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|University||Florida International University|
|Athletic director||Pete Garcia|
|Football stadium||Riccardo Silva Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Ocean Bank Convocation Center|
|Baseball stadium||Infinity Insurance Park|
|Mascot||Roary the Panther|
|Fight song||FIU Fight Song|
|Colors||Blue and Gold |
The FIU Panthers (also known as FIU Golden Panthers, Florida INT Golden Panthers or Florida International Golden Panthers) are the athletic teams representing Florida International University, an American public university located in Miami. The Panthers currently compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletics as members of Conference USA.
|NCAA Division II||1965–1988||Independent|
|NCAA Division I||1988–1991|
|1991–1998|| Trans America Athletic Conference |
(now Atlantic Sun Conference)
|1998–2013||Sun Belt Conference|
|2013–||Conference USA (East)|
FIU's colors are navy blue and gold, and their mascot is the Panther (taken from the Florida panther, an endangered species endemic to the nearby Everglades), which is embodied by a panther named Roary the Panther. The school's original nickname was the "Sunblazers", but it was changed in 1987 to the "Golden Panthers", with the word "Golden" officially dropped beginning with the 2010–11 school year.
FIU is a member of the NCAA, participating in Division I, and is a member of Conference USA. FIU joined the Sun Belt Conference in 1998 having previously competed in the Trans America Athletic Conference (TAAC; now the Atlantic Sun Conference), from 1991 to 1998. They joined Conference USA in 2013.
The FIU Athletic Department has produced scores of professional and Olympic athletes, including current players in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, and in the Women's National Basketball Association.
|Men's sports||Women's sports|
|Cross country||Cross country|
|Track and field†||Softball|
|Swimming and diving|
|Track and field†|
|† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor|
FIU's baseball team began play in 1973 as a Division II member and is one of the most successful programs in the school's history. The team has reached the post-season 14 times in school history, including nine times as a Division I program. The other five appearances came as a Division II program and included a Division II College World Series appearance.
Many players from past years have been drafted by Major League Baseball teams and have played in the majors. FIU's most notable baseball alumni is Mike Lowell, former third baseman of the New York Yankees, Florida Marlins, and Boston Red Sox. Lowell was the 2007 World Series MVP. Garrett Wittels finished the 2010 season with a 56-game hitting streak, two hits shy of the Division I record, set the FIU season record for hits, was nominated for the Best Male College Athlete ESPY Award for his 2010 performance, won Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year honors, and was named a NCBWA and Louisville Slugger/TPX Preseason All-American.
The current head coach of the FIU men's basketball team is Anthony Evans, who was hired on April 15, 2013.
FIU men's basketball team had its lone NCAA Tournament appearance in the 1995 tournament under then Head Coach Bob Weltlich. FIU won the TAAC Basketball Tournament and in doing so earned an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. FIU was seeded #16 and played the #1 seeded UCLA Bruins in the first round of the West Regional, which was played at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho. The Panthers lost the game to the Bruins by the score of 92–56, being the first tournament win in UCLA's successful run to the National Championship that year.
FIU alumni who have played in the National Basketball Association include Carlos Arroyo and Raja Bell.
The women's basketball team plays their home games on-campus at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center.
The FIU Panthers football team competes in the NCAA FBS Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A), the highest level in intercollegiate football, and is a member of the Sun Belt Conference. They are led by head coach Butch Davis and play at Riccardo Silva Stadium on FIU's University Park campus. The team began playing in 2002 as a member of NCAA Division 1-AA, now known as the NCAA FCS Football Championship Subdivision. Three years later, the FIU Athletics Department decided to move the program up to Division 1-A. FIU became the fastest school to make such a move from a program's inception.
On August 29, 2002, the program played its first game at home against Saint Peter's College in front of a sold out crowd of 17,314. FIU defeated St. Peters's by the score of 27–3.
The FIU football team's main rival are the Florida Atlantic Owls and the University of Central Florida Golden Knights. Both FIU and Florida Atlantic play annually in a game known as the Shula Bowl. The game is named after former Miami Dolphins head coach and Football Hall of Fame inductee Don Shula.
FIU has won two NCAA Division II national championships in men's soccer. In 1982, FIU beat Southern Connecticut State by the score of 2–1, to win the school's first national title in any sport. Two years later the Panthers won their second national title beating Seattle Pacific University 1–0. To date these are the only national titles the university has achieved in athletic competition.
The men's soccer team competes in Conference USA. The team previously played in the Atlantic Soccer Conference from 2000 to 2004 and the Trans America Athletic Conference (now known as the Atlantic Sun Conference) from 1991 to 1999.
FIU has regularly qualified for the NCAA Tournament in men's soccer, both as Division I and Division II program. In addition to the national championships achieved by the team as a Division II program, the team reached the Division I championship game in 1996, losing to St. John's University 4–1.
