being produced by the program. Four Anteaters were a part of the United States team that won the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
|This section requires expansion with: Volleyball championships. (January 2016)|
|NCAA||Division II||Baseball (2)||1973||Ithaca||9–6|
|This section does not cite any sources. (October 2014)|
The UCI basketball teams compete at the on-campus Bren Events Center. The volleyball teams compete at the nearby Crawford Hall, while using the Bren for some games where high attendance is expected. The baseball team plays in Anteater Ballpark, which is located behind the Mesa Parking Structure. Anteater Stadium itself is part of UCI's Crawford Athletics Complex, which houses the track and swimming facilities.