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Fordham Rams
University Fordham University
Conference Atlantic 10
Patriot League (football)
NCAA Division I
Football Championship Subdivision
Athletics director Frank McLaughlin
Location Bronx, NY
Varsity teams 22
Football stadium Jack Coffey Field
Basketball arena Rose Hill Gymnasium
Baseball stadium Houlihan Park
Other arenas Vincent T. Lombardi Memorial Center
Mascot The Ram
Nickname Rams
Fight song The Ram
Colors Maroon and white



The 22 Fordham University varsity sports teams are known as the Fordham Rams. Their colors are maroon and white. The Fordham Rams are members of NCAA Division I and compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference for all sports except football. In football, the Rams play in the Patriot League of NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision. The University also supports a number of club sports, and a significant intramural sports program. The University's athletic booster clubs include the Sixth Man Club for basketball and the Twelfth Man Club for football, as well as the Afterguard for sailing.

Fordham University sports, though not part of the Ivy League, has nevertheless been credited with inspiring the term by comparison. The first usage of "Ivy" in reference to a group of colleges is from sportswriter Stanley Woodward (1895–1965). In an article that appeared in the New York Tribune on October 14, 1933, Woodward, referencing football, wrote

A proportion of our eastern ivy colleges are meeting little fellows another Saturday before plunging into the strife and the turmoil.[1]

According to the book "Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins"(1988), author William Morris writes that Stanley Woodward actually took the term from fellow New York Tribune sportswriter Caswell Adams. Morris writes that during the 1930s, the Fordham University football team was running roughshod over all its opponents. One day in the sports room at the Tribune, the merits of Fordham's football team was being compared to Princeton and Columbia. Adams remarked disparagingly of the latter two, saying they were "only Ivy League." Woodward, the sports editor of the Tribune, picked up the term and printed it the next day.



This is an incomplete listing of the 22 varsity sports played at Fordham.



Founded in the late 1850s, the Fordham Rose Hill Baseball Club of St. John's College (the precursor to Fordham University, and of no connection at all to St. John's University) played against St. Francis Xavier College in the first ever nine-man-team college baseball game on November 3, 1859. Fordham is the all time NCAA leader in wins.

There have been 56 major leaguers who have played for Fordham, including All-Star pitcher Pete Harnisch and Baseball Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch. Frisch, a star athlete in four different sports at Fordham, was known as the "Fordham Flash".[2] Steve Bellán, first Latin American to play Major League Baseball, started his career as a player at St. John's College.[3]

The team plays home games at Houlihan Park at Jack Coffey Field. Jack Coffey Field, a multisport facility, is named after Jack Coffey, former athletic director and baseball coach at the University. He amassed 817 wins as a baseball coach. Coffey is the only player to play with both Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth in the same season (1918 Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox). The baseball portion of the field was renamed "Houlihan Park" after renovations completed in 2005.


Fordham basketball teams (men and women) have been members of the MAAC (1981-82 through 1989-90), Patriot League (1990-91 through 1994-95), and the Atlantic 10 Conference (1995-96 through present).

Men's Basketball

Fordham began competing in men's basketball in 1902. They played their first game in Rose Hill Gymnasium in 1925 (defeating Boston College, 46-16). On February 28, 1940, Fordham hosted the University of Pittsburgh at Madison Square Garden in the first ever televised basketball game. Pitt won, 57-37. The game was televised by NBC.

The Fordham men have won Patriot League conference titles in 1991, 1992, 1994.

Fordham has participated in five NCAA Tournaments (1953, 1954, 1971, 1991, 1992), and sixteen NITs (1943, 1958, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1991).

In the 2009-10 season, Fordham went 0-16 in the A-10 conference season (2-26 overall), becoming the first team to go winless in an A-10 conference season since St. Bonaventure in 1992-93.[4]

Through the end of the 2009-10 season, the program's cumulative record is 1437 wins and 1216 losses (.541 win percentage).

Women's Basketball

Women's basketball at Fordham began as a club team in 1963-64. They became an NCAA competitive team in 1970-71. The Rams won the Patriot League Championship in 1992 and 1994. They played in the 1994 NCAA Tournament.


The Fordham Rams Cross-Country team, which competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference, won the IC4A 2006 Championships at Van Cortlandt Park. It was the team's first IC4A Championship in almost twenty years.[citation needed]



First recognized as a sport at St. John's College in 1882, Fordham in its hey-day has played before sellout crowds at the Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium. In the mid-1930s, Fordham boasted what might have been the greatest offensive and defensive line in college history—the "Seven Blocks of Granite". Tackle Ed Franco was a consensus All-American. So was center Alex Wojciechowicz who later became an All-Pro with Detroit and Philadelphia. Guard Vince Lombardi later became one of the greatest of pro coaches. In 1937, the team went undefeated and was ranked number three nationally. So popular was Fordham, that the Cleveland NFL franchise formed in the '30s took its nickname from the Rams of the Bronx.[1] The Cleveland Rams later moved to Los Angeles and then to St. Louis, Missouri, and are now known as the St. Louis Rams.

On September 30, 1939, Fordham participated in the world’s first televised football game. In front of the sport’s first live TV audience, the Rams defeated Waynesburg College, 34-7. The following week they lost the second ever televised game to the University of Alabama, 7-6. It was not for another month that a professional NFL game was televised.

On December 15, 1954, Fordham scratched its football program for various reasons, mainly financial. A club football team was established in 1964 (on shaky authority) and football was re-established as a varsity sport in 1970, but in Division III. Fordham joined what is now the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision in 1989.

With 722 all-time wins at the close of the 2005 season [2], Fordham's football program ranks 15th among Division I programs on the all-time NCAA wins list, and fifth among programs currently playing in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, trailing only Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and Princeton University.

