Oakland Golden Grizzlies
The Oakland University Golden Grizzlies are the athletic teams that represent Oakland University (OU) in the Horizon League and Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The school fields 16 teams: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, women's tennis, men's and women's track, and women's volleyball.
|Oakland Golden Grizzlies|
|Athletic director||Steve Waterfield|
|Basketball arena||Athletics Center O'rena|
|Baseball stadium||Oakland University Baseball Field|
|Fight song||OU Fight|
|Colors||Black and Gold|
The Golden Grizzlies have won 10 NCAA national championships and were runners-up 16 times.
Early in the history of Oakland University (OU), academic excellence was stressed at the expense of competitive intercollegiate athletics. While the focus on academic excellence has continued and expanded, the university has also come to recognize the importance of intercollegiate athletics. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, OU competed in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) as the Pioneers, becoming a perennial powerhouse in numerous sports and winning multiple National Championships in men's and women's swimming. During the transition to NCAA Division I status in 1998–99, OU's sports teams became the Golden Grizzlies.
In 2007 the OU Athletics Administration announced a marketing and sponsorship partnership with Palace Sports and Entertainment, which owns and operates the nearby The Palace of Auburn Hills, as well as the Detroit Pistons.
At the conclusion of the 2012–13 season, Oakland left The Summit League to become members of the Horizon League.
Tracy Huth served as athletic director from 2006–2014. He stepped down on January 24, 2014. Robby Stewart is serving as interim athletic director until a replacement is found.
Conference affiliation history
|1967–68 to 1972–73||Independent||Division II|
|1973–74 to 1996–97||Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference||Division II|
|1998–99 to 2012–13||The Summit League (known as Mid-Continent Conference until 2007)||Division I|
|2013–14 to present||Horizon League||Division I|
Oakland University won ten national NCAA Division II titles and 16 teams were national runner-up in NCAA Division II. Men's swimming and diving won five championships and finished as runner-up 10 times. Five women's swimming and diving teams also finished first and three came in second. The men's soccer team was NCAA Division II runner-up in 1986, 1994, and 1996.
National championships (10):
- 1980: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1990: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1991: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1992: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1993: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1994: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1994: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1995: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1996: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1997: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
National runners-up (16):
- 1979: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1981: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1983: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1984: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1986: Men's soccer – NCAA Division II
- 1987: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1988: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1989: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1990: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1991: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1993: Men's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1994: Men's soccer – NCAA Division II
- 1995: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1996: Men's soccer – NCAA Division II
- 1996: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
- 1997: Women's swimming and diving – NCAA Division II
OU's baseball team is managed by co-head coaches Jacke Healey and Colin Kaline. They were named head coaches in July 2016. Kaline is the grandson of Detroit Tigers Baseball Hall of Famer Al Kaline. The baseball program has produced nearly two dozen players who have gone on to play professional baseball, although the only former player who has made it to Major League Baseball is Don Kirkwood, who pitched for the California Angels, the Chicago White Sox, and the Toronto Blue Jays during his career.
The OU men's basketball team is coached by Greg Kampe, who is now among the top ten longest-serving coaches in the NCAA Division I ranks. OU qualified for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship tournament for the first time in 2005. The Golden Grizzlies defeated Alabama A&M University in the opening-round game at Dayton, Ohio on March 15, 2005, before being eliminated three days later by the North Carolina Tar Heels, who went on to win the National Championship.
In 2010, Oakland made their second ever trip to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship tournament after winning the Summit League Tournament. They came in as a 14 seed against No. 3 Pittsburgh, where they were eliminated.
In 2011, Oakland won the Summit League regular season and tournament for the second consecutive season and again received a 14 seed. This time, they played No. 3 Texas, where they lost 85–81.
Nearly two dozen OU players have gone on to play professional basketball. After being among the top ten scorers in all of NCAA Division I basketball in 2003 and 2004, Mike Helms was drafted into the Continental Basketball Association and played briefly for the Michigan Mayhem, in addition to playing in the National Basketball League of Australia, where he finished second in the league in scoring in 2006. His OU teammate, Kelly Williams, who is Filipino American, was the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2006 Philippine Basketball Association draft and was named the league's Rookie of the Year in 2007. Rawle Marshall, who led OU to its first NCAA tournament berth in 2005, became the first player from the university to make a National Basketball Association (NBA) roster, playing in 23 games for the Dallas Mavericks in the 2005–06 season and 40 games for the Indiana Pacers in the 2006–07 season. In the 2011 NBA draft the Atlanta Hawks selected All-American and Lou Henson Award winner Keith Benson in the second round (48th pick) making Benson the first basketball player from Oakland to be drafted by an NBA team. Kay Felder left Oakland a season early as a junior and was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, who traded him to the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers for cash considerations.
Brian Gregory, Oakland's career assist leader, played under Kampe from 1987–90 before beginning a coaching career. He was an assistant under Tom Izzo when Michigan State University won the 2000 NCAA title, and is now the head coach for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men's basketball team.
In the 2010–11 season, Oakland narrowly lost 77–76 to then-No. 7 Michigan State before beating then-No. 7 University of Tennessee 89–82. In the 2011–12 season, Oakland beat Tennessee for the second year in a row 89–81.
In the 2016-17 season, Oakland placed first in their league, earning a trip to the National Invitation Tournament as a 7 seed, where they lost to Richmond in the second round after upsetting 2nd seeded Clemson in the opening round.
The OU women's basketball team is coached by Jeff Tungate. Both basketball teams host games at the Athletics Center O'rena.
