Long Beach State 49ers: Wikis

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The "Go Beach!" water tower.

An NCAA division I member, Long Beach State has 18 sports teams and plays competitively in baseball, cross country, softball, track and field, women's tennis, and women's soccer, as well as both men's and women's basketball, volleyball, water polo and golf teams. The university is a founding member of the Big West Conference and also competes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

In the realm of sports the school is referred to as "Long Beach State." The official name of Long Beach State sports teams is "The 49ers" in honor of the year the university was founded and for the prospectors of the California Gold Rush one hundred years before then. Unofficially, "The Beach" is used to refer to Long Beach State and its sports teams as it is the only university on the West Coast with the word "Beach" in its name. One can see the cheer "Go Beach!" written on many CSULB products around campus and on the large water tower near the entrance to the campus.

Contents

Rivals

The Beach has several rival schools when it comes to sports. In addition to being located in close proximity to each other, Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton have competed heavily as conference rivals in baseball for nearly 20 years. More recently, specifically since 2006, Long Beach State and UC Irvine have participated in the annual "Black and Blue Rivalry Series." In this challenge, each school earns points for its collective conference championships and head-to-head victories against each other (across all NCAA sports in which both schools participate). The totals are added up at the end of the season and a winner is declared: Long Beach leads the all-time series 2-0. Finally, Long Beach State also has a long-standing "beach school" rivalry with UC Santa Barbara.

Baseball

Unlike all other Long Beach State sports teams, the baseball team unofficially goes under the moniker "The Dirtbags." After the hiring of Dave Snow as head coach in 1989, the LBSU baseball team has become one of the most successful teams in the school's athletic history. The Dirtbags are consistently ranked in the national top 30 and have appeared in 17 of the last 20 NCAA tournaments. Along the way, the team has won 9 Big West conference championships, hosted 4 NCAA regionals (plus 1 super regional), and appeared in 4 College World Series.[1] The school has also produced a number of prominent professional players over the years, including former American League MVP Jason Giambi, former American League Rookie of the Year Bobby Crosby, and all-star and 2008 American League Rookie of the Year Evan Longoria. Many more ex-Dirtbags have participated in the prestigious MLB All-Star Futures game, such as rookie phenomenons Jered Weaver and Troy Tulowitzki.[2]

Volleyball

Long Beach State is home to one of the top women's volleyball teams in the nation. Long Beach has won three national titles in women's volleyball in 1989, 1993 and 1998. In 1998 the women's team capped off an undefeated season and went on to win the NCAA finals as well as the World finals against China, claiming the #1 spot in the World.[1] Additionally, CSULB alumna Misty May won two Olympic gold medals in Beach Volleyball.

Men's volleyball won the 1991 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship and has been runner-up five times. They also won the 2008 regular season title in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Tennis

The women's tennis team ('Beach Tennis') has made quite a name for itself in recent years. Since 2002, Long Beach State has won six consecutive, and a league record seven Big West Conference tennis titles in eight years; appearing in as many NCAA tournaments over the same period.[1] The 2006 team reached #18 in the ITA National Rankings; then peaking at #26 in 2007, #35 in 2008 and again reaching # 25 in 2009. Head Coach Jenny Hilt-Costello has won a league record six Big West Conference Coach of the Year awards (2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009) and was named the ITA West Region Coach of the Year and a finalist for the national award in 2004. Three 'Beach Tennis' players have earned Big West Conference Player of the Year honors, including star player Hannah Grady who became the first student-athlete in any Big West Conference sport to be named Player of the Year four consecutive years (06, 07, 08, 09). Three players have been named Conference Freshman of the Year since the award was incepted in 2005. An all new 12-court Rhodes Tennis Center opened on campus in Fall 2008; soon to be joined by the new $70 million campus Student Rec Center immediately next to the tennis center. The tennis center is dedicated to 49er alumnus Terry Rhodes following his $1.25 million gift to the women's tennis program. Mr. Rhodes' gift is the largest single sport donation in university history. The new faciity also includes The Gloria and Bob Hendricks Family Scoreboard; a 40-foot (12 m) high electronic display of all matches donated by the family of the former 49er Women's Tennis head coach.

Basketball

The CSULB Men's basketball team has also enjoyed success in recent times. In the 2006-07 season, the 49ers finished with a 24-8 (12-2) record, the Big West conference championship, and the school's first trip to the NCAA tournament in 12 years. Star guard Aaron Nixon was named Big West player of the year, as well as being selected as an AP Honorable Mention All-American. On April 6, 2007, it was announced that Dan Monson (formerly of Gonzaga University and the University of Minnesota) would become Long Beach State's next head Men's Basketball Coach, succeeding Larry Reynolds.

The Women's basketball team had its greatest success during the 1980s when coached by Joan Bonvicini for 12 years. During that time the team went 325-71. The 49ers won 10 Big West Conference titles, made 10 straight NCAA appearances, had 12 consecutive winning seasons, and never won fewer than 24 games in a season. Bonvicini guided the 49ers to Final Four appearances in 1987 and 1988.

Football

Long Beach State competed in Division I football for a number of years (1969-91), producing a number of professional players, including Terrell Davis and Mike Horan, among others. George Allen, the famed Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins coach, had a short one-year tenure at Long Beach State. Long Beach State discontinued its football program after the 1991 season due to budget constraints. Prior to going Division I in 1969 the football team competed in the old "College Division" of the NCAA from 1955 through 1968.

Olympics

Long Beach State has had the honor of having at least one of its own athletes participate in every Summer Olympic Games since 1952, (the first Olympiad after the school's founding).[3]

Coaches

Long Beach has also had a number of nationally prominent coaches, including Tex Winter, Jerry Tarkanian and Lute Olson in men's basketball, George Allen in football, Frances Schaafsma in women's volleyball and basketball, Joan Bonvicini in women's basketball, and Jon Urbanchek and Don Gambril in swimming.

Pop culture

Alumnus John "J.P." Calderon competed in the 13th edition of the hit reality television show Survivor. Calderon, who is now a professionally ranked AVP player, graduated from Cal State Long Beach in 2000 after playing on the nationally ranked Division I Men's Volleyball Team.

Club sports

In addition to NCAA-sanctioned sports, Long Beach State also fields numerous competitive club sports teams, such as rugby, ice hockey, ultimate, soccer, crew, and many others.

School spirit

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Fight song

We’re the Forty-Niners,
Our colors way up high will shine.
Down the Field, We'll never yield,
Like the days of ’49 we’ll fight on.

We’re the Forty-Niners,
Our foe will know we’ve come to fight,
And just like the days of old…
We’ll Fight, Black and Gold!

See also the UC Irvine Anteaters fight song, The Big C, that mentions its rivalry with Long Beach State.

Alma Mater

Alma Mater Hail to Thee
And We Pledge Our Loyalty
To the College of Our Choice
Thee We Serve With Hand and Voice
Now and in the Future Bright
Citadel of Truth and Right
Honor, Glory and Renown
All are Thine Dear Gold and Brown*[4]

*In Spring 2000, by student vote, the official school colors were changed from gold and brown to gold and black.

References

  1. ^ a b c Mike Weathers became 'Dirtbag' head coach in 2001. Championship Teams. 49er Historical Archive. Retrieved August 10, 2007
  2. ^ Professional Alumni. 49er Historical Archive. Retrieved August 10, 2007
  3. ^ Olympians Associated with Long Beach State. 49er Historical Archive. Retrieved August 10, 2007
  4. ^ Traditions. 49er Historical Archive. Retrieved August 10, 2007

External links


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