Recently, two new soccer fields were finished in the summer of 2007 on the northwest side of campus. These fields will complement the other two, making four soccer fields for use by both the men and women's soccer teams, as well as practice fields for the football team.
The women's soccer team competes in Conference USA after previously being unaffiliated from 1985–1999 and a member of the Sun Belt Conference from 2000 through 2012.
FIU's softball team competes in Conference USA after previously being a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference in 1998, Independent from 1999 to 2000, and of the Sun Belt Conference from 2001 through 2012. The team plays its home games at Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium.
FIU's Swimming & Diving team competes in Conference USA after previously being a member of the Sun Belt Conference from 2003/2004 through 2012/2013.
FIU's Track & Field teams compete in Conference USA after previously being a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference in 1998.
FIU's indoor and sand volleyball teams are both under the helm of Rita Buck-Crockett. The indoor volleyball was established in 1974, while in 2013 the sand volleyball team is the newest sport for the athletic program. The indoor squad plays their matches at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center and the sand squad plays primarily on sand courts on FIU's main campus.
Founded in 1989,FIU Rugby competes in the South Independent Rugby Conference against in-state Florida rivals such as USF and UCF. FIU Rugby has improved since hiring Head Coach Ronny Suarez in late spring 2015, defeating two-time D1-AA national champions Central Florida in October 2015.
Riccardo Silva Stadium was originally opened in 1995 as a standard track and field athletics stadium, with mobile seats for the football end zones and an artificial turf infield. In 2007, the stadium was closed and converted into a dedicated football stadium, with the track removed, the original turf replaced with FieldTurf, and permanent stands providing 20,000 seats. It was re-opened in time for the 2008 college football season. Further improvements to FIU Stadium are ongoing, with a future capacity target of 45,000 seats.[ citation needed ]
During Riccardo Silva Stadium's reconstruction, the Panthers football team played at the Miami Orange Bowl in the 2007 season, and actually won the final college football game played at the stadium before it was demolished to make way for the new Marlins Park.[ citation needed ]
Ocean Bank Convocation Center (previously known as Sunblazer Arena, Golden Panther Arena, Pharmed Arena, U.S. Century Bank Arena, and FIU Arena), is a 6,000-seat multi-purpose arena that opened on February 1, 1986. The FIU Panthers' basketball and volleyball teams play there. It was originally named Sunblazer Arena but was renamed Golden Panther Arena when FIU's athletic teams changed their nickname from Sunblazers to Golden Panthers in 1987. It was eventually renamed on September 1, 2004 in honor of Pharmed Group after a $1 million USD donation was made to the FIU athletic department by Pharmed owners Jorge and Carlos de Cespedes. After Pharmed was liquidated in 2008 the arena name was briefly changed to FIU Arena. Later in 2008, the name was changed to U.S. Century Bank Arena when the local bank of that name acquired naming rights. The name reverted to the FIU Arena name in 2014, but was renamed the Ocean Bank Convocation Center in January 2018.
Other events such as MTV's Campus Invasion, the Miss Universe Contest, National Political Rallys, music concerts, ceremonies and fairs are also held year-round at the arena.
Infinity Insurance Park is a baseball stadium located in the Modesto A. Maidique Campus of Florida International University in Miami, Florida. It is used as the home venue of the university's baseball team. The facility opened on January 26, 1996 with an FIU victory against Bethune–Cookman, 1–0. The baseball team played its 2000 season at the Homestead Sports Complex in Homestead, Florida while the facility underwent an expansion.
In 2005, the facility also hosted the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Tournament.[ citation needed ]
The stadium was renamed Infinity Insurance Park in 2018.
Conference USA is an intercollegiate athletic conference whose current member institutions are located within the Southern United States. The conference participates in the NCAA's Division I in all sports. C-USA's offices are located in Dallas, Texas.
The Sun Belt Conference is a collegiate athletic conference that has been affiliated with the NCAA's Division I since 1976. Originally a non-football conference, the Sun Belt began sponsoring football in 2001. Its football teams participate in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The 12 member institutions of the Sun Belt are distributed primarily across the southern United States.
Ocean Bank Convocation Center is a 5,000-seat multi-purpose arena at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. It was opened on February 1, 1986, and is home to the FIU Panthers basketball and volleyball teams. It was originally named Sunblazer Arena, but was renamed Golden Panther Arena when FIU's athletic teams changed their nickname from Sunblazers to Golden Panthers in 1987. It was renamed Pharmed Arena in 2004, and then was briefly named FIU Arena in 2008 before being renamed to U.S. Century Bank Arena. The facility reverted to the FIU Arena name again from 2014 to 2018 before being renamed the Ocean Bank Convocation Center in 2018.
