A member of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), Bowling Green sponsors teams in seven men's and eleven women's NCAA sanctioned sports:Notes
The Bowling Green Falcons football team plays at Doyt Perry Stadium on the east end of the BGSU campus. The Falcons are a historical MAC powerhouse winning ten conference championships, second only to rival Miami (Ohio) (13). Bowling Green has three prominent rivals including Miami (Ohio) and Kent State, but their fiercest rival is Toledo, with the two competing in the Battle of I-75 with the game's winner taking home the Peace Pipe trophy. The Falcons and Kent State also compete for the Anniversary Award which commemorates the two institutions' founding in 1910 with the passing of the Lowry bill. Famous Falcon football players include Kory Lichtensteiger, Shaun Suisham and Don Nehlen (who would also become head football coach at Bowling Green). Notable Bowling Green coaches include College Football Hall of Fame members Doyt Perry and Don Nehlen, as well as Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.MAC titles: 1956, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1982, 1985, 1991, 1992, 2013, 2015
MAC East division titles: 2007, 2013, 2014, 2015
MAC West division titles: 2003
NWOIAA titles: 1921, 1922, 1925, 1928, 1929
National titles: 1959
Undefeated seasons: 1928, 1956, 1959
Bowl appearances: 1982, 1985, 1991, 1992, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
MAC titles: 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1981, 1983, 1997, 2000, 2009
MAC East division titles: 2000, 2009
NCAA Tournament appearances: 1959, 1962, 1963, 1968
NIT appearances: 1944, 1945, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1954, 1980, 1983, 1990, 1991, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2009
NIT Runner-up: 1945
NIT 3rd place: 1949
The Bowling Green Falcons women's basketball team has had a long-standing tradition of success, rivaling only the school's football team as the most prominent athletic team at the university. The women's basketball team has won ten conference tournaments, eleven regular season championships and five division championships. The women's basketball team has made the NCAA tournament nine times and the AIAW tournament (the predecessor to the NCAA tournament) twice, posting an overall tournament record of 6-12. The 2006-07 team became the first women's basketball team from the MAC to reach the Sweet Sixteen after defeating 10th-seeded Oklahoma State 70–60 and upset 2nd-seeded Vanderbilt 60–59.
The current head coach of the Falcons is Jennifer Roos. In her first full season as head coach, Roos led the team to the third round of the WNIT. Roos served on the staff of previous BGSU Women's Basketball head coach Curt Miller, who had over 200 wins record in 10 season as head coach. Miller also led the Falcons to five conference tournament championships and six consecutive regular season championships (2005–10).MAC titles: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014
MAC Tournament titles: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011
NCAA Tournament appearances: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011
NCAA Sweet Sixteen: 2007
WNIT appearances: 1998, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014
AIAW Tournament appearances: 1974, 1975
The Bowling Green Falcons men's ice hockey team is the only athletic program at Bowling Green State University to win a national title, coming during the 1984 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament in Lake Placid, New York. The Falcons defeated Minnesota-Duluth 5–4 in the fourth overtime. The game is the longest NCAA ice hockey game ever played. The game was broadcast on WBGU, called by John Bowers. John is now with the Cleveland Indians. Prominent coaches Ron Mason and Jerry York spent time as head coaches at Bowling Green before leaving for very successful stints at Michigan State and Boston College respectively.
The Falcons are currently coached by former Miami RedHawks assistant coach and player, Chris Bergeron. He replaced interim head coach Denis Williams who took over for Scott Paluch for the 2009-10 season. Paluch had been the Falcons head coach from the 2002-03 season through the 2008-09 season, replacing Buddy Powers. Over seven seasons, Paluch posted a record of 84-156-23 (.363), with his best season coming during the 2004-05 season in which the Falcons finished in 5th place in the CCHA with a 16-16-4 record. Under Paluch, the Falcons only got past the CCHA Tournament First Round once, defeating Lake Superior 2 games to 1, before falling to Miami (Ohio) 2 games to 0 in the CCHA Quarterfinals.CCHA titles: 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987
CCHA tournament titles: 1973, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1988
NCAA Tournament appearances: 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990
National titles: 1984
Frozen Four appearances: 1978, 1984
Doyt Perry Stadium is home to Bowling Green's football team. Named in honor of former football coach Doyt Perry, the stadium was opened in 1966 replacing University Stadium. Through 37 seasons, the Bowling Green Falcons enjoyed an impressive 126-58-6 record at Doyt Perry Stadium. The stadium underwent a renovation in 1982 to expand its seating capacity from 23,272 to 30,599. The stadium and MAC attendance record was set in 1983 when 33,527 fans saw Toledo defeat Bowling Green 6–3 in the annual Battle of I-75. The Doyt hosted its first Big Ten opponent on September 6, 2008 as the Falcons were defeated by Minnesota 42–17. The Sebo Athletic Center opened in 2007 and is located at the north end of Doyt Perry Stadium. The 33,500 sq. ft. center was named after J. Robert and Karen Sebo who donated $4.4 million to the project. Sebo Athletic Center is home to sports medicine and rehabilitation centers, strength and training facilities, coaches offices, teaching space for coaches and players, video equipment and viewing room and team meeting rooms.
