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Arizona State Sun Devils
Sparky.png
University Arizona State University
Conference Pacific-10 Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletics director Lisa Love
Location Tempe, AZ
Varsity teams 20
Football stadium Sun Devil Stadium
Basketball arena Wells Fargo Arena
Baseball stadium Packard Stadium
Mascot Sparky
Nickname Sun Devils
Fight song
Colors Maroon and Gold

             

Homepage www.thesundevils.com

The Arizona State Sun Devils are the athletic teams representing Arizona State University. ASU has nine men's and eleven women's varsity teams competing in the NCAA Pacific-10 Conference. The men compete in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, swimming/diving, tennis, track, and wrestling. Women compete in basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis, track, volleyball, and water polo.

Athletes at ASU are known as "Sun Devils," a nickname adopted in 1946; earlier nicknames were the Normals or the Owls and, later, the Bulldogs. The nickname was said to have come from sportswriter Ryan Drost, of New Milford, Connecticut, who wrote "Lets call them Sun Devils," and the name eventually caught on the with the university. The Sun Devil mascot, Sparky, was designed by former Disney illustrator Bert Anthony. ASU's chief rival is the University of Arizona Wildcats.

Contents

Notable athletic achievements

ASU won national championships in men's archery 15 times, women's archery 21 times, mixed archery 20 times, men's badminton 13 times, women's badminton 17 times and mixed badminton 10 times ( all which are not recognized by the NCAA). ASU also have NCAA championships in Baseball five times, women's tennis three times, men's gymnastics once, men's track and field once, women's outdoor track and field twice, women's indoor track and field once, wrestling once, men's golf twice, women's golf 13 times, women's softball once, and women's swimming and diving seven times, for a total of 132 national championships. Additionally, the men's basketball team has participated in 12 NCAA tournaments and the football team won the Rose Bowl in 1987 as well as the Fiesta Bowl in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, and 1982.

Total No. of NCAA Championships: 20

Sports

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Football

The Sun Devils played in the Border Conference between 1931 and 1961, before joining the Western Athletic Conference the following year. Led by legendary head coach Frank Kush, the Sun Devils posted a remarkable 62-9 record between 1970 and 1975, culminating in a 17-14 upset of the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 1975 Fiesta Bowl.

In 1978, both ASU and the University of Arizona joined the Pacific-10 (then called the Pacific-8) Conference, and in that year ASU celebrated with an emotional 20–7 victory over number-one-ranked University of Southern California. The Sun Devils then began a slow decline, interrupted only briefly by victories in the 1983 Fiesta Bowl and 1987 Rose Bowl. After a 1987 Freedom Bowl victory over Air Force, the Sun Devils went a combined 43–44–1 between 1988 and 1995.

In 1996, the Sun Devils went a surprising 11-1, highlighted by a 19–0 shutout of the number-one-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers in Tempe snapping the two-time defending national champions 26 game overall winning streak and 37 game regular season winning streak. ASU quarterback Jake Plummer led the Sun Devils, propelling Arizona State into the Rose Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes. In a game with National Championship potential, the Sun Devils held a slim 17–14 lead with 1:47 left in the fourth quarter, but surrendered a late touchdown to Ohio State, falling by a final score of 20-17.

Between 1997 and 2000, the Sun Devils underachieved greatly, leading to the dismissal of popular head football coach Bruce Snyder. The hiring of head coach Dirk Koetter from Boise State University gave the Sun Devils a charismatic leader with a penchant for molding strong quarterbacks.

Arizona State began the Dirk Koetter era with a thud, falling to 4-7 in 2001. However, ASU improved to 8-6 in 2002, highlighted by the play of defensive end Terrell Suggs and wide receiver Shaun McDonald. Quarterback Andrew Walter emerged to pass for a staggering 3,877 yards and 28 touchdowns. The Sun Devils eventually lost a nailbiter 34–27 to Kansas State University in the 2003 Holiday Bowl.

