Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas Razorbacks
University University of Arkansas
Conference Southeastern Conference
NCAA Division I/FBS
Athletic director Jeff Long
Location Fayetteville, Arkansas
Varsity teams 19
Football stadium Frank Broyles Field at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (Primary)
War Memorial Stadium (Secondary)
Basketball arena Bud Walton Arena
Baseball stadium Baum Stadium at George Cole Field
Mascot Tusk IV – via Stokes Family Farm & Big Red
Nickname Razorbacks
Fight song Arkansas Fight
Colors Cardinal and White[1]

The Razorbacks, also known as the Hogs, are the names of college sports teams at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The University of Arkansas student body voted to change the name of the school mascot (originally the Cardinals) in 1910 to the Arkansas Razorbacks after a hard fought battle against LSU in which they were said to play like a "wild band of Razorback hogs" by former coach Hugo Bezdek. The Arkansas Razorbacks are the only major sports team in the US with a porcine nickname, though the Texas A&M–Kingsville Javelinas play in Division II.

The University of Arkansas currently fields 19 total varsity teams (eight men's and 11 women's) in 13 sports. The eight men's varsity sports includes baseball,[2] basketball,[3] cross country,[4] football,[5] golf,[6] tennis,[7] and indoor and outdoor track and field;[8] the 11 women's varsity sports includes basketball,[9] cross country,[10] golf,[11] gymnastics,[12] soccer,[13] softball,[14] swimming and diving,[15] tennis,[16] indoor and outdoor track and field,[17] and volleyball.[18] The Arkansas Razorbacks compete in the NCAA's Division I (I FBS in football) and is currently a member of the Southeastern Conference (Western Division).

Inside the state of Arkansas, the University of Arkansas has continued to maintain the policy of not competing against other in-state Division I schools.[19][20] There are four other Division I schools in the state of Arkansas: Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. ASU is the only school of the three to compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision; UALR does not have football, while UAPB and UCA compete in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.


After classes were first held at the university, a contest was held on campus to select school colors. Cardinal (a shade of deep red) was selected over heliotrope, a shade of moderate purple. The first Arkansas football team was formed that same year and was known as the "Arkansas Cardinals". Sometime around the year 2000, the color black began making its way onto Razorback merchandise and eventually some team uniforms. Indeed, for some time, the Collegiate Licensing Company (responsible for all UA licensed gear) touted the university's colors as red and black instead of cardinal red and white. While this has been corrected, many manufacturers of UA related merchandise still make product according to the red and black color scheme. Arkansas merchandise sold at the highest levels in school history during the 2012–13 academic year when royalties through CLC ranked 10th best in the nation.[21]

In 1909, the football team finished a 7–0 season, allowing only 18 points on defense and scoring 186 points on offense. College Football Hall of Fame coach Hugo Bezdek proclaimed his team played "like a wild band of razorback hogs". The name proved so popular that it was changed for the 1910 season. The tradition of calling the hogs, "Woo, Pig! Sooie" was added in the 1920s.

In 1957, Frank Broyles was hired as the head football coach and served in that position for 19 years. Broyles' team was awarded the 1964 National Championship by the Football Writers Association of America and the Helms Athletic Foundation. At the time, The AP and UPI both awarded the designation before bowl games, and gave the award to Alabama. However, Alabama lost their bowl game to Texas, while Arkansas won theirs against Nebraska. The FWAA and HAF both awarded their National Championship designations to Arkansas, who was the only team to go undefeated through bowl games that year. Both the University of Arkansas and the University of Alabama claimed National Championships for the year 1964.

In 1969, Broyles' team was ranked #2 and played the #1-ranked Texas Longhorns, coached by Darrell Royal, in Fayetteville. The game, known as "The Big Shootout" is perhaps the most notable football game in Razorback history. President Richard Nixon was even in attendance. The Razorbacks led 14–0 until the 4th quarter. Texas scored 15 unanswered points and won the National Championship 15–14.

After Broyles left coaching and became Athletic Director, he hired Lou Holtz to take over his former position. Holtz served as the head football coach from 1977 through the 1983 season. Under him, the Razorbacks lost a National Championship in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama and beat the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl, ending their National Championship hopes.