The Bowling Green basketball teams and volleyball team will move into a new, state-of-the art convocation center in 2011, replacing the aging Anderson Arena. The new 5,000-seat facility will be named the Stroh Center, after Kermit and Mary Lu Stroh who donated $7.7 million to the project. The Stroh Center will also be home to the largest falcon statue in the world, a gift from North Carolina philanthropist Irwin Belk. The university broke ground on the Stroh Center on September 3, 2009, a few hours prior to the football team's season opener at nearby Doyt Perry Stadium.
BGSU Ice Arena is home to Bowling Green's men's hockey team. Opened in 1967, the arena is located on the east end of campus across from the Student Recreation Center. The University had planned to renovate the arena in 2009, but has since postponed the upgrades due to the current economic situation.
Warren E. Steller Field has been home to the Falcons baseball team since 1964. The field is named in honor of Warren E. Steller, a former instructor at the school who coached the school's football (1924–34) and baseball (1925, 1928–59) teams. The stadium is located on the Bowling Green campus, next to BGSU Ice Arena and across the street from Perry Field House.
Mickey Cochrane Stadium is home to the Bowling Green's men's and women's soccer teams. Opened in 1966, the stadium was renamed on October 11, 1980 in honor of Bowling Green's first men's soccer coach. The stadium was renovated in 1993 and 1994, which included the installation of a permanent grandstand that seats 1,500. Cochrane Stadium is also home to the United States Youth Soccer Association's Olympic Development Program Region II camps. The stadium, which is located behind BGSU Ice Arena, has been listed as one of the finest pitches in the Midwestern United States.
Cooper Pool is home to Bowling Green's women's swimming and diving team. Cooper Pool is located in the Student Recreation Center on the east end of campus.
Whittaker Track is home to Bowling Green's women's track and field team. Located northeast of Doyt Perry Stadium, Whittaker Track underwent a renovation in 2007 and was reopened in 2008 in time to host the MAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
College Park Rugby Field is home to the Bowling Green State University Rugby Football Club. Located on the northwest corner of campus at the corners of North College and Poe Road. It is one of the few dedicated collegiate rugby pitches in the United States. It has grandstand seating for 150, an electronic scoreboard, an onsite changing room and parking for 100 carsFigure skating: USCFS Championship Alissa Czisny 2004, 2008
Ice hockey: 1984 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament
Several notable athletes have played collegiately for Bowling Green, among the most memorable is NBA legend Nate Thurmond. Thurmond, whose number 42 is the only basketball number retired by the university, graduated in 1963 before eventually being named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Bowling Green also was the collegiate home to one of the NBA's first ever draft picks, Chuck Share, who was selected by the Boston Celtics in the 1950 NBA Draft. Current NBA players Antonio Daniels and Keith McLeod also played at BGSU. Most recently, Richaun Holmes was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the 2015 NBA Draft.
BGSU's hockey team perhaps has provided the school with the greatest number of notable athletes. Two of its players were on the "Miracle on Ice" U.S. hockey team that captured the 1980 Winter Olympics gold medal: Ken Morrow and Mark Wells. Rob Blake also captured a gold medal for his country as Canada took up the top prize during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Two Falcons have also won the Hobey Baker award, given to the top collegiate hockey player each season: George McPhee (1982) and Brian Holzinger (1995). In 1984 the Bowling Green Hockey Team won the National Championship in one of the longest games in college hockey history. Geno Cavillini scored at 7:11 in the 4th overtime to give the Falcons their first college hockey national championship. Also advancing to the NHL was retired Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Ken Klee.
Omar Jacobs became a household name to college football fans during his two years of starting for the Falcons. As the starting quarterback in 2004, he passed for 4,002 yards and set the NCAA record for TD to INT rate, at 41 touchdowns to 4 interceptions. He entered the 2005 season on the Heisman radar nationwide, but he didn't have as good of a season as 2004, and he missed two starts due to injury.
Don Nehlen is perhaps one of the more memorable Falcon football players and coaches. He played quarterback for BG during his playing days before coaching the Falcons for nine seasons from 1968-1976. Nehlen went on to coach West Virginia University where he would receive national attention. The legendary coach joined the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. Doyt Perry is another Hall of Fame coach who led the Falcons from 1955 through 1964. The university's football stadium is now named in his honor. More recently, Urban Meyer coached the Falcons for two seasons in 2001 and 2002 before leaving for the University of Utah. Meyer is the former head coach at the University of Florida, which he led to victory in the BCS National Championship in 2007 and 2009.
