Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State Sun Devils
University Arizona State University
Conference Pac-12 Conference
NCAA Division I / FBS
Athletic director Ray Anderson
Location Tempe, Arizona
Varsity teams 25
Football stadium Sun Devil Stadium
Basketball arena Wells Fargo Arena
Baseball stadium Phoenix Municipal Stadium
Mascot Sparky
Fight song "Maroon & Gold"
Colors Maroon and Gold[1]

The Arizona State Sun Devils are the athletic teams representing Arizona State University. ASU has nine men's and eleven women's varsity teams competing in the NCAA Pac-12 Conference.[2] The mascot was adopted in 1946; earlier nicknames were the Normals and later, the Bulldogs. The Sun Devil mascot, Sparky, was designed by former Disney illustrator Bert Anthony. ASU's chief rival is the University of Arizona Wildcats.[3]

Notable athletic achievements

ASU has 23 NCAA team national championships, including baseball (five times), women's tennis (three times), men's gymnastics (one), men's track and field (one), men's indoor track and field (one), women's outdoor track and field (two times), women's indoor track and field (one), wrestling (one), men's golf (two times), women's golf (thirteen times), softball (two times), and women's swimming and diving (seven times). These combine for a total of 55 team national championships. ASU also has numerous individual NCAA national champions in different sports. Additionally, the baseball team has appeared in the College World Series 22 times, the men's basketball team has participated in 13 NCAA tournaments, including 3 Elite Eight appearances, and the ASU football team won the Rose Bowl in 1987 and the Fiesta Bowl in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, and 1982.

ASU won national championships in men's archery 15 times, women's archery 21 times, mixed archery 20 times, men's badminton 13 times, women's badminton 17 times and mixed badminton 10 times, all which are not recognized by the NCAA.


Arizona State University currently sponsors teams in 9 men's and 14 women's NCAA sanctioned sports, following the 2015 elevation of the men's ice hockey club team to varsity status:[4] In the fall of 2015, Arizona State announced the addition of women's triathlon and women's lacrosse. Triathlon will begin competition in the fall of 2016, with lacrosse starting competition in the spring of 2018.[5] In spring 2016, ASU announced the reinstatement of men's tennis, which had been dropped after the 2007–08 school year, but did not set a definite date for the resumption of play.[6]

Sports in italics have been announced as future sports, but have not yet begun competition.

  1. Team competes as an independent.
  2. 1 2 Team competes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
  3. 1 2 The NCAA considers indoor and outdoor track & field to be two separate sports.
  4. The NCAA considers swimming and diving to be a single sport.


Arizona State Football Team in September 2011

The Sun Devils played in the Border Conference between 1931 and 1961, before joining the Western Athletic Conference. Led by legendary head coach Frank Kush, the Sun Devils posted a remarkable 64–9 record between 1970 and 1975, culminating in a 17–14 upset of the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 1975 Fiesta Bowl.

In 1978, both ASU and the University of Arizona joined the Pacific-8 Conference, causing the conference to become the Pacific-10 (which grew again in 2011 to become the Pac-12). The Sun Devils suffered some down years due to a number of head coaching changes, but were still able to make it to the 1983 Fiesta Bowl and 1987 Rose Bowl winning both.

After the 2006 season, Dirk Koetter was fired after six seasons, and on December 6, 2006, athletic director Lisa Love hired Dennis Erickson to become the head coach at ASU. Erickson, in his first year as coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils, led the team to 10 wins, a share of the Pac-10 title with USC, and the Holiday Bowl against the University of Texas Longhorns. Dennis Erickson was fired on November 28, 2011 after five seasons with the Sun Devils. He was replaced by coach Todd Graham on December 14, 2011. Lisa Love was fired from her position as Vice President for University Athletics and Athletics Director on March 28, 2012 and was immediately replaced by Steve Patterson.

Notable football alumni include Terrell Suggs, Jim Jeffcoat, Mike Pagel, Jake Plummer, Todd Heap, J.R. Redmond, Danny White, Randall McDaniel, David Fulcher, Darren Woodson, Pat Tillman, Eric Allen, Zach Miller, Shaun McDonald, John Jefferson, Paul Justin, Jimmy Verdon, Mike Haynes, Al Harris, Vontaze Burfict and Ryan Torain.

Men's Basketball

James Harden makes contact with Alfred Aboya inside.

