Santa Clara Broncos
|Santa Clara Broncos|
|University||Santa Clara University|
|Conference(s)||West Coast Conference|
|Athletics director||Dan Coonan|
|Location||Santa Clara, CA|
|Basketball arena||Leavey Center|
|Baseball stadium||Stephen Schott Stadium|
|Soccer stadium||Buck Shaw Stadium|
|Fight song||"Fight For Santa Clara"|
|Colors||Red and White
|Homepage||Santa Clara Athletics Website|
The Santa Clara Broncos is the nickname of the athletic teams at Santa Clara University.1 The school colors are red and white. The mascot is a bucking bronco and the fans are referred to as the "Ruff Riders". The Broncos compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as members of the West Coast Conference of which Santa Clara is a charter member.2
- 1 Teams
- 2 Rivalries
- 3 Varsity sports
- 4 Former varsity sports
- 5 Club sports
- 6 Santa Clara Athletic Hall of Fame
- 7 References
Men's Intercollegiate Sports
Women's Intercollegiate Sports
- ‡ = Men's rowing is sanctioned by the Intercollegiate Rowing Association, not by the NCAA. Santa Clara's men's rowing team competes in the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA), and the women's team competes in both the West Coast Conference and the WIRA.
- ^ = The men's and women's track and field teams compete as independents.
- ¶ = The men's and women's water polo teams compete in the Western Water Polo Association'
The Santa Clara vs. Stanford rivalry can be traced back to 1902 with the rivalry of their football teams with such events as the "The Big Game" in 1916. When Santa Clara discontinued their football team, the rivalry continued through their rugby athletic programs. From that point on the Santa Clara vs. Stanford rivalry has grown to include many of both schools' athletics programs, resulting in highly heated battles. In the sport of soccer the rivalry is one of the most competitive for both schools, with both teams often finding themselves competitors on the road to national titles. The rivalry is Stanford's longest uninterrupted rivalry with any team except Cal.
The Santa Clara vs. Cal rivalry has existed for many decades as both schools are the two oldest schools on the West Coast. The rivalry first started with the competition between both schools football teams, and then rugby teams in response to dangers present in American football. The rivalry now includes many of the two schools' programs.
Within the West Coast Conference, Santa Clara's bitterest rival is the University of San Francisco Dons. As comparably sized Jesuit schools within an hour's drive, these two schools have competed against each other for decades.4 The Rivalry was originally rooted in the two schools' football programs, who both played home games at Kezar Stadium. After USF dropped football in 1952, the rivalry was most heated in men's basketball, as both teams were nationally ranked in the 1950s, with Santa Clara appearing in the tournament in 1952, 1953, and 1954 and USF winning the tournament in 1954 and 1955.
The Saint Mary's Gaels are considered, second only to USF, as Santa Clara's most heated rival. The school is located within an hour and a half drive and is also a member of the West Coast Conference. While Santa Clara and USF are comparable in size and are both Jesuit, Santa Clara and St. Mary's are very different. The more rural St. Mary's is a Christian Brothers school and is much smaller than Santa Clara. With USF dropping football in 1952, St. Mary's became Santa Clara's most heated football rival until both programs meet their end in the 1990s. The football game between the schools was known as the "Little Big Game", a reference to Stanford and Cal's "Big Game". The game may have been called little, but in the 1920s and 1930s, it was attended by more than 60,000 fans. Although the schools no longer meet on the gridiron, basketball games remain fierce and competitive.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs were not well known athletically until they made inspired runs in the NCAA tournament in the 1990s and 2000s. As an West Coast Conference opponent and a Jesuit institution, the Bulldogs are a natural rival for the Broncos on the hardwood. On February 12, 2007, the Bronco basketball team snapped Gonzaga's 50 game home winning streak. At the time, it was the longest ongoing home winning streak in the NCAA.
