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FIU Golden Panthers
FIUGoldenPanthers2008.png
University Florida International University
Conference Sun Belt
NCAA Division I
Athletics director Pete Garcia
Location Miami, FL
Varsity teams 16
Football stadium FIU Stadium
Basketball arena U.S. Century Bank Arena
Baseball stadium University Park Stadium
Mascot Roary the Panther
Nickname Golden Panthers
Fight song FIU Fight Song
Colors Blue and Gold

             

Homepage FIUsports.com

The FIU Golden Panthers is the name of the athletic teams of Florida International University, a public university located in Miami, Florida. The Golden Panthers compete in NCAA Division I athletics, and in the Sun Belt Conference. FIU fields 16 teams in 13 sports:

Men's sports

Women's sports

Contents

Athletic Department history and information

The old Golden Panther logo used from 2001 to 2008.

FIU’s colors are dark blue and gold, and their mascot is the Golden Panther, which is embodied by an panther named Roary the Panther. The school's original nickname was the "Sunblazers", but it was changed in 1987 to the current.

FIU is a member of the NCAA, participating in Division I, and the Sun Belt Conference in all sports except for men's soccer (which competes in Conference USA as an affiliate member). FIU joined the Sun Belt Conference in 1998 having previously competed in the Trans America Athletic Conference (TAAC), from 1991 to 1998.

FIU's Athletic Department has produced several professional and Olympic athletes, including current players in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, and in the Women's National Basketball Association.

FIU's main rivals are the University of Miami Hurricanes and the Florida Atlantic University Owls.

Sports

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Baseball

FIU’s baseball team began play in 1973 as a Division II member, and is one of the most successful programs in the school’s history. This can be attributed to the team reaching the post-season 13 times in school history, including eight as a Division I program, and five as a Division II program including a Division II College World Series appearance.

Many players from past years have been drafted by Major League Baseball teams and have played in Major League games. FIU’s most notable baseball alumni is Mike Lowell, the current third baseman with the Boston Red Sox and 2007 World Series MVP .

Team Honors:
Trans America Athletic Conference Tournament Champions (1): 1998
Sun Belt Conference Tournament Champions (1): 1999
NCAA Division II Regional Appearances (5): 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982
NCAA Division II College World Series (1): 1980
NCAA Division I Regional Appearances (8): 1991, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
NCAA Division I Super Regional Appearances (1): 2001

Men's Basketball

The current head coach of the FIU men's basketball team is Isiah Thomas, who was hired on April 14, 2009.

FIU men's basketball team had its lone NCAA Tournament appearance in the 1995 tournament under then Head Coach Bob Weltlich. FIU won the TAAC Basketball Tournament and in doing so earned an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. FIU was seeded #16 and played the #1 seeded UCLA Bruins in the first round of the West Regional, which was played at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise, ID. The Panthers lost the game to the Bruins by the score of 92-56, being the first tournament win in UCLA's successful run the National Championship that year.

FIU alumni who have played in the National Basketball Association include Carlos Arroyo of the Miami Heat, and Raja Bell of the Charlotte Bobcats.

The "Sunblazers" men’s basketball team was also featured in a second season episode of Miami Vice entitled "The Fix".

Team Honors:
Trans America Athletic Conference Regular Season Champions (1): 1992-93
Trans America Athletic Conference Tournament Champions (1): 1995
NCAA Tournament Appearances (1): 1995

FIU basketball alumni in professionals

FIU at UCLA Pauley Pavilion, 2008

FIU Golden Panthers alumni to have gone on to the NBA and international professional basketball.



Football

The Golden Panthers play at the on-campus FIU Stadium.
FIU fans at a football game at FIU Stadium.

The FIU Golden Panthers football team competes in the NCAA FBS Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division 1-A), the highest level in intercolligiate football, and is a member of the Sun Belt Conference. They are led by head coach Mario Cristobal and play at FIU Stadium on FIU's University Park campus. The team began playing in 2002 as a member of NCAA Division 1-AA, now known as the NCAA FCS Football Championship Subdivision. Three years later, the FIU Athletics Department decided to move the progam up to Division 1-A. FIU became the fastest school to make such a move from a program's inception.

On August 29, 2002, the program played its first game at home against Saint Peter's College in front of a sold out crowd of 17,314. FIU defeated St. Peters's by the score of 27–3.

The FIU football team's main rival are the Florida Atlantic Owls. Both teams play annually in a game known as the Shula Bowl. The game is named after former Miami Dolphins Head Coach Don Shula.

Men's Soccer

FIU has won two NCAA Division II national championships in men's soccer. In 1982, FIU beat Southern Connecticut State by the score of 2–1, to win the school's first national title in any sport. Two years later the Panthers won their second national title beating Seattle Pacific University 1–0. To date these are the only national titles the university has achieved in athletic competition.