The Arizona State Sun Devils have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 13 times, including 3 Elite Eights (1961, 1963, 1975). They have won 8 conference championships (4 WAC and 4 BOR) and finished in the final AP rankings 7 times. The highest national ranking the Sun Devils have achieved was No. 3 under Ned Wulk during the 1980–81 season when the starting lineup included Byron Scott, Fat Lever, and Alton Lister. Ned Wulk was the men's basketball coach from 1958 to 1982 and remains the most successful coach in the history of the program with a record of 406 – 272 (.599).

Arizona State appeared in the NAIA Men's Basketball National Tournament two years (1948 and 1953). Both years losing in the second round, leaving the NAIA with a tournament record of 2–2.

Bobby Hurley is the current head coach of the Sun Devils. Sendek stepped down as head coach of the North Carolina State Wolfpack and accepted the head coaching job at Arizona State in 2006. Sendek took the Wolfpack to five consecutive NCAA Tournaments and also won ACC coach of the year in 2004. Sendek was credited for bringing a "basketball atmosphere" and level of excitement to the ASU campus that had been absent for years. In his first four seasons at ASU, Sendek led the Sun Devils to three consecutive 20 win seasons, the 2009 Pac-10 conference tournament finals, and the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Thirty-six ASU Sun Devils have been selected in the NBA Draft, including James Harden, Byron Scott, Isaac Austin, Mark Landsberger, Lafayette Lever, Alton Lister, Lionel Hollins, Sam Williams, Jeff Ayres (known as Jeff Pendergraph when he played at ASU), Stevin "Hedake" Smith, Mario Bennett, Tommy Smith, Ike Diogu, Eddie House. Freddie Lewis, and Joe Caldwell.[7] Paul Stovall was a Charles Barkley type standout with a dominating presence on the court but his non-conducive actions off the court limited his notoriety.


Ike Davis, former first baseman for
the New York Mets, current first baseman for the Oakland Athletics

ASU has one of the most successful baseball programs in the country. The Sun Devils have won five national championships (1965, 1967, 1969, 1977, 1981), the fourth most by any school, and have the third most College World Series victories with 61.[8]

ASU baseball has won 21 conference championships (including four consecutive Pac-10 titles from 2007–2010) and reached the College World Series 22 times. The Sun Devils have also reached the NCAA tournament 34 times, most recently in 2011.

Starting with Rick Monday as the No. 1 pick of the first ever Major League Baseball draft in '65, ASU leads all schools with 368 total picks. ASU also has the third most alumni to ever play in Major League Baseball. Notable baseball alumni include Barry Bonds, Paul Lo Duca, Fernando Viña, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Leake, Andre Ethier, Willie Bloomquist, Bob Horner, Sal Bando, Ike Davis, Jason Kipnis, Brett Wallace, Ian Kinsler, Hubie Brooks, and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson.


Led by 30+ year legendary coach John Spini, the Sun Devils Gymnastics team has had many fine dominating years in his reign with many all American Gymnasts to Spinis credit as well as a first class facility named after Coach John Spini who has been the face of the Girls program as he continues to recruit great gymnasts from around the country. Below is the history of top qualifiers coach has had as well as his predecessors at ASU.

Listed by YEAR, DUAL CONF., NAT'L and HEAD COACH. 1995-96 8-4 2nd DNQ John Spini 1994-95 10-4 2nd DNQ John Spini 1993-94 13-4 3rd 10th John Spini 1992-93 12-2 4th 12th John Spini 1991-92 10-5 4th 7th John Spini 1990-91 13-8 4th 9th John Spini 1989-90 8-6-1 3rd DNQ John Spini 1988-89 7-13 3rd 7th John Spini 1987-88 13-7 2nd 8th John Spini 1986-87 11-7 4th 5th John Spini 1985-86 18-1 1st 2nd John Spini 1984-85 20-2 1st 2nd John Spini 1983-84 19-4 2nd 4th John Spini 1982-83 20-1 1st 2nd John Spini 1981-82 10-3 1st 5th John Spini 1980-81 9-1 3rd 5th John Spini 1979-80 22-6 2nd 9th Marie Bilski 1978-79 7-9 2nd DNC Marie Bilski 1977-78 12-5 1st 7th Marie Bilski 1976-77 9-2 1st 7th Marie Bilski 1975-76 10-2 1st 6th Monique Sublette

Arizona State Women's Gymnastics

Rene Lyst, former co-head coach at Arkansas, is currently the head coach for the Women's Gymnastics team. She is in her second season alongside assistant coaches Jeff Hunt and Ralph Russo.


