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The NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS are the athletic teams that represent Northwestern University
Northwestern University
, a founding member of the Big Ten
Big Ten
Conference and the only private university in the conference. Northwestern has eight men's and eleven women's NCAA Division I
NCAA Division I
sports teams. The mascot is Willie the Wildcat . The athletic director is former Northern Illinois
Illinois
University Athletic Director Jim Phillips, who took office in April 2008.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Origin of the name * 1.2 Traditions

* 2 Sports sponsored

* 2.1 Football * 2.2 Basketball
Basketball
* 2.3 Women\'s lacrosse * 2.4 Wrestling * 2.5 Golf * 2.6 Soccer * 2.7 Softball
Softball
* 2.8 Swimming

* 3 Rivalries * 4 2005–2006

* 5 National championships

* 5.1 NCAA
NCAA
team championships * 5.2 Other national team championships

* 6 Notable alumni * 7 References * 8 External links

HISTORY

Northwestern is a charter member of the Big Ten
Big Ten
Conference . Ever since the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
dropped out in 1946, Northwestern has been the only private institution in the conference. At only 8,200 undergraduates, it is by far the smallest. The second-smallest school, Iowa , is almost three times as large as Northwestern, at 21,000 undergraduates.

Currently, Northwestern fields 19 intercollegiate athletic teams (8 men's and 11 women's) in addition to numerous club sports. Current successful athletic programs include football, men's soccer, wrestling , men's swimming, men's golf, women's tennis, softball, fencing and women\'s lacrosse . The women's lacrosse team is the six-time NCAA national champion , and went undefeated in 2005. The 1930–31 Wildcats were retroactively named national champions by both the Helms Athletic Foundation (in 1942) and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll .

The Northwestern Athletics' mascot is Willie the Wildcat . However, the team's first mascot was not Willie, but a live, caged bear cub from the Lincoln Park Zoo named Furpaw. In fall 1923, Furpaw was driven to the playing field to greet the fans before each game. After a losing season, the team decided that Furpaw was the harbinger of bad luck and banished him from campus. Willie made his debut ten years later in 1933 as a logo, but did not actually come to life until 1947, when members of the Alpha Delta fraternity dressed up as him during the Homecoming parade. The Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Marching Band (NUMB) performs at all home football and lead cheers in the student section and the alma mater at the end of the game. Ryan Field , Northwestern's 49,000 seat football stadium

In 1998, two former Northwestern basketball players were charged and convicted for sports bribery as a result of being paid to shave points in games against three other Big Ten
Big Ten
schools during the 1995 season. The football team became embroiled in a different betting scandal later that year when federal prosecutors indicted four former players for perjury related to betting on their own games. In August 2001, Rashidi Wheeler, a senior safety , collapsed and died during practice from an asthma attack . An autopsy revealed that he had ephedrine , a stimulant banned by the NCAA
NCAA
, in his system which prompted Northwestern to investigate the prevalence of stimulants and other banned substances across all of its athletic programs. In 2006, the Northwestern women's soccer team was suspended and coach Jenny Haigh resigned following the release of images of alleged hazing .

ORIGIN OF THE NAME

Northwestern's athletic teams are nicknamed the Wildcats. Before 1924, they were known as "The Purple" and unofficially as "The Fighting Methodists." The name Wildcats was bestowed upon the university in 1924 by Wallace Abbey, a writer for the Chicago Daily Tribune who wrote that even in a loss to the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
, "Football players had not come down from Evanston; wildcats would be a name better suited to Coach Glenn Thistletwaite\'s boys." The team was also referred to in the article as "a Purple wall of wildcats." The name was so popular that university board members made "Wildcats" the official nickname just months later. In 1972, the student body voted to change the official nickname from "Wildcats" to "Purple Haze" but the new name never stuck.

TRADITIONS

The Northwestern University
Northwestern University
"Wildcat" Marching Band forms the "Sculpted N" and performs "Go U Northwestern!" to close its pregame performance at the 2005 Sun Bowl under the direction of Daniel J. Farris.

During football games, students jingle their car keys before every kickoff and punt. When Northwestern is on defense, students extend their arms, make a claw with their hands, and growl. The "official" cheer at Northwestern sporting events is the chant "Go U! NU!" Students also commonly taunt opposing sports teams with "State-school, state-school", referencing that all institutions of the Big Ten conference, except for Northwestern, are public universities.

