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For current information on this topic, see 2009-10 Syracuse Orange men's basketball team.
Syracuse Orange
University Syracuse University
Conference Big East
NCAA Division I
Athletics director Daryl Gross
Location Syracuse, NY
Varsity teams
Football stadium Carrier Dome
Basketball arena Carrier Dome
Other arenas Manley Field House
Mascot Otto the Orange
Nickname Orange
Fight song Down The Field
Colors Orange and Navy



The Syracuse Orange is the nickname used by the athletic teams of Syracuse University. The school is a member of NCAA Division I and the Big East Conference. The school's mascot is Otto the Orange. Teams were previously known (until 2004) as the "Orangemen" and "Orangewomen" and, originally, as the "Saltine Warriors." The men's basketball, football, men's lacrosse, and women's basketball teams play in the Carrier Dome. Other sports facilities are located at the nearby Manley Field House complex.


Important Firsts

  • Rowing team founded: 1873
  • First recorded football game: 1884 vs. Medical College of Syracuse
  • First intercollegiate football game: 1889 vs. University of Rochester
  • First recorded basketball game: 1899 vs. Christian Association of Hamilton (Ontario)


The Syracuse Orange football program is a college football team that represents Syracuse University as a member of the Big East Conference, which is a Division I Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Doug Marrone, former offensive coordinator for the NFL's New Orleans Saints, is the head coach.[1]

The Syracuse University football program is also renowned for producing many All-Americans and College as well as Professional Football Hall of Famers. Among them are Ernie Davis, Jim Brown, Larry Csonka, Joe Morris, Art Monk, Jim Ringo, John Mackey, and Floyd Little. Among the current NFL Players are stars such as All-Pro Defensive End Dwight Freeney and All-Pro Quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Men's basketball

The Syracuse Orange men's basketball program is the intercollegiate men's basketball program of Syracuse University. The program is classified in the NCAA's Division I, and the team competes in the Big East Conference. During the 2008-2009, they played in, and won, a six-overtime thriller against a rival UConn team. The game was during the Big East Championship Tournament, and is the second longest NCAA Division I basketball game of all-time.


In 2008, Syracuse University announced that it would sanction a women's ice hockey team and become a member of College Hockey America.
The school expressed interest in having a men's team in the future. However these plans are currently on hold, in part because of Title IX.[2]


Syracuse fielded a team in baseball from 1870 through 1921, and again from 1923 to 1972, when the team was disbanded. The Orangemen appeared in the 1961 College World Series, and were eliminated by Oklahoma State. The 1961 team entered the College World Series in Omaha with a 16-3 record. In their first game they defeated Northern Colorado 12-5, but were defeated in their next game 12-9 by Oklahoma State. They then defeated Western Michigan 6-0, before being eliminated by eventual tournament runner-up Oklahoma State 8-0. The 1961 SU baseball team included two future major league pitchers, Dave Guisti and Billy Connors. The team also included four members of the 1959 NCAA championship football team: Dave Sarette, Billy Canon, Dick Easterly, and Bob Lelli. In the 1961 College World Series, Sarette was named to the all-tournament team as the third baseman.

Syracuse played its home games on Lew Carr Field, named after the Orangemen's coach from 1910-1942. The field was situated behind Manley Field House, where the lacrosse practice fields are today. At the height of the sport's popularity, often more than 1,000 fans attended the games.

During the cold winter months, the team practiced in an old barn adjacent to Manley. There was a batting cage made of nets and some artificial mounds for pitchers to throw batting practice, but not much else. The only heating was a big space heater inside. There was no way to work on fielding or baserunning, nor could the pitchers realistically throw live pitches to batters.

Many students, alumni, citizens and other baseball enthusiasts in the area are in favor of an NCAA team being formed on campus.

Even if the college did try to start a varsity NCAA team, the athletic budget is a difficult barrier to overcome. In a Sept. 12, 2006, story that appeared in The Daily Orange, Michael Wasylenko, current chairman of the Athletic Policy Board, said Title IX and Syracuse's athletic budget is still a major crutch. "If we added a men's sport, we'd have to get rid of a men's sport," Wasylenko said in the article. "And that's probably not a good idea."

Steve Owens, the head baseball coach at neighboring LeMoyne College said in a March 2007 article of the The Daily Orange, "Without question, you could be successful in this part of the country," Owens said. "I know money is a big issue at a lot of places, but just talking about the game itself, I see no reason why baseball couldn't be a great fit at Syracuse."

A club team was established in 1979 and has been successful in tournaments.

The sport is currently played at the club level and the team is part of the National Club Baseball Association (NCBA).

Men's lacrosse

Syracuse fields a Division I NCAA college lacrosse team. Syracuse played its first intercollegiate lacrosse game in 1916, and captured its first USILA championship in 1920. It would go on to win USILA championships in 1922, 1924, and 1925. In the modern NCAA era, Syracuse has won eleven national championship title games, with one championship (1990) vacated due to rules infractions. The Orange's ten national championship titles are the most of any team in NCAA Division I history. Most recently, Syracuse won the 2009 National Championship in a come from behind 10-9 overtime victory against Cornell University.

Men's soccer

Syracuse Orange is the NCAA college soccer (football) team for Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. They are a Division I team in the Big East Conference.

