Case Western Reserve Spartans

The Case Western Reserve Spartans are the varsity intercollegiate athletic teams of Case Western Reserve University, located in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. Case Western Reserve University competes at the NCAA Division III level. The Spartans compete in the University Athletic Association (UAA), except in football where the team competes as an associate member of the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC). The university offers 19 sports—10 men's sports and 9 women's sports.

Case Western Reserve Spartans
UniversityCase Western Reserve University
ConferenceUniversity Athletic Association

Presidents' Athletic Conference (Football only)
NCAADivision III
Athletic directorAmy Backus
LocationCleveland, Ohio
Varsity teams19
Football stadiumDiSanto Field
Basketball arenaHorsburgh Gymnasium
Baseball stadiumNobby's Ballpark (Baseball)

Mather Park (Softball)
Other arenasAdelbert Gymnasium
Fight songFight On
ColorsNavy, White, and Gray[1]

All 19 varsity teams wear a commemorative patch on their uniforms honoring Case alumnus, M. Frank Rudy, inventor of the Nike air-sole.[2]

The Spartan's primary athletic rival is Carnegie Mellon University.


The Case Western Reserve Spartans' heritage stems from the combination of two long and storied sports histories of Western Reserve University and Case Institute of Technology.


Case, originally known as Case School of Applied Science, carried the name Scientists from 1918 to 1939. In 1940, the mascot was changed to the Rough Riders, in honor of their head coach Ray A. Ride. Case formally updated their school name in 1947 to Case Institute of Technology.[3] Western Reserve originally used the mascot Pioneers from 1921 to 1927, until being forced to change by Marietta College, who claimed earlier usage of the namesake.[4] The famous Red Cats mascot was then used beginning in 1928. Upon the merger of the two schools, the Spartans name was adopted in 1970, as the team is now known.


In 1902, Case Tech and Western Reserve University were both founding members of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC). Western Reserve left the OAC in 1931 to compete as an independent, while Case Tech stayed in until 1948. Breaking away from independence looking to compete with larger schools, Western Reserve became a charter member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in 1946. After less than a decade, Western Reserve withdrew from the MAC in 1954, citing the need for the school to focus more energy on academics and less money and resources on athletics spearheaded by President John S. Millis.[5]

Returning to their roots of competing in the same conference, Case Tech and Western Reserve became founding members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) in 1955. When the athletic departments of the two universities merged in 1971 they dominated the PAC for several years. The university remained a member of the PAC until 1983. In the fall of 1984 the university joined the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), a pioneer in gender equality in sports, as a charter member. In conjunction with other top research universities in the country, Case Western Reserve became a charter member of University Athletic Association (UAA) in 1986, while maintaining joint conference membership affiliation with the NCAC until the 1998-1999 school year. In 2014 the football team, while maintaining membership in the UAA, began competing as an associate member of the PAC.

Founding charter members of five conferences:

NCAA National champions[6]

Year Winner Name Sport Event
1968CaseC.B. CrouseOutdoor Track & FieldDiscus Throw
1987Case Western ReserveVincent Van BurikOutdoor Track & Field800-meter run
1988Case Western ReserveJohn BradshawSwimming & Diving100-yard butterfly
1989Case Western ReserveJohn BradshawSwimming & Diving100-yard butterfly
1990Case Western ReserveSheila BalladoOutdoor Track & Field100-meter hurdles
1990Case Western ReserveKevin LuthyOutdoor Track & FieldDecathlon
1991Case Western ReserveKevin LuthyOutdoor Track & FieldDecathlon
1992Case Western ReserveJay GindinSwimming & Diving200-yard butterfly
1994Case Western ReserveChris RicklicWrestling167 pounds
1995Case Western ReserveLeslie KindlingIndoor Track & FieldHigh Jump
1995Case Western ReserveChris RicklicWrestling167 pounds
1995Case Western ReserveLeslie KindlingOutdoor Track & FieldHeptathlon
1996Case Western ReserveDerek MessmerWrestlingHeavyweight
2003Case Western ReserveAlicia KendigSwimming & Diving500-yard freestyle
2008Case Western ReserveEsther ErbOutdoor Track & Field10,000-meter run
2010Case Western ReserveIsaac DukesWrestling149 pounds
2010Case Western ReserveObinna NwannaOutdoor Track & FieldDecathlon
2014Case Western ReserveEric KlawitterTennisDoubles
2014Case Western ReserveChristopher KrimbillTennisDoubles
2019Case Western ReserveCassandra LaiosOutdoor Track & FieldHammer Throw


