University of Michigan - Athletics


The University of Michigan's sports teams are called the Wolverines. They participate in the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) and in the Big Ten Conference in all sports except men's ice hockey, which is a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, men's lacrosse, which is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference, and woman's water polo, which is a member of the Collegiate Water Polo Association. In 10 of the past 14 years concluding in 2009, U-M has finished in the top five of the NACDA Director's Cup, a ranking compiled by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics to tabulate the success of universities in competitive sports. U-M has finished in the top 10 of the Directors' Cup standings in 14 of the award's sixteen seasons and has placed in the top six in 9 of the last 10 seasons.

The Michigan football program ranks first in NCAA history in both total wins (884 through the end of the 2010 season) and winning percentage (.735). The team won the first Rose Bowl game in 1902. U-M had 40 consecutive winning seasons from 1968 to 2007, including consecutive bowl game appearances from 1975 to 2007. The Wolverines have won a record 42 Big Ten championships. The program has eleven national championships, most recently in 1997, and has produced three Heisman Trophy winners: Tom Harmon, Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson.

Michigan Stadium is the largest college football stadium in the nation and one of the largest football-only stadiums in the world, with an official capacity of more than 109,901 (the extra seat is said to be "reserved" for Fritz Crisler) though attendance—frequently over 111,000 spectators—regularly exceeds the official capacity. The NCAA's record-breaking attendance has become commonplace at Michigan Stadium, especially since the arrival of head coach Bo Schembechler. U of M has fierce rivalries with many teams, including Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State; ESPN has referred to the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry as the greatest rivalry in American sports. U-M has all-time winning records against Michigan State University, University of Notre Dame, and Ohio State University.

The men's ice hockey team, which plays at Yost Ice Arena, has won nine national championships, while the men's basketball team, which plays at the Crisler Center, has appeared in four Final Fours and won the national championship in 1989. However, the program became involved in a scandal involving payments from a booster during the 1990s. This led to the program being placed on probation for a four-year period. The program also voluntarily vacated victories from its 1992–1993 and 1995–1999 seasons in which the payments took place, as well as its 1992 and 1993 Final Four appearances.

Through the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, 178 U-M students and coaches had participated in the Olympics, winning medals in every Summer Olympics except 1896, and winning gold medals in all but four Olympiads. U of M students have won a total of 133 Olympic medals: 65 gold, 30 silver, and 38 bronze. In 2012 the university will field a varsity men's lacrosse team, and a women's team in 2013.

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