Marquette Golden Eagles

The Marquette Golden Eagles, formerly known as the Marquette Warriors, Blue and Gold, Gold, Hilltoppers, and Golden Avalanche (football only), are the athletic teams representing Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. They compete as a member of the NCAA Division I level (non-football sub-level), primarily competing in the Big East Conference for all sports since its establishment in 2013. The Golden Eagles are a founding member of the current Big East, having been one of the seven members of the original Big East that broke away to form a basketball-focused league. They had joined the original Big East in 2005, having previously competed in Conference USA (C-USA) from 1995–96 to 2004–05, the Great Midwest Conference from 1991–92 to 1994–95 and the Horizon League from 1988–89 to 1990–91. They also competed as an independent from 1916–17 to 1987–88. Men's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis and track & field, while women's sports include basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

Marquette Golden Eagles
UniversityMarquette University
ConferenceBig East
NCAADivision I
Athletic directorBill Scholl
LocationMilwaukee, Wisconsin
Varsity teams14
Basketball arenaFiserv Forum (men)
Al McGuire Center (women)
Soccer stadiumValley Fields
Other arenasHart Park Stadium
MascotGolden Eagle
NicknameGolden Eagles
Fight song"Ring Out Ahoya"
ColorsBlue and Gold[1]

The men's basketball team won the NCAA national championship in 1977, and was a finalist in 1974 and a semifinalist in 2003. The 1970 team won the National Invitation Tournament; the NCAA tournament in 1970 included just 25 teams and the NIT had 16.

The nickname change to "Golden Eagles" came in May 1994.[2] In May 2005, the university changed the nickname to "Gold",[3][4] but the decision was reversed after public backlash.[5][6]

On December 15, 2012, Marquette and the other six Catholic, non-FBS Big East schools (the so-called "Catholic 7") announced that they were departing the Big East for a new conference.[7] In March 2013, it was confirmed that the "Catholic 7", along with three other schools, would begin operations that July as a new Big East Conference.[8][9]

Varsity sports

Men's sports Women's sports
Cross countryCross country
TennisTrack & field
Track & fieldVolleyball
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.

Men's basketball

The men's basketball team is ninth in the NCAA for postseason appearances all-time (45), including 30 NCAA Tournament appearances (T-11th all time). The Warriors, coached by Al McGuire, won the 1977 NCAA Tournament and were runners-up in 1974. Maurice "Bo" Ellis was a member of each of those teams, and remains the only Marquette player to appear in two Final Fours.

The 2003 team, coached by Tom Crean and led on the court by Dwyane Wade, Robert Jackson, Steve Novak, and Travis Diener, upset top-ranked Kentucky to reach the Final Four of the 2003 NCAA Tournament. In that Midwest regional final in Minneapolis, Wade became the fourth player to record a triple-double in an NCAA tournament game. He was named an AP All-American two years in a row and was the Conference USA Player of the Year.

Marquette has continued to re-emerge as a national power after 2003. The program has made seven straight NCAA tournament appearances dating back to 2006, and has made three consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearances in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2012, Marquette experienced their best season since 2003, tying the single season school record for wins (27), finishing second place in the Big East for the first time in program history, and finishing ranked in the Top 10 of the AP and USA Today/Coaches Poll for the first time since 2003. Jae Crowder was also named Big East Player of the Year, the first such conference player of the year honor for a Marquette player since Dwyane Wade in 2003.

The team plays in the nearby home of the Milwaukee Bucks, Fiserv Forum, which replaces the Bradley Center, home to both teams for 30 years, for the 2018–19 season and beyond.

Conference affiliations

Independent1916–17 to 1988–89
Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now Horizon League)1989–90 to 1990–91
Great Midwest Conference1991–92 to 1994–95
Conference USA1995–96 to 2004–05
Big East Conference2005–06 to present

The charter of the current Big East dates only to 2013. However, the settlement between the schools that formed the current Big East and those that remained in the league now known as the American Athletic Conference gave the departing schools the "Big East" name. Additionally, The American recognizes none of the pre-2013 athletic history of the Big East—even in football and women's rowing, the only two sports sponsored by the original Big East that are sponsored by The American but not the current Big East.

