|NCAA||Division I (Bowl Subdivision)|
|Athletics director||Jim Schaus|
|Varsity teams||6 men and 10 women varsity teams|
|Football stadium||Peden Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Convocation Center|
|Mascot||Rufus the Bobcat|
|Fight song||“Stand Up and Cheer"|
|Colors||Hunter Green and White
Ohio University features 16 varsity sports teams called the Bobcats. The Bobcats compete in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in all sports. The Bobcats were a charter member of the Mid-American Conference in 1946 and are the only team still in the conference from the original 5 team league that included Butler University, University of Cincinnati, Wayne State University, and Case Western Reserve University. Ohio's team colors are green and white. All Bobcats sports compete at the highest possible level in the NCAA, with Ohio football competing in the Division 1 Bowl Subdivision and other sports competing in Division 1.
Jim Schaus was named the new Director of Athletics at Ohio University by President Roderick J. McDavis on April 7, 2008. Before accepting the job at Ohio, Schaus served in the same capacity at Wichita State University for 9 years. Schaus replaced Kirby Hocutt, who took the Director of Athletics position at the University of Miami. The Ohio Athletics Department features 4 associate athletics directors: Amy Dean (Senior Associate AD/Administration and Sport Programs), Dan Hauser (Associate AD/External Operations), and Tricia Turley (Associate AD/Compliance and Student Services), and Jim Harris (Associate AD/Development).
The first Ohio basketball game occurred in 1907 when the Bobcats defeated the Parkersburg YMCA 46-9. Since that day, Ohio has posted a .569 winning percentage over their 100 year history and a .566 winning percentage in their 61 years in the Mid-American Conference. The Bobcats have won 5 Mid-American Conference tournament titles in 1983, 1985, 1994, 2005 and 2010. as well as 9 MAC regular season titles in 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1985, and 1994. Prior to joining the MAC, the 'Cats won an Ohio Athletic Conference title in 1921 and three Buckeye Athletic Association championships in 1931, 1933, and 1937. In addition, Ohio has played in the NCAA Tournament 12 times (second most in the MAC), appearing in 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1983, 1985, 1994, 2005, and 2010. The Bobcats have been selected for the National Invitation Tournament 4 times in 1941 (runner-up), 1969, 1986, and 1995, while also appearing in the College Basketball Invitational in 2008. As a result of the storied tradition of Ohio Bobcats basketball, the program was recently ranked 86th in Street & Smith's 100 Greatest Basketball Programs of All Time, published in 2005.
Ohio's home basketball games are played at The Convocation Center. Located on the south end of Ohio University's campus in Athens, Ohio, the venue has a seating capacity of 13,080. The arena was completed in 1968 and is the largest basketball facility in the Mid-American Conference and one of the largest in the nation. The "O-Zone" student cheering section helps to make the "Convo" one of the most hostile environments in the nation, and they are widely regarded as the best student section in the MAC. Thanks in part to this great atmosphere, the Bobcats have won over 75% of their home games since the opening of The Convo. Prior to playing at the Convo, Ohio basketball games were first played in Bentley Hall and then at Grover Center, two buildings that today exist as office space and classrooms for the university. The Convocation Center brought in its largest crowd on February 28, 1970, when 14,102 fans were in attendance to watch the Bobcats men's basketball team defeat the Bowling Green Falcons 77-76. Ohio is consistently one of the attendance leaders in the Mid-American Conference and has the ability to draw good crowds, win or lose.