Men's sports Women's sports
BasketballCross country
Cross countrySoccer
SoccerSwimming & diving
Swimming & divingTennis
TennisTrack & field
Track & fieldVolleyball
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.


Conference Titles:

Year Winner Coach Conference Postseason
1902CaseJoseph WentworthOAC
1903CaseJoseph WentworthOAC
1904CaseJoseph WentworthOAC
1905CaseJoseph WentworthOAC
1907Western ReserveWilliam B. SeamanOAC
1908Western ReserveWilliam B. SeamanOAC
1915Western ReserveWalter D. PowellOAC
1932CaseRay RideOAC
1933CaseRay RideBig Four Conference
1934Western ReserveSam WillamanBig Four Conference
1935Western ReserveBill EdwardsBig Four Conference
1936Western ReserveBill EdwardsBig Four Conference
1937Western ReserveBill EdwardsBig Four Conference
1938Western ReserveBill EdwardsBig Four Conference
1940Western ReserveBill EdwardsBig Four ConferenceWon Sun Bowl
1941CaseRay RideOAC
1941Western ReserveTom DaviesBig Four Conference
1942Western ReserveTom DaviesBig Four Conference
1955Western ReserveEddie FinniganPAC
1958Western ReserveEddie FinniganPAC
1960Western ReserveEddie FinniganPAC
1984Case Western ReserveJim ChapmanNCAC
1988Case Western ReserveRonald StuckeyUAA
1996Case Western ReserveRegis ScafeUAA
2007Case Western ReserveGreg DebeljakUAAWon vs Widener, Loss vs Wabash
2008Case Western ReserveGreg DebeljakUAALoss vs Wabash
2009Case Western ReserveGreg DebeljakUAALoss vs Trine
2011Case Western ReserveGreg DebeljakUAA
2016Case Western ReserveGreg DebeljakUAA
2017Case Western ReserveGreg DebeljakPAC & UAAWon vs Illinois Wesleyan, Loss vs Mount Union
2019Case Western ReserveGreg DebeljakPAC & UAA

Men's cross country

Conference Titles:

Year Winner Coach Conference All-Ohio Postseason
1947CaseClaude B. SharerOAC12th Nationals
1958CaseBill SudeckPAC
1967CaseBill SudeckPAC
1968CaseBill SudeckPAC
1969CaseBill SudeckPAC27th Nationals
1970CaseBill SudeckPAC
1971Case Western ReserveBill SudeckPAC13th (All Divisions)40th Nationals
1972Case Western ReserveBill SudeckPAC26th Nationals
1973Case Western ReserveBill SudeckPAC5th (All-Divisions)12th Nationals
1974Case Western ReserveBill SudeckPAC12th (All-Divisions)15th Nationals
1975Case Western ReserveBill SudeckPAC2nd (All-Divisions)13th Nationals
1976Case Western ReserveBill SudeckPAC3rd20th Nationals
1977Case Western ReserveBill SudeckPAC12th (All-Divisions)21st Nationals
1985Case Western ReserveBill SudeckNCAC5th (All-Divisions)2nd Regional, 18th Nationals
1986Case Western ReserveBill SudeckNCAC9th (All-Divisions)1st Regional, 7th Nationals
1988Case Western ReserveBill SudeckNCAC15th (All-Divisions)6th Regional
1992Case Western ReserveBill SudeckAll-Ohio
1993Case Western ReserveBill SudeckNCAC1st All-Ohio
1993Case Western ReserveBill SudeckUAA
1994Case Western ReserveBill SudeckNCAC3rd4th Regional
2008Case Western ReserveKathy LaneseAll-Ohio5th Regional, 29th National

