The latest chapter in Ute athletics history began on July 1, 2011, when Utah officially became a member of the Pac-12 Conference. But Utah’s reputation as an athletics power was established long before it joined the “Conference of Champions.”
Utah had one of its best years ever in 2015-16. In the fall, football was No. 16 in the final AP poll and cross country qualified for NCAAs as a team for the first time. Over the winter, men’s basketball made the NCAA Tournament second round and finished as the Pac-12 runner-up, gymnastics advanced to nationals, skiing placed third at NCAAs and women’s basketball made the third round of the WNIT. The Utes had their best spring ever as softball advanced to NCAA Super Regionals for the first time, while baseball earned an NCAA Regional berth and won the Pac-12 championship—the school’s first in a men’s sport.
Football is 652-449-31 in its 122-year history. In the mid-1990s, the Utes evolved into a national force and won nine consecutive bowl games from 1999-2009, tying for the second-longest bowl winning streak on record. The original “BCS Buster,” Utah was 2-0 in BCS games with wins over Alabama (2009 Sugar Bowl) and Pittsburgh (2005 Fiesta Bowl). The Utes have finished in the nation’s Top 25 seven times, including a No. 2 ranking in 2008 and No. 4 in 2004. Utah has sold-out every game in Rice-Eccles Stadium since the 2010 opener.
Men’s Basketball has thrived throughout its history, winning an NCAA Championship in 1944 and finishing as the runner-up in 1998. The Runnin’ Utes also won national championships in 1916 (AAU) and 1947 (NIT). Utah has advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 on 10 occasions and is one of seven programs that have reached the regional semifinals at least once every decade since the 1950s. Utah ranks among the NCAA’s top 15 in all-time victories (1,759) and winning percentage (.647). Utah’s 29 NCAA Tournament appearances and 38 NCAA Tournament wins also rank in the top 25.
Women’s Gymnastics boasts 10 national championships and nine runner-up finishes. Utah is the only school to qualify for all 35 NCAA Gymnastics Championships and has captured the most All-America awards. The Red Rocks also claimed the school’s first-ever Pac-12 titles in 2014 in ‘15. Utah holds every gymnastics attendance record, including highest single-meet attendance (16,019 in 2015) and highest season attendance average (14,950 in 2015). Utah has led the nation in gymnastics attendance 32 times and won its sixth all-women’s sports attendance title in 2015-16.
Women’s Basketball has averaged over 20 wins a season since its start back in 1974-75 and ranks 16th in the NCAA in all-time winning percentage (.684). The Ute women have received 17 NCAA Tournament invites since 1982, advancing to the Sweet 16 twice and the Elite Eight once. They have won 22 conference championships.
The Men’s and Women’s Ski Team has captured 10 NCAA Championships, including five in the 1980s and three in the 1990s. Volleyball has participated in 12 of the last 18 NCAA Tournaments with two Sweet 16 finishes. Softball has qualified for the postseason 20 times (15 NCAA) and has five College World Series appearances (four NCAA). Women’s Soccer has played in the NCAA Tournament six times since 2002. Baseball has advanced to NCAA Regionals twice since 2009 and is the reigning Pac-12 champion.
Other Ute athletic highlights include: Men’s Tennis (24 conference championships), Women’s Tennis (three-consecutive NCAA appearances from 2010-12), Men’s Swimming and Diving (24 conference championships, No. 22 NCAA finish in 2015), Women’s Swimming and Diving (2006 MWC champion) and Women’s Cross Country (2015 NCAA Championships) 1981 AIAW Division II National Champion).
|TEAM NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 24|
|INDIVIDUAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: 100|
|MEN’S OUTDOOR TRACK||1|
Utah made NCAA history in 2004-05 when it became the only school ever to produce a No. 1 NFL and NBA draft pick in the same year. Quarterback Alex Smith was taken by the San Francisco 49ers and center Andrew Bogut went to the Milwaukee Bucks.