The Idaho State Bengals are the varsity intercollegiate athletic teams representing Idaho State University, located in Pocatello, Idaho. The university sponsors thirteen teams including men and women's basketball, cross country, tennis, and track and field; women's-only golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball; and men's-only football. The Bengals compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level (Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) for college football) and are currently a member institution of the Big Sky Conference.[2]

Idaho State Bengals
UniversityIdaho State University
ConferenceBig Sky Conference
NCAADivision I (FCS)
Athletic directorPauline Thiros
LocationPocatello, Idaho
Varsity teams15 (6 men's and 9 women's)
Football stadiumHolt Arena
Basketball arenaReed Gym
Softball stadiumMiller Ranch Stadium
Soccer stadiumDavis Field
Other venuesCentennial Course
MascotBenny the Bengal
ColorsOrange and black[1]
Big Sky Conference logo in Idaho State's colors

Sports sponsored edit

Men's sports Women's sports
Basketball Basketball
Cross Country Cross Country
Football Golf
Tennis Soccer
Track and Field† Softball
Track & field†
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor

Football edit

Holt Arena, which opened in 1970.

In the 2009 campaign, Idaho State's football team boasted a one win record, which wasn't an improvement over the 2008 campaign. ISU football's last winning season was the 2018 campaign when they posted a record of 6–5. Previously they had not had a season above .500 since the 2014 campaign (8–4).

In October 2009 Idaho State University Director of Athletics Jeff Tingey announced that the contract of head football coach John Zamberlin would be extended for two more years, meaning Zamberin was on the Bengals sidelines manning the program through the 2011 season.

Hired in late December 2006, Zamberlin's record at ISU is just 4–25. The decision has been highly criticized by many students, faculty, and community members. The administration have stood by their decision, citing an increase in athlete attendance in classes and graduation rates as a direct result of Zamberlin's coaching.

In 2010, the Bengals went 1–10 overall and 0–8 in the Big Sky Conference. Zamberlin was fired and former Eastern Washington and Montana State coach, Mike Kramer, was hired.[3]

Idaho State used to enjoy healthy rivalries with both the University of Idaho and Boise State University when all three schools were members of the Big Sky Conference. When both Idaho and BSU left the Big Sky in 1996 to move up to Division I-A, Idaho State University lost their main rivals, and Weber State of nearby Ogden, Utah became Idaho State's main rival. However, Idaho did move back down to Division 1-AA in 2018, resparking the rivalry between the two schools. Since 2018, they played an annual rivalry game nicknamed Battle of the Domes. Idaho State has won 2 out of the 4 games under the Battle of the Domes branding.

Basketball edit

Seton Sobolewski, head women’s basketball coach

In March 1977, the men's basketball team made national headlines by defeating the UCLA Bruins 76–75 in the West regional semifinal of that year's NCAA tournament. The win qualified the Bengals for their only appearance to date in the Elite Eight. This is by far the high-water mark for Bengals basketball, and marked the first time since 1966 that UCLA failed to reach the Final Four. The Bengals were subsequently eliminated in the West regional final by the UNLV Runnin' Rebels.

The men's basketball team plays their home games at Holt Arena, with a seating capacity of 8,000 for basketball.[4] Their most recent appearance in the NCAA tournament was in 1987, when ISU was eliminated 70–95 in the first round by top-ranked UNLV.[5]

Women's basketball edit

ISU's women's basketball team plays their home games at Reed Gym, which has a seating capacity of 3,040 for basketball.[6] The most recent appearance of the women's team in the NCAA tournament was in 2021, when it was eliminated 71–63 in the first round by the Kentucky Wildcats.[7] The women's program maintained an active rivalry in basketball with both Idaho and Boise State. In recent years, ISU has dominated UI, but in turn been dominated by BSU. Idaho State's women's basketball team most recently won the 2021 Big Sky Conference women's basketball tournament, beating their interstate rival Idaho in the final round.

Fight song edit

"Growl, Bengals, Growl" is the official fight song of the university. It was created in 1948 by Jay Slaughter, Del Slaughter,[8][9] and John Foreman when Idaho State became a four-year university.[10] The song originated around 1921, attributed to Ralph Hutchinson and James Gardner for the Idaho Technical Institute, where Hutchinson was the athletics directory.[11] Traditions include the football team singing the song after a win.[12]

Lyrics edit

Growl, Bengals, growl!