Individual Champions:

Year Athlete School Conference
1959Guido WernickeCase Institute of Tech.PAC
1966John PappCase Institute of Tech.PAC
1967Paul EhrlichWestern ReservePAC
1970Jim DetweilerCase Institute of Tech.PAC
1971Greg WilliamsCase Western ReservePAC
1971Jeff TanchonCase Western ReservePAC
1972Greg BowserCase Western ReservePAC
1973Greg BowserCase Western ReservePAC
1974Greg BowserCase Western ReservePAC
1975Peter KummantCase Western ReservePAC
1976Peter KummantCase Western ReservePAC
1977Peter KummantCase Western ReservePAC
1978Peter KummantCase Western ReservePAC
1985Mark RoshonCase Western ReserveNCAC
1989Karl KnollCase Western ReserveNCAC
1993Steve CullenCase Western ReserveNCAC
1994Brian CasselberryCase Western ReserveNCAC
2003Steve HrindaCase Western ReserveAll-Ohio
2004Aaron Johnson-PeckCase Western ReserveUAA
2008Dominic SmithCase Western ReserveAll-Ohio
2016Sam MerrimanCase Western ReserveAll-Ohio

Since 1972 the Spartans have had fourteen All-Americans. In 1972 Greg Bowser finished 14th. In 1973 Jeff Tanchon & Greg Bowser finished 15th & 16th respectively. In 1974 Greg Bowser & Doug Leary finished 6th & 19th. In 1975 Peter Kummant finished 2nd, the best finish for any Spartan XC runner to date. In 1976 & 1977 Peter Kummant finished 6th & 10th. It took 16 years for the Spartans to put another runner on the podium. In 1993 Steve Cullen finished 16th. In 1994 teammates Steve Cullen and Brian Casselberry finished 19th & 27th. After another 10 year draught Aaron Johnston-Peck finished 7th in 2004. Most recently Sam Merriman finished 21st & 11th in 2016 & 2017.

Additionally since 1946, 119 male athletes and 16 teams have represented the university, with the best finish occurring in 1986 with a 7th-place finish. Four of those athletes sent either pre-date the All-American designation and/or would be considered All-Americans under new guidelines.

Women's cross country

The women's cross country team earned five consecutive team qualifying years to the NCAA Championship Meet from 2006-2010. In 2006 the team was undefeated up until Nationals, this included beating several DI schools during the season. During this stretch, the Spartan women finished in the top 10 twice, including 2007, when the team finished sixth in the nation.[7] individually during these five years, team members earned 8 All-American Titles, including multiple by future professional marathoner Esther Erb.

Conference Titles:

Year Winner Coach Conference Postseason
2006Case Western ReserveKathy LaneseUAA1st Regionals, 10th Nationals
2008Case Western ReserveKathy LaneseUAA2nd Regionals, 16th Nationals

Men's basketball

Western Reserve's first varsity team was in 1897, only six years after the game was invented by Dr. James Naismith. Case Tech played its first varsity season in 1912.[8]

The first college sporting event televised in Cleveland aired on December 18, 1947, where Western Reserve's basketball team defeated Fenn College, now Cleveland State Vikings, at Adelbert Gym, 63-26.[9]

Conference Titles:

Year Winner Coach Conference Postseason
1961CasePhilip K. "Nip" HeimPAC
1970CaseBill SudeckPAC


Varsity baseball teams for Western Reserve College date back to the 1870s.[10] During this era, Clarence Emir Allen is famously credited as the first college baseball player to throw and perfect the curve ball, and notably never lost a game once mastering the "curve."[11] Other notable players in school history include Bob Kelly, Paul O'Dea, and Ed Andrews.

Western Reserve won the PAC in 1967 and 1968.

In recent years, the Case Western Reserve baseball team has competed in the NCAA playoffs, earning spots in 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2019.

