Oral Roberts Golden Eagles

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles
University Oral Roberts University
Conference Summit League
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Mike Carter
Location Tulsa, Oklahoma
Varsity teams 16
Football stadium N/A
Basketball arena Mabee Center
Baseball stadium J. L. Johnson Stadium
Mascot Eli
Nickname Golden Eagles
Colors Navy, White, and Vegas Gold[1]
Website www.oruathletics.com

The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles are the 16 intercollegiate teams representing the Oral Roberts University that compete in the U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I. Oral Roberts currently competes in the Summit League as of July 1, 2014.


The Titans began play as an independent team in 1965. In 1971, the Titans moved up to Division I. From 1979 until 1987, the Titans were a member of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. In 1989, they became an NAIA school. In 1991, they returned to Division I. The team joined the Mid-Continent Conference (now The Summit League) effective 1997. In 2012, the school joined the Southland Conference. In December 2013, ORU announced that it would return to the Summit League for all sports in 2014.[2]

As of 2009, ORU has had 22 players selected in the NBA Draft, and 28 baseball All-Americans. Andretti Bain, who won a silver medal for The Bahamas as part of its 4 x 400 metres relay team at the 2008 Summer Olympics, also attended ORU.[3]


ORU's athletic teams for both men and women are known as the Golden Eagles, a change which became effective on April 30, 1993.

Originally, ORU's nicknames were the Titans for men and the Lady Titans for women. These monikers were adopted in 1965 by a vote of the student body, many of whom were from the East Coast or were either casual or serious New York Titans (now known as Jets) football fans.[4]

The nicknames endured until 1993, when a search for a new nickname was concluded with the selection of the Golden Eagles. ORU's new mascot, "Eli" the Golden Eagle, hatched out of his papier-mache egg on November 17, 1993, before the start of an exhibition basketball game. With this unveiling, the Golden Eagle nickname became the official symbol of a new era in ORU athletics.


The Golden Eagles basketball teams play at the Mabee Center. The baseball team plays at J. L. Johnson Stadium. The volleyball team plays at Cooper Aerobics Center. The soccer teams play at the ORU Soccer Complex. The golf teams play at Indian Springs Country Club.


A member of The Summit League, Oral Roberts University sponsors teams in eight men's and eight women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[5]

Men's basketball

The men's basketball team reached the NCAA Elite Eight in the 1974 Tournament before losing to Kansas 93–90 in overtime, in what has been called "the most important basketball game ever played in Tulsa."[6] Most recently, the men's basketball team went to the 2006 NCAA Tournament as the #16 seed, but lost in the first round to #1 seeded Memphis.

The following season, on November 15, 2006, the unranked Oral Roberts basketball team stunned the #3 team in the nation, the University of Kansas, at the Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas, 78–71. The team went on to win the Mid-Con conference championship on March 6, 2007, defeating #2 seeded Oakland Golden Grizzlies, overcoming an 11-point halftime deficit to win 71–67.

In 2008, the Golden Eagles captured their third consecutive Summit League title, receiving a 13 seed in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles lost to 4th-seeded Pittsburgh, 82–63

Overview of team achievement

Coaching staff

The Golden Eagles are currently coached by Scott Sutton. When the 2010–11 basketball season tips off on Nov. 12, Scott Sutton will begin his 12th season as head coach and officially become the longest-tenured basketball coach in Oral Roberts history.

Sutton is likely to make even more history later in the season. With 204 career victories, he needs just 11 more to pass Ken Trickey as the school’s all-time coaching wins leader. In 11 seasons at ORU, Sutton is 204–139 (.595). Since the start of the 2001–02 season, Sutton has guided the Golden Eagles to a 181–103 (.637) mark. During that same span, ORU has finished either first or second in the conference standings seven times.

Coaching Career Records Coach Tenure Y rs. Record Pct. Bill White 1965–69 5 65–35 .650 Ken Trickey 1969–74, 87–93 11 214–116 .648 Jerry Hale 1974–77 3 61–21 .744 Lake Kelly 1977–79 2 30–24 .556 Ken Hayes 1979–83 4 50–43 .538 Dick Acres 1982–85 3 47–34 .580 Ted Owens 1985–87 2 21–35 .375 Bill Self 1993–97 4 55–54 .505 Barry Hinson 1997–99 2 36–23 .610 Scott Sutton 1999-pres. 11 204–139 .595

Mabee Center

The Mabee Center, an outstanding collegiate arena, has been home to the Golden Eagles 1972. Mabee Center was built as an elliptical cable-suspension structure with basketball in mind. The arena has 10,575 permanent theater seats – with no obstacles to clear viewing. The splendid viewing and playing areas have drawn nine different national tournaments since the building opened. The Golden Eagles themselves played in the first NCAA tournament held here in 1974. Four other NCAA regionals (1975, 1978, 1982 and 1985) have been based at the Mabee Center. The National Invitation Tournament picked ORU as host four times (1977, 1980, 1982 and 1983).


