The Clemson Tigers are the athletic teams that represent Clemson University. They compete as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level (Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sub-level for football), primarily competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for all sports since the 1953-54 season. Clemson competes for and has won multiple NCAA Division I national championships in various sports, including football, men's soccer, and men's golf.
|Conference||Atlantic Coast Conference|
|NCAA||Division I (FBS)|
|Athletic director||Dan Radakovich|
|Location||Clemson, South Carolina|
|Football stadium||Memorial Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Littlejohn Coliseum|
|Baseball stadium||Doug Kingsmore Stadium|
|Soccer stadium||Riggs Field|
|Fight song||"Tiger Rag"|
|Colors||Orange and Regalia|
In 1896, football coach Walter Riggs came to Clemson, then Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina, from Auburn University. He had always admired the Princeton Tigers, and hence gave Clemson the Tiger mascot. The Clemson Tigers field seventeen athletic teams. The South Carolina Gamecocks are Clemson's in-state athletic rival. The two institutions compete against each other in many sports, but the annual football game receives the most attention. Clemson's main rivals within the Atlantic Coast Conference are Georgia Tech and Florida State.
Tiger Paw logoEdit
The Tiger Paw logo was introduced at a press conference on July 21, 1970. It was created by John Antonio and developed by Helen Weaver of Henderson Advertising in Greenville, South Carolina, from a mold of a Bengal tiger sent to the agency by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The telltale hook at the bottom of the paw is a sign that this is the official licensed trademark for the university.
|Men's sports||Women's sports|
|Track and field†||Track and field†|
|† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.|
Clemson University sponsors teams in nine men's and nine and a half* women's NCAA sanctioned sports. Women's diving completed its final season in 2017, and Clemson announced on March 14, 2017, that it would add college softball, targeting a 2020 start for the program.
Clemson has three national championships in football, the most recent coming in 2018 with a victory over Alabama in the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship. Clemson has appeared in the last four playoffs and won two national championships during those visits. The Tigers also possess the most Atlantic Coast Conference championships with 18, including winning the last four.
It has also won greater than 60% of its games, placing it in the top 25 on the all-time winning percentage list[circular reference]. Clemson also won two Southern Conference titles before joining the ACC. The 1981 squad, led by Head Coach Danny Ford, became the first athletic team in school history to win a national championship. Clemson defeated Nebraska 22–15 in the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, to win the 1981 NCAA Football National Championship. Stars of the game included Homer Jordan (QB) and Perry Tuttle (WR). Clemson finished the year 12–0 and ranked #1 in the Associated Press and Coaches polls.
Some of the most notable coaching names in Clemson football history are John Heisman (who also coached at Akron, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Penn, Washington & Jefferson, and Rice; the Heisman Trophy is named after him), Jess Neely, Frank Howard (whom the playing field at Death Valley is named after), and Danny Ford. After Tommy Bowden resigned midseason on October 13, 2008, Dabo Swinney took over as interim head coach. On December 1, 2008, Swinney was named head coach of the Clemson Tigers football team.
Before each home game, the team ends pre-game warm ups and proceeds to the locker room. With five minutes to go before game time, three buses leave the street behind the West Endzone carrying the Clemson football players. The buses pull to a stop at the gate in front of The Hill, and the Tigers gather at the top, where each player proceeds to rub "Howard's Rock," which is an imported rock from Death Valley, California that was presented to Frank Howard in 1967. While Tiger Rag is played and a cannon sounds, the Tigers run down the hill onto the field in front of over 83,000 screaming fans. This tradition has been dubbed "The most exciting 25 seconds in college football" by sportscaster Brent Musburger.
