In 1998, the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) joined the Big Sky Conference, which is a NCAA Division I conference that consists of teams from the western United States. UNC previously competed in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and the North Central Conference before joining the Big Sky Conference. The move allowed UNC to compete at a higher level of ...
In the 2002-2003 season, the Northern Colorado Bears men’s basketball team had a record of 20-10 overall and 11-5 in conference play. They won the Big Sky Conference regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. However, they lost in the first round to the Michigan State Spartans.
In 2011, the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) women’s basketball team won the Big Sky Conference championship for the first time in program history. They earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament, where they were seeded 15th and faced off against the second-seeded Stanford Cardinal. Despite a strong effort, the Bears were ultimately defeated by Stanford, ending their postseason run. ...
In 2015, the Northern Colorado Bears women’s soccer team won the Big Sky Conference championship and participated in the NCAA Tournament for the second time.
In 2017, the Northern Colorado Bears football team finished the regular season with a 6-5 overall record and a 4-4 record in Big Sky Conference play. They won a share of the conference championship and qualified for the FCS playoffs for the first time in school history. However, they lost in the first round to the University of San Diego ...
History of the Bears
The Northern Colorado Bears have a long and storied history in NCAA sports. The team was first established in 1889 as the State Normal School of Colorado, and they've been competing at the highest level ever since. From its humble beginnings as an all-female school to its current status as one of the top teams in college athletics, there's no denying that Northern Colorado has had its fair share of success over the years.
Over time, this small school from Greeley has produced some truly remarkable athletes who have gone on to achieve great things both on and off the field. One example is former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler who played for NCU from 2003-2006 before going pro with Denver Broncos in 2006, earning four Pro Bowl selections during his 11-year career with three different teams (Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears & Miami Dolphins). Another notable alumnus is track star Jenny Simpson, who won a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships 1500m race while holding multiple American records for distances ranging from 800 meters up to 10k races!
In addition to individual successes like these two examples above, Northern Colorado's athletic program boasts several conference championships across many different sports, including men’s basketball (2009 Big Sky Conference Champions), women’s soccer (2010 Big Sky Champions), baseball (2012 Big South Conference Regular Season Champs) & volleyball(2013 Summit League Tournament Champs). In 2014 they even made it into Division I National Invitational Tournament after winning the regular season title. Unfortunately, they lost out first-round game against Boise State University by scoring 4-3!
NorthernColoradoBears are no stranger to NCAA competitions - having competed consistently over the last 130+ years - making them one of the most successful programs today! So if you're looking for your next favorite college team, look no further than NortherColoradoBears – a surefire choice any true sports fan should consider wholeheartedly supporting!
College Sports Established
University of Northern Colorado
2006 - Present / NCAA Division 1
1923 - 2006 / NCAA Division II
2006 – Present / Big Sky Conference
2003 - 2006 / Independent
1978 - 2003 / North Central Conference
1976–1978 / Independent
1972 - 1976 / Great Plains Athletic Conference
1923 - 1972 / Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
Bears - As sports fans, we know college teams have some of the most unique and exciting nicknames in all athletics. Each team has a distinct identity, from the Fighting Irish to the Crimson Tide. Today, we’ll look at one such nickname: The Northern Colorado Bears.
The University of Northern Colorado adopted its iconic bear mascot in 1923 when it was still known as “Colorado State Teachers College” (CSTC). According to university lore, students voted on several different animal mascots before deciding on a black bear - an animal native to northern parts of Colorado - which they felt represented their school spirit and pride best.
For decades after its adoption by CSTC students in 1923, this beloved mascot remained unnamed until 1949, when it officially became known as “Beauford T Bearcat” (or just Beau for short). It wasn't until 1984 that he finally got his full name: Beauford T Bearcat III! This final addition was made thanks mainly due to former CSTC student-athlete Jimmie Heuga who suggested adding three generations worth of bears into his family tree so future generations could continue celebrating him long after graduation day had come and gone.
In recent years however, there has been much debate surrounding whether or not ‘Bearcats' is an appropriate nickname for this particular school given how far away from any real cats they are geographically speaking; many believing instead that 'Bears' would be more fitting considering where they reside within our great state! Ultimately, no official change has been made, but with enough public support, perhaps, someday, UNC will become home sweet home for our beloved Bears again!
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