Wright State Raiders
|Wright State Raiders|
|University||Wright State University|
|Athletic director||Bob Grant|
|Basketball arena||Nutter Center|
|Baseball stadium||Nischwitz Stadium|
|Soccer stadium||Alumni Field|
|Other arenas||C.J. McLin Gymnasium|
Hunter Green and Vegas Gold|
The Wright State Raiders are the athletics teams of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. The school currently participates in fifteen sports at the Division I level of the NCAA, and are members of the Horizon League. The school's mascot is a wolf.
Wright State was founded in 1964 as a branch campus of both Miami University and Ohio State University. The school began its athletic program in 1968 as a NCAA Division II school, where the athletics program achieved great success, having over 200 All-American athletes and winning the 1983 Division II Men's Basketball national championship. In 1987, Wright State began the transition to Division I athletics, with its first tournament qualifier being a golfer in 1988. In swimming, the school spent time in the Penn-Ohio Conference. From 1991 to 1994 the school was a member of the Mid-Continent Conference (now known as the Summit League) before moving in 1994 to the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now known as the Horizon League). Since joining the Horizon, several teams have won conference titles, many athletes have been named to all-conference teams, and several coaches have won Coach of the Year honors.
Among the Raiders' most notable athletic achievements are the NCAA Division II men's basketball national championship in 1983, and taking a turn at March Madness in 1993, qualifying for the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament as champion of the Mid-Continent Conference; the Raiders qualified again in 2007 as winner of the Horizon League tournament. The men's and women's swimming and diving teams are also consistently strong. The men have won 6 of the last 13 conference championships.
For many years, Wright State's sports teams used a character called Rowdy Raider as their mascot; a red-bearded Viking with a horned helmet, which emerged in 1986, a role played by Andrew "Legend" Winchek Jr. In 1997, the Viking was retired and the Wolf was born. In 2007, Rowdy Raider received a new update for the mascot suit; a gray, scarier wolf replaced the more humorous brown wolf.
Wright State University sponsors teams in seven men's and nine women's NCAA sanctioned sports:
Men's Intercollegiate Sports
Women's Intercollegiate Sports
The Wright State men's basketball team has seen the national spotlight several times since the program moved to Division I in 1987-88 and into the new Nutter Center in 1990. In 1993, the Raiders qualified for the NCAA Tournament, and since then Wright State is 5-1 all-time at home vs Top 25 competition. In 1995, Wright State defeated #25 Xavier, 71-70, their first ever home win over a Top 25 opponent. In the 1999-2000 season, Wright State beat #6 Michigan State at the Nutter Center, 53-49. On February 10, 2007 Wright State welcomed their Horizon League rival and ninth-ranked Butler Bulldogs to Dayton. In an impressive showing that would lead the Raiders to be named ESPN.com's "Team of the Week", Wright State dominated No. 9 Butler, 77-65. The Bulldogs returned to Dayton for the 2007 Horizon League tournament final, where Wright State again beat No. 17 Butler (by a score of 60-55) to earn a berth in its second-ever NCAA Tournament. DaShaun Wood, the Horizon League Player of the Year, led Wright State with 27 points and 5 assists. Wright State continued its streak the following season, defeating #13 Butler, 43-42.
The women's basketball program at Wright State University began in the 1973-74 season. It saw its first winning season two years later, earning a 9-8 record under the direction of coach Arnelle Jackson. In 2014 Wright State won its first Horizon League tournament championship to earn a berth to the NCAA tournament for the first time under coach Mike Bradbury. The Raiders have appeared in two postseason tournaments playing in the Women's Basketball Invitational in 2010 and 2011. The Raiders currently play their home games in the Nutter Center.
- Nutter Center - men's and women's basketball
- C.J. McLin Gymnasium - volleyball
- WSU Natatorium - men's & women's swimming & diving
- Nischwitz Stadium - baseball
- WSU Softball Field - softball
- Alumni Field at Rinzler Student Sports Complex - men's & women's soccer
- WSU Tennis Courts - men's & women's tennis
- Setzer Pavilion/Mills Morgan Center - training and athletics department
Players in professional sports
- Brian Anderson, former Mid-Continent Conference Pitcher and Player of the Year (1992) and finalist for the Golden Spikes Award (1993), was drafted by the California Angels in the first round of the June free agent draft in June 1993 after completing his junior year. He made his major league debut in September 1993. He was a member of the 2001 World Series Champion Arizona Diamondbacks and started Game 3 of that World Series against the New York Yankees.
- Bill Edwards played for the Philadelphia 76ers in 1993.
- Keith Gordon was drafted in June 1990 by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2nd round of the amateur draft.
- Carlos Peña attended WSU and Northeastern University before being drafted by the Texas Rangers as the 10th pick of the 1998 amateur draft.
- Vitaly Potapenko was selected 12th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1996 NBA Draft and went on to an 11-year NBA career. In June 2010, Potapenko was hired on as an assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers Potapenko was named the Horizon League's Newcomer of the Year for the '94-'95 season, and led the Horizon League in FG% in both '94-'95 and '95-'96 while garnering First Team All-League honors both years. Vitaly was born in Kiev, Ukraine.
- Frank Lickliter has been on the PGA tour since 1991 and has over $10 million in career earnings. He has won 2 PGA tournament titles in his career and finished 2nd on four separate occasions.
- Joe Smith is a Major League Baseball player who currently is a reliever for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
- DaShaun Wood was invited to the Atlanta Hawks summer league team. He has played with Pallacanestro Cantù, Pallacanestro Treviso and is currently the starting point guard for Alba Berlin.
- Wright State University Identity Manual (PDF). 2015-06-30. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
- History - WSURaiders.com
- Weekly Watch - Men's Basketball - ESPN.com, February 12, 2007.
- Wright State stuns #17 Butler, wins Horizon tourney - ESPN.com
- Wilson, Brown lead Wright State to 43-42 upset of No. 13 Butler - Rivals.com
- Brian Anderson - MLB.com
- It's Rocky vs. Rocket in Game 3 - USA Today
- Brian Anderson - Baseball Reference
- Bill Edwards - Basketball Reference
- Keith Gordon - Baseball Reference
- Carlos Pena - Baseball Reference
- Vitaly Potapenko - Basketball Reference
- Frank Lickliter II - Yahoo! Sports
- Joe Smith - Baseball Reference
- Deshaun Wood - Alba Berlin