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Cincinnati Bearcats

Cincinnati Bearcats
University University of Cincinnati
Conference The American
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Mike Bohn
Location Cincinnati, Ohio
Varsity teams 19
Football stadium Nippert Stadium
Basketball arena Fifth Third Arena
Baseball stadium Marge Schott Stadium
Other arenas Armory Fieldhouse, Riverfront Coliseum
Mascot Bearcat
Nickname Bearcats
Fight song "Cheer Cincinnati"
     Red       Black
Website .com.cstvgobearcats

The Cincinnati Bearcats are the NCAA athletic teams representing the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. The school's athletic teams are members of the American Athletic Conference (The American), which from 1979 to 2013 was known as the Big East Conference. Cincinnati is currently the only member of The American that is located in the Midwestern United States, all other members are in the Northeast or South.

The Bearcats were previously members of Conference USA, a conference of which they were a founding member. The creation of Conference USA was the result of a merger between the Great Midwest Conference (of which Cincinnati was a member) and the Metro Conference (whom Cincinnati had previously been a member) in 1995. Other collegiate athletic conferences which the school has belonged to includes the Missouri Valley Conference, 1957–1969; the Mid-American Conference, 1947–1952; the Buckeye Athletic Association, 1925–1935, and the Ohio Athletic Conference, 1910–1924.


  • The Bearcat 1
  • National team championships 2
  • National individual championships 3
  • Varsity sports 4
    • Men's basketball 4.1
    • Football 4.2
  • Club sports 5
  • Rivalries 6
  • Athletic facilities 7
  • Radio and television 8
  • Notable alumni 9
    • Baseball 9.1
    • Basketball 9.2
    • Football 9.3
    • Other 9.4
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12

The Bearcat

The Bearcat statue in front of Fifth Third Arena

The Bearcat became the UC mascot on October 31, 1914 in a football game against the UK Wildcats. The key players in the birth of the Bearcat were a star UC player named Baehr, a creative cheerleader, and a talented cartoonist. During the second half of that hard-fought football game, UC cheerleader Norman "Pat" Lyon, building on the efforts of fullback Leonard K. "Teddy" Baehr, created the chant: "They may be Wildcats, but we have a Baehr-cat on our side."

Current version of The Bearcat.

The crowd took up the cry: "Come on, Baehr-cat!" Cincinnati prevailed, 14–7, and the victory was memorialized in a cartoon published on the front page of the student newspaper, the weekly University News, on November 3. The cartoon, by John "Paddy" Reece, depicted a bedraggled Kentucky Wildcat being chased by a creature labeled "Cincinnati Bear Cat".

The name stuck, but not immediately. Following Teddy Baehr's graduation in 1916, the name dropped out of use, at least in print, for a few years. On November 15, 1919, Cincinnati played at Tennessee. Cincinnati Enquirer writer Jack Ryder's dispatch on the game was the first time that the major media called UC's teams "Bearcats." From then on, the university's teams were regularly called Bearcats.[1]

In 2008 the Cincinnati Zoo adopted a three-month-old Binturong or "Bearcat". The zoo had a public naming contest where they decided on the name "Lucy." Lucy is now a prominent figure at the University of Cincinnati and can often be found on Sheakley Lawn before home football games.

National team championships

As of July 2, 2014, Cincinnati has 2 NCAA team national championships.[2]

Below are the 5 National team titles that are not recognized by the NCAA:

  • Women's
    • Dance (5): 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2015

The Bearcats won the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in 1961 and 1962, both times against Ohio State. The UC Dance Team has won 5 National Championships from 2004 through 2006, 2009 and again in 2015. They are the first team in UC history to ever capture three consecutive national titles. They remain one of the top dance programs in the country and are the winningest team in University of Cincinnati history. In 2009 the dance team was also selected to represent the United States of America in the first ever world dance championships where they won the gold medal in all three dance categories. The dance team was asked back to the world competition in 2015.[3]

National individual championships

Charles Keating won the 1946 200m butterfly national title for UC as a member of the men's swimming team and most recently, Josh Schneider[4] did the same in the 50-yard (46 m) freestyle in 2010. In men's diving, Pat Evans (3 m Dive – 1989) and women's diving Becky Ruehl (10 m dive – 1996) have brought home titles for the Bearcats.

