Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State Nittany Lions

Infobox college athletics
name = Penn State Nittany Lions

university = Pennsylvania State University
conference = Big Ten | division = Division I
director = Tim Curley
city = State College
state = Pennsylvania
stateabb = PA
teams = 29
stadium = Beaver Stadium
arena = Bryce Jordan Center
mascot = Nittany Lion
nickname = Nittany Lions and Lady Lions
fightsong = Fight On, State
color1 = Blue
color2 = White
hex1 = 1C3C6B
hex2 = FFFFFF
pageurl =
pagename =
The Penn State Nittany Lions are the athletic teams of Pennsylvania State University. The school colors are blue and white. (Initially, the colors were black and pink. Legend holds that they were changed to blue and white after the colors faded.) The school mascot is the Nittany Lion. The Intercollegiate Athletics Logo, was commissioned in 1983. [ [ Penn State Logo] ]

Penn State participates in the NCAA Division I FBS and in the Big Ten Conference for most sports. A few sports participate in different conferences because they are not sponsored by the Big Ten: men's lacrosse in the ECAC Lacrosse League; women's lacrosse in American Lacrosse Conference; and men's volleyball in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA). The fencing teams operate as independents.

The Penn State All-Sports Museum, a museum honoring all Penn State Nittany Lion athletes, is located near Gate B of Beaver Stadium. The upper level of the museum is dedicated to Penn State basketball and other indoor sports, while the lower level of the museum is dedicated to outdoor sports. The football exhibit on the lower level honors the well-known Penn State football team, the Penn State Blue Band, Penn State Cheerleading, and the student athletes who have portrayed the Nittany Lion mascot.

Penn State has finished in the top 25 each of the 15 years that the NACDA Director's Cup has been in existence. This is a list compiled by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics that charts institutions' overall success in college sports. PSU finished in 9th place in the 2007-08 standings, and it was the eighth time that they finished in the top 10. It was the highest finish in five years. [ [ Penn State No. 9 in final Director Cup standings] ]


Penn State has a large football following and attracts tens of thousands of visitors to its campus; the surrounding area is known as "Happy Valley" for tailgating and games on autumn Saturdays in Beaver Stadium. The stadium is the largest in the country with a seating capacity of over 107,282. The largest crowd ever at Beaver Stadium was on September 14, 2002, as 110,753 watched the Nittany Lions defeat the University of Nebraska by a score of 40-7. The school has earned a reputation as "Linebacker U" for the number of high-quality linebackers trained. [ [ Bringing back linebacker U] ] Joe Paterno has been the head coach for the Nittany Lion football team since 1966 and is regarded as one of the most successful and venerable national coaches. Penn State plays in two football "trophy games" with other members of the Big Ten. They are for the Governor's Victory Bell with the University of Minnesota and the season-ending Land Grant Trophy game versus Michigan State University.

Prior to joining the Big Ten, Penn State was one of the strongest of the independent schools in college football. They played a number of schools regularly, including Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Maryland and Alabama. Penn State has won the prestigious Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy, awarded for Eastern football supremacy, a record 26 times as of 2005.

Penn State won consensus National Championships in 1982 and 1986, both under Coach Paterno. The 1986 team won by defeating the University of Miami in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, which remains the most watched college football game in history. The school has had a number of other undefeated teams including 1909, 1911, 1912, 1920, 1921, 1947, 1968, 1969, 1973 and 1994, some of which have been awarded national championships from various sources. Penn State has the best winning percentage of any school in bowl games with a record of 25-12-2 [ [ Winning percentage in bowl games] .]

Penn State is also among the leaders nationwide in terms of players advancing to the professional level. As of 2006, 29 former Penn State players and coaches were on the rosters of NFL teams, the tenth-highest such placement rate in the country. Penn State has been represented in at least one of the teams participating in the Super Bowl 37 of the 41 times the championship game has been played.cite web|url=|title=Nittany Lions Well-Represented on Super Bowl XLI Squads|publisher=Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics|date=2007-01-22|accessdate=2007-01-23]

A recent report indicated that Penn State's football program ranks 12th nationwide in terms of economic contributions to each program's university, athletic department, conference, and community. The report, based on ticket sales, sponsorships, football program expenses, athletic department expenses (non-football), shared conference profits, and county revenue figures during home football games, revealed that the Nittany Lions are presently worth roughly US$63 million.cite web|url=|title=The Most Valuable College Football Teams||coauthors=Jack Gage, Peter J. Schwartz|date=2006-12-22|accessdate=2007-01-15]


in the round of 32.