Women's basketball

The women's basketball team is coached by Carolyn Kieger. The program has experienced success in recent years under former coach Terri Mitchell's direction, including a run to the championship game of the WNIT, where the women finished as runners-up in 2006, and won the championship in 2008. Most recently, the team made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2011, where they were defeated by top-seeded Tennessee. Marquette women's basketball has qualified for the NCAA tournament seven times since 1994.[10] The team now plays in the Al McGuire Center, named after the former Marquette men's coach.

The team notably hired Tyler Summitt, the 21-year-old son of legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, as an assistant effective with the 2012–13 season, the announcement coming on the same day his mother announced her retirement after 38 years leading the Lady Vols.[11]

In 2006, Marquette traveled to St. Thomas to participate in the Paradise Jam Tournament. In the opening round Marquette defeated Western Michigan 74–61. In the second round Marquette defeated Auburn 65–61. On the final day, Marquette beat Xavier 73–53 to finish with a 3–0 record and win the 2006 Paradise Jam Championship (St. John division).[12]

Cross-country and track

The cross-country and track teams have produced five Olympians, 13 NCAA champions and 27 All-Americans.[10] Except for Dwyane Wade, Marquette's most successful student-athlete was track and field sprinter Ralph Metcalfe, a world-record holder and Olympic gold medalist. Olympic silver medalist Melvin "Bus" Shimek (1904–1987)[13] was the longtime coach of both programs;[14] he was a top distance runner at MU in the 1920s and coached until 1976,[15] the last 29 years as head coach, a total of 52 years as athlete and coach at Marquette.[16] Shimek set the school record in the mile in 1927 and it held up for over thirty years.[17]

Both programs were dropped with football in December 1960,[18][19][20] but cross country was reinstated within weeks so the athletic program could retain its NCAA membership, which required a varsity intercollegiate sport in each season.[21][22] Track missed three spring seasons (1961–1963) and returned in March 1964, initially without scholarships.[16][22][23]

Football (varsity)

The varsity football team was known as the "Golden Avalanche" prior to the program being terminated in 1960. Marquette football posted several successful seasons in the 1920s and 1930s including undefeated seasons in 1922, 1923, and 1930. From 1922 to 1923 Marquette held a 17–0–1 record and outscored its opponents 374–15. The 1930 Marquette squad posted seven shutouts and held a 155–7 scoring margin. From 1920 to 1936 Marquette held a 90–32–6 (.727) record. 1936 Golden Avalanche had a 7–1 regular season record with a top 20 ranking and played in the inaugural Cotton Bowl Classic against Texas Christian University, led by quarterback Sammy Baugh; TCU won 16–6.[24]

After accumulating several years of budget deficits for the university, the football program was dropped after a 3–6 season in 1960 under second-year coach Lisle Blackbourn, along with track and cross country programs.[18][19][20][25] Their last successful season was 1953 and the last seven seasons had a combined 10–44–3 (.202) record, including two straight winless seasons (1956 and 1957),[20] under new head coach Johnny Druze.[26] At the time, Marquette had a 78-year football tradition and was the largest Catholic university in the United States.[19][27] Cross country was immediately reinstated and track returned in 1964; football at Marquette returned at the club level in 1967.[28]

Marquette Stadium, the football team's home since 1924,[29] was dismantled in 1978. Located in the Merrill Park neighborhood west of the university,[30] the stadium had a seating capacity of 24,000 at its peak. It was used by Green Bay Packers of the NFL for three home games in 1952; the Packers played several home games in Milwaukee every season from 1933 through 1994; previous games were played State Fair Park in West Allis and succeeding years at the new County Stadium. Marquette played a majority of its home schedule at County Stadium in 1957 and 1958.[31]

Men's golf

Marquette University fields only a men's team for golf. Former head coach, Tim Grogan, was honored as the Big East Conference Men's Golf Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2008. The golf team holds Marquette's only Big East Championships, which were won in 2008, 2015, 2017, and 2019. Mike Van Sickle, class of 2009, was named to the Ping Division I All-American Honorable Mention list in 2007 and 2008. He was a first-team All-American in 2009. Van Sickle currently holds the school record for single-season average at 70.00 strokes per 18 holes, and most sub-par rounds at 86.[32]


On December 16, 2010, the university announced that it would be adding men's and women's lacrosse teams to begin play as independents in the 2012–13 academic year, before becoming full members of the Big East Conference in men's and women's lacrosse in 2013–14. The team's home field is Valley Fields.


