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Charlotte 49ers
Charlotte49ers.png
Affiliations
University UNC Charlotte
Division NCAA Division I
Conference Atlantic 10 (A-10)
General
Nickname 49ers
Mascot Norm the Niner
Colors Green and White
Sports 16 (8 men's, 8 women's)
Athletic Director Judy Rose
Location Charlotte, NC
Homepage Charlotte49ers.com
Facilities
Football TBD
Basketball Dale F. Halton Arena
Baseball Robert & Mariam Hayes Stadium
Soccer Transamerica Field
Conference Championships
Men's Basketball 1969, 1970, 1977, 1988, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2004
Women's Basketball 1990, 2003, 2006
Golf 2006, 2007, 2008
Baseball 1993, 1994, 1995, 2007, 2008

The Charlotte 49ers represent the NCAA Division I sports teams of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Charlotte joined the Atlantic 10 in 2005. The 49ers field 16 teams, 8 men and 8 women.

Charlotte's Men's Basketball team reached the Final Four in 1977 and has made consistent NCAA tournament teams ever since[1]. The Golf program was ranked the #1 team in the nation as recently as September 2007[2].

Contents

Overview

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Name

The athletics department officially changed its name to simply Charlotte in 2000.[3] The school's identity suffered from years of constant confusion and misrepresentations, such as N.C.-Charlotte, N.C.-Char, North Carolina-Charlotte, UNC, UNC-C, UNCC at Charlotte, and others. When the name change was made official, Athletics Director Judy Rose summarized the sentiment that drove the name change:

"We're proud to be members of the North Carolina university system. But, frankly, we are tired of being confused with other institutions or having our own identity misused and misconstrued. It's harder to make a name for yourself, when your name keeps getting confused. Not only will this logo simplify matters, but it gives the program an exciting new look that better captures our essence."

It should be noted that the official school name remains The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Nickname

The nickname "49ers" derives from the fact that the university's predecessor -- Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina (CCUNC - established in 1946) was saved from being shut down by the state in 1949 by Bonnie Cone, when the Charlotte Center became Charlotte College. Due to this "49er spirit" that Cone felt embodied the University, referring to the settlers that endured much hardships in traveling across the United States to seek fortune in the California Gold Rush, students of the fledgling UNC Charlotte chose "49ers" as the school's mascot.

Prior to the "49ers" moniker, the athletic teams were known as the "Owls" due to CCUNC's beginnings as a night school.

49ers Old Logo
Current Secondary Logo

The primary athletics logo contains a miner's hand and pick-axe as a reference to the Gold Rush. The arm of the Miner forms a "C" representing Charlotte. This logo is frequently used to replace the C in Charlotte when referenced to the university or the athletics programs.

Three secondary logos are also present: The "C" as a stand alone logo, a "4-9-e-r-s" word mark and a logo that incorporates both the "C" and the "4-9-e-r-s" logo. In addition, each sport has a sport-specific logo, consisting of the "C" with the specific icon contained inside.

The new logos replaced the face of a grizzly old Miner and a "4-9-e-r-s" script logo.

Rivalries

Charlotte has had its fair share of intense rivalries. In men's basketball, one of the most heated and intense rivalries was with the Bob Huggins-coached Cincinnati Bearcats of Conference USA. Throughout a ten-year period from 1995-96 to 2004-05, Charlotte managed to upset Cincinnati teams ranked #3, #8, #18, #20 in the country.[4][5][6][7]. In what became known as the Cincinnati Incident, a brawl broke out between Cincinnati and the Charlotte student section, when a Cincinnati player threw the basketball into the stands. This led to the creation of a 'buffer zone' being implemented behind the visiting team's bench.[8] ESPN commentator Andy Katz provided this explanation on why Charlotte-Cincinnati was one of the juiciest rivalries in the country: "The games are hotly contested usually and the fans in Charlotte don't like Cincinnati. They get up for this game more than any other."[9]

Charlotte's 29-year men's basketball rivalry with the Davidson Wildcats sees Mecklenburg County's only two Division I schools go head-to-head for the Hornet's Nest Trophy. Charlotte leads the series 26-10.[10] Due to a scheduling conflict, the series is currently on hiatus until the 2010-11 season[11].

