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The Utah Utes are the athletics teams of the University of Utahmarker. They are named after the Ute tribe of Native Americans. The men's basketball team is known as the "Runnin' Utes"; the women's basketball team, formerly known as the "Lady Utes," now prefers to be referred to as the "Utes"; and the women's gymnastics team is known as the "Red Rocks."


The University of Utah college football program began in 1892 and has played home games at Rice-Eccles Stadiummarker since 1927. The Utes have a record of 11–3 (.786) in bowl games, which is the highest percentage in the nation for teams who have been to more than ten bowls. They have won twenty-six conference championships, including six in a row from 1928 to 1933 when they were part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
After a twenty-eight year stretch of not playing in a bowl game, Utah football experienced a resurgence in the early 1990s under head coach Ron McBride. The Utes played Washington State in the 1992 Copper Bowl, losing to the Cougars 31–28, and reached their peak under McBride when they finished the 1994 season ranked 10th in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and recorded a 16–13 victory over Arizona in the Freedom Bowl. The team has won their last eight bowl games—making their bowl winning streak the longest in the nation—and are the only Mountain West Conference team to play in a BCS bowl.

The Utes have a 76–33 (.697) record since the beginning of the 2000 season. Along the way, Utah engineered an eighteen game winning streak. They also produced an undefeated season in 2004, when the Utes were 12–0 and became the first school from a non-Bowl Championship Series conference to play in a BCS bowl game earning them the title of BCS Busters. The Utes played the Big East Conference champion University of Pittsburghmarker Panthers in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, winning 35–7. The Utes finished the season ranked #4 in the AP poll. Later that year Alex Smith, who was Utah's quarterback for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, was drafted #1 by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft. He became the first player in the state of Utah to ever be drafted first. This culminated in the University of Utahmarker becoming the first school in history to produce two #1 professional draft picks in the same year when Andrew Bogut became the #1 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. Utah is currently coached by Kyle Whittingham, who took over for Urban Meyer after Meyer left Utah for Floridamarker after two seasons with the Utes. During the 2008 season, Utah again went undefeated with a 13–0 record, which included a 31–17 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. In Whittingham's four years the Utes are 37–14 overall and 22–10 in conference play and have won four bowl games (the Emerald Bowl, the Armed Forces Bowl, the Poinsettia Bowl, and the Sugar Bowl). Also, the Utes hold the longest bowl game winning streak at eight straight wins, two of which were BCS wins.

Notable players to have played for the University of Utah are NFL Hall of Fame member Larry Wilson, Super Bowl Head Coach Winner George Seifert, Manny Fernandez, Marv Bateman, Norm Chow, Scott Mitchell, Kevin Dyson, Luther Ellis, Jamal Anderson, Mike Anderson, Bob Trumpy, Roy Jefferson, Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers, Jordan Gross also of the Carolina Panthers, Alex Smith and Eric Weddle.

Conference championships

Conference Year Coach
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference 1912* Fred Bennion
1919* Thomas Fitzpatrick
1922 Thomas Fitzpatrick
1926 Ike Armstrong
1928 Ike Armstrong
1929 Ike Armstrong
1930 Ike Armstrong
1931 Ike Armstrong
1932 Ike Armstrong
1933* Ike Armstrong
Big Seven Conference 1938 Ike Armstrong
1940 Ike Armstrong
1941 Ike Armstrong
1942* Ike Armstrong
1947 Ike Armstrong
Skyline Conference 1948 Ike Armstrong
1951 Jack Curtice
1952 Jack Curtice
1953 Jack Curtice
1957 Jack Curtice
Western Athletic Conference 1964* Ray Nagel
1995* Ron McBride
Mountain West Conference 1999* Ron McBride
2003 Urban Meyer
2004 Urban Meyer
2008 Kyle Whittingham
* Denotes shared championship

Bowl games

Date Bowl Score Coach AP Coaches
January 2, 1939 Sun Bowl 26 0 Ike Armstrong
January 1, 1947 Pineapple Bowl* 19 16 Ike Armstrong
December 19, 1964 32 6 Ray Nagel #14
December 29, 1992 Washington State 31 Utah 28 Ron McBride
December 30, 1993 Freedom Bowl Southern California 28 Utah 21 Ron McBride
December 27, 1994 Freedom Bowl Utah 16 13 Ron McBride #10 #8
December 27, 1996 38 Utah 10 Ron McBride
December 18, 1999 Utah 17 16 Ron McBride
December 25, 2001 Utah 10 Southern California 6 Ron McBride
December 31, 2003 Liberty Bowl Utah 17 0 Urban Meyer #21 #21
January 1, 2005 Utah 35 Pittsburgh 7 Urban Meyer #4 #5
December 29, 2005 Utah 38 Georgia Tech 10 Kyle Whittingham
December 23, 2006 Utah 25 13 Kyle Whittingham
December 20, 2007 Utah 35 Navy 32 Kyle Whittingham
January 2, 2009 Utah 31 Alabama 17 Kyle Whittingham #2 #4
* Denotes bowl was not sanctioned by the NCAA and counts as a regular season game in official statistics

Men's basketball

The Runnin' Utes basketball program has the 9th most wins among college basketball programs. The Utes have made 28 NCAA Tournament appearances, which ranks 7th all-time, while the Utes 10 outright conference championships (28 championships overall) is the 5th best in NCAA history. The Utes are coached by first-year coach and former Michigan Statemarker assistant Jim Boylen, replacing Ray Giacoletti.