Fight, Bengals, fight!

Gnash your teeth and bare your claws and drive with all your might!

Roar, Bengals, roar, you decide our fate!

Bring the vict'ry home to us, you Bengals of Idaho State!

I... S... U... I, S, U, Fight! ISU Fight! ISU Fight! Go! Go! Go Bengals, Go!

Former sports edit

Baseball edit

The baseball program at ISU was discontinued 49 years ago after the 1974 season,[13] following the Big Sky's decision to drop baseball and four other sports.[14][15][16] The Bengals won the southern division in their final season,[17] and met north champion Gonzaga in the best-of-three championship series in Pocatello. The underdog Bengals won the first game 6–4,[18] but then lost a doubleheader delayed by snow,[19] 14–3 and 13–0.[13][20][21][22] Boise State and Idaho dropped their baseball programs six years later in 1980, citing budget constraints.[23][24]

Wrestling edit

Idaho State won 8 Big Sky titles (1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1984) in wrestling, starting with its first in 1967;[25][26] the sport was dropped by the conference 36 years ago, after the 1987 season.[27]

References edit

  1. ^ "Brand Colors". Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  2. ^ "Member Institutions". Big Sky Conference. June 9, 2008. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  3. ^ Former Bobcats Coach Mike Kramer Named ISU Head Coach KTVM
  4. ^ "Holt Arena". October 11, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  5. ^ "1987 NCAA basketball tournament". Archived from the original on February 26, 2009. Retrieved September 24, 2008.
  6. ^ "Reed Gym". October 11, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  7. ^ "Miami (Fla.) blasts Idaho State". March 17, 2012. Archived from the original on September 11, 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  8. ^ Shearer, Barbara Smith; shearer, Benjamin F (2002). State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide. United Kingdom: Greenwood Press. p. 327. ISBN 9780313315343.
  9. ^ Studwell, William E; Schueneman, Bruce R (March 7, 2013). College Fight Songs: An Annotated Anthology. United States: Taylor & Francis. p. 25. ISBN 9781136384677.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  10. ^ McBride, Charlotte. "ISU Traditions". Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  11. ^ JD Stover (December 7, 2018). "The Idaho State University Fight Song – Mitchell Young". saoirbhreathach dolan: jdstover. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  12. ^ Houghton, Andrew (April 3, 2021). "Idaho State football beats Idaho, 24-22, after late defensive stand". Idaho State Journal. Retrieved November 10, 2021. We sang the fight song, which we always do, and we just said to one another that's what should have been happening this whole time," Phenicie said. "We knew we could do it. You don't really need to say much in there, the best part is singing the fight song with the guys.
  13. ^ a b "Idaho (State) drops baseball". Ellensburg Daily Record. (Washington). UPI. June 5, 1974. p. 9.
  14. ^ "Big Sky drops five sports". Ellensburg Daily Record. (Washington). UPI. May 15, 1974. p. 11.
  15. ^ "Idaho off probation, loop titles dwindle". Lewiston Morning Tribune. May 15, 1974. p. 13.
  16. ^ Emerson, Paul (May 29, 1974). "Baseball axed in Big Sky". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). p. 15.
  17. ^ "Title play set". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). May 13, 1974. p. 15.
  18. ^ "Rain postpones Big Sky series". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). May 20, 1974. p. 13.
  19. ^ "Gonzaga-ISU 'snowed out'". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). May 21, 1974. p. 14.
  20. ^ "Gonzaga in sweep for Big Sky title". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). May 22, 1974. p. 14.
  21. ^ "N. Colorado club next for Gonzaga". Spokane Daily Chronicle. May 22, 1974. p. 17.
  22. ^ "Past Baseball Champions". Big Sky Conference. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  23. ^ "Boise State drops baseball program". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. May 6, 1980. p. C1.
  24. ^ Goodwin, Dale (May 13, 1980). "Baseball's 'out' at Idaho". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 19.
  25. ^ "Idaho State wins first mat crown". Spokesman-Review. February 27, 1967. p. 8.
  26. ^ "Idaho State wins Big Sky mat title". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. February 28, 1971. p. 14.
  27. ^ "Past Wrestling Champions". Big Sky Conference. Retrieved September 9, 2014.

External links edit