Varsity sports

The UC Bearcat Band charges down Nippert Stadium's steps.

The University of Cincinnati sponsors teams in nine men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[5]

Men's basketball

Cincinnati's men's basketball squads have been a perennial bracket team in the NCAA tournament. A prolific era in Bearcats basketball was during the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the Bearcats posted five consecutive Final Four appearances. Unanimous three-time All American guard Oscar Robertson led the nation in scoring during the 1957–58, 1958–59, and 1959–60 seasons and posted a career average of 33.8 points per game, which ranks as the third all-time best in Division I.

Cincinnati has won two national championships in 1961 and 1962. The 1961 and 1962 titles were won under rookie coach Ed Jucker.

Cincinnati fell out of prominence during the early 1970s. After a brief resurgence in the mid-1970s, the program fell on hard times in the 1980s, but was revitalized under head coach Bob Huggins following his hiring in 1989. Under Huggins, the Bearcats compiled a 399–127 record in sixteen seasons, and posted fourteen straight NCAA tournament appearances. The most notable of the teams from the Huggins era was the 1991–1992 team, which lost to the Michigan Wolverines in the Final Four. In addition, Huggins was responsible for recruiting several future NBA players including Kenyon Martin, Corie Blount, Ruben Patterson, Nick Van Exel and DerMarr Johnson.

Postseason tournaments


Club sports

The university has a diverse number of intercollegiate club sports teams. Notable teams include alpine skiing (which competes in the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association), men's baseball, rowing, lacrosse, men's soccer, and the men's ice hockey team (which competes in the American Collegiate Hockey Association DII). The Tennis Club competes in the USTA Tennis on Campus and the Great Lakes Tennis Conference. The Waterski Team were 2008 DII National Champions. The University of Cincinnati Rugby Football Club was established in 1971 and competes in Division 1 college rugby in the MAC conference.

Club sports at Cincinnati operate in a tier system. The top tier are the Tier 5 sports, which are classified as semi-varsity. These clubs operate at a level similar to a varsity team in sports for which Cincinnati lacks varsity representation, and the tier reflects the commitment these students dedicate to their club. The three Tier 5 semi-varsity sports as of 2013 are equestrian, men's ice hockey, and men's and women's rowing.[6]


An early version of the UC Bearcats logo, from 1922

Cincinnati's oldest football rivalry, begun in 1888, is with Miami University, located in Oxford, Ohio about 40 miles to the northwest. The Victory Bell awarded to the winner of each contest.

Cincinnati and the University of Louisville battle for the Keg of Nails annually. This rivalry dates back to 1929. As of 2009, there are no nails in the Keg of Nails, nor does anyone know if there ever were any in the first place.

When Cincinnati joined the Big East in 2005, they and the University of Pittsburgh started the River City Rivalry. The game is a battle for the River City Rivalry trophy.

In basketball, the Bearcats' crosstown rival is the Xavier University Musketeers. Xavier is located less than 3 miles from the University of Cincinnati's main campus. The Bearcats and the Muskies meet annually in the popular Skyline Chili Crosstown Classic. The Bearcats also have basketball rivalries with the Temple Owls, Charlotte 49ers and Memphis Tigers, while Louisville Cardinals remains the biggest game.

Cincinnati also has an intermittent rivalry with Ohio State University and the University of Kentucky. Although Cincinnati does not play either school regularly, these are geographic rivals. Other than Louisville, they are the closest universities of similar size and stature. In 1960 Cincinnati lost to the California Golden Bears in the National Semi-Finals. The next two years, they beat Ohio State in both of its back-to-back national title games in basketball.

