In 1979: The UNA Lions win their first NCAA Division II national championship in Basketball.
In 2017: The Lions officially become a Division I football program, joining the Big South Conference.
In 2018: UNA wins the Big South Conference football championship in its first year of eligibility.
In 2021, the North Alabama Lions began their first season in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), a Division I conference. This marked a new era for UNA athletics, as the school joined a new conference and competed at the highest level of collegiate sports. During the 2021 season, the Lions competed in football, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, men’s and ...
History of the Lions
The North Alabama Lions are an NCAA Division I school in Florence, Alabama. They compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference and have been a part of the NCAA since 1999. The Lions have had some success over their history, making three appearances in the NCAA tournament (2003-04, 2004-05, and 2006-07).
The team has also won two conference championships as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference (2004 & 2007). The most recent championship came after defeating Jacksonville University 69–62 to win back-to-back titles for UNA. During this period, they were led by head coach Mike Davis, named A-Sun Coach of the Year twice at UNA (2005 & 2007).
Under his leadership, UNA achieved unprecedented success with multiple wins against nationally ranked teams, including victories over #10 Florida State and #14 Mississippi State proving that talent could be found even outside major conferences like SEC or ACC. After Coach Davis left for Indiana University following their second consecutive conference title, he was replaced by current head coach Tony Pujol, who has continued leading them on successful runs throughout his tenure.
In addition to basketball, North Alabama has many other sports, such as baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, cross-country track and field, golf, tennis, lacrosse, swimming, diving, equestrian cheerleading, rifle bowling, esports, disc golf, etc. With all these options available, it’s no wonder why students flock from around America each year, hoping they can get accepted into this prestigious university!
College Sports Established
University of North Alabama
2018 - Present / NCAA Division I
2018 - Present / ASUN Conference
Lions - The University of North Alabama has a rich and storied history, and its athletic teams have long been known as the Lions. But where did this nickname come from? The answer lies in the university's past.
It all started in 1872 when UNA was founded as LaGrange College by local Presbyterians who wanted to establish a school that would “educate young men for service to their country.” 1889 after several ownership changes, it became State Normal School No 1 – later named Florence State Normal School (FSNS) – emphasizing training teachers rather than educating students more broadly.
In 1930 FSNS adopted its first official mascot: the Lion! This came about due to an alumnus from 1908 who had gone on to become president of what is now Auburn University — Ralph Baughman Jordan — suggesting that since both schools were state-funded institutions located near each other, they should share similar mascots; he proposed the lion for his alma mater at FSNS because lions are majestic animals associated with courage and strength which seemed appropriate for aspiring educators looking out into uncharted territory ahead of them during these times.
The name stuck over time until 1994 when UNA officially changed from Florence State University (FSU) to North Alabama - though many still refer affectionately today just as 'Florence.' As part of this transition process, they also adopted their current logo featuring two lions facing off against one another - representing strength and unity between different groups within our community here at UNA! It is no surprise why we proudly call ourselves "The Lions" today!
Men's Basketball 0
Women's Basketball 0
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