In 2011, Spartan third baseman Chad Mullins was named the Player of the Year after hitting .437 with eight home runs and 71 RBIs. Mullins also ranked in the Division III national top ten in hits, runs scored, and total bases. The 2013 team won two NCAA playoff games and the UAA title. The 2014 team set a school record for victories with 34, won the UAA title, and won four playoff games advancing to the NCAA Mideast Regional Championship.[12]

Conference Titles and Playoffs:

Year Winner Coach Conference Postseason
1967Western ReserveFlory MauriocourtPAC
1968Western ReserveFlory MauriocourtPAC
2013Case Western ReserveMatt EnglanderUAAWon vs St. Scholastica, St. Thomas, Loss vs Wisc-Whitewater, Wisc-Stevens Point
2014Case Western ReserveMatt EnglanderUAAWon vs Thomas More, La Roche, and Widener, Loss vs Salisbury
2018Case Western ReserveMatt EnglanderUAA
2019Case Western ReserveMatt Englander-Won vs Otterbein, Rochester, Loss vs Wooster


During the 2018 season, Case Western Reserve softball team earned an at-large bid in the NCAA Division III tournament, making a deep run in the playoffs to nationals in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, finishing the season ranked 6th nationally.[13] The team won the first regional in school history, defeating Mt. Aloysius, St. Mary's, and Ohio Northern twice.[14] The Spartans won the super regional against Hope, and achieved a win at nationals against Rowan, before being defeated by University of Texas at Tyler and Luther. The 2018 team finished the season 38-12.

The softball team previously had made the NCAA Division III tournament in 2001.

Conference Titles and Playoffs

Year Winner Coach Conference Postseason
1997Case Western Reserve?UAA
1998Case Western Reserve?UAA
1999Case Western Reserve?UAA
2001Case Western Reserve?no title?
2014Case Western ReserveJosie HenryUAA
2018Case Western ReserveJosie Henryno titleLoss vs Ohio Northern, Won vs Mt. Aloysius, Won vs St. Mary's, Won vs Ohio Northern, Won vs Ohio Northern, Won vs Hope, Loss vs Hope, Won vs Hope, Loss vs Texas-Tyler, Won vs Rowan, Loss vs Luther

Men's soccer

The 2006 Men's Soccer team finished the season with a 17–2–2 record, a UAA title, and first-ever playoff appearance. The team reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Division III tournament appearance and concluded the season ranked 12th in the nation. In 2011, the team returned gain to the NCAA Division III tournament after winning the UAA and finishing 15–5. In 2018, the team reemerged to national prominence finishing 16–4–2 and making its deepest run in the NCAA DIII tournament making it to the "elite eight."

Conference Titles and Playoffs:

Year Winner Coach Conference Postseason
1958CaseClaude B. SharerPAC
1960CaseClaude B. SharerPAC
1961CaseClaude B. SharerPAC
1962CaseClaude B. SharerPAC
1965CaseClaude B. SharerPAC
1966CaseClaude B. SharerPAC
1967CasePhilip K. Heim "Nip" and Joe SiklosiPAC
1968Western ReserveRonald P. "Buzz" EllisPAC
1969CaseEric DobsonPAC
2006Case Western ReserveDan PalmerUAAWon vs Denison, Tie vs Ohio Wesleyan[15]
2011Case Western ReserveDan PalmerUAAWon vs DePauw, Loss vs Ohio Northern[16]
2018Case Western ReserveBrandon Biancono titleWon vs Keystone, Won vs Capital, Won vs Kenyon, Loss vs Calvin[17]

Men's outdoor track and field

Conference Titles:

Year Winner Coach Conference Postseason
1926CaseNE Ohio
1927CaseNE Ohio
1936Western ReserveBig Four
1937Western ReserveBig Four
1941CaseBig Four
1958Western ReserveHerbert BeePAC
1959Western ReserveHerbert BeePAC
1960Western ReserveHerbert BeePAC
1967CaseBill SudeckPAC10th All-Ohio
1968CaseBill SudeckPAC10th Regional, 17th Nationals
1970CaseBill SudeckPAC
1971CaseBill SudeckPAC
1972Case Western ReserveBill SudeckPAC
1973Case Western ReserveBill SudeckPAC
1974Case Western ReserveBill SudeckPACT-32nd Nationals
1975Case Western ReserveBill SudeckPAC
1978Case Western ReserveBill SudeckPACT-48th Nationals
1994Case Western ReserveBill SudeckNCACT-36th Nationals
1994Case Western ReserveBill SudeckUAA