Notable coaches, past and present



Carrier Dome

Built in 1980, the Carrier Dome is a 50,000-seat domed sports stadium located on the campus of Syracuse University. It is both the largest domed stadium on a college campus and the largest domed stadium in the Northeast. It is home to the Syracuse Orange football, basketball, and lacrosse teams. With regard to basketball, it holds another title, being the largest on-campus basketball arena, with a listed capacity of 33,000. This limit has been exceeded several times. The Dome seeks to break its own record for the most in attendance at any on-campus NCAA basketball game on February 27, 2010 when Syracuse hosts ESPN College Gameday and a 9PM Villanova game. The previous record was set on March 5, 2006, also against Villanova, with 33,633 in the stands. Seating sold out weeks prior to this 2010 game with 34,616 tickets purchased.

Manley Field House

Built in 1962, this complex houses many of the offices of SU Athletics. It also contains two weight rooms strictly for Syracuse athletes only. Manley hosts many of Syracuse's matches, games, and competitions. Adjacent to the complex there are a variety of fields used for softball, soccer, field hockey, as well as a track for the track and field team. Manley was initially used as an indoor training facility for the football team, as well as a home court for men's basketball. Its seating capacity, 9,500, for basketball, at the time among the largest campus facilities in the Northeast, supported the rise to national prominence of the men's basketball program. The team shifted to the Carrier Dome after the 1980 season. In the final men's basketball game played at Manley, Georgetown University snapped the Orangemen's 57 game home winning streak.

Archbold Stadium

Thanks to a $600,000 gift by Syracuse University trustee and Standard Oil President, John D. Archbold, what was publicized as the “Greatest Athletic Arena in America” opened in 1907. Designed to resemble the Roman Coliseum and to never become outdated, Archbold Stadium became a trademark of Syracuse football. The stadium formed a massive oval, 670 feet (204 m) long and 475 feet (145 m) wide. It was 100 feet (30 m) longer and only 22 feet (7 m) thinner than the Carrier Dome, and more than 6 million Orangemen football fans passed through its gates.

From 1907 until 1978, Archbold Stadium was the home of SU football. Archbold opened up with a bang when the Orange defeated Hobart 28–0. It went out in style 71 years later, with an improbable victory over second-ranked Navy 20–17. Syracuse posted a record of 265–112–50 at Archbold, and it housed many great teams. It was home of the 1915 squad, which was invited to play in the prestigious Rose Bowl and outscored its opponents 331 to 16. The 1959 team also called Archbold home en route to SU’s only National Championship. In 1978, SU fans said good-bye forever to the historic stadium. Archbold was demolished to make way for the new on-campus facility, the Carrier Dome, which opened in 1980.[3]

National Championships

  • 1908 - Rowing
  • 1913 - Rowing
  • 1916 - Rowing
  • 1918 - Men's Basketball
  • 1920 - Rowing
  • 1920 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 1922 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 1924 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 1925 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 1926 - Men's Basketball
  • 1951 - Men's Cross Country
  • 1959 - Rowing (World Championship)
  • 1959 - Football
  • 1978 - Rowing
  • 1983 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 1988 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 1989 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 1990 - Men's Lacrosse*
  • 1993 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 1995 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 2000 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 2002 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 2003 - Men's Basketball
  • 2004 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 2008 - Men's Lacrosse
  • 2009 - Men's Lacrosse

* After the 1990 championship, the NCAA Committee on Infractions determined that Paul Gait had played in the 1990 championship while ineligible. Under NCAA rules, Syracuse and Paul Gait’s records for that championship were vacated. The NCAA does not recognize Syracuse and Coach Roy Simmons Jr.’s 3-0 record, and Paul Gait’s 7 goals, 7 assists and his participation in that championship.[4]

Notable athletes

Nicknames, mascots, and colors

Logo version of Otto the Orange

Orange is the official school color, adopted as such in 1890. Prior to that time, the school's colors were rose pink and pea green. Orange, blue, and white are traditionally used for athletic uniforms.[7]

The athletic nickname derives from the official color. Prior to 2004, the official nicknames of the athletic teams were the "Orangemen" and "Orangewomen." These former nicknames are still affectionately used by some fans. However, beginning with the 2004–2005 school year, the official nickname was changed to the "Orange." This revision is gender-neutral, concise, and reflects the basis of the nickname as being the school color, as opposed to being derived from the Irish and Scottish Protestant fraternal organization.[8] Other nicknames over the years have included the "Hilltoppers," for the school's location on a hill, and the "Saltine Warriors," for a former mascot.


In 1931, a Native American warrior known as Nathan March aka: "Saltine Warrior"photo became the athletic mascot. The name derived from an article describing an archaeological dig on campus allegedly uncovering the artifacts of a Native American warrior.[9] The warrior was called the "Saltine Warrior" because of the abundant salt deposits in the Syracuse, New York area. The article was later revealed to be a hoax, but the mascot remained for next four decades.

In the mid-1950s, the father of a Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brother owned a cheerleading camp. He made a Saltine Warrior costume for his son to wear at Syracuse football games.[10] Thus began a nearly forty-year tradition of Lambda Chi brothers serving as the University's mascot.

In 1978, the Saltine Warrior was banned by the University as part of the national movement to eliminate Native American motifs, becoming one of the first colleges to do so. The mascot briefly morphed into a Roman warrior, but was eventually replaced unofficially in 1982 by a giant, cartoon-style Orange.[11]

Otto the Orange

The cheerleaders and mascots were at a UCA Cheerleading Camp in Tennessee that summer, and narrowed the field down to two potential names—"Opie" and "Otto." Figuring the name "Opie" would lead to the inevitable rhyme with "dopey," they settled on "Otto." Later that fall, word got out that the cheerleaders were calling the latest mascot costume Otto, and the name stuck.[12][13]

Otto the Orange was finally adopted by the University in 1995 as the University's official mascot, selected over a wolf and a lion also under consideration.[14]


External links


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