Athletic facilities

All of the athletic facilities (with the exception of Fifth Third Arena and Marge Schott Stadium) are open 24/7 for student use.[7]

  • Richard E. Lindner Varsity Village
    • Commissioned as part of UC's entrance into the Big East and serves as the centerpiece of UC's athletic facilities. It opened in 2006 and includes the Richard E. Linder Center, which provides training, meeting, studying, and classroom space, as well as the George and Helen Smith Athletics Museum. Also located here is the Sheakley Lawn, which is reserved for students and club sports.
  • Marge Schott Stadium
    • Home to the UC Baseball team. It is named for the former owner of the Cincinnati Reds, Marge Schott, and replaced Johnny Bench Field. Shortly after this facility opened in 2006, it was named by Big East coaches and players as the best baseball facility in the conference.
  • Armory Fieldhouse
Nippert Stadium
    • Home of UC indoor Track and Field teams and former home of the Men's and Women's Basketball teams
  • Fifth Third Arena
    • Home to UC Men's and Women's Basketball teams
  • Nippert Stadium
    • Home to UC's Football team
  • Gettler Stadium
    • Home to UC Men's and Women's Soccer and Track and Field teams
  • Trabert-Talbert Tennis Center
    • Home to UC Women's Tennis teams; opened in May 2006, It features six courts in three different sections with lighting and grandstand seating for 500.
  • Keating Aquatic Center
    • Home to UC Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving teams
  • Sheakley Athletics Center
    • Home to UC's Women's Lacrosse; is the permanent home for the Women's Lacrosse team. The facility includes two football fields, including a 50-yard field and a 100-yard field. From November through February, the 100-yard field becomes an indoor practice facility, covered by an air-supported bubble The facility has been home to Purcell Marian High School football games when the bubble is not up since 2010, Sheakley Athletics Center also hosts Crosstown Showdown games during the first few weeks of the season.

Radio and television

Since 1992, WLW has been the radio home for Bearcats athletics. Dan Hoard has been the play-by-play announcer for both basketball and football since 2000. Former Bearcat Chuck Machock started in 1992 as the color commentator for basketball games. Jim Kelly, a Bearcat wide receiver during the mid 1970s, provides color commentary for football. Mo Egger is the Football pregame and postgame host. Former Bearcat QB Tony Pike in 2015 was named the sideline reporter. Tom Gelehrter the former sideline reporter fills in for Dan Hoard, when Hoard is with the Bengals on the road, Gelehrter also handles play by-play for games televised on FSN Ohio. WEBN or WKRC (AM) airs football or basketball games when there is a conflict on WLW with the Cincinnati Reds or Cincinnati Bengals. Mo Egger is the backup for basketball when Tom Gelehrter is not available. Starting in 2008, Fox Sports Ohio became the local TV flagship station for basketball games.

Tom Gelehrter replaced Michael Reghi as the play by play for non-conference basketball games on FSN Ohio beginning in 2010[8] former Bearcat Anthony Buford, was released from his color commentary duties after pleading guilty in a mortgage fraud scheme[9] Terry Nelson,[10] a former bearcat, replaced Buford for color commentary.

Notable alumni


Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax
All Star Kevin Youkilis





  1. ^ "History of the Bearcat, University of Cincinnati". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "World Champions!". Retrieved July 27, 2011. 
  4. ^ "University of Cincinnati swimmer Josh Schneider won national championship. Next up? Olympics, University of Cincinnati". August 18, 2010. Retrieved January 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ 1 second ago (2015-10-18). "University Of Cincinnati Official Athletic Site". Gobearcats.Com. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  6. ^ University of Cincinnati, Club Sports Handbook,
  7. ^ "University of Cincinnati Official Athletic Site". Retrieved January 17, 2011. 
  8. ^ "FOX Sports Ohio Announces 2010–11 UC Basketball Telecast Schedule". 
  9. ^ Eck, Denise. "Former UC star Anthony Buford admits guilt in mortgage fraud scheme". Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  10. ^ Kiesewetter, John. "Terry Nelson Joins UC TV Team". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved October 27, 2011. 
  11. ^ Sacramento Kings – Boston Celtics Blog – ESPN Boston

Further reading

  • Grace, Kevin. "Cincinnati on Field and Court: The Sports Legacy of the Queen City." Chicago, IL: Arcadia, 2002.
  • Grace, Kevin. "Cincinnati Hoops." Chicago, IL: Arcadia, 2003.
  • Grace, Kevin; Hand, Greg; Hathaway, Tom; Hoffman, Carey. "Bearcats! The Story of Basketball at the University of Cincinnati." Louisville, KY: Harmony House, 1998.

External links

  • Official website
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