Teams were originally known as the “Grey Fog”, and red and blue were Saint Ignatius College’s colors. However, as the college began to develop an identity distinct from the high school—the college became the University of San Francisco in 1930—it adopted green and gold as its colors in 1927 and chose the Don as its mascot in 1932
USF is best known for its basketball program. The men’s basketball team have won three national titles: the 1949 NIT under Pete Newell and the 1955 and 1956 NCAA championships under Phil Woolpert. The latter two were led by future National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame members Bill Russell and K.C. Jones.
USF retained its status as a basketball powerhouse into the 1970s and early 80s, holding the distinction of being a “major” program in a “mid-major” conference (the WCC having declined somewhat in stature since the 1960s). It held the number-one spot in the polls on numerous occasions. In 1977, led by All-American center Bill Cartwright, the Dons went 29–0 and ...
On March 30, 2016, Kyle Smith was named as the new head coach. Prior to joining USF, Smith had spent the prior six years as head coach of the Columbia University basketball team. For nine years prior to that, he was assistant coach at Saint Mary’s College of California, which went to the Sweet 16 in his final year.
History of the Dons
The San Francisco Dons have a long and storied history in the NCAA. Founded in 1917, the Dons are one of only two teams ever to win back-to-back national championships (1955 & 1956). They’ve also won four conference titles as members of the West Coast Conference.
Throughout its existence, San Francisco has been known for having some of college basketball's most iconic players grace its court. Bill Russell is perhaps the most famous player to don a Don uniform, leading them to an undefeated season and their first championship title in 1955 before becoming one of professional basketball's all-time greats with 11 NBA championships. Other notable former Dons include KJ Feagin (2017 WCC Player Of The Year), John Cox III (2007 WCC Defensive Player Of The Year), and Darrell Tucker, who was named National Freshman Of The Year by Sporting News Magazine in 1981, among many others who have gone on from USF into professional or collegiate careers elsewhere around America!
For sports fans looking for something special when it comes down to cheering on your favorite team - look no further than rooting for your hometown heroes: THE SAN FRANCISCO DONS! From legendary players like Bill Russell through today’s stars such as KJ Feagin – no other team can match up against this historic program when it comes down to winning big games or having fun watching them play every night out at War Memorial Gymnasium! So make sure you come out this season and show your support!!
College Sports Established
San Francisco, California
University of San Francisco
1973 - Present / NCAA Division 1
1952 - 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1952 - Present / West Coast Conference
Dons - The San Francisco Dons are among the most iconic college sports teams in the United States. Not only do they have a long and storied history, but their nickname has an interesting origin story that all sports fans should know about.
The name “Dons” was adopted by the University of San Francisco (USF) in 1922 as an homage to Spain's Don Quixote de La Mancha, who embodied courage and chivalry. The school wanted to use this same spirit when it came to athletics, so they decided on “Dons” as their mascot name for its football team—and eventually, other athletic teams at USF followed suit with similar nicknames like "Donnas" for women's basketball and "Donnies" for men's soccer.
Today, the Dons remain a famous symbol of USF pride among students and alumni; however, many people don't know why this particular nickname was chosen or how it became a staple part of college athletics across America. In addition to being inspired by Don Quixote de La Mancha himself, the original choice also had something else: It fits perfectly with what is now known as West Coast Conference rivalries – which were very much alive during those early days! This meant that whenever two schools from different conferences faced off against each other on game day—like Stanford vs. Cal or USC vs. UCLA —they could be referred casually referred to simply as ‘the Dons' without any confusion between them because both sides would already understand what that meant: A battle between two proud universities fighting fiercely under one unified banner!
Men's Basketball 2
Women's Basketball 0
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