On 1971, the women's athletic department was formed. Up until January 1, 2008, the men's and women's athletic departments merged along with a new athletic director.[22]

The basketball team rose to prominence in the 1970s now under the coaching of Eddie Sutton and with future NBA star Sidney Moncrief along with Marvin Delph and Ron Brewer, three similarly-sized Arkansas bred guards, known as "The Triplets". The team made a Final Four appearance under him, finishing 3rd by defeating Notre Dame on a last second shot in the now defunct consolation game.

In the 1980s, the football team was now coached by Ken Hatfield, and established itself as a powerful running team. The Razorbacks challenged for the SWC title each year and went to the Cotton Bowl Classic twice. Hatfield's teams established excellent regular season records, but had difficulty winning bowl games.

In 1990, Broyles led the Razorbacks out of the Southwest Conference and into the Southeastern Conference, setting off a major realignment in college football. In 1995, the Arkansas Razorbacks won its first SEC Western Division Title in football.

In 1994, Nolan Richardson's basketball Razorbacks won the NCAA Tournament. His basketball teams challenged for the SEC and National Championships regularly during the 1990s, making three trips to the Final Four and two to the championship game while compiling a record of 389–169 (.697) in his 17 years as the head basketball coach.

On December 10, 1997, Houston Nutt was hired as head football coach for the Razorbacks (1998 season was his first full season) to replace Danny Ford, who had been head coach since 1993, and the 1998 season was his first full season. Highly sought after as a Little Rock Central quarterback, Nutt had been the last recruit to sign under Broyles, but transferred to Oklahoma State University once when he did not fit Holtz's offensive plans.

Soon after Houston Dale Nutt's timely departure, Razorback fans rejoiced as Atlanta Falcons Coach Bobby Petrino called the team. He led the team to a BCS game in 2010 and the school's third 11 win season with a Top 5 season ranking in the 2011 season with a heavy passing attack. On April 1, 2012 Bobby Petrino drove his motorcycle into a ditch with a passenger aboard. He was fired after it was revealed this passenger was his mistress whom he had hired onto his staff. AD Jeff Long introduced John L. Smith as the interim coach for the 2012 season in late April.

Smith entered the season as the steward of a pre-season Top 10 squad with multiple pre-season Heisman hopefuls. He recorded the school's first loss to a Sunbelt team in the program's 100-year history as Louisiana Monroe pulled the upset in Little Rock. In only his second game, he had managed the second largest drop from the AP ranking narrowly missing the #1 spot held by Michigan after losing the season opener to Appalachian State just threes years before.

On December 4, 2012, the school named former University of Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema as head coach for the 2013 season. Coach Bielema rebuilt the team around a power running game and strong defense and led the team back to a winning record in 2014 including back-to-back shutouts over top ten teams, the first time in history such a feat had been accomplished, and a victory over Texas in the Texas bowl at the end of the season.

Varsity sports

Men's sports


On December 4, 2012, the University of Arkansas named Bret Bielema the football team's new head coach.[23] The position was previously held by John L. Smith, who served as the interim coach while UofA found a replacement for Bobby Petrino after Petrino was released from his duties with cause on April 10, 2012.[24][25] Petrino followed the ten season tenure of Houston Nutt. The team plays its home games either at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, located on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, or at War Memorial Stadium, located in Little Rock. In 1964, the Razorbacks were the only team to go through the regular season and a bowl game undefeated, and they were awarded the Football Writers Association of America National Championship. The 1969 team, led by quarterback Bill Montgomery, challenged the Texas Longhorns for a national championship in the Game of the Century.


The basketball team plays its home games in Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus. One of the top 10 NCAA programs of all time, the Razorbacks were ushered into the modern era on the shoulders of Coach Eddie Sutton (800 game winner). Under the leadership of Nolan Richardson, the Razorbacks won the NCAA tournament in 1994 defeating Duke University, and appeared in the championship game the following year, but were beaten by UCLA. The Razorbacks have been to NCAA Final Four in 1941, 1945, 1978, 1990, 1994 and 1995, though the first two were achieved before the NCAA gathered the final four teams in one site.

