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Savannah State Tigers and Lady Tigers

Conference affiliationEdit

Former SSU Athletics logo (2000-2012)

Savannah State University holds membership in the NCAA Division II (as members of the SIAC) and participates in the following sports: football, baseball, basketball (men and women), cross-country (men and women), tennis (men and women), track and field (men and women), volleyball (women only), golf (men), and softball (women).[2][3][4] On March 20, 2010, the Tigers were accepted as provisional members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) beginning on July 1, 2010.[5] On September 8, 2011, the university was confirmed as a full member of the MEAC Conference, making the Tigers eligible to participate in all conference championships and earn the conference's automatic berth to NCAA postseason competition in all sponsored sports.[6] Before moving to Division I-AA, Savannah State was a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the NCAA Division II (1981–2005), NCAA Division II and the Southeastern Athletic Conference in the NAIA (1929–1961).

Savannah State announced on April 17, 2017 that all of its intercollegiate athletic programs were going to be reclassified to NCAA Division II, citing that maintaining Division I status was not financially feasible.[7] Just under eight months later on December 7, the university revealed its plans to apply for re-entry to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference by February 1, 2018.[8] These plans were later approved and Savannah State was re-admitted into the SIAC on July 2, 2019.

Conference championshipsEdit

Season Sport Conference Notes References
1970   Men's Basketball SIAC [9]
1979   Men's Basketball SIAC regular season and tournament title [10][11]
1980   Men's Basketball SIAC regular season and tournament title [10][11]
1981   Men's Basketball SIAC regular season and tournament title [10][11]
1991   Women's Tennis SIAC [12]
1994   Women's Tennis SIAC [12]
1995 Baseball SIAC [13]
1996   Women's Tennis SIAC [12]
1996 Baseball SIAC [13]
1997   Women's Tennis SIAC [12]
1997 Baseball SIAC [13]
1998 Baseball SIAC [13]
1998   Women's Tennis SIAC [12]
1999 Baseball SIAC [13]
2012   Men's Basketball MEAC regular season conference champions
2012 Softball MEAC Southern Division Conference Champions
2013 Baseball MEAC Southern Division Conference Champions
Conference Tournament Champions
2015   Women's Basketball MEAC Conference Tournament Champions

Team colorsEdit

The official school colors for Savannah State are Burnt Orange and Reflex Blue.[14] White is often used as a secondary color and for alternate jerseys.


Athletics at Savannah State University are administered by the Savannah State University Athletic Department. The department is headed by an athletic director who is responsible for the department's oversight and all matters related to the school's 16 NCAA Division I sports teams for men and women.[15] The department dedicates about $2 million per year for its sports teams and facilities.[16]

The current athletic director is Sterling Steward Jr.[17]

Current facilitiesEdit

Most athletic teams have on-campus facilities for competition, including Ted A. Wright Stadium for football and track and field,[18] and Tiger Arena for basketball and women's volleyball.

Ted A. Wright Stadium is an 8,500 seat multi purpose stadium which opened in 1969.[19] The stadium's name is an homage to former Savannah State Football coach Theodore Wright, who coached the team from 1947-1949.[20]

Track and field renovations were made at Ted A.Wright Stadium in the mid 1990s as part of the "Olympic Legacy Package". The "Olympic Legacy Package" included a 400-meter track and competitive field areas.[21]

Tiger Arena is a 5,000-seat multi purpose arena that opened in 2000. Tiger Arena replaced Willcox-Wiley Gymnasium,[22] costing $9.6 million to construct.[23]

Traditional rivalsEdit

The traditional rival, in all sports, is in-state Fort Valley State University.[24]

Sports sponsoredEdit

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Golf
Football Softball
Golf Tennis
Track and field Track and field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.


Sophomore quarterback A.J. Defillips warms up during the Savannah State vs. Old Dominion game. (Taken on November 6, 2010).

The football team is traditionally the most popular sport at Savannah State. The games are played at Ted A. Wright Stadium. Since moving to NCAA Division I - FCS in 2000, the Tigers have compiled a 17-88 record as of the 2009–2010 season.[25] Prior to moving to Division I - FCS, the team compiled a 97-108-4 record in NCAA Division II (1981–2000), a 15-20-0 record in NCAA Division III (1973–1980) and a 1-1-0 record as a member of the NAIA.[26][27]

Men's basketballEdit

Savannah State competes in NCAA Division I as an independent and plays home games in Tiger Arena on the university campus.