One of the nation's founding programs, the two-time NCAA national champion Sun Devils are in their 45th season on the diamond. ASU has recorded twenty-seven seasons of 30 or more wins and twelve with 40 or more, including an all-time high of 66 wins in 2008. The Sun Devils have appeared in 23 NCAA tournaments (33 postseason bids overall) and have made nine trips to the Women's College World Series. Prior to the current NCAA format, ASU went to seven WCWS, claiming back-to-back national tiles in 1972 and 1973. Arizona State's storied tradition of softball excellence continues to flourish under head coach Clint Myers, who has led the Sun Devils to two NCAA national championships. Myers joined Linda Vollstedt (women's golf – 7), Greg Kraft (women's track & field indoor – 2, women's track & field outdoor – 1, men's indoor track & field – 1), Bobby Winkles (baseball – 3) and Jim Brock (baseball – 2) as Sun Devil coaches with more than one NCAA title.

The Sun Devils capped off the 2008 season with their first WCWS NCAA national championship on June 3, 2008. Kaitlin Cochran hit a three-run home run, Katie Burkhart pitched a four-hitter and Arizona State routed Texas A&M 11–0 to win the title. Cochran slammed the first pitch from Megan Gibson over the left field fence in the fifth inning to give the sixth-seeded Sun Devils a 4–0 lead in the fifth inning. The margin ended up matching the second-most lopsided game in Women's College World Series history.

On June 7, 2011, the Sun Devils captured their second NCAA national championship by defeating the Florida Gators. ASU pitcher, Dallas Escobedo, became the first freshman pitcher to lead a team to the NCAA title since 1990.

Track and Field

Entering his 19th season, Greg Kraft is the current head coach of the Track and Field team. During his tenure the Sun Devils have won 4 NCAA Championships, 32 NCAA individual titles and produced 13 Olympians.[9] As part of being in the Pac-12 Conference, ASU competes with UCLA, UC Berkeley, University of Stanford, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Arizona, and other schools that are in Pac-12. Among the all-time Pac-12 records, three of the top ten times in the men's 4x400 relay are held by ASU (2004, 2004, 2005). The women currently hold three of the top ten spots in the 400m (1991, 2004, 2015).[10] Notable Sun Devil alumni include Olympian Dwight Phillips (Long Jump Gold Medal at 2004 Olympic games). ASU has a history producing top competitive athletes to compete in the Olympics even before 2004. However, 2004 was the final year.


The men's golf team has won 20 conference championships:[11]

They won NCAA regional championships in 1991 (co-champions), 1995, 1998 (co-champions), 1999, 2001, and 2009.[11]

They won the NCAA Division I Championship in 1990 and 1996[11] while claiming six individual titles: Jim Carter (1983), Phil Mickelson (1989, 1990, 1992), Todd Demsey (1993), and Alejandro Cañizares (2003).[12]

Notable golf alumni include Paul Casey, Bob Gilder, Matt Jones, Billy Mayfair, Phil Mickelson, Mike Morley, Tom Purtzer, Jeff Quinney, Chez Reavie, Howard Twitty, JoAnne Carner, Heather Farr, Giulia Molinaro, Azahara Muñoz, Anna Nordqvist, Grace Park, and Wendy Ward.


ASU has had a very successful wrestling team. The Sun Devils have captured one NCAA team national championship (1988) beating powerhouse Iowa, followed by two years of national runners-up in 1989 & 1990 losing out to Oklahoma State both years. Also, the Sun Devil Wrestling team produced eight individual championships, and 100 total All American honors.[13] Notable wrestling alumni include several Mixed Martial Arts stars, such as: Dan Severn (inductee to UFC Hall of Fame), Don Frye, Cain Velasquez (UFC Heavyweight Champion), Ryan Bader, Aaron Simpson, Dan Henderson, John Moraga, Clifford Starks, C.B. Dollaway, and Bubba Jenkins (157 lbs NCAA Champion).