|National Champions||1981, 2016, 2018|
|National Championship Appearances||1981, 2015, 2016, 2018|
|ACC Champions||1956, 1958, 1959, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018|
|ACC Atlantic Division Champions||2009, 2011, 2012(t), 2015, 2016(t), 2017, 2018|
|Southern Conference Champions||1940, 1948|
|Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Champions||1900, 1902, 1903, 1906 (t)|
|Bowl victories||1940 Cotton Bowl Classic, 1949 Gator Bowl, 1951 Orange Bowl, 1959 Bluebonnet Bowl, 1978 Gator Bowl, 1982 Orange Bowl, 1986 Gator Bowl, 1988 Florida Citrus Bowl, 1989 Citrus Bowl, 1989 Gator Bowl, 1991 Hall of Fame Bowl, 1993 Peach Bowl, 2001 Humanitarian Bowl, 2004 Peach Bowl, 2005 Champs Sports Bowl, 2009 Music City Bowl, 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl, 2014 Orange Bowl, 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl, 2015 Orange Bowl, 2016 Fiesta Bowl, 2017 CFP National Championship, 2019 Cotton Bowl Classic, 2019 CFP National Championship|
|Playoff Appearances||2015, 2016, 2017, 2018|
|Undefeated Seasons||1900, 1906, 1948, 1950, 1981, 2018|
The Clemson Men's Basketball team is coached by head coach Brad Brownell, announced April 13, 2010. Accomplishments include:
|NCAA Tournament appearances||1980, 1987, 1989, 1990*, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018|
|NCAA Elite 8||1980|
|NCAA Sweet 16||1990*, 1997, 2018|
|NIT appearances||1975, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2017, 2019|
|NIT Runner-Up||1999, 2007|
|NIT Semifinals||1999, 2007, 2014|
|Southern Conference Champions||1939|
|ACC Regular Season Champions||1990 (not officially recognized by the conference)|
*vacated by NCAA
The Clemson women's basketball team is currently coached by head coach Audra Smith. Accomplishments include:
|NCAA Tournament appearances||1982, 1988–1994, 1996–2002|
|NCAA Elite 8||1991|
|NCAA Sweet 16||1989, 1990, 1999|
|AIAW Tournament appearance||1981|
|WNIT Tournament appearances||1980, 1984 (3rd Place), 1995, 2004|
|ACC Tournament Champions||1996, 1999|
|ACC Regular Season Champions||1981|
As of 2018, the Tiger baseball team has posted a combined 32 ACC regular season and tournament championships (the most in the conference), 43 NCAA Tournament appearances, 17 NCAA Regional Titles, 4 NCAA Super Regional Titles, and 12 College World Series appearances. Much of the baseball program's success occurred under Bill Wilhelm during his 35 seasons as Clemson's head coach. Monte Lee is the Tigers' current head coach, having replaced Jack Leggett after the conclusion of the 2015 season.
|CWS appearances||1958, 1959, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2010|
|ACC Tournament Champions*||1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 2006, 2016|
|ACC Regular Season Champions||1954*, 1958*, 1959*, 1967*, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979*, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2006, 2018(t)|
|ACC Atlantic Division Champions§||2006, 2010, 2018|
|Southern Conference Champions||1947|
* - recognized ACC championships. ACC tournament has decided conference champion since 1973 (except for 1979 due to academic conflicts)
§ - the ACC recognizes Division Championships in baseball. Divisions serve the purpose of simplifying conference scheduling during the regular season. Winning percentages in regular season conference play are then used to determine seedings for the Conference Tournament.
The men's soccer team was Clemson's second sports program to win a national championship, winning the NCAA Tournament in 1984 and again in 1987. In their 26 appearances in the NCAA tournament, the men's soccer team garnered runner-up finishes in 1979 and 2015, and has appeared in the NCAA Final Four eight times, with the 2015 squad being the most recent team to accomplish that feat. In addition to their NCAA titles, the men's program has won 16 combined ACC regular season and tournament titles, with the last one coming in the 2014 ACC Tournament. The Tigers have known only four coaches in their history: Dr. I.M. Ibrahim (1967–1994, 388–100–31 career record), Trevor Adair(1995–2008, 50–48–10 record at Clemson), Phil Hindson (Interim coach in 2009, 6-12-1 record) and Mike Noonan. Famous former Tigers include Oguchi Onyewu, Stuart Holden and Paul Stalteri, all three whom are capped for their respective nations.
