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Cincinnati Bearcats
Cincinnati Bearcats.svg
University University of Cincinnati
Conference Big East
NCAA Division I
Athletics director Mike Thomas
Location Cincinnati, OH
Varsity teams 18
Football stadium Nippert Stadium
Basketball arena Fifth Third Arena
Baseball stadium Marge Schott Stadium
Other arenas Armory Fieldhouse
Mascot Bearcat
Nickname Bearcats
Fight song "Cheer Cincinnati"
Colors Red and Black



The Cincinnati Bearcats are the NCAA athletic teams representing the University of Cincinnati. Since July 1, 2005, the school's athletic teams have been members of the Big East Conference. They were previously members of Conference USA, a conference of which they were a founding member. The creation of Conference USA was the result of a merger between the Great Midwest Conference (of which Cincinnati was a member) and the Metro Conference (whom Cincinnati had previously been a member) in 1995. Other collegiate athletic conferences which the school has belong to includes the Missouri Valley Conference, 1957-1969; the Mid-American Conference, 1947-1952; the Buckeye Athletic Association, 1925-1935, and the Ohio Athletic Conference, 1910-1924.


The Bearcat

The Bearcat became the UC mascot on October 31, 1914 in a football game against the UK Wildcats. The key players in the birth of the Bearcat were a star UC player named Baehr, a creative cheerleader, and a talented cartoonist.

During the second half of that hard-fought football game, UC cheerleader Norman "Pat" Lyon, building on the efforts of fullback Leonard K. "Teddy" Baehr, created the chant: "They may be Wildcats, but we have a Baehr-cat on our side."

The crowd took up the cry: "Come on, Baehr-cat!"

Cincinnati prevailed, 14-7, and the victory was memorialized in a cartoon published on the front page of the student newspaper, the weekly University News, on November 3. The cartoon, by John "Paddy" Reece, depicted a bedraggled Kentucky Wildcat being chased by a creature labeled “Cincinnati Bear Cat".

The name stuck, but not immediately. Following Teddy Baehr's graduation in 1916, the name dropped out of use, at least in print, for a few years. On November 15, 1919, Cincinnati played at Tennessee. Cincinnati Enquirer writer Jack Ryder's dispatch on the game was the first time that the major media called UC's teams "Bearcats." From then on, the university's teams were regularly called Bearcats.


Fight song

An early version of the UC Bearcats logo, from 1922

Cheer Cincy
Cheer Cincinnati, Cincy will win Fight to the finish, never give in (Rah, Rah, Rah) You do your best boys, we'll do the rest boys, Onward to victory!

Go Red, Go Black, Go Bearcats! Fight! Fight! Fight! (Give me a) B-E-A-R-C-A-T-S Go UC!


Cincinnati's oldest football rivalry, begun in 1888, is with Miami University, located in Oxford, Ohio about 40 miles to the northwest. The Victory Bell awarded to the winner of each contest. It is the oldest college football rivalry west of the Allegheny Mountains and the third-oldest rivalry in college football. The first contest was also the first collegiate football game played in the state of Ohio.

Cincinnati and the University of Louisville battle for the Keg of Nails annually. This rivalry dates back to 1929.

In 2005 when Cincinnati joined the Big East they and the University of Pittsburgh have started the River City Rivalry which is a battle for the River City Rivalry trophy.

In basketball, the Bearcats' chief rival is the Xavier University Musketeers. Xavier is a Jesuit university located less than 3 miles from the University of Cincinnati's main campus. The Bearcats and the Muskies meet annually in the popular Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout.

The Bearcats also have basketball rivalries with the Louisville Cardinals, Memphis Tigers and Charlotte 49ers.

In addition to the rivalries already mentioned, Cincinnati also has an intermittent rivalry with Ohio State University and the University of Kentucky. Although Cincinnati does not play either school regularly, these are geographic rivals. Other than Louisville, they are the closest universities of similar size and stature. Cincinnati also beat The Ohio State in both of its back-to-back national title games in basketball.

Men's basketball

Cincinnati's men's basketball squads have been a perennial bracket team in the NCAA tournament. A prolific era in Bearcats basketball was during the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the Bearcats posted five consecutive Final Four appearances. Unanimous three-time All American guard Oscar Robertson led the nation in scoring during the 1957–58, 1958–59, and 1959–60 seasons and posted a career average of 33.8 points per game, which ranks as the third all-time best in Division I.

Cincinnati has won two national championships (both against Ohio State) in 1961 and 1962. The 1961 and 1962 titles were won under rookie coach Ed Jucker.

Cincinnati fell out of prominence during the early 1970s. After a brief resurgence in the mid-1970s, the program fell on hard times in the 1980s, but was revitalized under head coach Bob Huggins following his hiring in 1989. Under Huggins, the Bearcats compiled a 399–127 record in sixteen seasons, and posted fourteen straight NCAA tournament appearances. The most notable of the teams from the Huggins era was the 1991–1992 team, which lost to the Michigan Wolverines in the Final Four. In addition, Huggins was responsible for recruiting several future NBA players including, Kenyon Martin, Ruben Patterson, Nick Van Exel and Dermarr Johnson.