Fordham was invited to play in the 1942 Rose Bowl, but declined the invitation because it had previously accepted a berth in the 1942 Sugar Bowl. The Rams, who defeated the University of Missouri by a 2-0 score, were the 1942 Sugar Bowl champions. The Rams also played in the 1941 Cotton Bowl Classic but lost, 13-12, to Texas A&M. At least one source lists Fordham as the 1929 National Football Champions. [3]

Since 2002, Fordham has played Columbia University for The Liberty Cup. The trophy was dedicated after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 forced the postponement of the first annual meeting between New York City's two Division I football programs. In 2009 the university announced that it will be offering scholarships for football for the first time since 1954. This makes the Rams ineligible to compete for the Patriot League championship, but simultaneously allows them to schedule games with Football Bowl Subdivision teams such as the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen, both immediately scheduled. In addition, the Rams are still eligible for an at-large bid for the Championship Subdivision play-offs.[5]

Football milestones

Jack Coffey Field at Fordham University
  • National Championship: 1929 [4]

Current players in professional football

Track and Field

Johnny Gibson, a 1928 graduate of Fordham, broke the 440yrd Hurdles World Record while at the school and made the 1928 Olympic team in the same event. Gibson is known as a great contributor to the world of track and field as a founding member of the New Jersey Track and Field Officials Association and head coach of men's track and field at Seton Hall University from 1945 to 1972. Sam Perry set the World Record for the 60 yard dash indoors.[citation needed]

Tom Courtney won Olympic Gold in the 800m run at the 1956 Games. While at Fordham Courtney had anchored the 2 Mile Relay that broke the World Record in 1954.

In 2008, the men's Track and Field team won the Outdoor Metropolitan Championship. The title was the first ever Metropolitan Athletic Conference team title captured by the Rams in the school's history[6]. In the 2009 Outdoor Season the Rams defended their title, while the Women's squad captured second in the team scoring.{cn}


This is a partial listing of the club sports played at Fordham


The logo of the Fordham rowing crew

Men's crew has been a club sport at Fordham since 1915, when John Mulcahy (an alumnus and Olympic Gold medalist in the sport) helped found it there. Fordham Crew has since been quite successful, winning several national championships. The team is a member of the Dad Vail affiliation, making the Dad Vail Regatta the focus of its spring racing season. Exceptional crews have competed at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championships, Henley Royal Regatta, and the San Diego Crew Classic. The team is divided into novice and varsity squads. Fordham Athletics also sponsors a women's varsity team.

Fordham Crew trains on the Harlem River. For many years the university maintained the last remaining boathouse on "sculler's row" off the river in Manhattan, along Sherman Creek, until it was destroyed by suspected arson in 1978.[7] It has yet to be replaced.

Since 1989, Fordham has medaled every year at the Dad Vail and other major collegiate regattas. During that period the team has had 9 undefeated seasons and 13 national championships: eight at the Dad Vail, three at the Eastern College Athletic Conference National Invitational Collegiate Regatta, one at the Division-I National Championships, and one at the IRA Championship. Fordham was the 2007 Dad Vail Champions in Men's Varsity Lightweight 4+.


The University supports hockey as a club sport. In 2006, Rams hockey took their first League championship since becoming a club in the late 1960s, and again in 2010. The team is recognized as a Division III team by the American Collegiate Hockey Association, and it is a member of the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference.


Founded in 1970, the Lacrosse program has grown tremendously. After years as the top independent lacrosse team in the New York metropolitan area, the team has been accepted to be a member of the National College Lacrosse League. The Rams currently compete in the NY Metro Division.

Men's Rugby

The Fordham "Irish" team pre-kickoff for the 2005 Spring Weekend rugby match.

The University supports men's rugby as a club sport. They play in the Metropolitan New York Rugby Union, a member of USA Rugby, and field within it Division I 'A' and 'B' side rugby squads. The Rose Hill Campus is host every spring to the "Irish-Italian" men's rugby game, a staple of Fordham's Spring Weekend festival. The men's team won the Metropolitan New York Rugby Union (METNY) D-1 conference championship in 2003, 2004 and 2009 and made it to the first round of the national tournament in 2004, and also made an appearance in the second round of the national tournament in the fall of 2009. In the spring of 2009 Fordham Rugby were crowned champions of the annual Cherry Blossoms Tournament held in Washington DC.[8]

Women's Rugby

The women's team is a three time champion of the Big Apple Classic, which is hosted on Randall's Island, NY. They were also east coast champions in the spring of 2005.


Fordham is a Regular member of the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association (MAISA), one of seven regional conferences of the Intercollegiate Sailing Association of North America (ICSA), the governing body of US Sailing. With 43 schools and a geographical territory extending from Canada to Virginia, MAISA is one of the most competitive conferences in the country. Fordham placed 10th among all teams and 2nd among all club teams, in 2007.[9] Fordham's Home Port is Morris Yacht & Beach Club overlooking Long Island Sound and Eastchester Bay on City Island, a few miles from the Rose Hill campus.


  1. ^ "Yale Book of Quotations" (2006) Yale University Press edited by Fred R. Shapiro
  2. ^ "Baseball Reference: Fordham". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "Steve Bellán". Fordham University. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Fordham football offers scholorships for the first time since 1954 Retrieved 06/25/09.
  6. ^ .Fordham Athletics website: "Men's Track Wins First Ever Outdoor Metropolitan Championship; Women Take Highest Ever Finish In Second Melissa Salerno and Brigid Moriarty Win Two Events Each." Melissa Salerno, April 19, 2008 (Accessed June 27, 2008)
  7. ^ "Sherman Creek Booklet". Retrieved 1 January 2009. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Fordham Sailing Club". Fordham University. Retrieved 1 January 2009. 


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