The men's and women's soccer programs have achieved varying degrees of success. In 2006, the men's team won just one game and finished last in their conference while the women made a run into the NCAA postseason tournament.

Coach Louis Bennett recently joined the men's program after years of accomplishment at nearby Milwaukee to help the team match the women's success.

In June 2007, alumnus Dennis Klein donated $1 million to spearhead a new, $5 million European-style soccer stadium for Marquette. The new stadium is set to open in September 2008.[33]

Both teams currently compete at Valley Fields.


NCAA team championships

Marquette has one NCAA team national championship.[34]

Notable athletes




Track and field

See also


  1. "Marquette Athletics Identity Standards" (PDF). Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  2. "Marquette becomes the Golden Eagles". Gadsden (AL) Times. Associated Press. May 3, 1994. p. D4.
  3. Walker, Don (May 6, 2005). "It's Gold. Period". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 1A.
  4. Stingl, Jim (May 6, 2005). "Little sparkle in choice of nickname". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 1B.
  5. Wolfley, Bob (May 12, 2005). "MU board's latest decision as good as Gold". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 2C.
  6. Stapleton, Arnie (May 18, 2005). "Marquette clumsily grapples with its nickname". Southeast Missourian. Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Associated Press. p. 4B.
  7. "Seven schools leaving Big East". December 15, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  8. Clark, Liz (March 19, 2013). "'New' Big East prepared to make its formal introduction". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  9. Staff (March 20, 2013). "New Big East adds Butler, 2 others". Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  10. "Blue & Gold Athletic Scholarship Fund". Marquette University. Archived from the original on September 6, 2006.
  11. "Marquette tabs Summitt's son". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. April 18, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  12. "Women's "St. John" Division 2006" (PDF). Paradise Jam. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  13. Umhoefer, David E. (September 5, 1987). "Tributes to this coach run freely". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1.
  14. Bledsoe, Terry (April 28, 1965). "Track de-emphasis mellows Bud Shimek". Milwaukee Journal. p. 21, part 2.
  15. "Bus Shimek resigns at MU at age 71". Milwaukee Journal. May 7, 1976. p. 14, part 2.
  16. Walfoort, Cleon (May 13, 1971). "Shimek accomplished as both athlete and coach". Milwaukee Journal. p. 18, part 2.
  17. Bledsoe, Terry (March 10, 1967). "Both Shimek and his running records durable". Milwaukee Journal. p. 17, part 2.
  18. "Save football, alumni aim". Milwaukee Journal. December 10, 1960. p. 14.
  19. "Marquette drops football, track". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Associated Press. December 10, 1960. p. 10.
  20. Bolchat, Rel (December 10, 1960). "MU drops football, basketball survives". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 3, part 2.
  21. "Marquette reinstates cross-country sport". Milwaukee Journal. January 6, 1961. p. 16, part 2.
  22. Kupper, Mike (November 12, 1981). "Revived cross country hitting the heights at MU". Milwaukee Journal. p. 3, part 3.
  23. "MU track team to return to wars". Milwaukee Journal. March 26, 1964. p. 22, part 2.
  24. Walfroot, Cleon (January 2, 1937). "TCU passes give Hilltop 16–6 beating". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 8.
  25. Riordon, Robert J (December 10, 1960). "'We want football!' MUers yell". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 1.
  26. "Marquette: game by game results". College Football Data Warehouse. 1955–1959. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  27. "For the Record: Football". Sports Illustrated: 73. December 19, 1960.
  28. "Marquette: game by game results". College Football Data Warehouse. 1965–1969. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  29. Cash, Phil (September 2, 1976). "MU Stadium gone, but the memories linger". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1-part 2.
  30. Zeidler, Frank P. (January 26, 1989). "Zeidler fondly recalls Merrill Park". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1D.
  31. Bochat, Rel (March 25, 1959). "MU returns to own stadium". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 6, part 2.
  32. "Van Sickle Earns All-America Honorable Mention Honors".
  33. "Klein family makes $1 million lead gift for new soccer stadium". Marquette University. June 7, 2007. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012.
  34. "Championship Summary" (PDF). NCAA. July 1, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
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