The Northwestern student section is led in their cheers by the Northwestern University
Northwestern University
WildPride Spirit Squad, who performs on the sidelines during all home games and accompanies the football team to all away games. The NUMB performs on the field and in the stands at all home games and follows the football team to one Big Ten
Big Ten
away game per season.

For many years, students would throw marshmallows at the kick-off of football games. Northwestern archivist Patrick Quinn says that students were likely "trying to get them into the tubas, and then started throwing them at each other", leading to the tradition of throwing marshmallows at the field. While Gary Barnett was football coach, he banned marshmallows because they supposedly detracted from the serious level of football that he wanted for the school.

Northwestern's fight song is " Go U Northwestern " A secondary fight song is "Rise Northwestern (Push on Song)", the final 4-measure tag (ending with a shouted "Go, 'Cats!") of which is often played after first downs.

SPORTS SPONSORED

MEN\'S SPORTS WOMEN\'S SPORTS

Baseball
Baseball
Basketball
Basketball

Basketball
Basketball
Cross country

Football Fencing

Golf Field hockey

Soccer Golf

Swimming & diving Lacrosse
Lacrosse

Tennis Soccer

Wrestling Softball
Softball

Swimming "> Wildcats blimpcam at Welsh-Ryan Arena (2012-02-21)

The men's basketball team did not earn a bid to the NCAA
NCAA
tournament until 2017. Its last conference championship came in 1933, when it tied with Ohio State . The 1931 team was retro-picked as national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation and, later, by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll . The Wildcats have played in the National Invitation Tournament seven times, most recently in 2012. The team plays its home games in Welsh-Ryan Arena , where it is cheered on by the Wildside student section. The head coach is former Duke Associate Head Coach Chris Collins; he succeeds Bill Carmody . Under Carmody, a former head coach at Princeton , the team ran the Princeton offense .

Northwestern was the only school from a Power Five conference , and one of the few long-standing members of Division I, to have never played in the NCAA
NCAA
Tournament. In 2017, the painful wait for the NCAA championship finally ended, when the Wildcats earned a tournament berth. They won their first found matchup against Vanderbilt University, but lost to number one seed Gonzaga in the second round.

The women's team has made appearances in the NCAA
NCAA
Tournament in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1997, and 2015.

WOMEN\'S LACROSSE

Main article: Northwestern Wildcats
Northwestern Wildcats
Women\'s Lacrosse
Lacrosse

Northwestern has won the national championship in women\'s lacrosse five straight times, from 2005 to 2009, and then again in 2011 and 2012, giving them 7 championships in 8 years. In 2007, the team joined Maryland as the only other school to three-peat. The run started in 2005, when the team enjoyed a perfect season and defeated many long-established east-coast schools after only five years as a varsity sport to capture the school's first national championship since 1941. In doing so, it became the westernmost institution to ever win the title. Soon after, the team made national news when members appeared in a White House
White House
photo with President Bush wearing thong sandals, or flip-flops , dubbed as the " White House
White House
flip-flop flap." The 2009 season also was an undefeated run. In their five championship seasons, the Wildcats have a 106–3 record.

In 2006 and 2007, Kristen Kjellman received the Tewaaraton Trophy , which honors the best collegiate lacrosse player in the country. She was the first player from a non-East coast school to win the distinction, and the first player to be a two-time winner. Midfielder Hannah Nielsen received the award in 2008 and 2009, the second player to be a two-time winner. Northwestern's Shannon Smith won the award in 2011.

WRESTLING

The Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Wildcats men's wrestling team competes in the NCAA Division I
NCAA Division I
Championships in the Welsh-Ryan Arena . The wrestling facilities are named in honor of Ken Kraft, for his 48 years of involvement with the Northwestern wrestling program. Kraft was a four-year member of the Wildcat wrestling squad and NU's head coach for 22 years. In 2004, Kraft retired after spending 51 years at NU as an athlete, coach and administrator. Drew Pariano is the current head coach for the Wildcats succeeding his college coach, Tim Cysewski, in 2010. Pariano has coached 11 NCAA
NCAA
All-Americans while at Northwestern and 3 NCAA
NCAA
Champions: Dustin Fox at Heavyweight in 2008, Jake Herbert at 184 lbs. in 2007 -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">

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Northwestern University
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Northwestern University
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EXTERNAL LINKS

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