Army Black Knights

The Army Black Knights are the athletic teams that represent the United States Military Academy, located in West Point, New York. In sports contexts, the teams are commonly referred to as Army West Point.[2] The Black Knights compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level as a non-football member of the Patriot League, a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision independent school and a member of Atlantic Hockey, the Collegiate Sprint Football League (men), the Eastern Intercollegiate Gymnastics League (men), the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association, the Great America Rifle Conference, the National Collegiate Boxing Association, the National Collegiate Paintball Association[3] and the National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association. Army is also one of approximately 300 members of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).

Army Black Knights
UniversityUnited States Military Academy
ConferencePatriot League (primary)
Independent (football)
ECAC (men's & women's gymnastics)
Atlantic Hockey (men's ice hockey)
GARC (rifle)
NIRA (women's rugby)
Rugby East (men's rugby)
CSFL (sprint football)
EIWA (wrestling)
NCAADivision I
Athletic directorMike Buddie
LocationWest Point, New York
Football stadiumMichie Stadium
Basketball arenaChristl Arena
Baseball stadiumJohnson Stadium at Doubleday Field
Other arenasGillis Field House
Tate Rink
NicknameBlack Knights
Fight songOn Brave Old Army Team
ColorsBlack, Gold, and Gray[1]

Three of the service academies (Army, Air Force, and Navy) compete for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, which is awarded to the academy that defeats the others in football that year (or retained by the previous winner in the event of a three-way tie).


Since 1899, Army's mascot has officially been a mule because of the animal's historical importance in military operations.[4] For many years, Army's teams were known as the "Cadets." The academy's football team was nicknamed "The Black Knights of the Hudson" due to the black color of its uniforms.[5][6] In 1999, Army adopted "Black Knights" as its official nickname in all sports.[7] They may also use "Cadets" in certain circumstances.[8]

U.S. sports media use "Army" as a synonym for the academy, while in 2015, the academy declared their name to be "Army West Point."[8]

"On Brave Old Army Team", by Philip Egner, is the school's fight song.[9] Army's chief sports rival is the Naval Academy, due to its long-standing football rivalry and the inter-service rivalry with the Navy in general. Fourth class cadets verbally greet upper-class cadets and faculty with "Beat Navy", while the tunnel that runs under Washington Road is named the "Beat Navy" tunnel. In the first half of the 20th century, Army and Notre Dame were football rivals, but that rivalry has since died out.[10][11]

Sports sponsored

Men's sports Women's sports
BasketballCross country
Cross countryLacrosse
Ice hockeySwimming and diving
RugbyTrack and field
Sprint football
Swimming and diving
Track and field
Co-ed sport
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor


The Army Black Knights football program are one of the few NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision independent schools (not in a conference). Army was recognized as the national champions in 1944, 1945 and 1946. The annual Army-Navy Game between the Black Knights of Army and the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy at Annapolis (Navy) is among the most storied rivalries in all of college sports and currently marks the end of regular season play for college football each year.

Men's golf

The men's golf team has won 21 conference championships:

Men's soccer

Men's ice hockey

Every year, Army faces the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Paladins in the annual West Point Weekend hockey game.[14] This series, conceived in 1923, is the longest-running annual international sporting event in the world.[15]

Men's rugby

Army rugby plays college rugby in the Division 1–A Eastern Conference.[16] The Black Knights play their home games at the Anderson Rugby Complex on the campus of West Point. Rugby is a relatively popular sport at Army; for example, the 2012 game against Air Force was attended by 2,000 fans.[17] Army is led by Director of Rugby Matt Sherman.

Army has one of the most successful college rugby teams in the country. Army played in three consecutive national championship games from 1990–1992, and reached the national semi-finals four consecutive years from 2000–2003, and twice in a row in 2009 and 2010.[18] More recently, Army reached the quarterfinals in 2013. Army also plays in the Collegiate Rugby Championship, the highest profile college rugby tournament in the U.S., reaching the finals in 2011. The Collegiate Rugby Championship is played every year in early June at PPL Park in Philadelphia, and is broadcast live on NBC.


The Army Black Knights Wrestling team host home dual meets, tournaments, workout, and practice in the state of the art facility Arvin Gymnasium on campus. The team currently competes in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) since Army is a member of the non-wrestling Patriot League.

In 2014, Kevin Ward, a former Oklahoma State All-American, took over the program. Ward is best known for starting the Ouachita Baptist University wrestling program in 2010, the first NCAA wrestling program in Arkansas.

Non-varsity sports


In intercollegiate competition, both the men's and women's boxing teams compete in the National Collegiate Boxing Association, though the women's team was part of the United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association from 2013 until 2015. The men's team won the national NCBA tournament from 2008-2011, from 2013-2014, and from 2016-2019; the women's team won the first-ever USIBA women's championship in 2013 (also the very first national collegiate women's boxing tournament in the U.S.), won again in 2014, and won the NCBA championship in 2017 and 2018.


The Army handball team has at least 31 men and 18 women National Championship titles.


  • Lt. Raymond Enners Award (national men's lacrosse award; named for a member of the Class of 1967)
  • Maggie Dixon Award (national women's basketball rookie coach award; named for Army women's basketball coach)
  • NCAA Award of Valor:
    • 2007 — Derek Hines (Class of 2003), who demonstrated valor in Afghanistan before being killed there.
    • 2008 — Emily Perez (Class of 2005), who died after an improvised explosive device exploded near her vehicle in Iraq and whose U.S. Army unit recognized her for her leadership after her death.
  • NCAA Theodore Roosevelt Award:

Hall of fame

For a list of members by name, sport, class year, or induction year, see footnote[19]

The Army West Point Sports Hall of Fame consists of displays in the Kenna Hall of Army Sports, which is located within the Kimsey Athletic Center.[20] The first set of members was inducted in 2004.[19]

See also


  1. "Army Staff External Branding And Assets". April 13, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  2. "Army West Point Athletics Unveils Brand Identity". (Press release). April 13, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  3. "National Collegiate Paintball Association —". Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  4. "Army Mules". March 6, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  5. Edson, James (1954). The Black Knights of West Point. New York: Bradbury & Sayles.
  6. "Army plans games for home gridiron". The New York Times. January 15, 1947. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  7. "Army West Point Quick Facts". March 6, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  8. "'Army West Point': New logo highlights sports rebrand". Army Times. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  9. "Alma Mater & Fight Songs". March 6, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  10. Crowley and Guinzburg, pp. 243–245.
  11. Lapointe, Joe (September 8, 2005). "Notre Dame and Army to Wake Up the Echoes". New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
  12. "MAAC Men's and Women's Golf Championships History". Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  13. "Golf". Army Sports Properties. Archived from the original on May 1, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  14. "About the Army-RMC Rivalry". January 19, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  15. Crowly, R, and Guinzburg, T: "West Point: Two Centuries of Honor and Tradition" (ISBN 0-446-53018-2), page 234. Warner Books, 2002.
  16. College Premier Division
  17. Rugby Mag, Army Beats Air Force, November 2, 2012, Archived January 26, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  18. College rugby
  19. For the 2004 induction year, go to "Hall of Fame". Army West Point. Retrieved April 6, 2017., select "By Induction Year", press the black "Sort" icon (which will then produce a list of members by induction year (starting with the most recent year), and then scroll down to the bottom (for the first group of inductees, the Class of 2004).
  20. "Army Sports Hall of Fame". Army Sports Properties. Archived from the original on May 1, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
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