Wayne State Wildcats
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (February 2014)|
|Wayne State Wildcats|
|University||Wayne State College|
|Conference||Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference|
|Athletic director||Mike Powicki|
|Football stadium||Memorial Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Rice Auditorium|
|Baseball stadium||Pete Chapman Baseball and Softball Complex|
|Soccer stadium||WSC Soccer Field|
The Wayne State Wildcats are the athletic teams that represent Wayne State College, located in Wayne, Nebraska, in NCAA Division II intercollegiate sports. The Wildcats compete as members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference for all 11 varsity sports.
The college began participating in athletics in 1912, when the football program began. Men's basketball and track and field began around the same time. These were the main sports up to World War II, when Wayne State was a member of the Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Association (NIAA) with Kearney, Chadron, Peru, and for a while, Omaha University. After World War II, the NIAA became the Nebraska College Conference (NCC) and Wayne State began to compete in baseball, cross country, golf, swimming, tennis, wrestling, and for a short period, boxing.
Before 1980, cross country, golf, indoor track and field, swimming, tennis, and wrestling were dropped. In 1997, women's soccer was added to the athletics program.
List of teams
Wayne State began its football program in 1912. In 1970, the team played in a bowl game; it would not do this again until 2007. From 1999, when it joined the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, through 2010, the team maintained a 49–54–0 (.476) record.
Four players off the 1993 team went on to play professional football. Brett Salisbury was the starting quarterback for the Helsinki Giants in Helsinki, Finland. Damon Thomas was an NFL free agent pick-up by the Buffalo Bills. Brad Ottis was a second-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Rams. He also played for the Arizona Cardinals for a few years. Byron Chamberlain was a seventh round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 1995 and later became a Pro Bowl tight end with the Minnesota Vikings in 2001. No other team in Wayne State history has put more players into professional football. The 1993 WSC football team was inducted into the WSC Athletics Hall of Fame on October 5, 2002.
In 2008, it reached the D-II National Playoffs for the first time; it lost in the first round to Chadron State College (Nebraska). In 2011, they defeated Minnesota-Duluth at Bob Cunningham Field in Wayne; this marked the first time that the Wildcats had won a game with a #1-ranked team.