Indiana Athletics - Tradition

    Indiana University's total intercollegiate athletic program has received national and international acclaim. From its humble beginnings with baseball in 1867, the Hoosier athletic program has grown to include over 600 male and female student-athletes on 24 varsity teams boasting one of the nation's best overall records.

    The Hoosiers became a member of the prestigious Big Ten Conference December 1, 1899. The school's national affiliation is with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). National team titles (now totaling 24; 23 NCAA, 1 AIAW) have been won in six men's sports and one women's sport, topped by a record-setting six straight men's swimming & diving titles, seven men's soccer crowns and five titles in men's basketball. Indiana student-athletes have won 132 NCAA individual titles.

    Several Hoosier teams have set some remarkable standards for current IU teams, including such feats as 20 consecutive Big Ten men's swimming & diving championships, 11 men's basketball titles in a 21-year period, 16 Big Ten women's tennis titles in a 21-year period -- including the 1982 AIAW national team and singles titles. Football teams have won two Conference crowns and the 1979 Holiday Bowl, the 1988 Liberty Bowl and the 1991 Copper Bowl with appearances in the Rose Bowl (1968), All-American Bowl (1986), Peach Bowl (1988 & 1990), Independence Bowl (1993) and Insight Bowl (2007).

    People are what make Indiana University Athletics special, people who have dedicated themselves to stressing the values of education while striving for the best in athletics. Several great names have been associated with Indiana coaching positions starting with the Golden 1930s when Everett Dean and Branch McCracken led the basketball team, Bo McMillin roamed the football sidelines, E.C. "Billy" Hayes worked with track & field/cross country and Billy Thom developed wrestling champions. The current Hoosier coaching staff continues the tradition of excellence.


    Indiana student-athletes also have excelled in every Olympic Games competition since Los Angeles hosted in 1932. The Hoosier Olympic gold medalists, especially in swimming & diving, read like a Who's-Who for their respective sports. One Indiana gold medalist stands out, Mark Spitz, who captured a remarkable seven swimming gold medals in seven world record times at the 1972 Games in Munich. Two IU athletes and two coaches participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympics as former IU diver Sara Hildebrand took part in the 10 meter platform competition, and IU alumnus Dee Dee Nathan competed in the heptathlon. Hildebrand was coached during the Olympic Games by current IU diving coach Dr. Jeff Huber. At the most recent summer games in Athens, six individuals with IU ties represented the United States, while one former IU athlete represented the host-country, Greece. In the diving portion of the '04 Olympics, Hildebrand made her second trip to the games along with then-senior Cassandra Cardinell and 1998 graduate, Kimiko Soldati. Current IU grad assistant jumps coach and former IU All-American Rose Richmond competed in the long jump. In addition, Phil Trinter (former football player from 1988-91) was in the Keelboat Men-Star sailing competition and Vasili Spanos, a 2003 graduate, was part of the Greece national baseball team.

    Four different Indiana student-athletes have earned the coveted James E. Sullivan Memorial Award honoring the top amateur athlete in the United States. The Big Ten Conference has recognized a male and female student-athlete each year since 1983 with the coveted Jesse Owens Award as the Conference outstanding athlete in all sports; four Hoosier males have received this honor. Three Hoosier females have received the Honda Broderick Award as the best in their respective sports.

    Indiana student-athletes compete in some of the nation's best facilities. The current IU athletic plant dates from 1960 when Memorial Stadium and the Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse opened. Other major facilities have been added including Assembly Hall, Bill Armstrong Stadium, a greatly expanded Billy Hayes Track at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex, Varsity Tennis Courts, Tennis Center, John Mellencamp Pavilion (a multi-purpose indoor practice facility), and the 50-meter Counsilman Aquatics Center and Billingsley Diving Well in the Student Recreational Sports Complex (SRSC).

    IU Pep Band
    IU Pep Band

    The Athletics Department at IU is committed to academic integrity and compliance with NCAA regulations. See our Compliance Page and read our mission statement, our NCAA Certification Self Study, and the latest Compliance Newsletter.

    Indiana University Athletics is also committed to fostering equal opportunity for both men and women athletes. Read about our latest steps toward Title IX gender equity with our Policy for Adding Varsity Sports.


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