The women's basketball teams (the only Penn State Athletic team not known as "Nittany Lions," but instead using the monicker "Lady Lions") have had more success, often gaining berths into the women's NCAA tournament. Rene Portland, head coach since 1980 until her resignation on March 22, 2007, was the source of recent controversy due to her alleged stances on homosexuality among players on her team.


Penn State is home to one of the top men's and women's volleyball programs. The women's volleyball team is coached by Russ Rose, who, since his first season in 1979, has led the Lions to a record of 937-159, an .855 winning percentage, which ranks first in NCAA history. On September 21, 2007, Rose earned his 900th career victory with a win over Michigan State, being only the third Division I coach in history to reach the milestone. In 28 of 29 seasons under Rose, there have been at least 1 All-American on his team.

The women's volleyball program is one of only two DI universities to make every single NCAA tournament appearances (1981-2007). They have won two NCAA National Championships in 1999 and 2007, which they beat Stanford both times for the title. They were the national runner ups in 1993, 1997 and 1998 and reached the final four in 1994. The women's team also holds the NCAA record for home match winning streaks (87) in which they did not drop a match at Rec Hall for over six seasons. The Lions had an unprecedented success when Penn State was in the Atlantic 10 conference, as they won the title all 8 years without losing a single match before joining the Big Ten.

In the Big Ten, they have won 11 titles since 1991, including a conference record 5 straight (2003-07). During Big Ten play, they have had a perfect 20-0 conference record 4 times (1998, 1999, 2005, 2007), more than any other Big Ten school who have accomplished the feat combined. They also received Big Ten Freshman of the Year 6 straight years (2002-07), and became the first school in Big Ten history to sweep all 4 major Big Ten honors (2005), and in 2006, freshman Megan Hodge made Big Ten history by being the first freshman in the then-23 year history to be named Player of The Year.

The men's volleyball team is coached by Mark Pavlik. Like the women, they have won two NCAA National Championships in 1994 and 2008 and 16 EIVA titles out of 17 years, including 10 consecutive. They finished as NCAA National Runner-ups in 1982, 1995 and 2006. They reached the NCAA final four 24 times including 13 out of the last 14 years through the 2008 season and a record 10 consecutive (1998-2008). They won the NCAA title in 1994, beating powerhouse UCLA in five sets after being down 11-4 in the fourth set and then winning the fourth 15-12 and the fifth with the same score, thus making Penn State the first school outside of California in the then-24 year history to win an NCAA Men's volleyball championship. They won the NCAA title again in 2008, defeating Pepperdine 3-1. Penn State lost the first game but rallied to win the next three to take home the trophy. AVCA National co-Player of the Year Matt Anderson was named the Most Outstanding Player. With the win, Penn State swept the volleyball championships in the same academic year, joining Stanford from 1996-97 to be the only schools to accomplish the rare feat.

Pavlik was named the 2008 AVCA National Coach of the Year, his first ever. Russ Rose, the 2007 AVCA National Coach of the Year for the women's team, gave Penn State volleyball yet another sweep in the 2007-08 academic year, joining only Stanford from 1991-92 to sweep AVCA National Coach of the Year honors.

Penn State is one of only 5 schools and the only school not in California to win a NCAA Championship for both men and women's volleyball, the others being Stanford, UCLA, USC, and Long Beach State.


Penn State is a fencing powerhouse, winning a record 10 national championships in the sport since the NCAA began awarding titles in combined men's and women's fencing in 1990. In fact, the team has finished either 1st or 2nd every season since 1990 except for 2005 (when they finished 3rd) and 2008 (when they finished fourth). Emmanuil G. Kaidanov is the highly regarded coach of the fencing squads. The women's fencing team won national AIAW titles in 1980 and 1981, followed by an NCAA championship in 1983. The team recruits both nationally and throughout the globe and often has a number of highly touted international players.

Field hockey

In 2007, the women's Field Hockey team reached the National Championship game, but fell to undefeated UNC, 3-0. In their tournament run, they were able to defeat two time defending champion Maryland, 1-0, and defending national runner-up Wake Forest, 2-0. Jen Long was nominated for the Honda Award for her efforts. They also finished as NCAA runner ups in 2002.