Some of Ohio's famous men's basketball coaches include Jim Snyder, Danny Nee, and Larry Hunter. Jim Snyder led the Bobcats for 26 years (1949-1974) and helped Ohio to 7 NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT appearance. Snyder's teams compiled a 355-255 record, good for a .581 winning percentage. Former Ohio Coach Danny Nee led Ohio for 7 years from 1980-1986. Nee helped rebuild the program from several years of losing records, and he helped lead the team to 2 MAC Tournament titles, 2 NCAA Tournament appearances, and one NIT appearance. Following Nee's tenure at Ohio, he took a job as head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Today Nee is head coach of the Duquesne University Dukes. Larry Hunter served as head coach of Ohio from 1989-2001, compiling a winning percentage of .580 (204-148). His teams made one NCAA Tournament appearance in 1994, an NIT appearance in 1995, and won the Pre-Season NIT in 1994. Despite his good record as coach of the Bobcats, Hunter was relieved of his duties in 2001 for a lack of postseason success. Today, Hunter is head coach of the Western Carolina University Catamounts.
Ohio's head coach from 2001 to 2008 was Tim O'Shea. Coach O'Shea resigned on Monday June 23, 2008, in order to become the head coach of Bryant University in Rhode Island. Coach O'Shea had arrived at Ohio in 2001 after 4 seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Boston College. He came to Athens on March 29, 2001 and vowed to take the Ohio men's basketball program to what he called the "next level". This next level was realized in 2005 as he led to Bobcats to a 21-11 record, a MAC Tournament Title, and an NCAA Tournament appearance in which 13 seed Ohio nearly upset 4 seed Florida. O'Shea's 2005-2006 team proved successful as well, posting a 19-11 record with wins over teams such as Rhode Island and Samford, and a close loss to Kentucky. The 2006-2007 team also posted 19 wins, with a final record of 19-13. A 20 win campaign was had in the 2007-2008 season, including notable non-conference wins over Maryland, St. John's, George Mason, and Bucknell. The team was extended an invite to the College Basketball Invitational, where the Bobcats advanced to the second round.
On June 27, 2008, former Ohio State Buckeyes associate head coach John Groce was named the sixteenth head coach in Bobcats history. Groce brings fourteen years of assistant coaching experience to Athens, along with a pair of outright Big Ten regular-season titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances, a berth in the 2007 NCAA National Championship game and the 2008 NIT title.
The long and storied tradition of Ohio Bobcats football began in 1894 with an 8-0 loss to Marietta College. Since that day, the Bobcats have posted a 498-516-48 record over their 112 year existence and a 202-243-11 record over their 60 years in the Mid-American Conference. The Bobcats have won 5 MAC Football championships in 1953, 1960, 1963, 1967, and 1968, and MAC East Division championships in 2006 and 2009. Prior to joining the MAC, the Bobcats won 6 Buckeye Athletic Association championships in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1935, 1936, and 1938. In 1960, the Bobcats were crowned National Small College Champions after compiling a 10-0 record under Coach Bill Hess. The Bobcats have appeared in four bowl games, losing 15-14 to West Texas State in the 1962 Sun Bowl, losing 49-42 to Richmond in the 1968 Tangerine Bowl, falling 28-7 to Southern Mississippi in the 2007 GMAC Bowl, and losing 21-17 to Marshall in the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
Ohio's home football games are played at Peden Stadium. Located on the south end of Ohio University's campus in Athens, Ohio, the venue has a seating capacity of 24,000. The stadium was built in 1929 and is the oldest college football stadium in the Mid-American Conference and among the oldest in the nation. Many recent renovation and expansion efforts, though, have allowed the stadium to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of college football stadiums. As such, Peden Stadium, nicknamed "The Wrigley Field of College Football", is considered among the best college football facilities in the Mid-American Conference and the nation. Peden Stadium brought in its largest crowd on September 9, 2005, when 24,545 fans were in attendance to watch the Bobcats defeat the University of Pittsburgh Panthers 16-10. Ohio is consistently one of the attendance leaders in the Mid-American Conference and has the ability to draw good crowds, win or lose.
