The baseball team began play in the 1958 season as an independent school in the NCAA College Division, made up of the athletic programs of small universities and colleges. The school, founded in the early 1950s, was then known as the San Diego College for Men, and its athletic programs were known as the Pioneers. Mike Morrow was the program’s ...
They won their first WCC title in 1983–84, when the conference was known as the West Coast Athletic Conference. The team was led by all-conference forward Mike Whitmarsh, who was a runner-up that year for the conference player of the year award. Their coach, Jim Brovelli, was named the conference coach of the year
In the 2012 Major League Baseball draft, the following four Toreros were selected: P Paul Sewald by the New York Mets (10th round), P James Pazos by the New York Yankees (13th round), OF Bryan Haar by the Minnesota Twins (34th round), and P Calvin Drummond by the Oakland Athletics (38th round). Sewald, Pazos, and Haar signed professional contracts.
Lamont Smith, who coached the team from 2015–2018, was accused of accepting a bribe as part of the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal while he was coach of the team, allegedly illegally helping a Beverly Hills real estate developer’s children gain admission to the university.
History of the Toreros
The San Diego Toreros are among the most storied programs in NCAA history. The team has been a member of the West Coast Conference since 1979 and has earned three conference titles, seven NCAA tournament appearances, and 12 postseason berths during their time as members.
The Toreros have had some fantastic athletes over the years that helped build this program into what it is today. Notable alumni include NBA Hall-of-Famer Bill Walton, who was part of two WCC championship teams from 1972 to 1974; future MLB All-Star Tony Gwynn, who played for four seasons from 1977 to 1981; and current NBA player Johnny Dee who starred for San Diego in 2013 before being drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 2014.
In recent years, San Diego has continued its tradition of success on both ends with solid performances across all sports programs at USD, including men's basketball, where they won back-to-back WCC championships (2018 & 2019). They also reached their first-ever Sweet 16 appearance under head coach Lamont Smith last season after a thrilling victory against Gonzaga University in double overtime! This past year saw them reach another milestone when they were ranked No 24 nationally by USA Today Sports/ESPN Coaches Poll, making it only the second time USD was featured in the top 25 rankings! With such an impressive resume already established, there’s no telling how far these talented student-athletes can take this program next season or beyond!
College Sports Established
San Diego, California
University of San Diego
1993 - Present / NCAA Division I-AA/FCS
1973 - 1992 / NCAA Division III
1989 - Present / West Coast Conference
1979 - 1989 / West Coast Athletic Conference
Toreros - The San Diego Toreros are among the country's most storied NCAA Division I teams. With a rich history and passionate fan base, it’s no surprise that the team has such an iconic nickname. But where did this unique moniker come from?
It all started in 1958 when Father Charles Fink, then president of the University of San Diego (USD), created a new mascot for his school's athletic teams. He chose “Torero” – Spanish for bullfighter – as USD had recently become part of California's Mission Conference which included several universities with Hispanic heritage. The name was also chosen to honor USD's location near Old Town San Diego, known for its strong ties to Latin American culture and customs.
Since then, the Toreros have proudly represented their alma mater on local and national levels with great success over many decades - including multiple conference championships since joining Division, I play in the 1979-80 season! They've even been ranked as high No 8 nationally for some years! They bring prideful victories home each year and serve our community through various outreach programs like ‘Reading Power Play' or 'Bulldog Buddies.'
In conclusion, the "San Diego Toreros" nickname has stood tall throughout time, representing athletics excellence and cultural diversity within our city. It truly embodies what makes this university so unique: hard work combined with passion & commitment toward achieving greatness. Go Toros!
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