In 2007, the men's gymnastics team won their NCAA record 12th national championship, by defeating powerhouse Oklahoma at Rec Hall, with the score of 221.000-220.200, denying them a threepeat.


Women's soccer has also been particularly strong, as the program has won ten straight Big Ten Championships through the 2007 season.


Athletes from Penn State have won five gold medals, six silver medals, and 11 bronze medals. [ [ All Time Penn State Olympians] ] The most recent medalists came in 2008 when Kevin Tan won the bronze medal with the U.S. gymnastics team and Adam Wiercioch won the silver medal with Poland in the fencing team épée competition.


The football team plays in the aforementioned Beaver Stadium. The men's and women's basketball teams play in the Bryce Jordan Center. Most of the other indoor teams play at Rec Hall, which was previously the long term home for the basketball teams as well. The school also is home to the Horace Ashenfelter Indoor Facility.

Construction has been completed for a new baseball stadium named Medlar Field at Lubrano Park and it opened in June 2006. The stadium is host to both the University baseball team as well as the State College Spikes, a minor league baseball team. The ballpark is oriented towards the east, offering a view of Mount Nittany.

Additionally, the university operates the Penn State Golf Courses, two courses for the golf teams, students, faculty, and the general public. The Intercollegiate Athletics Department operates the Stone Valley Recreation Area, approximately twenty miles southeast of State College.

Current varsity sports programs

* Men's
** Baseball
** Basketball
** Cross Country
** Fencing
** Football
** Golf
** Gymnastics
** Indoor Track & Field
** Lacrosse
** Outdoor Track & Field
** Soccer
** Swimming & Diving
** Tennis
** Volleyball
** Wrestling
* Women's
** Basketball
** Cross Country
** Fencing
** Field Hockey
** Golf
** Gymnastics
** Indoor Track & Field
** Lacrosse
** Outdoor Track & Field
** Soccer
** Softball
** Swimming & Diving
** Tennis
** Volleyball

Current intercollegiate club sports

The university is home to a number of intercollegiate club sports as well. The popular men's hockey team, the Icers, plays in the American Collegiate Hockey Association(ACHA) Men's Division I. The women's hockey team, the Lady Icers, plays in the East Coast Women's Hockey League (ECWHL) and the ACHA Women's Division I. The PSU Roller Hockey team competes in the Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association (ECRHA). The men's and women's rugby team (Lady Ruggers) participate in the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Football Union (MARFU) territory at large and the Potomac Rugby Union for local divisional play. Both teams field perennial competitive sides with the women's team winning national titles in 1997, 2000, 2004, and 2007. Cross country, is a member of the National Intercollegiate Running Club Association [ [ (NIRCA) NIRCA.] ]

National championships

Penn State has won 62 national team championships all time [cite web | title = Traditions - Penn State University Official Athletic Site | publisher = | url = | accessdate = 2008-05-09] , 34 of which are NCAA championships. [cite web | title = Schools with the Most NCAA National Championships | publisher = NCAA | url = | accessdate = 2008-05-09] The 34 Division I NCAA championships ranks eighth all time, trailing only UCLA, Stanford University, USC, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, LSU, and Texas. Penn State has the most national championships of any Big Ten school. Most of the women's championships prior to 1982 occurred under the auspices of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). The NCAA did not start sponsoring women's championships until the 1981-82 academic year. Some of the men's championships occurred prior to the NCAA sponsoring a championship in that sport (for example, the NCAA did not start sponsoring a men's soccer championship until 1959) and some sports have never had recognized NCAA championships (such as Division I-A football).

* Men's
** Boxing - 1924, 1927, 1929, 1930, 1932
** Cross Country - 1942 (co), 1947, 1950
** Football - 1982, 1986
** Gymnastics - 1948, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1965, 1976, 2000, 2004, 2007
** Soccer - 1926 (co), 1929, 1933, 1936 (co), 1937 (co), 1938, 1939 (co), 1940 (co), 1949 (co), 1954, 1955 (co)
** Volleyball - 1994, 2008
** Wrestling - 1921, 1953
* Women's
** Bowling - 1979
** Fencing - 1980, 1981, 1983
** Field Hockey - 1980, 1981
** Gymnastics - 1978, 1980
** Lacrosse - 1978, 1979, 1980, 1987, 1989
** Volleyball - 1999, 2007
** Fencing - 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007

Bold indicates an NCAA championship.

