The University of South Florida’s basketball team first tipped off as the Golden Brahmans on December 1, 1971, with a 74-73 win at Stetson University. Their first home game was marked by a 98-77 loss to Florida at Curtis Hixon Hall in downtown Tampa, which would serve as USF’s primary arena of the seven courts the team would call home before the opening of the on-campus Sun Dome for the 1980-81 season, and was the only arena USF used every season through 1980. South Florida’s first home win would come on December 18 against Baldwin Wallace. The Brahmans topped 100 points for the first time in just their tenth game, beating Florida A&M 103-102. USF only played one game at their other home for the 1971-72 season, beating Missouri-St. Louis 85-82 at Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory in West Tampa. The Golden Brahmans would finish their inaugural season with a record of 8-17 but recorded their first winning season the next year going 14-11.
The night following a victory by any of the Bulls sports teams, the school shines green lights on its iconic water tower to let the campus know of the win. The school also lights up the water tower for events such as homecoming and commencement ceremonies.
USF’s fight song is the Golden Brahman March, named after the original mascot.
USF’s hand sign is “Horns Up”, similar to Texas’s “Hook ’em Horns”. The signal is used as good luck during field goals, extra points, free throws, and as general school spirit.
College Sports Established
University of South Florida
1973 – Present / NCAA Division 1
1965 – 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
2013 – Present / American Athletic Conference
2005 – 2013 / Big East Conference
2003 – 2005 / Conference USA
2001 – 2003 / Independent
Bulls – With many different early name suggestions, the “Golden Brahman” was selected as the official mascot of USF in November 1962. Students reasoned that, since Florida was a cattle-raising state like Texas, USF needed a mascot comparable to the Texas Longhorns mascot. In the late 1980s, the mascot evolved into the “Bulls.”
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