In 1989, the Ball State football team, led by head coach Paul Schudel, won its first MAC (Mid-American Conference) championship in program history. The Cardinals finished the regular season with a 7-4 record, including a 6-2 mark in conference play. In the MAC championship game, Ball State defeated Toledo 34-23 to secure the conference title and earn a berth in ...
In 1995, the Ball State men’s basketball team, led by head coach Ray McCallum, won the MAC (Mid-American Conference) championship and earned a trip to the NCAA tournament for the second time in program history. The Cardinals finished the regular season with a 17-11 record, including an 11-5 mark in conference play, which was good enough for a share of ...
In 2013, the Ball State women’s basketball team won the MAC (Mid-American Conference) championship and earned a trip to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. The Cardinals finished the regular season with a 15-3 record in conference play, which was good enough for a share of the MAC West division title. Ball State entered the MAC ...
History of the Cardinals
The Ball State Cardinals have a long and storied history of success in NCAA sports. The school joined the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in 1973 and has become one of the most successful teams since then. They have won numerous championships over their years as members, including four MAC football titles and two women’s basketball titles.
In addition to these successes on the field, they are also known for producing some of college sports' best players over time. The San Francisco 49ers drafted quarterback Nate Davis after setting several passing records while at Ball State; wide receiver Dante Love is still remembered fondly for his incredible catches during his career with them; former running back Michael Lewis holds many all-time rushing records that still stand today; current NBA player Trey Burke played point guard for them before being selected by Minnesota Timberwolves with 9th overall pick in 2013 draft; even legendary coach Pete Lembo started as head coach here from 2010 to 2014 before taking a job at Maryland Terrapins!
Ball State's recent successes include reaching bowl games three times since joining FBS ranks 2009 season - 2011 Military Bowl vs. UCF Knights, where they fell 35–19 but had a good showing against a formidable opponent, 2015 GoDaddy Bowl vs. Arkansas St Red Wolves which ended 23–20 loss overtime thriller & 2018 Dollar General Bowl vs. Troy Trojans ending 31–21 victory. All this shows just how far the program came under the direction of athletic director Mark Sandy who took the helm in 2006. He led the charge to make the Cardinals competitive again within MAC & beyond!
College Sports Established
Ball State University
1973 - Present / NCAA Division I
1973 - Present / MAC Conference
Cardinals - It's no secret that the Ball State Cardinals have one of the most recognizable nicknames in all college sports. But where did it come from? The answer may surprise you!
The origin of the name dates back to 1927 when then-athletic director Paul “Bear” Bryant was looking for a way to honor his alma mater, Centre College. He chose "Cardinals" after their mascot at Centre - a cardinal bird - and adopted red as Ball State's official school color.
Since then, the nickname has become synonymous with success on and off the field for Ball State Athletics: they've won over 20 conference championships across several sports since joining NCAA Division I in 1977; their student-athletes consistently perform well academically; and they boast some of college football's biggest names including Super Bowl champion Nate Davis (Cleveland Browns) and NFL Pro Bowler Darius Hill (Indianapolis Colts).
But beyond athletics, “Cardinals” is part of what makes up this university’s identity – it represents pride among students, alumni & fans alike who bleed Cardinal Red & White daily! So next time you're cheering on your favorite team or showing your support around campus, remember how much history stands behind those two simple words: Go Cards!
Men's Basketball 0
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.