The school gained notoriety when they finished the 2004–2005 men's basketball season a winless 0-28, the first Division I team to do so since Prairie View A&M University in 1991–1992.[28][29][30] The Tigers were the 2011-12 MEAC regular season champions and received an automatic bid into the 2012 NIT, their first ever appearance in any Division I tournament as a Division I member. The team posted a 21-10 overall mark and lead the MEAC in scoring defense, only allowing 58.9 points per game and were second in the conference in scoring margin (+5.4).[31]


Savannah State Tigers
LeagueNCAA Division I
LocationSavannah, Georgia
ManagerCarlton Hardy




The head coach is Carlton Hardy.[32]

Conference championships and NCAA playoffsEdit

  • The Savannah State Tigers finished as SIAC baseball champions for five consecutive seasons (1995–1999).[13]
  • In 1999, the Tigers were the #4 seed in the NCAA Division II South Regional baseball Tournament[33]
  • In 2013, the Tigers were the co-champions of the MEAC Southern Division and won the conference baseball tournament and the conferences automatic NCAA bid.

Team awards and NCAA recordsEdit

Season-by-season recordEdit

     NCAA Division I Independent        SIAC (NCAA Division II)       NCAA Division III        NAIA Southeastern

Team awards and NCAA recordsEdit

Head baseball coach Carlton Hardy, 2014
  • Savannah State holds the NCAA Division II records of 46 consecutive victories in baseball and 46 consecutive victories to start of a season (2000). The team also hold the NCAA Division II records of 12.59 average runs per game in a season (2000), 58 total triples in a season (1998) and 1.18 average triples per game in a season (1998).[38]
  • Theophalus Gregory established the NCAA Division III record of 1.92 average stolen bases per game in 1974 as a member of the Savannah State baseball team.[38]
  • Gerald Smith, held the 2005 NCAA Division I top slugging percentage (.785) as a member of the Savannah State baseball team.[38]
  • Savannah State baseball player Brett Higgins (2000) holds the NCAA Division II record of 32 doubles in a season (in 49 games) with four other players and led the NCAA in RBIs (93), slugging percentage (1.010), and total bases (193) in 2000.[38]
  • Willie Melendez, former Savannah State baseball player holds the NCAA Division II record of 16 triples in a season (1998).[38]

Notable players and coachesEdit

Some notable Savannah State baseball players and coaches include:

Name Class year Position Notability Reference(s)
Mark Eric Alvarez Pitcher Signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006 [39]
Brandon Jackson Outfielder 16th round selection of the 1999 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim [40]
Kyle McGowin Pitcher First Team All-American in 2013, 5th round selection of the 2013 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim [41]
Jeff Urgelles Catcher Minor League Baseball player and Major League Baseball coach for the Miami Marlins [42]

Women's basketballEdit

Savannah State Lady Tigers basketball is a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) member. They currently play in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).[43]

The Lady Tigers started playing in 1928 and in 1974 joined Division II. They compiled a 339-394 record in Division II before moving on to Division I in 2002.[44] In Division I, the Lady Tigers are 148-260.[44] The Lady Tigers won 6 total SEAC Championships.[44]

The Lady Tigers will move back to Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) after the 2018-19 season [45]

Women's tennisEdit

The current coach is Don Andrews who entered his first season as head coach in 2008.[46]

Team awards and recordsEdit

The Women's Tennis Team won the SIAC championship in 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1998[12]

In 2014, the Women's Tennis team set the program record for Division 1 wins[47]

The Women's tennis team started playing in 1984-85.[48] They joined the MEAC during the 2011-12 season.[48]

Women's volleyballEdit

The current head coach is Jolanta Graham who replaced Schannon Gamble in 2012.

Savannah State's Women's volleyball team began play in 1985 before they moved to Division 1 in 2002.[49] They began MEAC play in 2011.[49]

Savannah State's Women's volleyball has not had much success in their previous 34 seasons.[49]

Women's SoftballEdit

The current head coach is Jose Gonzalez who entered his first season in 2008.[50]

In 2012, the Lady Tigers softball team completed their first .500 season and won a MEAC division title.[51]

Men's golfEdit

The current coach is Art Gelow.[52]

Track and fieldEdit

The current coach is Ted Whitaker who entered his first season as head coach in 1999.[53]


