In 1914: The University of Arizona officially adopts the nickname “Wildcats” for its athletic teams. The name was chosen due to the team’s fighting spirit and determination.
In 1994, the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team, led by head coach Lute Olson, achieved a historic milestone by winning their first NCAA Tournament championship. The Wildcats had a remarkable run throughout the tournament, showcasing their talent, skill, and resilience. The championship game took place on April 4, 1994, at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Wildcats faced ...
The 1997 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Game was the finals of the 1997 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament and it determined the national champion for the 1996–97 season. The 1997 National Title Game was played on March 31, 1997, at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. The 1997 National Title Game was played between the 1997 West ...
The 2012 season marked the sixty-sixth NCAA Baseball Tournament, which culminated with the eight-team College World Series. The College World Series was held in Omaha, Nebraska. The eight teams played a double-elimination format, with Arizona claiming their fourth championship with two games to none series win over South Carolina in the final.
In 2012: The Arizona men’s basketball team, led by head coach Sean Miller, wins the Pac-12 regular-season championship. They also make a run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament, falling to the University of Connecticut.
In 2021: The Arizona women’s basketball team, coached by Adia Barnes, reaches the NCAA Tournament championship game for the first time in program history. Despite a valiant effort, they lose to Stanford in the final, finishing as national runners-up.
History of the Wildcats
The Arizona Wildcats are one of history's most storied and successful college sports teams. With a long list of NCAA championships, All-Americans, and Hall of Fame inductees to their name, it’s no wonder why Wildcat fans feel so much pride for their team.
The Wildcats have been competing at the highest level since 1914 when they first joined the Pacific Coast Conference (Pac-12). Since then, Arizona has won four national titles in men’s basketball (1997, 2001), women's softball (1991), and baseball (1976); they have also had numerous individual athletes win awards, such as Heisman Trophy winners Gary Beban in 1967 and Ricky Williams in 1998. In addition to all these accolades on the field or court, many former players have become successful coaches or executives within professional leagues like Major League Baseball or National Basketball Association.
Arizona is also well known for its powerhouse football program, which dates back over a century ago when they were part of The Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association from 1919 through 1949 before joining what was then called The Western Athletic Conference until 1978 when it became part of what is now known as The Pac 12 conference where they remain today. During this period, there were multiple bowl game appearances, including being crowned champions twice with victories over Florida State University during the 1994 Fiesta Bowl & 2008 Holiday Bowl games. While not winning any national titles yet, the team has seen plenty of success with nine divisional championships since 1985 under head coach Dick Tomey who held that position from 1987 until 2000. Current Head Coach Kevin Sumlin looks poised to lead them even further into greatness after leading them into three consecutive New Year Six bowls between 2018 - 2020. He posted 75 wins against only 34 losses during his tenure thus far.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that Arizona Wildcats are one of college sports' premier programs whose legacy will continue throughout generations ahead due to enormous thanks to its proud alumni base and current student-athletes striving towards excellence each day!
College Sports Established
University of Arizona
1973 - Present / NCAA Division 1
1921 - 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1914 - 1921 / Athletic Association of the United States
1978 – Present / PAC 12 Conference
1962 – 1978 / Western Athletic Conference
1931 – 1961 / Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1914 - 1930 / Independent
Wildcats - The Arizona Wildcats have been a powerhouse in college sports for decades, and their iconic nickname has become synonymous with excellence. But where did the name “Wildcats” come from?
It all started in 1914 when the University of Arizona adopted its athletic teams as “the Varsity.” However, this name didn't stick around for long; by 1916, they had changed it to "Wildcats" due to an article in The Daily Wildcat student newspaper, which referred to the team as such. This was likely inspired by Northwestern University's football team, known then as "The Purple Wildcats."
Since then, Arizona's mascot has gone through several iterations but remains one of college sports' most recognizable nicknames today. It is also used across many other sports teams throughout North America, including professional baseball and basketball franchises like Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals and National Basketball Association’s Phoenix Suns, respectively.
In addition, some high schools have even adopted similar names, such as Tucson High School, whose athletic teams are called “Tucson Badgers," harkening back to their original moniker: The Fighting Wildcats! So there you have it - next time you hear someone mention 'Arizona Wildcats,' you know exactly why they chose this iconic nickname!
2012, 1986, 1980, 1976
Men's Basketball 1
Women's Basketball 0
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.