In 2004, the Sun Devils surprised nearly everyone, jumping out to a 5-0 record (including an impressive 44-7 victory over #12 Iowa in Tempe). Andrew Walter led the suddenly resurgent Sun Devils, passing for 1,249 yards and 15 TDs through five games. This set up an attractive matchup between ASU and Southern California in Los Angeles on October 16, 2004, which they lost badly, damaging any hopes at achieving national credibility. After a dramatic come from behind victory over Stanford University and a win over Washington State in a game in which ASU retired Pat Tillman's number, they ended up losing to rival University of Arizona. ASU won the Vitalis Sun Bowl over Purdue, 27-23, on New Year's Eve.

2005 brought another unimpressive 7-5 record. The Sun Devils lost to Louisiana State University in that school's first game after Hurricane Katrina. Another loss to USC was emotional, considering the Sun Devils led at the half. Stanford University upset the Devils, which cost the school its national ranking. The wins over Washington State and Washington were unable to get back the ranking. In a 23-20 victory over archrival Arizona, the Sun Devils clinched a berth in, and eventually won, the Insight Bowl against Rutgers.

2006 Sun Devil Football started off strong with wins over NAU, Nevada, and Colorado. The Devils then lost three straight against ranked conference opponents. Homecoming weekend brought the Devils to 4–3 with a 38-3 victory over Stanford. Dirk Koetter was fired after six subpar seasons, and on December 6, 2006, athletic director Lisa Love hired Dennis Erickson to become the head coach at ASU.

In the 2007 season the Devils jumped out to an 8–0 start with a notable victory over then 18th ranked Cal. The Sun Devils finished the season 10–3, with a final ranking of 11th in the BCS rankings. The Sun Devils were defeated by then-11th ranked USC at Sun Devil Stadium 44-24 on Thanksgiving Day. The game had Rose Bowl as well as national championship implications. They then lost to the Texas Longhorns 52–34 in the 2007 Holiday Bowl.

Notable football alumni include Jake Plummer, Todd Heap, J.R. Redmond, Danny White, Terrell Suggs, Randall McDaniel, David Fulcher, Darren Woodson, Pat Tillman, Eric Allen, Zach Miller, Shaun McDonald, John Jefferson, Paul Justin and Jimmy Verdon.

Men's Basketball

James Harden makes contact with Alfred Aboya inside.

The Arizona State Sun Devils have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 13 times, most recently in 2009. They have won 8 conference championships (4 WAC and 4 BOR) and finished in the final AP rankings 7 times. The highest national ranking the Sun Devils have achieved was #3 during the 1980-81 season when the starting lineup included Byron Scott, Fat Lever, and Alton Lister.

Arizona State appeared in the NAIA Men's Basketball National Tournament two years (1948 and 1953). Both years losing in the second round, leaving the NAIA with a tournament record of 2-2.

Herb Sendek is the current head coach of the Sun Devils. Sendek stepped down as head coach of the North Carolina State Wolfpack and accepted the head coaching job at Arizona State in 2006. During a successful career in Raleigh, Sendek took the Wolfpack to five consecutive NCAA Tournaments and also won ACC coach of the year in 2004.[1] Sendek is credited for bringing a "basketball atmosphere" and level of excitement to the ASU campus that has been absent for years. In his first four seasons at ASU, Sendek has led the Sun Devils to three consecutive 20 win seasons, the 2009 Pac-10 conference tournament finals, and the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Thirty-six ASU Sun Devils have been selected in the NBA Draft, including James Harden, Byron Scott, Lafayette Lever, Alton Lister, Lionel Hollins, Sam Williams, Jeff Pendergraph, Stevin "Hedake" Smith, Mario Bennett, Tommy Smith, Ike Diogu, Eddie House. Freddie Lewis, and Joe Caldwell. [2]

Baseball

ASU is one of the most successful baseball programs in the country. They have won five national championships (1965, 1967, 1969, 1977, 1981), the fourth most by any school, and have the third most College World Series victories with 61.[3] ASU baseball has won 20 conference championships and reached the College World Series 22 times. The team has also reached the NCAA tournament 33 times.