The current head coach for the men's basketball team is Mike Anderson. The former assistant under Nolan Richardson has returned to Arkansas. On 26 March 2007, Stan Heath was fired as the head coach of the men's basketball team.[26] John Pelphrey ultimately replaced Heath and made the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, but did not make any subsequent postseason appearances and was fired after the 2010–11 season. Pelphrey compiled a 69–59 overall record and 25–39 SEC conference record while at Arkansas.[27] Mike Anderson was announced as the new men's Basketball head coach on March 23, 2011.


Lefty leadoff man Chase Leavitt was a senior outfielder on the 2009 Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team.

The baseball team, led by former Razorback Dave Van Horn, has reached the post-season NCAA tournament every year since he began coaching the team in 2003. In 2012, they reached the College World Series compiling a 2–0 record in Omaha before falling in consecutive games to two time defending national champion South Carolina in the championship of Bracket Two. South Carolina was defeated in the National Championship Series by Arizona.

The Razorbacks most recently also reached the 2015 College World Series, joining previous appearances in Omaha in 1979 (finished runner-up); 1985; 1987, 1989, 2004, and 2009. The team plays home games at Baum Stadium, located just south of campus and which finished several major renovations in 2004 and 2009.

Many Razorbacks players have gone on to the majors, perhaps the most successful is Cliff Lee, the 2008 AL Cy Young Award Winner, with the most recent being Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros.[28]

Track and field

The track and field team was under the direction of John McDonnell for over 25 years (since the 1977–78 academic year). McDonnell's men's teams have won 40 NCAA championships since 1984, including 11 cross country, 19 indoor track and 10 outdoor track along with 37 Southwest Conference Championships, and 38 of 40 SEC titles.[29] The Razorbacks, under his direction, won five National Triple Crowns, achieved by winning NCAA titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track in the same school year. Arkansas and the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) are the only teams to have ever won the National Triple Crown. The track and field Razorbacks men completely dominated the sport during the 1990s, winning 24 of the 30 available titles. Now under the direction of coaches Chris Bucknam, Doug Case and Travis Geopfert, the men's track and field team still dominates the NCAA. They have won multiple triple crowns along with one National Championship since taking over in 2008.


The Razorbacks golf teams are based at The Blessings golf course in Fayetteville. From the back tees of the course, the rating is 79.1 and its slope is 153, making it one of the most difficult golf courses in the U.S.

The men's golf team has won two conference championships: 1958 Southwest Conference and 1995 Southeastern Conference. R. H. Sikes won the NCAA Championship in 1963 and the team place second in 2009.[30]

Women's sports


Razorback Women during a basketball game.

The Razorback women's basketball team plays home games in Bud Walton Arena, often referred to as the "Basketball Palace of Mid-America." The building is located on the University of Arkansas campus. The women's basketball team completed its 39th season in 2014–15, and has made 21 post season appearances (from AIAW through the current NCAA era). The Razorbacks' made their first NCAA Women's Final Four appearance in 1998, with the help of team leader Christy Smith.[31]

Cross country

The cross country track team is led by head coach Lance Harter. They practice (and compete) on Agri Park cross country course (so named because it is located on the on campus agricultural area). Agri Park is also home to the men's cross country team. Harter is the first Arkansas coach to have his team ranked No. 1 in the nation, and has won more SEC cross country titles than any other member institution.


The golf team is headed by coach Shauna Estes-Taylor. The team practices both at Blessings course, which is located a few minutes from the University of Arkansas campus in Johnson, Arkansas, and also at the Fred W. and Mary B. Smith Razorback Golf Training Facility—which is also located at Blessings course—which features both indoor and outdoor practice areas. The men's golf team utilizes both areas as well.


The gymnastics team is referred to as the Gym'Backs. They are head coached by Mark Cook. They practice in the Bev Lewis Center for Women's Athletics and compete in Barnhill Arena, both of which are located on the University of Arkansas campus. The Gym'Backs have five NCAA Regional appearances (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008), advanced two individuals (Dana McQuillin and Casey Jo Magee) to the NCAA Championship and hosted the 2006 NCAA South Central Regional.[32]

At the 2006 Regionals, the Gym'Backs placed second in a six-team field, qualifying them for the NCAA National Championships for the first time. They repeated this feat in 2008.