Some of Ohio's famous football coaches include Don Peden, Bill Hess, Jim Grobe, and current head coach Frank Solich. Don Peden coached from 1924-1946, compiling a 121-46-11 record, good for a winning percentage of .711 that still stands as the best ever for an Ohio football coach. Peden's teams won a total of 6 Buckeye Athletic Association Championships in his tenure and left a lasting mark on the program when the Bobcat's football stadium, Peden Stadium, was named in his honor following his retirement. Bill Hess's time at Ohio was equally impressive. Coaching from 1958-1977, Hess had a 108-91-4 record, giving him a winning percentage of .542 that is second only to Peden on Ohio's all-time list. Coach Hess's teams won 4 MAC Championships, participated in 2 bowl games, and won a National Small College Championship in 1960 after having an undefeated season. Former Ohio Coach Jim Grobe took the helm of the Bobcats program in 1995, inheriting a squad that winless in the previous season. Grobe quickly turned the program around, as his teams went 8-3 in 1997 and 7-4 in 2000. Coach Grobe had a 33-33-1 record in his time at Ohio, good for a .500 winning percentage that is fourth among all Ohio football coaches. After the 2000 football season, Grobe took a job as head football coach at Wake Forest University.
Frank Solich was named the 28th football coach of the Bobcats on December 16, 2004. Prior to coming to Ohio, Solich spent many years as a part of the University of Nebraska football program, as a player, an assistant coach, and later as the head coach. Solich was head coach of the Cornhuskers from 1998-2003 where he directed Nebraska to 6 consecutive bowl games, including the national championship game in the 2002 Rose Bowl. Solich's impact on the Ohio program was immediate, as plans were put in place to renovate Ohio's football facilities and increase financial support for the football program. Also, Ohio was selected to appear on national television 6 times for the 2005 football season, a record for the program. Frank Solich's first home game as coach of Ohio was a memorable one, as Peden Stadium brought in its largest ever crowd to watch the Bobcats defeat the University of Pittsburgh Panthers 16-10.
Under the guidance of Frank Solich, the Ohio football program has enjoyed a return to national prominence. On November 16, 2006 the Bobcats secured their first-ever Mid-American Conference East Division title and their first football championship of any sort since 1968 with a victory over the University of Akron Zips. They then advanced to the MAC Championship Game in Detroit, Michigan, where they were defeated by Central Michigan 31-10. On January 7, 2007, the Bobcats acted as the MAC representative in the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, losing 28-7 to The University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in a game nationally televised on ESPN. The Bobcats followed up the impressive 2006 campaign with a 6-6 record in 2007, and was one of 6 bowl eligible programs that was not invited to post-season play. The Bobcats returned to the post-season in 2009, posting a 9-3 regular season record and another MAC East Championship. Ohio played in the MAC Championship Game, where they fell to Central Michigan 20-10. On December 26, 2009, the Bobcats fell 21-17 to the Marshall University Thundering Herd in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
Lenny Sadosky—Halfback—1935-1936 Cleveland Rams
Paul Halleck—End—1937 Cleveland Rams
Len Janiak—Back—1940-1942 Cleveland Rams
John Fekete—Back—1946 Buffalo Bisons
Robert Harrison—Back—1961 Baltimore Colts
Dick Grecni—Linebacker—1961 Minnesota Vikings
Robert Brooks—Back—1961 New York Titans
Alan Miller—Linebacker—1962-1963 Washington Redskins
Chuck Turner—Tackle—1966 Buffalo Bills
Todd Snyder—Wide Receiver—1969-1973 Atlanta Falcons
Brian Bertoia—Offensive Lineman—1985 Cleveland Browns
Andy Canter—Offensive Lineman—1995 Philadelphia Eagles
Chad Brinker—Running Back/Returner—2003 New York Jets
Kevin Carberry—Defensive End—2005 Cleveland Browns
All players in BOLD are current NFL players.
The Ohio baseball program has won 14 MAC regular season titles in 1947, 1948, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1991. The team has also won a MAC tournament title in 1997, and has made a College World Series appearance in 1970. There have been a total of 23 Bobcats in the major leagues, and hundreds more in the minors. Most notably, Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt was a Bobcat.