Eight Sun Devils have participated in the Olympic games, most recently in the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. There have been two silver medalists; Zeke Jones and Townsend Saunders.[14]

Six Sun Devils have participated in the World Championships of Wrestling since 1985 (a total of 16 entries).Those wrestlers placed in the top 10 a total of ten times, including Zeke Jones, the 1991 champion at 114.5 pounds.

During the 1992–1993 season ASU set a Pacific-10 Conference record for most points in a championship meet.[15]

On May 13, 2008, the university announced it will drop the sport of Wrestling as well as Men's Tennis and Men's Swimming to save more than $1 million in operational costs. Just 10 days after the announcement to drop three sports, Arizona State announced it was reinstating the varsity wrestling program. The announcement came as local and civic sponsorship was announced as the reason to bring the sport back.

In 2011, one-legged wrestler Anthony Robles won a national championship at 125 pounds.

Ice hockey

ASU announced plans to transition their ACHA men's hockey program to an NCAA varsity program on November 18, 2014. The Sun Devils will continue play in the ACHA in 2014–15, play a hybrid schedule in 2015–16 with a mix of NCAA and ACHA competition, play as a Division I independent in 2016–17 and join a conference in 2017–18.[16] The National Collegiate Hockey Conference, Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and Big Ten[17] have been seen as potential landing spots for Arizona State.[18]

The ASU hockey team has a proud history of ACHA hockey. The highlight included winning the 2013-2014 ACHA National Championship, beating Robert Morris 3-1 to win its first national championship in hockey. The team is led by Coach Greg Powers. Coach Powers enters his eighth overall season on the Sun Devil Coaching Staff and his first as Head Coach of ASU's NCAA Division I Hockey program. In the 2013-14 Season Coach Powers helped guide the Sun Devils to their 1st ever ACHA Division I National Championship. He holds a 164-27-9 career record, and his team ended the 2014-2015 season ranked No. 3 in the ACHA with a 35-4-1 record qualifying for the team's third straight ACHA Division I Final Four. Since taking the reigns as Head Coach, Greg has also coached eight ACHA Div. I All-Americans and 15 ACHA Academic All-Americans.[19]

Coach Powers has helped lead Sun Devil Hockey to five consecutive ACHA National Tournament appearances, starting with his first year as Head Coach in 2010. In 2012-13, he led ASU to a new program best record and first ever 30 plus win season with a record of 35-8-1, its first ever Final Four Appearance, first ever National Ranking of No. 1, and a benchmark win over NCAA DI Penn State. During the 2013-2014 season, ASU Hockey won the ACHA DI National Championship, with Powers named ACHA DI National Coach of the Year. The Sun Devils were also named WCHL Conference Champions both for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, and Powers was named WCHL Coach of the Year for 2013-2014. Powers was also named an ACHA Division I National Coach of the Year finalist in 2012-13, and 2014-15.[19]

Since 2009, Coach Power's ASU hockey teams held a 37-game winning streak over the rival college hockey team located in Tucson, AZ.[20]

Notable non-varsity sports


Founded in 1975, the Arizona State University Men's Rugby Team plays college rugby in the Division 1 PAC Rugby Conference, where its rivals include Pac-12 foes such Arizona and UCLA.[21] With 98 registered players, Arizona State was ranked as the largest college rugby program in the United States in 2009.[22] Arizona State has been led by head coach Gary Lane since 2001.[23] Arizona State is regularly ranked in the Top 25 in the country. Arizona State's rugby sevens program has been successful in the Collegiate Rugby Championship, the highest profile college rugby tournament in the country, where they finished tenth in the 2010 tournament.[24] Arizona State also participated in the 2013 USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships, where they went 5-1 and finished 9th.[25]


Arizona State has a club soccer team called ASU FC.[26] They play in the United Premier Soccer League. The UPSL is an American adult amateur soccer league based in Southern California that is under the United States Adult Soccer Association, within the larger American soccer pyramid. ASU FC also compete in Region IV of NIRSA (National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association). They compete in the NIRSA during the fall and the semi professional UPSL during the winter/spring season. In 2014 ASU FC where the Aztec Cup Champions.[27]


NCAA team championships

Arizona State has won 23 NCAA team national championships.[28]

Other national team championships

Arizona State has 18 DGWS/AIAW team national championships:

Below are 104 national team titles won by varsity and club sports teams at the highest collegiate levels in other non-NCAA competition:


A strong academic and athletic rivalry exists between the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. Arizona leads the all-time record against ASU in men's basketball 139–79 as of January 2010.