Since Charlotte's move to the Atlantic 10, a clear-cut main conference rival has yet to emerge. Commentators have pointed to the Xavier Musketeers and George Washington Colonials as potential rivals.

Conference Affiliations

Conference Realignment

Despite a popular and competitive Conference USA in which Charlotte enjoyed rivalries with the likes of Memphis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Marquette, and others, the collegiate sports landscape underwent a major restructuring in 2004-2005. C-USA took the most serious hit of any conference[12], losing many of its most successful members, including Charlotte.

After this dramatic reshuffle, Charlotte received an invitation to join the Atlantic 10 Conference, which it accepted.[13] Since joining the A-10, Charlotte has experienced much success in nearly every category with the exception of the signature sport of men's basketball. During the 49ers first season as an Atlantic 10 member, one overly "enthusiastic" college student wrote that Charlotte had "blown away" the A-10.[14]

Conference Membership

Facilities

Athletic facilities at Charlotte have improved dramatically over the past decade. In 1996 men's basketball returned to campus full-time for the first time in nearly 20 years with the opening of Dale F. Halton Arena. A new outdoor sports facility, the Irwin Belk Track and Field Center, opened in 1999 and serves as the home to the 49ers track and field teams in addition to both men's and women's soccer. Tom & Lib Phillips Field, the baseball facility, underwent a $6 million overhaul that was completed in 2007; the facility was renamed Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium in honor of the renovation's benefactor and her late husband. The golf team's new practice facility at Rocky River Golf Club in Concord was completed in October 2006.

Sports Overview

Sport Coach (since) Facility
Baseball Loren Hibbs (1993) Hayes Stadium
Basketball (M) Bobby Lutz (1998) Halton Arena
Basketball (W) Karen Aston (2007) Halton Arena
Cross Country (M/W) Ed Schlichter (2009)
Golf (M) Adam Pry (2009) Rocky River Golf Club
Soccer (M) Jeremy Gunn (2007) Transamerica Field
Soccer (W) John Cullen (2009) Transamerica Field
Softball Aimee DeVos (1995) Phillips Field
Tennis (M) Jim Boykin (1994)
Tennis (W) Michaela Gorman (2004)
Track/Field (M/W) Robert Olesen (2003) Belk Track
Volleyball (W) Chris Redding (2007) Halton Arena

Men's Basketball

Overview

Halton Arena has been the on-campus facility for basketball and volleyball since 1996.

Football

Baseball

Hayes Stadium has been the home of the 49ers' baseball team since 1984. A major renovation finished in 2008.
  • First season: 1979
  • Conference Championships (5)
    • 1993, 1994, 1995, 2007, 2008
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances (4)
    • 1993 (0-2)
    • 1998 (0-2)
    • 2007 (2-2)
    • 2008 (0-2)
  • Retired Jerseys
    • 5 Joey Anderson
    • 7 Barry Shiflett
    • 15 Tim Collie

Golf

  • Consensus #1 in the nation by three major polls: Golfweek, Golfstat, and Nike - Fall 2007 (First National Number 1 Ranking in any varsity sport for Charlotte)
  • Conference Championships (4)
    • 2006
    • 2007
    • 2008
    • 2009
  • NCAA Championship 3rd Place - 2007
  • NCAA Championship 8th Place - 2008

Women's Basketball

  • First season: 1975
  • Conference Championships (4)
    • 1990, 2003, 2006, 2009
  • NCAA Appearances (2)
  • NIT Appearances (6)
    • 1990, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

Soccer

  • NCAA Mens' College Cup 1996 - Led by Striker Jonathan Mabee
  • Atlantic 10 Men's Tournament Finalist 2007
  • Women's 3-time defending Atlantic 10 Regular Season Champions
  • Women's 2-time defending A-10 Tournament Champions
  • Charlotte alumnus Jon Busch named MLS Top Goalkeeper[15]

Further reading

References

External links


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