Individual success has been a big part of Utah athletics, as many successful players and coaches have been a part of the rich Utah tradition. In 2005 Andrew Bogut was selected #1 in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, making the University of Utah the only school in NCAA history to produce the #1 draft pick in both the NBA and NFL in the same year (Alex Smith). Other notable players that have gone on to play in the NBA are Andre Miller, Keith Van Horn, Michael Doleac (who recently won the NBA championship with the Miami Heat), Danny Vranes and Tom Chambers. The Utes have also been coached by several top NCAA coaches, including Vadal Peterson -- the winningest coach in Utah basketball history, hall of fame coach Jack Gardner, Bill Foster and Rick Majerus.

The Utes have played in four Final Fours, winning the 1944 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Utah also added an NIT title in 1947. Jerry Chambers was named MVP of the 1966 Final Four in which Utah lost to eventual champion Texas Western (UTEP) and the legendary coach Don Haskins. They also played for the 1998 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, losing to the Kentucky Wildcats.

Conference Championships

Conference Year Coach
Mountain West Conference 2008-2009 Jim Boylen
2004-2005 Ray Giacoletti
2002-2003 Rick Majerus
2000-2001 Rick Majerus
1999-2000 Rick Majerus
Western Athletic Conference 1998-1999 Rick Majerus
1997-1998 Rick Majerus
1996-1997 Rick Majerus
1995-1996 Rick Majerus
1994-1995 Rick Majerus
1992-1993 Rick Majerus
1990-1991 Rick Majerus
1985-1986 Lynn Archibald
1982-1983 Jerry Pimm
1980-1981 Jerry Pimm
1976-1977 Jerry Pimm
1965-1966 Jack Gardner
Skyline Conference 1961-1962 Jack Gardner
1960-1961 Jack Gardner
1959-1960 Jack Gardner
1958-1959 Jack Gardner
1955-1956 Jack Gardner
1954-1955 Jack Gardner
1944-1945 Vadal Peterson
1937-1938 Vadal Peterson
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference 1936-1937 Vadal Peterson
1932-1933 Vadal Peterson
1931-1932 Vadal Peterson
1930-1931 Vadal Peterson

No. Player Years Played
4 Andrew Bogut 2003-2005
12 Billy McGill 1959-1962
22 Arnie Ferrin 1943-1948
23 Danny Vranes 1977-1981
24 Andre Miller 1995-1999
33 Vern Gardner 1945-1949
44 Keith Van Horn 1993-1997

Post-season tournaments

Year Seed Finish Coach AP ESPN/UPI
1944 -- Champions Vadal Peterson
1945 -- First Round Vadal Peterson
1955 -- Second Round Jack Gardner #7 #4
1956 -- Elite Eight Jack Gardner #18 #13
1959 -- Second Round Jack Gardner #18 #14
1960 -- Second Round Jack Gardner #6 #5
1961 -- 3rd Place Jack Gardner #11 #13
1966 -- 3rd Place Jack Gardner #12
1977 -- Sweet Sixteen Jerry Pimm #14 #10
1978 -- Sweet Sixteen Jerry Pimm #14 #18
1979 8 First Round Jerry Pimm
1981 3 Sweet Sixteen Jerry Pimm #14 #10
1983 10 Sweet Sixteen Jerry Pimm
1986 14 First Round Lynn Archibald
1991 4 Sweet Sixteen Rick Majerus #10 #10
1993 8 Second Round Rick Majerus #19 #16
1995 4 Second Round Rick Majerus #19 #22
1996 4 Sweet Sixteen Rick Majerus #12 #12

Year Seed Finish Coach AP ESPN/UPI
1997 2 Elite Eight Rick Majerus #2 #6
1998 3 Runner-up Rick Majerus #7 #2
1999 2 Second Round Rick Majerus #6 #10
2000 8 Second Round Rick Majerus
2002 12 First Round Rick Majerus
2003 9 Second Round Rick Majerus
2004 11 First Round Kerry Rupp
2005 6 Sweet Sixteen Ray Giacoletti #18 #14
2009 5 First Round Jim Boylen

Year Tournament Finish Coach AP ESPN/UPI
1916 AAU Champions Nelson H. Nordgren
1947 NIT Champions Vadal Peterson
1962 Jack Gardner #7 #10
1968 Jack Gardner #18
1974 NIT Second Place Bill Foster #15
1992 NIT Third Place Rick Majerus

Women's basketball

The team is coached by Elaine Elliott, who is the winningest coach in Utah basketball history. During her 26-year tenure, the Utes have gone to the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship tournament 15 times, and Elliott has a 536-212 record (.717). The program's most successful season came in the 2005-2006 campaign. The Utes, who finished in 2nd place in the Mountain West Conference, won the conference tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 14th time in school history. After getting by Middle Tennesseemarker in the first round of the 2006 Women's NCAA Tournament, Utah surprised the 4th seeded Arizona Statemarker Sun Devils to advance to the Sweet 16 for only the second time in school history. There the Utes faced 8th seeded Boston College and gutted out a 3 point win, advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history. Making the regional finals, Utah became the first women's team in Mountain West Conference history to ever do so. In doing so, the Utes would go on to play 2nd seeded, and eventual national champion, Maryland. The game went into OT, but Maryland prevailed and Utah's amazing run came to an end.