Since 1968 the university has had 29 Outdoor All-Americans, including 5 National Champions, and an additional 26 NCAA qualifiers. The first and only relay team to qualify did so in the 4x400 in 2017, consisting of Jon Haling, Andrew Ibibo, Joe Cabral, and Nate Wahner. From 1985-1999 the Spartans had 45 NCAC individual champions.

Men's indoor track and field

Conference Titles:

Year Winner Coach Conference Postseason
1994Case Western ReserveBill SudeckNCAC
1995Case Western ReserveBill SudeckNCAC

Men's tennis

In 2014, the Spartan men's tennis team was ranked in the Division III Top 10 for most of the season, and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight before falling to Middlebury College. That same year, two CWRU tennis players, Eric Klawitter and Christopher Krimbill, won the NCAA men's doubles title.

In 2019. Matthew Chen and James Hopper won the Division III doubles title in the 2019 ITA Cup.[18]

Conference Titles:

Year Winner Coach Conference Postseason
1965Western ReserveArthur I. RosenbergPAC
1970Western ReserveArthur I. RosenbergPAC
1971Western ReserveArthur I. RosenbergPAC
1972Case Western ReserveDouglas E. MooneyPAC
1973Case Western ReserveDouglas E. MooneyPAC
1974Case Western ReserveDouglas E. MooneyPAC
1975Case Western ReserveDouglas E. MooneyPAC
1976Case Western ReserveDouglas E. MooneyPAC
1977Case Western ReserveDouglas E. MooneyPAC
1978Case Western ReserveDouglas E. MooneyPAC
1979Case Western ReserveDouglas E. MooneyPAC

Women's Tennis

In 2018, doubles pair Nithya Kanagasegar and Madeleine Paolucci were named the first All-Americans in program history. Nationally ranked, they advanced to the quarterfinals of NCAA Women's Division III Doubles Championships in Claremont, California.[19]

Women's Soccer

The women's soccer team played their first season in 1984.[20]


Case Western Reserve wrestling has won four individual NCAA Division III national titles and produced Olympic wrestler, William Kerslake.

Conference Titles:

Year Winner Coach Conference Postseason
1961Western ReserveEdward W. LewisPAC
1988Case Western ReserveBob Del RosaUAA
1991Case Western ReserveBob Del RosaUAA
1993Case Western ReserveBob Del RosaUAA
1994Case Western ReserveBob Del RosaUAA
1996Case Western ReserveBob Del RosaUAA

University Athletic Association championships

  • Football: 1988, 1996, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2016, 2017
  • Wrestling: 1988, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996
  • Softball: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2014
  • Baseball: 2013, 2014, 2018
  • Men's Soccer: 2006, 2011
  • Women's Cross Country: 2006, 2008
  • Men's Track & Field (Outdoor): 1994
  • Men's Cross Country: 1993


Year Winner Name Sport Event Medal
1932Western ReserveM. "Flip" Rowland WolfeGymnasticsTumblingGold
1952CaseWilliam KerslakeWrestlingHeavyweight
1956Western ReserveCaldwell EsselstynRowingGold
1956CaseWilliam KerslakeWrestlingHeavyweight
1956Western ReserveDavid JenkinsFigure SkatingBronze
1960CaseWilliam KerslakeWrestlingHeavyweight
1960Western ReserveDavid JenkinsFigure SkatingGold
1964Western ReserveSandra KnottOutdoor Track & Field800-meter run
1980Case Western ReserveWalter "Ty" DancoLuge
1996Case Western ReserveMatt GhaffariWrestlingGreco-RomanSilver

Fight song

John F. Anderson, a Case Tech alum of 1933, composed the music and lyrics of the Case Western Reserve fight song.[22]

Fight On
Fight on, you men of Case Reserve
Make foemen fear your strength and verve
Display the old unflinching nerve—
Go, Case Reserve, fight on!
In days of yore in annual bout
Across the fence, we fought it out
The fence is down, today we shout:
Go, Case Reserve, fight on!
The blue and white team we'll uphold
Old Case Reserve will never fold
So, on to vict'ries yet untold
Go, Case Reserve, fight on!