ASU also has the third most alumni to ever play in Major League Baseball. Notable baseball alumni include Barry Bonds, Paul Lo Duca, Rick Monday, Fernando Viña, Dustin Pedroia, Travis Buck, Andre Ethier, Willie Bloomquist, Ian Kinsler, Bob Horner, Sal Bando, and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. (See ASU Baseball All-Time Letterman List)

Softball

One of the nation's founding programs, the Sun Devils are in their 39th season on the diamond with a 1,039-561-1 (.649) all-time record since the 1967 team posted a 5-1 record. ASU has recorded 23 seasons of at least 30 wins and six with 40 or more victories, including an all-time high of 46 in 2002. The Sun Devils have earned 16 postseason bids, fourth all-time in the Pac-10 Conference, and has made four trips to the Women's College World Series. Prior to the current NCAA format, ASU went to seven WCWS, claiming back-to-back national tiles in 1972 and 1973.

Arizona State's storied tradition of softball excellence continues to flourish under the tutelage of 16th-year head coach Linda Wells, one of the most prominent and successful coaches in NCAA history. Wells, who is currently the 7th-most successful active coach in NCAA Division I history with 907 victories (9th all-time), has led the Sun Devils to 11 (seven consecutive 1997–03) NCAA Regional appearances in 15 seasons, including two trips in the past six years to the College World Series (1999/2002). While at ASU, Wells has compiled a record of 554–394 and has had seven players earn a total of 12 All-American awards. Her 554 wins are the most victories all-time in ASU's storied 39-year history, surpassing coaching legend Mary Littlewood's 536. Wells earned the victory with a 3–2 win over Sacramento State (2/13/05). Wells' vast coaching experience and tireless work ethic has not gone unnoticed by the country or by the world as she was named the head coach of the Greek Olympic National Team that competed in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Wells has coached 35 career .300 hitters at ASU in her 15 seasons, averaging a combined .335—not an easy accomplishment in the pitching-rich Pac-10 where games are traditionally low scoring, and with the addition of three more All-Pac-10 selections in 2004, Wells has now coached 75 all-conference players during her tenure at Arizona State, averaging five All-Pac-10 selections every season.

The Sun Devils capped off their 2008 season with their first ever WCWS Championship on June 3, 2008. Kaitlin Cochran hit a three-run home run, Katie Burkhart pitched a four-hitter and Arizona State routed Texas A&M 11–0 to win its first college softball title. Cochran slammed the first pitch from Megan Gibson over the left field fence in the fifth inning to give the sixth-seeded Sun Devils a 4–0 lead in the fifth inning. The margin ended up matching the second-most lopsided game in Women's College World Series history. Only Arizona's 12–0 defeat of Fresno State in the first round of the 1989 World Series was a bigger blowout. [1].

Golf

Notable golf alumni include Phil Mickelson, Billy Mayfair, Paul Casey, Howard Twitty, Tom Purtzer, Heather Farr, Anna Nordqvist, Jeff Quinney, Matt Jones, Chez Reavie and Grace Park, Charlotte Montgomery.

Wrestling

ASU has had a very successful wrestling team. The Sun Devils have captured one NCAA team national championship (1985), eight individual championships, and 100 total All American honors.[4] Notable alumni include several MMA stars, such as Dan Severn, Cain Velasquez, and Ryan Bader.

Eight Sun Devils have participated in the Olympic games, most recently in the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. There have been two silver medalists; Zeke Jones and Townsend Saunders.[5]

Six Sun Devils have participated in the World Championships of Wrestling since 1985 (a total of 16 entries). those wrestlers placed in the top 10 a total of ten times, including Zeke Jones, the 1991 champion at 114.5 pounds.

During the 1992-1993 season ASU set a Pacific-10 Conference record for most points in a championship meet.[6]

On May 13, 2008, the university announced it will drop the sport of Wrestling as well as Men's Tennis and Men's Swimming to save more than $1 million in operational costs. Just 10 days after the announcement to drop three sports, Arizona State announced it was reinstating the varsity wrestling program. The announcement came as local and civic sponsorship was announced as the reason to bring the sport back.