Men's Basketball played its first season in 1904. Since then, the men's basketball team has historically been a strong program within the West Coast Conference. The program has produced 13 All-Americans, with their first, Bob Feerick, coming in the 1942 season. The program has produced NBA stars Steve Nash, and Kurt Rambis, as well as college stars Ken Sears, and Bob Ferrick. The Team has played in the NCAA tournament in 11 different seasons, reaching the 1952 Final Four. The 1992-1993 Santa Clara team, led by future NBA MVP Steve Nash, was one of 6 #15 seeds to defeat a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
On February 12, 2007, the men's basketball team snapped Gonzaga's 50 game home winning streak. At the time, it was the longest ongoing home winning streak in the NCAA.
Women's Basketball played its first season in 1963. Since then, the women's basketball team has historically been a strong program within the West Coast Conference. The Women's Basketball team won the WNIT in 1991.
The men's soccer team is one of the nation's elite teams having since 2006 been among the top eight programs of the NCAA for developing professional players overall. The men's soccer team has reached the championship match of the College Cup three times. In 1989, they faced the University of Virginia and played to a 1-1 tie that was called due to darkness after 2 overtimes, earning both Santa Clara and Virginia a share of the National Championship. In 1991 they again faced Virginia and again tied after regulation, this time 0-0, but lost to the Cavaliers on penalty kicks. In 1999, they lost to Indiana University, 0-1.
The women's soccer team is one of the nation's elite programs in the NCAA consistently ranking among the top ten teams nationally with twenty consecutive years in the Top 10. The program won the national title in the 2001 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship, beating University of North Carolina 1-0. The team was mentioned several times in the film Bend It Like Beckham.
The team has had thirty three players in Women's Professional Soccer and has won seven Olympic Medals. The team's most famous player is Brandi Chastain who took the Broncos to two NCAA Final Four appearances in 1989 and 1990. She would later be on the American Olympic team that won the gold medal in 1996 and the American World Cup teams that won in 1991 and 1999. Her husband Jerry Smith is the coach of the Santa Clara women's team.
Santa Clara University fielded an intercollegiate football team from 1896 to 1992, competing against traditional arch-rivals the University of San Francisco and St. Mary's College, as well as maintaining what were then much more fierce rivalries with Stanford University and the University of California. The Broncos were the first team to play the Cal Bears in Memorial Stadium. In Santa Clara's football heyday, they drew crowds of up to 60,000 to Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, where they played home games. The Broncos competed favorably on a national scale, winning the 1937 and 1938 Sugar Bowls (both against Louisiana State) and the 1950 Orange Bowl against Paul "Bear" Bryant's Kentucky Wildcats, 21-13.
Combatting increased costs, rising enrollments at public universities and the advent of professional football, Santa Clara dropped football in 1952, never to return to national prominence. The team was reinstated in 1959 and competed favorably at the college division (later Division II) level until football was once again discontinued in 1992, due to new NCAA regulations which mandated all sports be played at the same level at each university. Santa Clara had fielded all Division I teams with the exception of the Division II football team, and elected not to field a team at the Division I-AA level.
There is no indication football will return to the school in the future, although rumors of the return of Bronco football have not been put to rest. Advocates for the reinstatement of the football program argue that major collegiate football will generate enormous media buzz surrounding the small university.
Sponsored club sports include:
The Santa Clara Women's Lacrosse team has made it to nationals multiple years and placed 3rd in the 2011 season. In 2008, the Santa Clara Paintball Team made it to the final rounds of the NCPA national competition in Florida.
In 2008, the Santa Clara men's rugby club reached the Pacific Coast Playoffs, which were held that year in Orem, Utah. They ousted a powerful Western Washington club before falling to eventual division champion Utah Valley State. The Santa Clara University Touring Side (SCUTS) followed with a strong 2009 campaign. In 2010, the SCUTS qualified for the National tournament held in Sanford, Florida, with the 2nd seed from the Pacific, and finished ranked 16th in the nation. Following their success on the DII national stage and the creation of the College Premier Division, the SCUTS made the move to DI in the Northern California League (Nor Cal League).5 In 2012 Santa Clara Men's Rugby won the 2012 Nor Cal Conference Championship and advanced to the D1 Sweet 16 National Playoffs.6 Santa Clara rugby is lead by head coach Paul Keeler.
In 2011, the Santa Clara Women's rugby team competed in the USA Rugby Women's College Sevens National Championships.
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