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Rice Owls
Rice Owls logo.gif
University Rice University
Conference Conference USA
NCAA Division I
Athletics director David Sayler (interim)
Location Houston, TX
Varsity teams 16
Football stadium Rice Stadium
Basketball arena Tudor Fieldhouse
Baseball stadium Reckling Park
Mascot Sammy the Owl
Nickname Owls
Fight song Rice Fight Song
Colors Blue and Gray



The Rice University athletic teams are known as the Rice Owls. The name comes from the owls in Rice's crest.

Rice participates in NCAA Division I athletics and is part of Conference USA. Rice was a member of the Southwest Conference until its breakup in 1996. Rice then joined the Western Athletic Conference before joining C-USA on July 1, 2005. Rice is the second smallest school competing in NCAA Division I FBS football measured by undergraduate enrollment, just above the University of Tulsa's 2,756. Rice's major sports rivalry is with cross-town University of Houston, also of C-USA.



The Rice baseball team is currently the school's top athletic program and one of the NCAA's top baseball programs, having won its conference the last twelve consecutive seasons stretching back to the final Southwest Conference championship. The Owls won the College World Series in 2003. More recently, Rice's baseball team has finished third in both the 2006 and 2007 College World Series tournaments. Rice now has made six appearances to Omaha for the CWS. The team has played at on-campus Reckling Park since the 2000 season.


The Owls play at an on-campus football facility, Rice Stadium, which was the site of Super Bowl VIII and a speech by John F. Kennedy on September 12, 1962 in which he challenged the nation to send a man to the moon by the end of the decade. Rice Stadium opened in 1950 with a capacity of 70,000 seats. After improvements in 2006, the stadium is currently configured to seat 47,000 for football but can be readily reconfigured to its original capacity of 70,000[1], more than the total number of Rice alumni, living and deceased[2].

The Owls began playing football in 1919 as a member of the Southwest Conference. They played at the site of what is now the Rice Track/Soccer Stadium until 1950, when Rice Stadium was completed. During its first 40 years, Rice's football program was a regional and national powerhouse. By the early 1960s, the program found it difficult to compete against schools that were ten times its size or more. In 2006, the football team played in the New Orleans Bowl, the first time the team had gone to a bowl game since 1961, ending the second-longest bowl drought in the country at the time.

The Rice Owls play in the Western Division of Conference USA and are currently coached by David Bailiff.

The Rice Owls finished the 2008 Regular season with a 9-3 overall record (7-1 C-USA)--the first time they won more than seven games in over 40 years--and accepted a bid to play against Western Michigan University in the Texas Bowl on December 30th where they came away with a 38-14 victory for their first bowl victory since 1954.

At the end of the 2008 season wide receiver Jarett Dillard was named a 2nd Team All-American by the Football Writers Association, the first Rice Owl selected in 50 years. He has also been named an All-American by Sports Illustrated, (where he was joined by fellow owls Chase Clement and James Casey), and Walter Camp.

Bowl Game History Result
1938 Cotton Bowl Classic Rice 28 Colorado 14
1947 Orange Bowl Rice 8 Tennessee 0
1950 Cotton Bowl Classic Rice 27 North Carolina 13
1954 Cotton Bowl Classic Rice 28 Alabama 6
1958 Cotton Bowl Classic Rice 7 Navy 20
1961 Sugar Bowl Rice 6 Ole Miss 14
1961 Bluebonnet Bowl Rice 7 Kansas 33
2006 New Orleans Bowl Rice 17 Troy 41
2008 Texas Bowl Rice 38 Western Michigan 14



Men's basketball

Rice's men's basketball teams won 10 conference titles in the former Southwest Conference (1918, 1935*, 1940, 1942*, 1943*, 1944*, 1945, 1949*, 1954*, 1970; * denotes shared title). Most recently, guard Morris Almond was drafted in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz.

Women's basketball

In 2006-07, the Rice women's basketball team made the NCAA tournament.

Other sports

Rice has been very successful in women's sports in recent years. In 2004-05, Rice sent its women's volleyball, soccer, and basketball teams to their respective NCAA tournaments. In 2005-06, the women's soccer, basketball, and tennis teams advanced, and five individuals competed at the national championships in outdoor track and field. In 2006-07, the Rice women's basketball team made the NCAA tournament, while four Rice women's outdoor track and field athletes received individual NCAA berths, two of them earning All-America honors.


In addition to football, Rice Stadium also serves as the performance venue for the university's Marching Owl Band, or "MOB." Despite its name, the MOB is a scatter band which focuses on performing humorous skits and routines rather than traditional formation marching. Prior to the dissolution of the Southwest Conference, the MOB had a lesser rivalry with the "Fightin' Texas Aggie Band" from Texas A&M.

Rice's mascot is Sammy the Owl. In previous decades, the university kept several live owls on campus in front of Lovett College, but this practice has been discontinued.

Rice also has a fourteen member coed cheerleading squad and an all-female dance team, both of which perform at football and basketball games throughout the year.

Fight Song: Rice Fight Song

Fight for Rice, Rice fight on, loyal sons arise.
The Blue and Gray for Rice today, comes breaking through skies.
Fight, fight, fight!
Stand and cheer, Vict'ry's near [often replaced with 'Drink more beer'], Sammy leads the way.
Onward go! to crush the foe, we'll fight for Blue and Gray.
(Words and music by Louis Gerard '40)

Alma Mater: Rice's Honor:

All for Rice's Honor, we will fight on.
We will be fighting when this day is done.
And when the dawn comes breaking,
We'll be fighting on, Rice, for the Gray and Blue.
We will be loyal, to Rice be true.
(To the tune of "Our Director March," written by Ben H. Mitchell '24 in 1922)[3]


Facility Sport(s) Capacity
Rice Stadium Football 70,000
Tudor Fieldhouse Basketball, volleyball 5,000
Reckling Park Baseball 5,000
Rice Track/Soccer Stadium Soccer, track and field 5,000
Jake Hess Tennis Stadium Tennis 1,400
Rice Pool Swimming 300

See also


  1. ^ Rice Stadium Page
  2. ^ Rice Facts: Alumni
  3. ^ Traditions Page

External links


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