In the 2006 WNBA Draft Utah guard Shona Thorburn was selected by Minnesota Lynx with the 7th pick and Kim Smith, a forward for the Utes, was selected 13th overall by the Sacramento Monarchs.

Women's Gymnastics

The women's gymnastic team, the Red Rocks, has won the National Gymnastics Championship title 9 times, beginning with an AIAW national championship title in 1981, more than any other university except the University of Georgia, whom they have finished second to from 2006-2008. In the years when Utah does not place first, they are almost always #2 or #3. The ten-time national champion Utah gymnastics team has qualified for a record 31st-consecutive national championship. Utah is the only program to qualify for all 25 NCAA Championships. The Utes won the 2006 women's gymnastics attendance title, averaging 12,747 spectators to their six regular season home meets. It marked the second-highest attendance average in Utah and NCAA gymnastics history. Utah has won twenty-two of the last twenty-five gymnastics attendance titles. This is also one of the highest attendance averages for any women's college sport in the nation.

Post-season History

Year Finish Score Coach
1976 Tenth Place 101.65 Greg Marsden
1977 Ninth Place 138.50 Greg Marsden
1978 Sixth Place 141.10 Greg Marsden
1979 Fourth Place 138.10 Greg Marsden
1980 Second Place 144.15 Greg Marsden
1981 Champions 145.65 Greg Marsden
1982 Champions 148.60 Greg Marsden
1983 Champions 184.65 Greg Marsden
1984 Champions 186.05 Greg Marsden
1985 Champions 188.35 Greg Marsden
1986 Champions 186.95 Greg Marsden
1987 Second Place 187.55 Greg Marsden

Year Finish Score Coach
1988 Second Place 189.50 Greg Marsden
1989 Fifth Place 190.20 Greg Marsden
1990 Champions 194.900 Greg Marsden
1991 Second Place 194.375 Greg Marsden
1992 Champions 195.65 Greg Marsden
1993 Third Place 195.825 Greg Marsden
1994 Champions 196.400 Greg Marsden
1995 Champions 196.650 Greg Marsden
1996 T-Third Place 196.775 Greg Marsden
1997 Seventh Place 196.025 Greg Marsden
1998 Fourth Place 196.025 Greg Marsden
1999 Seventh Place 195.475 Greg Marsden

Year Finish Score Coach
2000 Second Place 196.875 Greg Marsden
2001 T-Fifth Place 196.025 Greg Marsden
2002 Fourth Place 196.950 Greg Marsden
2003 Sixth Place 195.300 Greg Marsden
2004 Sixth Place 195.775 Greg Marsden
2005 Third Place 197.275 Greg Marsden
2006 Second Place 196.800 Greg Marsden
2007 Second Place 197.250 Greg Marsden
2008 Second Place 197.125 Greg Marsden
2009 Third Place 197.425 Greg Marsden


Men's National Championships (1) 1981
Women's National Championships (1) 1978
Combined National Championships (9) 1983 • 1984 • 19861987 • 1988 • 19931996 • 1997 • 2003



The "Utes" nickname comes from the Ute tribe, from which the state of Utahmarker derives its name. The Ute tribe gave the University of Utah explicit permission to use the name for all its athletic teams.


Swoop is the mascot of Utah Utes sports teams. Swoop represents a red-tailed hawk. The university introduced Swoop with the consent of the tribal council of the Ute tribe in 1996.

Fight Song

The Utah fight song is "Utah Man". It's believed that the lyrics were written in 1904 by the football team and its coach, Harvey Holmes. It is sung to the tune of Solomon Levi, an old burlesque song. The lyrics are as follows:

1. I am a Utah Man, sir, and I live across the green,
Our gang it is the jolliest that you have ever seen.
Our coeds are the fairest and each one's a shining star,
Our yell, you'll hear it ringing through the mountains near and far! (Chorus)

2. And when we prom the avenue, all lined up in a row,
And arm in arm and step in time as down the street we go.
No matter if a freshman green, or in a senior's gown,
The people all admit we are the warmest gang in town. (Chorus)

3. We may not live forever on this jolly good old sphere,
But while we do we'll live a life of merriment and cheer,
And when our college days are o'er and night is drawing nigh,
With parting breath we'll sing that song:
"A Utah Man Am I". (Chorus)

"Go Utes!"

Who am I, sir,
A Utah Man am I!
A Utah Man, sir,
Will be 'til I die.

We're up to snuff, we never bluff, we're game for any fuss.
No other gang of college men dare meet us in a muss.
So fill your lungs and sing it out and shout it to the sky,
We'll fight for dear old crimson for a Utah Man am I!

See also

External links


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