The men's soccer team competes as an affiliate member of Conference USA, and is the only FIU team to do so. This relationship began in 2005 and was formed since the Sun Belt Conference does not sponsor men's soccer. The team previously played in the Atlantic Soccer Conference from 2000 to 2004 and the Trans America Athletic Conference from 1991 to 1999.

FIU has regularly qualified for the NCAA Tournament in men's soccer, both as Division I and Division II program. In addition to the national championships achieved by the team as a Division II program, the team reached the Division I championship game in 1996, losing to St. John's University 4-1.

Recently, two new soccer fields were finished in the Summer of 2007 on the northwest side of campus. These fields will compliment the other two, making four soccer fields for use by both the men and women's soccer teams, as well as practice fields for the Golden Panthers football team.

Team Honors:
Division II National Champions (2): 1982, 1984
Division II National Runner-Up (2): 1980, 1985
Division I National Runner-Up (1): 1996
Trans America Athletic Conference Champions (1): 1991
Atlantic Soccer Conference Champions (4): 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004
NCAA Division II Tournament Appearances (8): 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985
NCAA Division I Tournament Appearances (8): 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

Facilities

FIU Recreation Center
U.S. Century Bank Arena, home of the Golden Panther volleyball and basketball teams
University Park Stadium, home of the Golden Panther baseball and softball teams

FIU Stadium

FIU Stadium was originally opened in 1995 as a standard track and field athletics stadium, with mobile seats for the football end zones and an artificial turf infield. In 2007, the stadium was closed and converted into a dedicated football stadium, with the track removed, the original turf replaced with FieldTurf, and permanent stands providing 20,000 seats. It was re-opened in time for the 2008 college football season. Further improvements to FIU Stadium are ongoing, with a future capacity target of 45,000 seats.

During FIU Stadium's reconstruction, the Golden Panthers football team played at the Miami Orange Bowl in the 2007 season, and actually won the final college football game played at the stadium before it was demolished to make way for the new Marlins' ballpark.

U.S. Century Bank Arena

U.S. Century Bank Arena, previously known as Pharmed Arena, is a 6,000-seat multi-purpose arena that opened on February 1, 1986. The Florida International University Golden Panthers basketball and volleyball teams play there. It was originally named Sunblazer Arena but was renamed Golden Panther Arena when FIU's athletic teams changed their nickname from Sunblazers to Golden Panthers in 1987. It was eventually renamed on September 1, 2004 in honor of Pharmed Group after a $1 million USD donation was made to the FIU athletic department by Pharmed owners Jorge and Carlos de Cespedes, but was changed to "FIU Arena" in 2008. Other events such as MTV's Campus Invasion, music concerts, ceremonies and fairs are also held year-round at the arena. In 2008, the name was changed to "U.S. Century Bank Arena".

University Park Stadium

University Park Stadium is a baseball stadium located on the University Park campus of Florida International University in Miami, Florida. It is used as the home venue of the university's baseball team. The facility opened on January 26, 1996 with an FIU victory against Bethune-Cookman, 1-0. The baseball team played its 2000 season at the Homestead Sports Complex in Homestead, Florida while the facility underwent an expansion.

In 2005, the facility also hosted the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Tournament.

Traditions

Fight Song

The FIU Fight Song is sung at sports games and official ceremonies. It was changed in both lyrics and music in 2006.

Old Lyrics

From the green fields of Tamiami

Liset Brito of FIU during a women's tennis match vs. Louisiana-Lafayette at FIU in 2009.

To the north shore of Biscayne Bay
Here's the place where we can gather,
Where Golden Panthers hunt their prey
Anyone who tries to defeat us
Better think twice and stand aside,
Bring them here with their fear to Miami
And when they come we'll show our Panther Pride
Golden Panthers, see the paw,
We will fight, you'll feel the claw!
Let's go Panthers, Gold and Blue,
Fight For FIU!

New Lyrics

Touchdown flag flown by the FIU Cheerleaders during the 7th annual Shula Bowl

We are the panthers of FIU,
the Golden Panthers of FIU.
We will continue to fight
with all of our might
for victory for gold and blue.
We stand together and proudly say:
our Golden Panthers go all the way.
We'll always strive for victory
blue-blooded through and through,
'cause we're FIU.

Go F!
Go I!
Go U!
Go F-I-U!
Panthers fight!
Panthers fight!
Panthers fight!

(repeat)

External links

Name Years at FIU Team
Carlos Arroyo 1998-2001 Orlando Magic
Raja Bell 1999-2000 Charlotte Bobcats
Cylde Corley 1982-1983 Dallas Mavericks
Ivan Almonte 2004-2006 CSP Limoges - France
Facundo Giorgi - Unión de Sunchales - Argentina
Karel Rosario - Arecibo Captains - Puerto Rico
Byron Burnett - Loros Colima - Mexico
Junior Matias 2002-2005 Club Bameso - Dominican Republic[1]

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