Also in 2008, team members Michelle Stout and Casey Jo Magee, became the Gym'Backs first All-Americans. Stout reached first-team status on vault while Magee became a two-time second-team member on vault and uneven bars.


Razorback Soccer Stadium

The soccer team is head coached by Colby Hale, and practice/play on Arkansas Field which is an exclusively soccer field on campus. Arkansas soccer is one of the oldest programs in the Southeastern Conference,[33] competing as a varsity sport since 1986.


The softball team is coached by Courtney Deifel. They practice and play at Bogle Park, which opened during the 2008–09 season.

Swimming and diving

The swimming and diving team is coached by Sean Schimmel. The team's facilities are the University of Arkansas Natatorium, which is located inside the HPER building (which also is home to student intramural facilities).


The tennis team's head coach is Michael Hegarty. The team's facilities are the Billingsley Center (outdoor) and the adjacent Dills Indoor Tennis Center. Tennis is one of the oldest varsity sports at Arkansas with a continuous history from the first year of the Women's Athletics Department in 1971–1972.

Track and field

The track and field team is coached by Lance Harter. They have indoor facilities at The Randal Tyson Track Center and outdoor facilities at John McDonnell Field. Harter's teams are the most successful in the Southeastern Conference, winning 16 league titles including the first-ever SEC women's triple crown (a sweep of cross country, indoor and outdoor titles in the same season).[31] His program produced numerous NCAA champions and most recently Athens Olympics medalists Veronica Campbell (two gold medals and a bronze for Jamaica in sprints) and Deena (Drossin) Kastor. Kastor is one of America's premier distance runners, earning a marathon bronze medal in Athens and holding numerous distance and marathon records.


The volleyball team is coached by Robert Pulliza. They practice and play in Barnhill Arena. Before Pulliza took over for Chris Poole in 2008, Poole's teams had won 11 SEC Western Division from their inaugural season in 1994.

Notable non-varsity sports


Founded in 1971, the University of Arkansas Rugby Club is the longest tenured sports club on campus.[34] Arkansas plays college rugby in the Division 1 Heart of America conference, a conference composed mostly of Big 12 and SEC teams.The team plays at Walker Park, just south of the Donald W. Reynolds Stadium. Arkansas rugby is led by head coach Warren Fyfe.

Arkansas has consistently been one of the best teams in the Heart of America conference, winning the conference title in the 2009–10 and 2010–11 school years,[35] and finishing second in 2011–12. Arkansas defeated Kansas 28–12 to reach the finals of the 2012 Heart of America 7s tournament, where they lost to Lindenwood.[36]


Historically, Arkansas' most heated rivalry was with the Longhorns of the University of Texas. However, the rivalry has become much less intense since the two teams joined different conferences in the early 1990s and now meet up infrequently. Texas leads the series in football and baseball, while Arkansas holds the series lead in basketball and track & field.

Another rival from the state of Texas is Texas A&M. During their Southwest Conference rivalry days, the two teams played annually in all sports. In 2009, the rivalry resumed again on an annual basis, being played each year at Cowboys Stadium. (see Arkansas–Texas A&M rivalry) The rivalry in all other sports resumed in the fall of 2012 after A&M joined the SEC.

Since joining the Southeastern Conference the Razorbacks have developed a rivalry with Louisiana State University (LSU Tigers) in football. The game between these two teams usually takes place near the end of the season and has sometimes decided the SEC Western Division Championship. The winner of this game takes home the "Golden Boot" which is a gold trophy in the shape of the two states. Arkansas took the Golden Boot home in 2007 with a 50–48 win over the #1 ranked Tigers in Baton Rouge. This was their first time winning the trophy since 2002. Arkansas and LSU have also built a rivalry in baseball, as the two schools have been at the top of the NCAA attendance standings for the past several seasons. In 2001, despite coming into the series in last place in the SEC West, Arkansas swept a three-game series from top-ranked LSU, which won the 2000 College World Series, in Fayetteville.

In basketball, the primary rival for the Razorbacks in the SEC are the Wildcats of the University of Kentucky. This rivalry developed in the 1990s during the coaching tenures of Rick Pitino at Kentucky and Nolan Richardson at Arkansas when both Kentucky and Arkansas were annually in competition for a national title.