Infinity Insurance Park, formerly known as University Park Stadium and FIU Baseball Stadium, is a baseball stadium located on the campus of Florida International University in Miami, Florida, United States. It is the home venue of the FIU Panthers college baseball team of the Division I Conference USA. The facility opened on January 26, 1996 with a 1-0 FIU victory against Bethune-Cookman and was built on the same site as its predecessor, which had stood since 1965. All-American Evan W. Thomas threw a complete game shutout. University Park Stadium has a seating capacity of 2,000 people. The largest crowd in the stadium's history was 2,473 on February 26, 2002, when FIU defeated their cross-town rivals the Miami Hurricanes 7-1.
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are the athletic teams of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The college has been competing athletically since 1901. The Ragin' Cajuns compete in NCAA Division I, fielding 16 varsity teams.
The South Alabama Jaguars represent the University of South Alabama in NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics. USA competes in the Sun Belt Conference; it is the conference's only remaining charter member from its inception. USA's athletics teams are nicknamed the Jaguars. Popular sports are baseball and men's basketball. USA sponsors 8 men's sports teams and 9 women's sports teams. The board of trustees recently voted to start a football program that began play in the fall of 2009.
The Florida Atlantic Owls are the athletics teams of Florida Atlantic University (FAU). The Owls participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s Division I as members of Conference USA. In addition to the current football head coach Lane Kiffin, Florida Atlantic has attracted high-profile coaches in the past for various sports, including Howard Schnellenberger for football and Mike Jarvis for basketball. Other former coaches include Matt Doherty, Rex Walters, and Sidney Green. As of March 2018, the Owls are led by athletic director Brian White.
The UCF Knights are the athletic teams that represent the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. The Knights participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division I as a member of the American Athletic Conference.
The Georgia State Panthers represent the NCAA Division I sports teams of Georgia State University. GSU's teams are members of the Sun Belt Conference, a conference of which they were a charter member. Previously, GSU was a member of the CAA, and prior to that, the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The Louisiana–Monroe Warhawks are the sports teams of the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 14 sports. Chief administrative officer Scott McDonald has day-to-day oversight of the athletic department following the resignation of former athletic director Nick Floyd effective September 4, 2018. Since 2006, the ULM has competed as a full member of the Sun Belt Conference.
The North Florida Ospreys are the athletic teams of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. The Ospreys compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference in NCAA Division I. UNF became a full-fledged member of Division I in 2009; previously, the Ospreys were members of the Sunshine State Conference and Peach Belt Conference in NCAA Division II. UNF fields teams in seven men's sports and ten women's sports.
FIU Panthers football program represents Florida International University (FIU) in the sport of American football. The Panthers compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the East Division of Conference USA (CUSA). The Panthers' head coach is Butch Davis. FIU has produced a Sun Belt Conference co-championship team in 2010, along with 3 postseason bowl appearances. The Panthers play their home games at Riccardo Silva Stadium which has a seating capacity of 20,000.
The FIU Panthers men's basketball team represents Florida International University in Miami, Florida, United States. The school's team currently competes in Conference USA. They are led by head coach Jeremy Ballard and play their home games at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center.
The 2012–13 FIU Panthers men's basketball team represented Florida International University during the 2012–13 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Panthers, led by first year head coach Richard Pitino, played their home games at U.S. Century Bank Arena, and were members of the East Division of the Sun Belt Conference. They finished the season 18–14, 11–9 in Sun Belt play to finish in third place in the East Division. They advanced to the championship game of the Sun Belt Tournament where they lost to WKU. Despite the 18 wins, they did not participate in a post season tournament.
Elizabeth Dieter Torina is an American college softball coach and a former college softball player. Torina is currently the head coach of the LSU Tigers softball team of Louisiana State University. Prior to 2011, Torina coached as Beth McClendon.
The FIU Panthers women's basketball team represents Florida International University in women's basketball. The school competes in Conference USA in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The Panthers play home basketball games at FIU Arena in University Park, Florida.
The FIU Panthers men's soccer team is an intercollegiate varsity sports team of Florida International University. The team is a member of the Conference USA of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The 1991 NCAA Division I baseball season, play of college baseball in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) began in the spring of 1991. The season progressed through the regular season and concluded with the 1991 College World Series. The College World Series, held for the forty fifth time in 1991, consisted of one team from each of eight regional competitions and was held in Omaha, Nebraska at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium as a double-elimination tournament. LSU claimed the championship for the first time.
Karl Friedrich Kremser is a German American former football placekicker for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL) and retired college soccer coach from Florida International University. He played college soccer for the United States Military Academy and college football for the University of Tennessee. He was chosen by the Miami Dolphins in the fifth round of the 1969 NFL Draft.
Cindy Russo served as the women's basketball head coach at Florida International and Lamar. Retiring in January 2015, her career spanned 39 years with 38 of those years as a head coach. She had several accomplishments over her career. She guided the FIU Panthers to 20 consecutive winning seasons. Her teams also achieved 20 win seasons 18 times. Her teams participated in six NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournaments, seven WNIT tournaments, and two NCAA Division II Tournaments.