Arizona State University fields the more accomplished baseball team with five College World Series national championships (1965, 1967, 1969, 1977 and 1981) to the University of Arizona's four College World Series national championships (1976, 1980, 1986, and 2012). As of May 2010, the schools have met 432 times on the baseball diamond, dating back over 100 years to the first contest in 1907. Arizona, recognizing victories against club teams (ASU did not adopt varsity baseball until 1959)[29] claims the all-time series 241–208–1.[30] ASU, recognizing only varsity baseball competition (beginning in 1959), claims a 189–123 edge in the all-time series (as of June 2013).[29]

The annual football rivalry game between the two schools is known as "The Duel in the Desert." It is one of the most heated rivalries in college football. The University of Arizona has the all-time series lead with a record of 49–40–1 dating back to the time when ASU was the Tempe Normal Owls and Teacher's College Bulldogs. The school adopted the moniker, the Sun Devils, on November 20, 1946.[31] Since Arizona State became a university in 1958, the Sun Devils lead the rivalry series over the Arizona Wildcats by a record of 30–24–1. The trophy awarded after each game, the Territorial Cup, is one of the nation's oldest rivalry trophies. It is currently held by the University of Arizona.

In 2009, State Farm introduced the sponsored "State Farm Territorial Cup" for the two schools. Arizona won the inaugural season of the series 10.5 points to 7.5.

The ASU wrestling team has been dominant over the UA Wildcats with a record of 28–8 all time.[32] The University of Arizona no longer has a wrestling program.

ASU athletic facilities

Mona Plummer Aquatic Center

Karsten Golf Course

Phoenix Municipal Stadium

Sun Devil Soccer Stadium

Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium

Sun Angel Stadium, Joe Selleh Track

Sun Devil Stadium

Wells Fargo Arena

Whiteman Tennis Center

See also


  1. "Color Palette" (PDF). Communication Guide. Arizona State University. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  3. "Let's call them Sun Devils".
  4. "Arizona State Sun Devils".
  5. article on creating of NCAA women's lacrosse team at Arizona State
  6. "ASU Reinstates Men's Tennis Program" (Press release). Sun Devil Athletics. May 4, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  7. "ASU players drafted into the NBA".
  8. "Baseball World Series history". Archived from the original on 2007-06-26.
  9. "Greg Kraft Biography". Retrieved 2015-07-30.
  10. "Pac-12 All-Time top 10 List" (PDF).
  11. 1 2 3 "Sun Devils Athletics – Men's Golf – Conference/Regional/National Finishes". Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  12. "Sun Devil Men's Golf All-Time Medalists". Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  13. "ASU wrestling championships".
  14. "ASU Olympians PDF" (PDF).
  15. "ASU wrestling".
  16. Fox Sports. "Arizona State to launch Division I hockey program". FOX Sports.
  17. Husker Mike. "Big Ten Hockey Expansion Could Include Arizona State ... and Maybe Nebraska?". Corn Nation.
  18. Schlossman, Brad Elliott (November 18, 2014). "COMMENTARY: Arizona State is more proof college hockey realignment works". Grand Forks Herald. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  19. 1 2 "Greg Powers Bio".
  20. "Arizona Daily Wildcat  :: Hockey snaps 37 game winless streak against ASU".
  21. "USA Rugby, College Conferences". USA Rugby. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  22., Gamecocks 4th largest rugby club in US, Oct. 12, 2009
  23. Pac-12 Conference, Standouts shine for Sun Devils, Jan. 17, 2013,[]/Article/200631/Standouts-shine-for-Sun-Devils.aspx
  24. Bleacher Report, Utah Upsets Cal To Win Sevens Title June 7, 2010
  25. Rugby Mag, Men's 7s Final Brackets, Standings, Scores, 25 November 2013,
  26. "Security Check Required". Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  27. "ASU FC". Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  29. 1 2 "Baseball hosts BYU before facing UA | ASU News". May 10, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  30. "Arizona vs. ASU Baseball Record".
  31. "Arizona State Official Athletic Site – Traditions". November 8, 1946. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  32. "ASU's all time record (wrestling)".
  33. Bob McClay (31 December 1969). "ASU Baseball to move to Phoenix Municipal Stadium".

External links

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