Brown Bears

Last updated
Brown Bears
Brown Bears Athletics logo.svg
University Brown University
Conference Ivy League (primary)
ECAC Hockey
EIWA (wrestling)
EARC (rowing)
NEISA (sailing)
NCEA (women's equestrian)
CWPA (womens water polo)
NWPC (mens water polo)
NCAA Division I (FCS)
Athletic directorJack Hayes
Location Providence, Rhode Island
Varsity teams28
Football stadium Richard Gouse Field at Brown Stadium
Basketball arena Pizzitola Sports Center
Ice hockey arena Meehan Auditorium
Baseball stadium Murray Stadium
Soccer stadium Stevenson Field
Rowing venue Hunter S. Marston Boathouse
Sailing venue Ted Turner Sailing Pavilion
Fight song Ever True To Brown
ColorsSeal brown, cardinal red, and white [1]

The Brown Bears are the sports teams that represent Brown University, an American university located in Providence, Rhode Island. The Bears are part of the Ivy League conference. Brown's mascot is Bruno. Both the men's and women's teams share the name, competing in 28 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I sports. In football, the Bears, along with all other the Ivy League teams, compete in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). [2]


Varsity athletics

The Bears participate in 28 NCAA sports. The Bears first fielded a football team in 1878, playing Amherst College in their inaugural game. [3]

The Bears participate in the following varsity sports:

Men's sportsWomen's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Crew
Crew Cross country
Cross countryField hockey
Football Gymnastics
Ice hockey Ice hockey
Soccer Rugby
Swimming & divingSoccer
Track & field Swimming & diving
Water poloTennis
WrestlingTrack & field
Water polo
Co-ed sports
†: Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.

Additions and subtractions

In 2011, a Special Committee recommended that Brown cut four varsity sports due to Brown's budget cut backs—men's fencing, women's fencing, men's wrestling, and women's skiing—and recommended elevating at least one women's sport to varsity status to ensure Title IX compliance. [4] These proposed changes would have reduced the number of varsity sports at Brown from 37 to 34. None of the four varsity programs were cut.

In May 2020, Brown announced they would transition eleven varsity programs—men’s and women’s fencing, men’s and women’s golf, women’s skiing, men’s and women’s squash, women’s equestrian, men’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field and men’s cross country—to club status. Women's sailing and coed sailing would become varsity programs. Brown had 38 varsity sports before the announced cuts (only Harvard and Stanford had more), but was the least successful Ivy League school, winning 2.8% of league titles from 2008 to 2018. [5]

In December 2020, the women's fencing and equestrian teams were restored to varsity status. [6]



The Brown Bears football team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Ivy League. Brown's first football team was fielded in 1878. The team plays its home games at the 20,000 seat Brown Stadium in Providence.

Men's basketball

The Brown Bears men's basketball team competes in the Ivy League. The Brown Bears have appeared in the NCAA Tournament two times, including the inaugural tournament in 1939. Their combined record is 0–2. The Brown Bears have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) one time. Their record is 0–1.

Women's basketball

The Brown Bears women's basketball team competes in the Ivy League. The Brown Bears have appeared in the NCAA Tournament once in 1994, where their record was 0–1.

Men's soccer

The Brown Bears men's soccer team compete in the NCAA Division I in the Ivy League. The Bears have been semifinalists in the NCAA tournament in 1968, 1973, and 1975. They also finished in fourth place in 1977. [7]


Women's rugby at Brown was originally founded as a club team, Brown Women's RFC, in 1977. [8] Brown added rugby as a varsity sport for women beginning in the 2014-15 academic year, due in part to the growth of rugby across communities and at the high school level. [9] Brown women's rugby is led by Head Coach Kathy Flores. [10]

Brown has offered men's rugby at Brown as a club sport since 1960. [11] Brown plays in the Ivy Rugby Conference against its traditional Ivy League rivals. Brown men's rugby is led by Head Coach David Laflamme. Despite its club status, Brown men's rugby is supported by an endowment raised by Brown rugby alumni that exceeds $1.5 million; this endowment funds the full-time professional head coaching position and other expenses. [11] [12]


NCAA team championships

Brown has 7 NCAA team national championships. [13]

Non-NCAA team championships


Bruno skates in Meehan Auditorium Bruno skates in Meehan Auditorium (cropped).jpg
Bruno skates in Meehan Auditorium

Brown's first mascot was a burro, first introduced in 1902 in a game against Harvard. [17] The burro mascot was not retained after it seemed frightened by the noise of the game, and due to the laughter it provoked. [18] The University originally settled on the Bruin, but later changed it to a bear after the head of a bear was placed at an archway above the student union in 1904. [18] In 1905 The Bears introduced Helen, the university's first live bear mascot, at a game against Dartmouth. [17] Bruno, Brown's current mascot, was introduced in 1921, originally also as a live bear. [18] A number of bears represented Bruno over the years, later being represented by a person in costume by the late 60's. [18]

Notable athletes

The Bears have produced many athletes. One of Brown's most famous athletes is John Heisman, namesake of the Heisman Trophy. Before finishing college at the University of Pennsylvania, Heisman played college football at Brown as a lineman. [19]




Ice hockey

Other sports

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