|NCAA Champions||1984, 1987|
|NCAA Runner-up||1979, 2015|
|NCAA Final Four||1973, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1984, 1987, 2005, 2015|
|NCAA Tournament appearances||1972–1979, 1981–1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000–2003, 2005, 2006, 2013-2017|
|ACC Tournament Champions*||1998, 2001, 2014|
|ACC Regular Season Champions||1972*, 1973*, 1974*, 1975*, 1976*, 1977*, 1978*, 1979*, 1981*, 1982*, 1985*, 1990, 1993, 1998|
|ACC Atlantic Division Champions||2014 (t)|
|Herman Trophy winners||2 (Bruce Murray - 1987, Wojtek Krakowiak - 1998)|
* - recognized ACC championships. ACC champion decided by tournament since 1987
Women's soccer became a varsity sport at Clemson in 1994. The women's soccer team has won the ACC regular season crown twice, and advanced to the NCAA tournament sixteen times. The team has never been able to advance past the Quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. However, the team has been able to reach the Quarterfinals four times. The Tigers have known five coaches in their history Tracey Leone (1994-1998 89-39-4 career record), Ray Leone (1999-2000 33-10-3 career record), Todd Bramble (2001-2007 80-51-17 career record), Hershey Strosberg (2008-2010 14-39-1 career record), and Eddie Radwanski (2011-Current).
|NCAA Tournament appearances||1994–2007, 2014-2017|
|NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals||1997, 1999, 2000, 2006|
|ACC Regular Season Champions||2000, 2016(t)|
The Tiger golf team have a tradition of being among the best in the ACC and the nation, having won several ACC titles and regularly qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. In 2003, Clemson defeated Oklahoma State to win its first National Championship in golf and the 4th overall for the school. In addition to that victory, Clemson also won the ACC and NCAA East Regional titles that year, making the Tigers the first program in NCAA history to win its conference, regional, and national championship tournaments in the same year. Clemson has also won seven regional titles since the NCAA adopted the regional tournament format in 1989. 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover played golf at Clemson.
|NCAA Team Champions||2003|
|NCAA Individual Champions||1 (Charles Warren - 1997)|
|NCAA Team Runner-Up||1998, 2001|
|NCAA Individual Runner-up||3 (Charles Warren - 1998, Kyle Stanley - 2007, 2009)|
|NCAA Team 3rd Place||1989, 1997, 2002|
|NCAA East Regional Champions||1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004|
|NCAA Individual Regional Champions||2 (Mark Swygert - 1994, D. J. Trahan - 2002)|
|ACC Team Champions||1982, 1987, 1988, 1990 (tie), 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2016|
|ACC Individual Champions||8|
Other varsity sportsEdit
|Men's track and field|
|NCAA Indoor Team Runner-Up||1992, 1993|
|NCAA Indoor Team 3rd Place||1998 (t), 1999|
|NCAA Individual/Relay Champions||8 (indoor)
|NCAA East Region Individual/Relay Champions (outdoor)||4|
|NCAA All-East Region (outdoor)||18|
|ACC Team Indoor Champions||1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002|
|ACC Team Outdoor Champions||1980, 1982, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004|
|ACC Individual/Relay Champions||112 (indoor)
|Women's track and field|
|NCAA Indoor 3rd Place||2001 (t)|
|NCAA Outdoor 4th Place||2012 (t)|
|NCAA Individual/Relay Champions||10 (indoor, individual)||4 (outdoor, relay)|
|All-Americas||67 (indoor)||39 (outdoor)|
|NCAA All-East Region (outdoor)||8|
|ACC Indoor Team Champions||1992, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015|
|ACC Outdoor Champions||1991, 1999, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015|
|ACC Individual/Relay Champions||70 (indoor, individual ), 45 (indoor, relay)||94 (outdoor, individual), 16 (outdoor, individual)|
|All-ACC||96 (indoor)||117 (outdoor)|
|NCAA Region Champions||1983|
|NCAA Individual Region Champions||4|
|ACC Team Champions||1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988|
|ACC Individual Champions||11|
|NCAA Region Champions||1990|
|ACC Team Champions||1986|
|ACC Individual Champions||2|
|NCAA Tournament appearances||1979–1989, 1992, 1996–2000, 2003–2007, 2013-2014|
|NCAA Individual Runner-up||1 (Lawson Duncan - 1984)|
|ACC Tournament Champions||1969, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1997|
|ACC Regular Season Champions||1969, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1997|
|ACC Single Flight Champions||43|
|ACC Doubles Flight Champions||25|
|SIAA Single Flight Champions||1|
|SIAA Doubles Flight Champions||1|
Jay Berger was a two-time All-America in tennis for Clemson, and went on to a pro career in which his highest world ranking was # 7.