Championship history

National championships

Arizona State has 22 NCAA national championships:

Baseball (5)
  • 1965, 1967, 1969, 1977, 1981[7]
Men's Golf (2)
  • 1990, 1996[8]
Men's Gymnastics (1)
Men's Indoor Track and Field (1)
Men's Outdoor Track and Field (1)
Wrestling (1)
Women's Golf (6)
  • 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2009[13]
Women's Indoor Track and Field (2)
Women's Outdoor Track and Field (1)
Softball (1)

Rivalries

A strong academic and athletic rivalry exists between the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. Arizona leads the all-time record against ASU in men's basketball 139-79 as of January 2010. Arizona State fields the more accomplished baseball team, with five College World Series national championships (1965, 1967, 1969, 1977 and 1981) to Arizona's three (1976, 1980, 1986). Since becoming a university and adding a varsity baseball program in 1958, Arizona State leads the all-time series in baseball 171-112. Prior to 1958, the University of Arizona led the series 116-23.

The football rivalry game between the schools is known as "The Duel in the Desert", and it is arguably one of the most heated sports rivalry series in college football. The University of Arizona has the all-time series lead with a record of 45-36-1. As of 2009, Arizona State University has won 7 out of the last 10 match-ups.

The trophy awarded after each game, the Territorial Cup, is the nation's oldest rivalry trophy, distinguished by the NCAA.

ASU's women soccer has been dominant against their in state rivals, having yet to lose as of 2005 with a record of 10-0-1 against the University of Arizona.

The ASU wrestling team has also particularly been dominant over their rival with a record of 28-8 all time.[14]

ASU athletic facilities

Mona Plummer Aquatic Center

  • The Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, located on the campus of Arizona State University, is regarded as one of the country's finest outdoor swimming and diving facilities.

Karsten Golf Course

  • At the ASU Karsten Golf Course, challenge is inherent. Many touring professionals have honed their skills on the fairways and greens of this classic Pete Dye, Scottish links course. The course is home to the ASU Golf Program, which turns out winning teams year after year.

Packard Stadium

  • Packard Stadium, the home of Arizona State baseball since 1974, is one of the nation's most beautiful ballparks. The outfield wall is lined with orange trees and just beyond the left field fence lies the Salt River which winds its way through the Valley of the Sun. The field is named in honor of College Baseball Hall of Fame coach Bobby Winkles. In 2006, Bobby Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark was dedicated to the memory of another College Baseball Hall of Fame coach Jim Brock.

Soccer Stadium

  • On April 1, 2000, Arizona State University unveiled the latest amenity in its sports facilities, the Soccer Stadium. The Soccer Stadium features chair-back bleachers and individual seats with a capacity for 1,051 fans.

Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium

  • On April 8, 2000, Arizona State University unveiled the Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium. It is the latest amenity among the sports facilities of Sun Devil Athletics. Farrington Stadium features chair-back bleachers and individual seats with a capacity for 1,535 fans.

Sun Angel Stadium, Joe Selleh Track

  • Arizona State University's men's and women's track and field teams compete at Sun Angel Stadium/Joe Selleh Track, which opened in 1976. The stadium was completed in 1975 at an estimated cost of $3 million.

Sun Devil Stadium

  • Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium has played host to football games for more than four decades. On September 21, 1996, the school held Frank Kush Day and announced that the playing field at Sun Devil Stadium would be named "Frank Kush Field" in his honor.

Wells Fargo Arena

  • Wells Fargo Arena is the home for Sun Devil men's and women's basketball as well as volleyball, gymnastics and wrestling. Constructed in the spring of 1974, the 14,198-seat facility also plays host to graduation ceremonies and a variety of concerts and shows.

Whiteman Tennis Center

  • The Whiteman Tennis Center serves as the home to Arizona State's nationally ranked women's tennis teams. The original complex was dedicated May 8, 1976. It featured eight fully lit asphalt-based courts with a seating capacity of 1,200.

See also

External links

References


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