DiSanto Field

DiSanto Field is a 2,400-seat multi-purpose stadium home to the football, men's soccer, women's soccer, and track and field teams.

The press box includes the Coach Bill Edwards president's suite, named after the College Football Hall of Fame inductee coach.[23] In 2008, the eight-lane track surrounding the field was named Coach Bill Sudeck Track. In 2014, the Wyant Field House opened, which included the 4500-square foot Steve Belichick Varsity Weight Room, gifted by Bill Belichick in honor of his father.[24]

Nobby's Ballpark

Home to the Case Western Reserve Spartans baseball team, Nobby's Ballpark, seats 500 fans and sit between the streets of East 115th and East 118 along Wade Park Ave and Finnegan's Way. The ballpark opened in 2006 thanks to the contribution of alumnus Nobby Lewandowski. In 2009, the new public address system and naming of the press box was provided by Tom and Cynthia Friedberg. In 2013, Nobby Lewandowski gifted a state-of-the-art scoreboard. An Astroturf infield was installed prior to the 2018 season, increasing playability in poor weather, while the outfield consists of natural grass.[25]

Mather Park

Mather Park is home to the Spartan softball team and seats 250 fans. The park sits along Mistletoe Drive near its intersection with Wade Park Ave. In April 2008, the facility was officially renamed after the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Association, after its endowment was transferred to Case Western Reserve University. In 2009, Vice President for Student Affairs, Glenn Nicholls, made a donation in honor of his late wife, Peggy, for a new press box. The field was dedicated on April 15, 2009. A state-of-the-art scoreboard was added during the 2012 season by the Mather Alumnae Association.[26]

Horsburgh Gymnasium

Home to the Spartan basketball, wrestling and volleyball, Horsburgh Gymnasium, holds a capacity of 1,600 fans. Named after alumnus Robert G. Horsburgh (1914), the gymnasium opened May 24, 1957, being refurbished and physically incorporated into the Veale Center complex rededicated on April 22, 1998.[27]

Adelbert Gymnasium

The original Adelbert Gymnasium was constructed in 1888, followed by the much larger armory expansion being erected between 1918 and 1919, dedicated on June 1, 1919. Originally built for use in World War I, the war ended before construction was finished, so it was used only for athletics. Basketball played there for over 50 years, ending during the 1969-1970 season. In 2013, the facility was upgraded with a refurbished playing court. Adelbert Gym is most commonly used for varsity athletic practice as well as intramural, club sport, and campus recreational functions. For variety athletics official contests, it is still used for heritage-type basketball games and wrestling matches.[28]


  1. "Visual Guidelines | UMC | CWRU - University Marketing & Communications - Case Western Reserve University". Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  2. "Case Western to Wear Patch Honoring Air-Sole Inventor". 4 September 2014. Archived from the original on 2016-10-13. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  3. "Team colors, mascots, names".
  4. "Case Western Reserve University to debut new 'Spartie' mascot".
  5. John Sayle Watterson (2002). "College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy". JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-7114-6.
  8. Cramer, C. H. (1976). Case Western Reserve: A History of the University 1826-1976. The World Publishing Company. p. 367.
  10. Cramer, C. H. (1976). Case Western Reserve: A History of the University 1826-1976. The World Publishing Company. p. 163.
  11. James m. Egan, Jr (2008-05-07). Base Ball on the Western Reserve: The Early Game in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, Year by Year and Town by Town, 1865-1900. ISBN 9780786430673.
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