|NCAA Final Four||2004, 2005|
|NCAA Tournament appearances||1982–1984, 1986, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002–2015|
|AIAW Tournament appearances||1978, 1980, 1981|
|NCAA Individual Runner-up||1 (Gigi Fernández - 1983)|
|ACC Tournament Champions||1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 2004, 2008|
|ACC Regular Season Champions||1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 2004, 2007|
|ACC Single Flight Champions||40|
|ACC Doubles Flight Champions||22|
|ACC Tournament Champions||1997*|
|ACC Regular Season Champions||1999, 2007*|
|NCAA Tournament||1993, 1994, 1997–1999, 2007–2009|
* ACC Championship decided by tournament until 2004; regular season finish has determined the ACC champion since 2005 season.
|NCAA Individual Champions||1 (2009 Varsity 4+)|
|ACC Team Champions||2009|
|South Region Runner-Up||2008|
* The Lady Tigers rowing team became the first team other than Virginia to win the ACC Championship since the ACC began sponsoring the women's rowing championship in 2000.
Discontinued varsity sportsEdit
|Men's swimming and diving||1919-2012|
|ACC Team Champions||1986|
|ACC Individual/Relay Champions||49|
|Women's swimming and diving||1975-2012 *|
|ACC Team Champions||1987, 1988, 1989, 1997|
|ACC Individual/Relay Champions||82|
*Clemson sponsored a women's diving team from 2013–2017.
|ACC Regular Season Champions||1991|
|ACC Individual Champions||28|
|NCAA Individual Champions||Noel Loban (1980)
Sammie Henson (1993, 1994)
Wrestling at Clemson University was discontinued in 1995, despite the success of the program, due to financial shortages from Tiger Athletics' funding from the university. The wrestling program began in 1975 winning the ACC title as a team under coach Eddie Griffin in 1991. The Tiger wrestling program produced 8 overall wrestlers with All-American status, two NCAA Champions, and a finish at the NCAA Championships as high as 7th in 1994. Sammie Henson is a former standout at Clemson, as one of the most accomplished tiger wrestlers with a 1993 and 1994 NCAA Champion titles who eventually earned a 2000 Olympic silver medal and became a 1998 world champion in freestyle wrestling.
|SoCon Team Champions||1938, 1940|
|Socon Individual Champions||7|
|ACC Champions||1979, 1981|
|ACC Regular Season Champions||1980|
|National Coach of the Year||Charlie Poteat (1982)|
|All-Americans||Steve Renshaw (1977-1980, 4x All-American)|
Jay Thomas (1979, 1980, 1982)
|Women's field hockey||1977-1981|
|All-American||Barbie Johnson (1981)|
NCAA team championshipsEdit
Clemson University has six team national championships awarded by the NCAA, and three in football that are sanctioned by the NCAA.
Clemson has won three NCAA Division I Football National Championships, in 1981, 2016 and 2018. These titles were awarded, respectively, by polling agencies in 1981, and by the College Football Playoff system in 2016 and 2018.