Tusk, the live mascot for the University of Arkansas.
Boss Hog entertains fans at a basketball game in 2010.

The live mascot for the University of Arkansas is named Tusk. He is a Russian boar that weighs in at approximately 400 pounds. Tusk currently resides on the Stokes family farm in Dardanelle, Ark., and makes a two-hour trek up to Northwest Arkansas for every Razorback football game. The currently mascot, Tusk IV, is a direct descendant of Tusk I. The live mascot program at Arkansas is supported by the Tusk Fund, which is administered by the Razorback Foundation.[37]

There are a number of costumed mascots for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks that attend most major sporting events. Big Red (aka the "Fighting Razorback") is the traditional mascot for the university and represents the intimidating fighting spirit of the Razorbacks at all athletic events. Sue E., is the female hog and is famous for her costume changes and dancing ability. Pork Chop is the "kid" mascot. Boss Hog, a nine-foot inflatable mascot, joined the mascot family during the 1998–99 football season.

The Razorback was officially adopted as the university's mascot in 1909 after Hugo Bezdek, the coach at the time, stated after a big win that his team played like a "wild band of razorback hogs".[38] Subsequently, the razorback became the mascot for the entire university, replacing the cardinals as the official mascot. The only current athletic logo for the university is the classic or running hog as has been depicted on the program's football helmets.[39] The university has ceased manufacture of memorabilia with any of the other logos in an attempt to re-brand the athletic department.

National team championships

NCAA team championships

Arkansas has won 44 NCAA team national championships.[40]

Other national team championships

Below is the 1 National team title that is not recognized by the NCAA:

Arkansas' 1964 football team was recognized contemporaneously as the national champion by the Football Writers Association of America, Helms Athletic Foundation and Poling System, and retroactively by the College Football Researchers Association, Billingsley Report, National Championship Foundation, and Sagarin Ratings.[41] The NCAA does not name an official Division I football champion.

Notable athletes





Track and field



  1. "Official Colors". Style Guides and Logos–University Relations. University of Arkansas. 2015-09-27. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  2. baseball
  3. men's basketball
  4. cross country
  5. football
  6. golf
  7. tennis
  8. track and field
  9. women's basketball
  10. w cross country
  11. w golf
  12. gymnastics
  13. w soccer
  14. softball
  15. w swimming and diving
  16. w tennis
  17. w track & field
  18. Volleyball
  19. Hall, Wally (October 15, 2006). "Like it is : Arkansas-ASU would have to be better than this". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Archived from the original on October 15, 2006. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  20. Bahn, Chris (September 27, 2012). "Now Red Wolves Vs. Razorbacks Debate No Longer Confined To Offseason Radio". Arkansas Business. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  21. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  23. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
  24. "Bobby Petrino Named Razorback Football Coach". 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
  25. "Arkansas fires Bobby Petrino". ESPN. April 10, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  26. "Despite 20 wins this season, Arkansas fires Heath". ESPN. March 26, 2007. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  27. "Arkansas fires coach John Pelphrey". ESPN. March 14, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  28. "The Texas Rangers May Trade Kevin Millwood, But They're Giving Away Holiday Cheer." Article. Dallas Observer. Retrieved on December 13, 2009.
  29. This count does not include two outdoor track championships that were vacated by the NCAA (2004 and 2005).
  30. "Arkansas 2012–2013 Men's Golf" (PDF). Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  31. 1 2
  34. University of Arkansas, Men's Rugby, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-09-08.
  35. Rugby Mag, Arkansas Champs of HOA Again, Nov. 19, 2010,'s-dii-college-/85-arkansas-champs-of-hoa-again.html
  36. Rugby Mag, September 2012 Scores, Sep. 23, 2012,
  38. MacCambridge, Michael (September 1, 2005). ESPN College Football Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Game. ESPN. ISBN 1401337031.
  39. "The Razorback". University of Arkansas. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  41. College football national championships in NCAA Division I FBS
  43. "Virginia "Gi-Gi" Miller-Johnson". USA Track & Field. Archived from the original on 2009-01-21.

External links

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