Other famous football Falcons include Phil Villapiano and Shaun Suisham. Villapiano was an integral part of the Oakland Raiders in their glory days during the 1970s as a 4-time Pro-Bowler. Suisham is the kicker for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Dave Wottle, Olympian miler, was from Bowling Green.
Students at Bowling Green also have the opportunity to participating and compete in various sports at the club level. Club sports do not offer scholarships that varsity sports offer and are operated by the Department of Student Life.
The Bowling Green State University Rugby Football Club has been one of the more successful college rugby clubs in the United States. Established in 1968, the club has over 80 members and fields five teams. The club has been embraced by the University as a quasi-varsity sport, with a home game fan attendance that makes it the fourth most watched sport on campus. The club averages nine wins for every loss with an all-time record of 1771-369-83. BGSU RFC became the first Bowling Green athletic program (varsity or club) to compete outside of North America, touring England (1987, 1995, 2012, 2014), Wales (2000), South Africa (2002, 2007), and Ireland (2005). BGSU RFC plays their home matches on the College Park Rugby Field on the corner of North College Avenue and Poe Road with an occasional game at the BGSU football stadium.
Bowling Green Rugby has won 36 consecutive Mid American Conference titles, eleven Ohio Collegiate titles, eleven Michigan Collegiate titles and has received eleven National Collegiate Championship bids. Six Falcons have received All-American honors including: Chuck Tunnacliffe (1986), Tony Konczak (1988), Wes Harmon (1991), Scott Hogg (2003) and Rich Hines and Nick Viviani (2008). Two Falcons have seen call ups to United States national rugby union team by Tunnacliffe in 1991 and Vince Staropoli in 1999.
Bowling Green finished ninth at the 2010 Collegiate Rugby Championship, a tournament broadcast live on NBC. Bowling Green's Rocco Mauer was the leading try scorer and the MVP of the tournament. Mauer signed a professional contract in 2012 to play full-time for the US national team. Bowling Green reached the 2014 D1-AA national playoffs, notching wins against Iowa State and Missouri, before losing to Arizona in the semifinals.
Bowling Green finished second at the 2016 USA Rugby Fall National Championship losing to Norte Dame College (Ohio) 39-17. Bowling Green's center Adam Regini and Scrumhalf Mitch Sora were named as a D1AA Fall Top 50 Backs. While Phil Bryant was not only named as a D1AA Fall Top 50 Forward, but also as the Fall 2016 MVP Forward.
Before 1927, BG teams were called the Normals or Teachers. Ivan Lake (’23) suggested the nickname after reading an article on falconry. Lake, managing editor and sports editor of the Sentinel-Tribune in Bowling Green at the time, proposed the name change because it fit headline space and because falcons were "the most powerful bird for their size and often attacked birds two or three times their size."
Bowling Green's athletic teams have been known as the "Falcons" ever since.
The historical story behind how BGSU began using brown and orange as its school colors dates back to 1914.
Dr. Homer B. Williams, the university's first President, gathered a group of people which included a Dr. L.L. Winslow from Industrial Arts as a selection committee for the school's new colors. While on a trolley to Toledo, Dr. Winslow sat behind a woman wearing a large hat adorned with beautiful brown and orange feathers. Dr. Winslow was so interested in the color scheme of the pair that he convinced the committee to approve the combination of brown and orange.
Bowling Green State University has three common songs that can be heard being played by the Falcon Marching Band at various athletic and academic events. These three songs are the Alma Mater, "Forward Falcons" which is the school's fight song, and "Ay Ziggy Zoomba" which is played to hype up the crowd at events, which is more familiar to most students, alumni, and fans.
Freddie and Frieda Falcon are the mascots for Falcons athletics. The pair are anthropomorphized peregrine falcons. They are somewhat of a rarity among collegiate mascots, being one of the few male-female mascot pairs in existence. In 2006 they were both named "Best Collegiate Mascot" at the 2006 NCA Cheer Camp in Nashville, Tennessee at Vanderbilt University. Freddie first appeared at Bowling Green sporting events in 1950. Frieda made her first appearance in 1966, but did not become an official mascot until 1980.
SICSIC are a six-member, anonymous pep squad and the official spirit crew for BGSU, which began in 1946. SICSIC members adorn Halloween masks throughout their time with the organization and remain anonymous until the final home basketball game of the member's senior year, where they are unmasked in front of the student body.
Any former BG student-athlete out of school for at least 10 years, a coach, or a contributor to BGSU athletics is eligible for induction into the BGSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Athletes who leave school early are not eligible to be placed on the ballot until 10 years after what would have been their senior year. Portraits of each of the over nearly 200 inductees are on display in the lobby of the BGSU Stroh Center. BG's 1984 NCAA championship squad was inducted in 1993 as the first "team" ever named to the Hall of Fame.