The Trinity Tigers is the nickname for the sports teams of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. They participate in the NCAA's Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). The school mascot is LeeRoy, a Bengal tiger. In the 1950s, LeeRoy was an actual tiger who was brought to sporting events, but today LeeRoy is portrayed by a student wearing a tiger suit. Early in its history, the school participated in Division I/II athletics, but by 1991 the entire program made the move to Division III, at which time it joined the SCAC.
|Conferences||SCAC; SAA (football only)|
|Athletic director||Bob King|
|Location||San Antonio, Texas|
|Football stadium||Trinity Football Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Ron and Genie Calgaard Gymnasium|
|Baseball stadium||Trinity Baseball Field|
|Fight song||"Go You Tigers"|
|Colors||Maroon and White|
Trinity fields strong teams, evidenced by its finishes in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Learfield Directors' Cup, which recognizes the strength of athletic programs by division. Since the Directors' Cup inception in 1995, Trinity has finished in the top 10 on five occasions out of over 400 Division Ill programs; it finished 31st in 2017-18.
In recent years, Trinity has reached the national Division III playoffs in several sports, including football (national runners-up, 2002), women's basketball (2003 national champions), volleyball (second place in 1999), baseball (national champion in 2016), women's cross country, men's and women's track and field, and men's and women's soccer (men's team won the national title in 2003 and placed second in 2007; women placed second in 2013). In 2011-12, the Trinity sports program reclaimed Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference "President's Trophy," awarded to the school in the conference that has the best overall sports record for the year, for the first time in seven seasons; as of 2017, the school has won the President's Trophy every year since. Prior to that drought the Tigers had won the award eleven out of the preceding twelve seasons.
Trinity has historically had a strong tennis program, once a Division I tennis power, under tennis coach Clarency Mabry, winning the men's NCAA championship in 1972, as well as being runners up in 1970, 1971, 1977 and 1979. The women's team captured the first USLTA women's collegiate championship in 1968 and won several more titles. In the early 1960s the program was home to arguably some of the best tennis players in the world, and bypassed the NCAA tournament to enter Wimbledon. In 1963, Chuck McKinley of Trinity won the Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship. He was also the runner up in 1961. In 1970, as a freshman at Trinity, Brian Gottfried won the USTA boys 18s singles championship, as well as the doubles championship with Alexander Mayer.
Other famous tennis players to attend Trinity included Butch Newman, Bob McKinley, Frank Froehling, Dick Stockton, Bill Scanlon and Gretchen Magers. The school's men's and women's programs both claimed national championships in 2000.
The Tigers had a successful Men's Basketball program under Bob Polk from 1965-1968; Polk, an Indiana native had compiled a record of 197-106 at Vanderbilt but poor health led to his resignation on the advice of his doctors. However, he was out of basketball for only 18 months as his health rapidly improved. As both the head basketball coach and athletics director, Polk became Southland Conference Coach-of-the-Year in 1967. He was also the NCAA National Coach-of-the-Year for the College Division (today's NCAA Div II) in 1968. In his three years at Trinity, Polk compiled a 69-28 record and led the Tigers to the 1968 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Tournament, where they finished 3rd overall.
Trinity athletics may be most famous for the "Mississippi Miracle" executed by the Tiger football team. 2007 Trinity vs. Millsaps football game On October 27, 2007, in a game played in Jackson, Mississippi, against conference rival Millsaps College, Trinity trailed by two points with two seconds left. With time for only one more play and needing to score a touchdown to win, the Tigers ran the "hook and lateral play," in which a receiver runs a short hook route, and then laterals the ball to a trailing player. After the first lateral the Millsaps defense was not fooled and seemed about to tackle the ball carrier and end the game.
At this point the Tigers showed their knowledge of rugby by lining up across the field, rather than gathering in front of the ball carrier as is typical in American football. This meant that there was always a Tiger player in position, either even with or behind the ball carrier, to legally receive another lateral. Every time the Millsaps defense closed on the ball carrier the Trinity player was able to complete a legal lateral to a teammate. In what ESPN said may have been the "longest play in football history," in terms of time elapsed (sixty seconds exactly), Trinity completed 15 laterals before breaking through the Millsaps defense for a 61-yard touchdown. The score, known in Jackson, MS as the "Major Disaster," (Millsaps' nickname is "The Majors") gave Trinity the victory and ultimately led to the conference championship. The Trinity community is especially proud of this play because it demonstrated not only the Tigers' athletic ability, but also their intelligence and poise under pressure. The unlikely play was named the top sports moment of the year by Time Magazine as well as the "Game Changing Performance of the Year" by Pontiac. Trinity was the overall number one team in Texas from 1996 to 2008.
In November 2015, Trinity and Austin College announced they would affiliate with the Southern Athletic Association for football in 2017. This alliance renews a relationship that ended when the SAA schools split from the SCAC. As a result, the SCAC will no longer offer football as a sport.
In May 2016, Trinity won its first College World Series in a best-of-three format, beating Keystone College 14-6 in game 1 and 10-7 in game 2. Trinity defeated the 2015 champion, SUNY Cortland twice in the bracket rounds of the tournament en route to the national championship.
The 2019 Trinity Baseball Team was Co-Regular Season Champions. Also, the 2019 Team won the SCAC Conference Championship.