The Huggins era at the University of Cincinnati had several off the court incidents including the May 1995 arrest of center Art Long and forward Danny Fortson (both future NBA players). Long was arrested for allegedly punching a police horse while Fortson was arrested for disorderly conduct. Both men were acquitted of all charges.[1]

Bob Huggins' arrest on June 8, 2004 for driving under the influence of alcohol [2] led to new university president Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher to state: "People can speculate, but our actions will speak for themselves and we'll do that just as soon as possible. We have a great deal of integrity in this institution, both academic and athletic integrity, and you'll see that over time". [2]

Bob Huggins was suspended. He later resigned and accepted a buyout offer from the university for a reported $3 million. Assistant coach Andy Kennedy took over on an interim basis and coached the Bearcats during the 2005–06 season. However, his 21-13 record was not enough to convince the university to retain him on a non-interim basis, and Kennedy was allowed to go to the University of Mississippi. Murray State coach Mick Cronin, a Cincinnati graduate in 1998 and former Bearcats assistant coach under Bob Huggins, was hired. For the 2007-2008 season, Coach Cronin has put together a top 15 ranked recruiting class by Rivals in 2007.

Postseason tournaments

Year Seed Finish Coach AP ESPN/UPI
1958 -- Second Round George Smith #2 #2
1959 -- Third Place George Smith #5 #4
1960 -- Third Place George Smith #1 #2
1961 -- Champions Ed Jucker #2 #2
1962 -- Champions Ed Jucker #2 #2
1963 -- Final Four Ed Jucker #1 #1
1966 -- First Round Tay Baker #7 #9
1975 -- Sweet Sixteen Gale Catlett #13
1976 -- First Round Gale Catlett #12 #16
1977 -- First Round Gale Catlett #12
1992 4 Final Four Bob Huggins #12 #5
1993 2 Elite Eight Bob Huggins #7 #6
1994 8 First Round Bob Huggins #25
1995 7 Second Round Bob Huggins
1996 2 Elite Eight Bob Huggins #7 #6
Year Seed Finish Coach AP ESPN/UPI
1997 3 Second Round Bob Huggins #10 #16
1998 2 Second Round Bob Huggins #9 #14
1999 3 Second Round Bob Huggins #11 #11
2000 2 Second Round Bob Huggins #7 #7
2001 5 Sweet Sixteen Bob Huggins #22
2002 1 Second Round Bob Huggins #5 #8
2003 8 First Round Bob Huggins
2004 4 Second Round Bob Huggins #11 #18
2005 7 Second Round Bob Huggins #23 #25
Year Tournament Seed Finish Coach AP ESPN/UPI
1951 John Wiethe #17
1955 NIT -- Third Place George Smith #20
1970 Tay Baker #20
2006 NIT 1 Quarterfinals Andy Kennedy


Radio and television

Since 1992, WLW has been the radio home for Bearcats athletics. Dan Hoard has been the play-by-play announcer for both basketball and football since 2000. Former Bearcat Chuck Machock starting in 1992 as the color commentator for basketball games. Jim Kelly, a Bearcat wide receiver during the mid 70s, provides color commentary for football games. WCKY-AM airs the football game when there is a conflict on WLW with the Cincinnati Reds games.

Starting in 2008, FSN Ohio is the local TV flagship station for basketball games, while WKRC-TV is the flagship for football games. Michael Reghi does the play by play for the basketball games on FSN Ohio, and former Bearcat Anthony Buford provides the color commentary. Beginning in 1980, WXIX-TV was the flagship station for football and basketball games.

Club sports

The university has a diverse number of intercollegiate club sports teams. Notable teams include men's baseball, the rugby football club, the rowing team, the Waterski Team (2008 DII National Champions), the lacrosse team, the men's soccer team, the men's ice hockey team which competes in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) DIII, and the Tennis Club which competes in the USTA Tennis on Campus and the Great Lakes Tennis Conference.

Club sports at UC operate in a tier system. The top tier (tier 5, or semi-varsity) teams include the equestrian team, men's hockey and the men's and women's rowing programs.

Athletic facilities

Notable alumni





External links


Grace, Kevin. "Cincinnati on Field and Court: The Sports Legacy of the Queen City." Chicago, IL: Arcadia, 2002.

Grace, Kevin. "Cincinnati Hoops." Chicago, IL: Arcadia, 2003.

Grace, Kevin; Hand, Greg; Hathaway, Tom; Hoffman, Carey. "Bearcats! The Story of Basketball at the University of Cincinnati." Louisville, KY: Harmony House, 1998.

  1. ^ "Police horse a magnet for controversy " Denise Smith Amos, The Enquirer, April 16, 2003, URL last accessed June 15, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "UC Head Coach Huggins Charged With DUI" Liz Foreman, 9News, 11 June 2004, URL last accessed November 4, 2006.


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