Ohio's volleyball team has been steadily increasing in popularity and national prominence. Under the direction of Coach Geoff Carlston, the team won 5 consecutive Mid-American Conference regular season championships from 2003 to 2007, and 4 consecutive MAC tournament titles from 2003 to 2006. The team has appeared in the NCAA Tournament every year since 2003, and made the "sweet 16" of the NCAA tournament in 2005. Following the end of the 2007 season, Coach Geoff Carlston moved on to take the head coaching position at Ohio State University, with Ohio naming former Florida assistant Ryan Theis to the vacant head coaching position. Under the direction of Theis, the Bobcats have won 2 MAC regular season titles and have recorded 2 NCAA Tournament appearances.
Ohio's women's swimming and diving team has won 10 MAC championships in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, and 2008. The Aquatic Center, one of the finest swimming and diving facilities in the league and in the nation, has hosted numerous MAC Swimming and Diving Tournaments.
The Bobcat's wrestling team has won 15 MAC championships (more than any MAC program) in 1955, 1956, 1957, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001. Recent graduate Jake Percival earned a national reputation due to his status as a four time All-American.
The men's golf program at Ohio is among the most celebrated in the school's history. Throughout the history of Ohio golf, 18 MAC tournament titles (more than any MAC program) have been won in 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1979, 1980. PGA legend Dow Finsterwald is among the Ohio golf program's many famous alumni.
Other varsity teams at Ohio University include (MAC titles in parenthesis):
On January 25, 2007, Hocutt announced the elimination of four varsity sports at Ohio University. Those sports include: men's swimming and diving, men's indoor track, men's outdoor track and women's lacrosse. The decision was announced without any advance warning to the student athletes involved causing major tension between the student body and the administration. The Athletic Department later revealed that the money saved would be used to strategically reinvest in revenue sports.
Ohio's athletic facilities are among the finest in the Mid-American Conference and the nation. The names of the facilities and the teams that utilize them are as follows:
The Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame is the shrine which all Ohio Bobcats greats aspire to enter. Established in 1965, it is considered the premier athletics hall of fame in the Mid-American Conference. Inductees to the Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame are inducted during banquet ceremonies the evening prior to a designated home football game. Inductees are also recognized during a special halftime ceremony at the football game the following day. Inductees are also honored into perpetuity as their portrait and accomplishments are displayed in the Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame currently located in the Convocation Center.
Ohio's archrival is Miami University. "The Battle of the Bricks" is an annual all-sports rivalry competition between the Ohio Bobcats and the Miami RedHawks athletic programs. The name "Battle of the Bricks" evolved from each school's reputation of having a campus of red brick buildings. Each varsity athletic competition in which the Bobcats and RedHawks meet including tournament play is counted as part of the years series record. At the conclusion of each academic year, the school with the most varsity wins takes the trophy back to their campus for the following year.
Another one of Ohio's rival is Marshall University. The annual football game between Ohio and Marshall is called "The Battle for the Bell", with a traveling bell trophy as the prize for the victor. Due to Marshall's recent move to Conference USA, this rivalry game will not be played for several years. However, athletics officials at each school are working to continue this annual series in the non-conference season.
Ohio is a tradition-rich school, and many of those traditions are associated with athletics events, especially football. Some Ohio traditions include:
The official radio home of the Ohio Bobcats is the Ohio Sports Network. The first Mid-American Conference network to reach into Columbus, the OSN continues to service Ohio University’s largest alumni base while also reaching out to Bobcat fans everywhere. The great success of the OSN has served as a model for MAC and other mid-major programs looking to create a broad-based media outlet.
The network features 12 radio affiliations throughout southeast and central Ohio, and into West Virginia:
The radio voice of the Bobcats is Russ Eisenstein. The color analyst for Bobcat football and men's basketball is Rob Cornelius, while voice of Ohio women's basketball is Tom Hodson. Ohio’s football sideline reporter is Caleb Troop.