Big Ten championships

Since joining the Big Ten in 1991, Penn State has won 44 regular season Big Ten Championships, and 10 tournament championships.
* 1992-93 - Women's Volleyball*
* 1993-94 - Women's Basketball*, Field Hockey, Men's Soccer, Women's Volleyball
* 1994-95 - Women's Basketball (season* and tournament), Football
* 1995-96 - Baseball, Women's Basketball (tournament), Field Hockey (tournament)
* 1996-97 - Field Hockey (tournament), Women's Volleyball*
* 1997-98 - Field Hockey (season* and tournament), Women's Volleyball*
* 1998-99 - Field Hockey (season and tournament), Women's Soccer (season and tournament), Men's Swimming & Diving, Women's Volleyball
* 1999-00 - Women's Basketball, Women's Soccer, Women's Volleyball
* 2000-01 - Women's Soccer (season and tournament)
* 2001-02 - Women's Soccer (season and tournament), Women's Swimming & Diving
* 2002-03 - Women's Basketball, Men's Gymnastics, Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer
* 2003-04 - Women's Basketball, Women's Indoor Track & Field, Women's Soccer, Women's Volleyball
* 2004-05 - Women's Soccer, Women's Swimming & Diving, Women's Volleyball
* 2005-06 - Field Hockey, Football*, Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer, Women's Volleyball, Women's Swimming & Diving
* 2006-07 - Women's Soccer (season and tournament), Women's Volleyball
* 2007-08 - Women's Soccer (season), Women's Volleyball, Men's Gymnastics, Women's Outdoor Track & Field

* denotes shared regular season conference title

Penn State radio affiliates

See also: [ PSU Network Affiliates]
* WAEB-AM (790) Allentown
* WVAM-AM (1430) Altoona
* WILK-FM (103.1) Avoca
* WBFD-AM (1310) Bedford
* WLCY-FM (106.3) Blairsville
* WQRM-FM (99.3) Bradford
* WISR-AM (680) Butler
* WHGL-FM (100.3) Canton
* WCHA-AM (800) Chambersburg
* WQYX-FM (93.1) Clearfield
* WCPA AM (900) Clearfield
* WFRM-FM (96.7) Coudersport
* WZDB-FM (95.9) DuBois
* WYGL-FM (100.5) Elizabethville
* WHGL-FM (102.9) Elmira, NY
* WPSE-AM (1450) Erie
* WFRA-AM (1450) Franklin
* WGET-AM (1320) Gettysburg
* WJEJ-AM (1240) Hagerstown, MD
* WHVR-AM (1280) Hanover
* WHP AM (580) Harrisburg
* WKZN-AM (1300) Hazleton
* WRKY-FM (104.9) Hollidaysburg
* WPSN-AM (1590) Honesdale
* WLAK-FM (103.5) Huntingdon
* WNTJ AM (1490) Johnstown
* WLPA-AM (1490) Lancaster
* WNPV-AM (1440) Lansdale
* WLBR-AM (1270) Lebanon
* WIEZ-AM (670) Lewistown
* WMRF-FM (95.7) Lewistown
* WSNU-FM (92.1) Lock Haven
* WNBQ FM (92.3) Mansfield
* WWBE-FM (98.3) Mifflinburg
* WVNJ-AM (1160) New York, NY
* WOYL-AM (1340) Oil City
* WNTP-AM (990) Philadelphia
* WEAE-AM (1250) Pittsburgh
* WPAZ-AM (1370) Pottstown
* WAVT-FM (101.9) Pottsville
* WPPA-AM (1360) Pottsville
* WLGL-FM (92.3) Riverside
* WRAW-AM (1340) Reading
* WBZU-AM (910) Scranton
* WYGL-AM (1240) Selinsgrove
* WQRM-FM (106.3) Smethport
* WKBI-AM (1400) St. Marys
* WMAJ AM (1450) State College
* WBUS-FM (93.7) State College
* WKOK-AM (1070) Sunbury
* WPIE-AM (1160) Trumansburg, NY
* WTRN-AM (1340) Tyrone
* WPNT-AM (1340) Uniontown
* WCZT-FM (98.7) Villas, NJ
* WKNB-FM (104.3) Warren
* WNBT-FM (104.5) Wellsboro
* WILK-AM (980) Wilkes-Barre
* WKSB-FM (102.7) Williamsport
* WSBA AM (910) York
* (Internet) Worldwide


External links

*Penn State Athletics [ Official Site]

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