The ORU baseball team has won the Mid-Con and Summit League regular season and tournament titles for each of the past 12 years. In 2006, they advanced to the NCAA Super Regional. ORU continues to compete against regional rivals such as Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas,and Wichita State, as well as dominating the Summit League.

Notable players

Mike Moore was an ORU standout from 1979–81 and first-round draft pick. He played 14 seasons in the big leagues and was selected an American League All-Star in 1989. He played in consecutive World Series with Oakland (1989,90), winning a World Championship in 1989. Todd Burns (1982–84) was Moore's teammate in Oakland and helped the A's win three straight American League pennants (1988–90) and 1989 World Series. Keith Lockhart (1985–86) played in the 1999 World Series as a member of the Atlanta Braves and helped that team win five consecutive National League Eastern Division titles. Tom Nieto (1981) played in the 1985 world Series with St. Louis Cardinals and won a World championship in 1987 as a member of the Minnesota Twins. Doug Bernier, Michael Hollimon and Steve Holm all made their Major League debuts in 2008.

Notable coaches

Former head coach Larry Cochell guided ORU from 1977–86, leading the school to seven NCAA Regional appearances and the 1978 College World Series. Former coach Sunny Golloway was one the winningest active skippers in the NCAA Division I, guiding the Golden Eagles to a 294–136 record and five NCAA Regional appearances in seven years at the helm. He was an assistant coach for Team USA in the summer of 2002.

As first year head coach in 2004, Rob Walton guided ORU to the nation's best winning percentage (.820) while also setting a Summit League mark with a 50–11 overall record. The 2004 Golden Eagles were ranked in the Top 20 for 12 consecutive weeks, reaching a high of No. 13 in late May...Walton led ORU to its ninth consecutive Summit League Tournament title and the program's 18th NCAA Regional appearance in 2006. Walton also earned ABCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Golden Eagles to a regional championship and final Top 25 ranking in all three major, a program first. Walton also served as the head coach for USA Baseball's National Team during the summer of 2008.

J. L. Johnson Stadium

Main article: J. L. Johnson Stadium

J. L. Johnson Stadium has been the home of Golden Eagles baseball since 1978. It hosted its first game on March 6, 1978.

In 2008, a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) facility was added which includes coaches offices, a state-of-the-art weight room and the Grand Slam Room in which boosters and fans can watch ORU games in a climate-controlled environment. The facility is located down the right-field line.

Johnson Stadium has been host to three NCAA Regionals (1978,1980,1981), 14 conference tournaments, and many All-Americans. Many Major Leaguers have played at Johnson Stadium, including Roger Clemens, Joe Carter, Kirk Gibson, Tony Gwynn, Keith Lockhart, Pete Incaviglia, Kevin McReynolds, Mike Moore, and Robin Ventura.

H.A. Chapman Indoor Practice Facility

The H.A. Chapman Indoor Practice Facility opened in the Fall of 2009. The 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) facility, located just west of J.L. Johnson Stadium, features indoor practices areas for both baseball and track & field programs. Built at a cost of $1.2 million, the facility was funded exclusively through private donations, including a generous lead gift from the H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust. The baseball portion of the facility features a regulation-sized infield, three pitching areas and three netted batting cages. The track & field area features a complete pole vault area, high jump pit and long jump & triple jump practice areas.

NCAA First-Team All-Americans Selections

Women's basketball

Having 4 conference championships under their belt in the 8 years since joining the Mid-Continent Conference (now The Summit League), the team has a solid reputation among fellow mid-major programs. Head coach Jerry Finkbeiner was hired in July 1996 and has delivered all four of the school's NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship appearances.

Women's soccer

The women's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2004.

Memorable Players: Nicole Bucelluni, Tayah Schroter-Gillespie, Lindsay Ruisch, Michelle Hoogveld, Kellie Fenton

Men's soccer

Women's golf

Men's golf

Men's and women's cross country

Men's indoor track & field

Men's outdoor track & field

Women's indoor track & field

Women's tennis

Men's tennis



External links

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