The NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS are the athletic teams that represent
Northwestern University , a founding member of the
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
Illinois University Athletic Director Jim Phillips, who took
office in April 2008.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Origin of the name
* 1.2 Traditions
* 2 Sports sponsored
* 2.1 Football
* 2.3 Women\'s lacrosse
* 2.4 Wrestling
* 2.5 Golf
* 2.6 Soccer
* 2.8 Swimming
* 3 Rivalries
* 4 2005–2006
* 5 National championships
NCAA team championships
* 5.2 Other national team championships
* 6 Notable alumni
* 7 References
* 8 External links
Northwestern is a charter member of the
Big Ten Conference . Ever
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
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
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 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 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 , 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.
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.
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 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 away game
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
Swimming & diving
Swimming "> Wildcats blimpcam at
Welsh-Ryan Arena (2012-02-21)
The men's basketball team did not earn a bid to the
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 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 Tournament in 1979,
1980, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1997, and 2015.
Northwestern Wildcats Women\'s
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
White House photo with President Bush wearing thong sandals, or
flip-flops , dubbed as the "
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
Northwestern University Wildcats men's wrestling team competes in
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 All-Americans while at Northwestern
NCAA Champions: Dustin Fox at Heavyweight in 2008, Jake Herbert
at 184 lbs. in 2007 -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em;
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Check date values in: access-date= (help )
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