  1. ^ "Savannah State University Athletics – 2016 Football Quick Facts". Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "Savannah State University Athletics". Savannah State University. 2007. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
  3. ^ "Savannah State's bid to join MEAC on hold; Winston-Salem State to get vote soon". Black College Sports Page. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  4. ^ Barnidge, Noell (2008-08-24). "Flythe: SSU to stay Division I; eyes conference". Savannah Morning News. Archived from the original on 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
  5. ^ Barnidge, Noell (2010-03-11). "Savannah State joins Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
  6. ^ "N.C. Central and Savannah State Become Full Members". Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  7. ^ Heath, Donald. "Savannah State plans to move athletics down to Division II," Savannah (GA) Morning News, Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018
  8. ^ "SSU moves to Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference," Savannah State University, Thursday, December 7, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018
  9. ^ "SIAC Basketball Champions". Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  10. ^ a b c "Former Savannah State Men's Basketball Coach Dies". Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  11. ^ a b c "Georgia Sports HOF To Induct Nine". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
  12. ^ a b c d e f "SIAC Tennis Champs". Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "1999 NCAA Post-Season Playoff Recap". Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  14. ^ "Savannah State University Athletics". Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  15. ^ Barnidge, Noell (2010-12-09). "Suggs named Savannah State athletics director". Savannah Morning News and Evening Press. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
  16. ^ "The Mid-majority Report: Savannah State". Archived from the original on 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  17. ^ "Sterling Steward Jr.: Director of Athletics". Staff Directory. Savannah State University. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  18. ^ "Mercer Returns to Savannah for Orange & Blue Classic". Mercer Bears. Mercer Bears. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Theodore A. Wright Stadium". Savannah State University Athletics. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  20. ^ "Savannah State Athletics". SSU Athletics. SSU Athletics. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Track & Field - Wright Stadium". Chatham County. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  22. ^ "Wilcox Gymnasium". Savannah State University. Archived from the original on 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  23. ^ Glier, Ray (2005-02-04). "Savannah State is in quite a struggle". USA Today. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  24. ^ "Watch Shannon Sharpe dominates-college competition at Savannah State". HBCU Gameday. HBCU Gameday. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  25. ^ "Football Championship Subdivision Records Book" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-02-28.
  26. ^ "DIAAFOOTBALL.COM - Savannah State". Archived from the original on 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  27. ^ "Official 2007 NCAA Division II and III Football Records Book" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-11-20.[dead link]
  28. ^ "Tigers finish season 0-28". 2005-05-28. Retrieved 2005-02-15.
  29. ^ "Winless Savannah State Gets New Coach". Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  30. ^ "SSU fires men's basketball coach Daniels". 2005-02-17. Retrieved 2007-11-22.
  31. ^ "MEAC announces All-MEAC Men's Basketball Honors". Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  32. ^ a b c "Savannah State University Baseball Head Coach: Carlton Hardy". Savannah State University. Retrieved 2007-11-22.
  33. ^ a b "From the Onnidan Online News Room". Retrieved 2007-11-26.
  34. ^ "Savannah State Univ. Season Statistics". Retrieved 2007-11-22.
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Northwestern Oklahoma State University - Ranger Athletics". Archived from the original on 2007-10-27. Retrieved 2007-11-22.
  36. ^ "Savannah State Receives Probation, Financial Aid cuts".[permanent dead link]
  37. ^ a b c d "Player Bio:Wesley McGriff". Archived from the original on 2007-11-11. Retrieved 2007-11-22.
  38. ^ a b c d e "Official 2006 NCAA Records Book" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-30. Retrieved 2006-12-05.
  39. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates Scoutinig Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  40. ^ "First-year Player Draft". Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  41. ^ "Savannah State's Kyle McGowin named to All-America team". Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  42. ^ "PLAYER DEVELOPMENT AND SCOUTING" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  43. ^ "Savannah State Lady Tigers Schedule - 2018-19". ESPN. ESPN. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  44. ^ a b c "Savannah State University". Amaza News. Amaza News. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  45. ^ "Savannah State plans move athletics down division ii". Savannah Now. Savannah Now. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  46. ^ "Savannah State University VOLLEYBALL/TENNIS Head Coach:Yocaira Basilio". Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  47. ^ "WOMEN'S TENNIS SETS DIVISION I SCHOOL RECORD". SSU Athletics. SSU Athletics. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  48. ^ a b "Savannah State University 2017-18 Women's Tennis" (PDF). Amazonaws. Amazonaws. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  49. ^ a b c "Savannah State Volleyball 2014 Quick Facts Sheet" (PDF). XOSN. XOSN. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  50. ^ "Savannah State University Softball Head Coach: Henry Banks". Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  51. ^ "SAVANNAH STATE SOFTBALL WINS MEAC SOUTHERN DIVISION TITLE". SSU Athletics. SSU Athletics. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  52. ^ "Savannah State University GOLF Head Coach: Art Gelow". Retrieved 2007-11-21.
  53. ^ "Savannah State University TRACK & FIELD Head Coach: Ted Whitaker". Retrieved 2007-11-21.

External linksEdit