On March 7, 2006, the women's basketball team defeated Western Illinois University to capture the 2006 Mid-Continent title. On March 19, in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the No. 16 Grizzlies lost to No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes 68–45.
In June 2013, former coach Beckie Francis was fired for intimidation and emotional abuse, because of her fixation on players weight and pushing her religious views upon the team.
Cross country (men's and women's)
Both the men's and women's Cross Country teams at OU are coached by Paul Rice.
Golf (men's and women's)
OU's golf program benefits from the two world-class golf courses located on the university's campus.
The men's soccer team at OU will be coached by Eric Pogue, starting in the 2009 season. Pogue was an assistant under Gary Parsons for seven years. Parsons coached Oakland for 28 years and accumulated 363 wins in his coaching career, and made the NCAA Division I tournament on multiple occasions. Another of Parsons' former players, Jason Perry, will serve as an assistant to Pogue. In 2004, Perry was drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the third round of the Major League Soccer draft.
The women's soccer team at OU is coached by Juan Pablo Favero. In addition to making the NCAA Division I tournament in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2006, the team qualified again in 2007. They lost to Purdue University, 4–0, in the first round of the tournament on November 16, 2007.
The OU women's softball team is coached by Lauren Cognigni.
Swimming and diving (men's and women's)
Both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams at Oakland are coached by Pete Hovland. Hovland began coaching the men's team in 1981–82. He took over the women's program in 2001 and has been coaching the two since.
Oakland's men's team has won five NCAA Division II national championships (1980, 1994–1997) and were runners-up 10 times (1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1987–1991, 1993). Through 2018, the men's team has won 40 consecutive conference meets, including every GLIAC (21), Summit League (14) and Horizon League (5) conference meet the team has participated in.
The Golden Grizzlies women's team won five consecutive NCAA Division II national championships from 1990–1994. They were runners-up the following three seasons (1995–1997). Through 2018, the team has won 31 conference meets, 8 in the GLIAC, 4 in the National Independent Conference (NIC), 14 in The Summit League and 5 in the Horizon League. The team won every Summit League (14) and Horizon League (5) conference meet, 4 of the 8 NIC conference meets, and 8 of the 9 GLIAC conference meets it participated in. They have currently won 24 consecutive conference tournaments.
The women's tennis team at OU is coached by Heather Redshaw.
Track (men's and women's)
The coach of the men's and women's track teams at OU is Paul Rice. Track is the newest of OU's 16 NCAA Division I sports. MIcah Jones made history in 2011 as the first individual to lead the track team to the nationals.
The women's volleyball team at OU is coached by Rob Beam, who became head coach in March 2007.
In fall of 2012, Oakland University approved a club football team. The National Club Football Association is a 22 team league that uses the majority of NCAA rules. The Grizzlies compete in the Great Lakes East Conference of the NCFA. OU plays teams such as Ohio State, Miami (OH), UW-Milwaukee, and Wright State club football teams, as well as a varsity teams in Concordia (AnnArbor), Olivet, and Defiance. The first season received attention from NFL Film's "Together We Make Football." Their first season concluded with a 5-2 record and #8 in the league. In their second year of existence, the 2014 team went undefeated at 9-0 winning their first NCFA National Championship.
Ice Hockey (men's)
The Oakland men's club ice hockey team won the American Collegiate Hockey Association's Division 2 national championship in 2004, was national runner-up in 2005, and in 2006 again won the Division 2 championship. The team moved up to ACHA Division 1 for the 2006–07 season and won the national championship over Penn State University by a score of 5–1. In addition, the Grizzlies career scoring leader, Will McMahon, was named tournament and regular season MVP after tallying 47 goals and 29 assists in 36 games (including playoffs). McMahon finished his career with four ACHA National Player of the Year awards with career totals of 240 goals and 140 assists (380 total points). McMahon was drafted by the Fort Wayne Komets of the IHL following his final season (2007) making him the first Grizzly drafted in a professional hockey league. The team is currently coached by former Lake Superior State Lakers men's ice hockey Captain Jeremy Bachusz, who led Oakland to a 25–11–3 record in his first season. The 25 wins was the most for OU Hockey at the Division 1 level. The Grizzlies currently compete in the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League conference.
Club National championships
- 2004: Men's Ice Hockey – ACHA Division 2
- 2006: Curling – CCUSA Division IV
- 2006: Men's Ice Hockey – ACHA Division 2
- 2007: Men's Ice Hockey – ACHA Division 1
- 2014 Football - NCFA Great Lakes Conference Champions
- 2014 Football - NCFA National Champions
- 2016 Men's Ice Hockey - ACHA Division 3
- 2016 Football - NCFA Great Lakes Conference Champions
- 2016 Football - NCFA National Champions
- "Oakland University Athletics Branding Guidelines". March 14, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
- "The Official Athletics Site of Oakland University/GoldenGrizzlies,com". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Snyder, Mark (January 24, 2014). "Oakland U. AD Tracy Huth expected to resign". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- "Oakland University to Join". Horizon League. May 7, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
- "Div II Men's Swimming & Diving Championship History". NCAA. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
- "Div II Women's Swimming & Diving Championship History". NCAA. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
- "Div II Men's Soccer Championship History". NCAA. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
- "24 Colin Kaline". Oakland University. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- "Oakland's Kay Felder hires agents, stays in NBA draft". Detroit Free Press. April 8, 2016. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
- "Players' shocking allegations against former NCAA women's basketball coach". USA Today. July 21, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
- club football team
- Together We Make Football