|Oakland Golden Grizzlies|
|Conference||The Summit League|
|Athletics director||Tracy Huth|
|Basketball arena||Athletics Center O'Rena|
|Fight song||OU Fight|
|Colors||black and gold
Oakland University Golden Grizzlies consist of 16 sports teams competing in The Summit League and Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The 16 athletic teams are: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, women's tennis, men's and women's track, and volleyball.
Early in the history of Oakland University, academic excellence was stressed at the expense of competitive intercollegiate athletics. While the focus on academic excellence has continued and expanded, the university has also come to recognize the importance of intercollegiate athletics. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, OU competed in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) as the "Pioneers," becoming a perennial powerhouse in numerous sports and winning multiple National Championships in men's and women's swimming. During the transition to NCAA Division I status in 1998-99, OU's sports teams became the Golden Grizzlies.
The current Athletic Director is Tracy Huth, who was one of the top swimmers in OU history as a student. In 2007 the OU Athletics Administration announced a marketing and sponsorship partnership with Palace Sports and Entertainment, which owns and operates the nearby Palace of Auburn Hills, as well as the Detroit Pistons and the Detroit Shock.
Oakland University won ten national NCAA Division II titles and 16 teams were national runner-up in NCAA Division II. Men's swimming and diving won five championships and finished as runner-up 10 times. Five women's swimming and diving teams also finished first and three came in second. The men's soccer team was NCAA Division II runner-up in 1986, 1994, and 1996.
National Championships (10):
National Runners-up (16):
Club Team National Championships (3):
Club Team National Runners-up (1):
|1998-present||The Summit League||Division I|
|1973-1997||Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Division II|
OU's baseball team is coached by John Musachio. The baseball program has produced nearly two dozen players who have gone on to play professional baseball, although at present the only former player who has made it to the Major Leagues is Don Kirkwood, who pitched for the California Angels, the Chicago White Sox, and the Toronto Blue Jays during his career.
The OU men's basketball team is coached by Greg Kampe, who is now among the top ten longest-serving coaches in the NCAA Division I ranks. OU qualified for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship tournament for the first time in 2005. The Golden Grizzlies defeated Alabama A&M University in the opening-round game at Dayton, Ohio on March 15, 2005, before being eliminated three days later by the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, who went on to win the National Championship.
Nearly two dozen OU players have gone on to play professional basketball. After being among the top ten scorers in all of NCAA Division I basketball in 2003 and 2004, Mike Helms was drafted into the CBA and played briefly for the Michigan Mayhem, in addition to playing in the National Basketball League of Australia, where he finished second in the league in scoring in 2006. His OU teammate, Kelly Williams, who is Filipino-American, was the #1 overall draft pick in the 2006 Philippine Basketball Association draft and was named the league's Rookie of the Year in 2007. Rawle Marshall, who led OU to its first NCAA tournament berth in 2005, became the first player from the university to make an NBA roster, playing in 23 games for the Dallas Mavericks in the 2005-06 season and 40 games for the Indiana Pacers in the 2006-07 season.
Brian Gregory, Oakland's career assist leader, played under Kampe from 1987-90 before beginning a coaching career. He was an assistant under Tom Izzo when Michigan State University won the 2000 NCAA title, and is now the head coach at the University of Dayton.
OU men's basketball games are broadcast on WDFN (1130 AM). The voice of the Golden Grizzlies is Mario Impemba, who is also the Emmy Award winning television play-by-play announcer for the Detroit Tigers. Impemba is joined by color analysts Neal Ruhl for road games, and Tom Negoshian for home games.
The OU women's basketball team is coached by Beckie Francis. On March 7, 2006, the women's basketball team defeated Western Illinois University to capture the 2006 Mid-Continent title. On March 19, in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the #16 Grizzlies lost to #1 Ohio State Buckeyes 68-45. Both basketball teams host games at the Athletics Center O'Rena.
Both the men's and women's Cross Country teams at OU are coached by Paul Rice.
OU's golf program benefits from the two world-class golf courses located on the university's campus. Both the men's and women's golf teams are coached by Brian Costello, who was previously head coach of the men's golf team at Belmont University in Nashville.
The Oakland men's club ice hockey team won the American Collegiate Hockey Association's Division II national championship in 2004, was national runner-up in 2005, and in 2006 again won the Division II championship. The team moved up to ACHA Division I for the 2006-2007 season and won the national championship over perennial power Penn State University by a score of 5-1. In addition, the Grizzlies career scoring leader, Will McMahon, was named tournament and regular season MVP after tallying 47 goals and 29 assists in 36 games (including playoffs). McMahon finished his career with 4 ACHA National Player of the Year awards with career totals of 240 goals and 140 assists (380 total points). McMahon was drafted by the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL following his final season (2007) making him the first Grizzly drafted in a professional hockey league.
The men's soccer team at OU will be coached by Eric Pogue, starting in the 2009 season. Pogue was an assistant under Gary Parsons for seven years. Parsons coached Oakland for 28 years and accumulated 363 wins in his coaching career, and made the NCAA Division I tournament on multiple occasions. Another of Parsons' former players, Jason Perry, will serve as an assistant to Pogue. In 2004, Perry was drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the third round of the Major League Soccer draft.
The women's soccer team at OU is coached by Nick O'Shea. In addition to making the NCAA Division I tournament in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2006, the team qualified again in 2007. They lost to Purdue University, 4-0, in the first round of the tournament on November 16, 2007.
The OU women's softball team is coached by Glenn MacDonald.
The men's and women's diving teams at OU are coached by Pete Hovland, who has built the OU program into one of the most impressive and successful programs in the midwest (see above under "National Championships").
The women's tennis team at OU is coached by Heather Redshaw.
The coach of the men's and women's track teams at OU is Paul Rice. Track is the newest of OU's 16 NCAA Division I sports.
The women's volleyball team at OU is coached by Rob Beam, who became head coach in March 2007.