Notable non-varsity sportsEdit
Clemson Rugby was founded in 1967. Although rugby is a club sport at Clemson, the team receives significant support from the university and from the Clemson Rugby Foundation, which was founded in 2007 by Clemson alumni. Clemson rugby has been led since 2010 by head coach Justin Hickey, who has also served as team manager for the U.S. national under-20 team.
Clemson's best season was 1996, when the team advanced to the national college rugby quarterfinals. Clemson also advanced to the round of 16 of the national playoffs for three consecutive years from 2005-2007. Clemson has played since 2011 in the Atlantic Coast Rugby League against its traditional ACC rivals. Clemson placed second in its conference in the spring 2012 season with a 6-1 conference record, narrowly missing out to Maryland for the conference title and a place in the national college rugby playoffs. Clemson again finished the spring 2013 season with a 6-1 conference record, and then defeated South Carolina 29-7 in the round of 16 national playoffs, before losing in the quarterfinals to Central Florida 20-24.
- Mike Milchin (1988, United States, pitcher, gold)
- Kris Benson (1996, United States, pitcher, bronze)
- Billy Koch (1996, United States, pitcher, bronze)
- Matthew LeCroy (1996, United States, Catcher, bronze)
- Michelle Richardson (1984, United States, 800 free, silver)
- Mitzi Kremer (1988, United States, 400 free relay, bronze)
- Gigi Fernández (1992 and 1996, United States, doubles, gold)
- Desai Williams (1984, Canada, 4x100 relay, bronze)
- Tony Sharpe (1984, Canada, 4x100 relay, bronze)
- Mark McKoy (1992, Canada, 110 hurdles, gold)
- Kim Graham (1996, United States, 4x400 relay, gold)
- Carlton Chambers (1996, Canada, 4x100 relay, gold)
- Shawn Crawford (2004 and 2008, United States, 200m gold and 4x100 relay silver (2004), 200m silver (2008))
- Michelle Burgher (2004, Jamaica, 4x400 relay, bronze)
- Brianna Rollins (2016, United States, 100m hurdles, gold)
Clemson-South Carolina rivalryEdit
Clemson's intra-conference football rivalries include Georgia Tech (GT leads 50-31-2), NC State (Clemson leads 58-28-1 in the Textile Bowl), Boston College (O'Rourke-McFadden Trophy, Clemson leads 17-9-2), and Florida State (FSU leads 20-12).
Clemson has a lesser rivalry with the University of Georgia, born because of the two institutions' close proximity (roughly 75 miles apart). Clemson and Georgia first met in 1897, only the second year the Tigers fielded a football team. The rivalry was at its height in the 1980s. The athletic departments recently added games to be played in 2024 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, 2029 in Clemson, and 2030 in Athens. Georgia leads the football series 42–18–4.
The most prominent of Clemson's facilities is Memorial Stadium, Frank Howard Field, home to the Clemson University men's football team. Memorial Stadium is also known by its nickname, "Death Valley." Memorial Stadium is also home to the WestZone, which was completed in 2006. With the completion of the first phase of the WestZone, the listed capacity for Memorial Stadium is 80,301. The WestZone holds many IPTAY offices, Clemson football coach's offices, weight rooms, locker rooms, and a recruiting center.
The men's and women's basketball teams play at Littlejohn Coliseum, which has a listed capacity of 10,000 spectators. Littlejohn also acts as a venue for a variety of campus functions throughout the year, including concerts and graduation ceremonies.
Recently renovated Doug Kingsmore Stadium is home to Clemson's men's baseball team.
The men's and women's soccer teams play their home games at historic Riggs Field.
Other home venues for these sports are: Walker Golf Course, Hoke Sloan Tennis Center, Jervey Gym (volleyball), Rock Norman Track Complex, and McHugh Natatorium. Women's rowing holds home events on nearby Lake Hartwell.
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