Tim Scannell is in his 21st season as the Trinity Tigers head baseball coach. After serving as an assistant coach for two seasons, Coach Scannell took the Tigers’ reins prior to the 1999 campaign. Since that year, Trinity has amassed an overall record of 663-254 (.723) over 20 seasons. Coach Scannell is ranked in the top-10 among active NCAA Division III coaches by winning percentage. The other Trinity baseball coaches are both former Trinity baseball players -- David Smith is the Pitching Coach and Andrew Waters is the Assistant Baseball Coach.
Team championships (Division I era)
- 1968 USTA National Women's Collegiate Championship
- 1969 USTA National Women's Collegiate Championship
- 1972 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship
- 1973 USTA National Women's Collegiate Championship
- 1975 USTA National Women's Collegiate Championship
- 1975 National Collegiate Team Champions – Trap and Skeet
- 1976 USTA National Women's Collegiate Championship
- 1976 National Collegiate Team Champions – Trap and Skeet
- 1977 National Collegiate Team Champions – Trap and Skeet
- 1980 National Collegiate Team Champions – Trap and Skeet
Team championships (Division III era)
- 2000 NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championship
- 2000 NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Championship
- 2003 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship
- 2003 NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship
- 2015 ITA Men's Tennis Indoor National Championship
- 2016 NCAA Division III Men's Baseball Championship
Individual championships (Division I/II era)
- 1966 NCAA Division II Men's Outdoor 100yd Dash (Clyde Glosson)
- 1968 USTA National Women's Singles Championship (Emilie Burrer)
- 1968 USTA National Women's Doubles Championship (Emilie Burrer & Becky Vest)
- 1968 NCAA Division II Men's Outdoor 200yd Dash (Clyde Glosson)
- 1969 USTA National Women's Singles Championship (Emilie Burrer)
- 1969 USTA National Women's Doubles Championship (Emilie Burrer & Becky Vest)
- 1972 NCAA Division I Men's Singles Championship (Dick Stockton)
- 1975 USTA National Women's Singles Championship (Stephanie Tolleson)
- 1975 USTA National Women's Doubles Championship (JoAnne Russell & Donna Stockton)
- 1976 NCAA Division I Men's Singles Championship (Bill Scanlon)
- 1979 NCAA Division I Men's Doubles Championship (Erick Iskersky & Ben McCown)
- 1983 NCAA Division I Women's Doubles Championship (Louise Allen & Gretchen Rush)
Individual championships (Division III era)
- 1997 ITA Men's National Singles Championship (Jamie Broach)
- 1997 ITA Men's National Doubles Championship (Jamie Broach & Michael Slutzky)
- 1998 ITA Women's National Singles Championship (Lola Taylor)
- 1998 ITA Women's National Doubles Championship (Lola Taylor & Lizzie Yasser)
- 1999 ITA Women's National Singles Championship (Lizzie Yasser)
- 1999 ITA Women's National Doubles Championship (Lizzie Yasser & Amanda Browne)
- 2003 ITA Men's National Doubles Championship (Sean Fifield & Stefan Parker)
- 2003 ITA Women's National Doubles Championship (Heather McGowan & Hayley Dittus)
- 2004 NCAA Division III Women's Outdoor High Jump (Christyn Schumann)
- 2004 NCAA Division III Women's Indoor High Jump (Christyn Schumann)
- 2005 NCAA Division III Women's Outdoor High Jump (Christyn Schumann)
- 2006 NCAA Division III Women's Outdoor High Jump (Christyn Schumann)
- 2009 NCAA Division III Men's Indoor Pentathlon (Todd Wildman)
- 2010 NCAA Division III Women's 1-Meter Diving (Lindsay Martin)
- 2010 NCAA Division III Women's 3-Meter Diving (Hayley Emerick)
- 2010 NCAA Division III Men's Indoor Pentathlon (Todd Wildman)
- 2010 ITA Men's National Doubles Championship (Bobby Cocanougher & Cory Kowal)
- 2012 NCAA Division III Women's 3-Meter Diving (Ruth Hahn)
- 2012 ITA Men's National Singles Championship (Aaron Skinner)
- 2014 NCAA Division III Men's 100 Yard Freestyle (Stephen Culberson)
- 2014 ITA Men's National Doubles Championship (Jordan Mayer & Aaron Skinner)
- "Trinity University | Digital Assets". Retrieved February 24, 2018.
- "Lee Roy the Tiger". Trinity Digital Collection. Trinity University. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
- "Tiger Athletics". Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- "Directors' Cup Division III 2017-18 Final Standings" (PDF). Directors' Cup. May 31, 2018. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
- "Trinity Brings SCAC Presidents Trophy Back to San Antonio" (PDF). May 12, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
- "Trinity Captures Sixth Straight SCAC Presidents' Trophy". May 10, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- "Trinity Wins Fourth Consecutive All-Sports Trophy; 11th Overall" (PDF). May 2, 2005. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
- "Trinity University's National Champions". Trinity Athletics. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- "USTA Boys 18 & 16: Past Winners". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
- Briggs, Jerry (October 27, 2007). "Football: Trinity wins on miracle play". San Antonio Express News. Archived from the original on October 30, 2007. Retrieved October 28, 2007.
- "Video of the play". ESPN. Archived from the original on October 29, 2007. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
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- Christensen, Mike (October 28, 2007). "Wild finish – think Cal-Stanford, '82 – beats Majors". ClarionLedger.com. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
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- "Top 10 Sports Moments". Time Magazine.
- "Trinity to Join SAA as Affiliate Member in Football". Trinity Athletics. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
- "Baseball's Historic Season Closes With NCAA Semifinals Loss". Trinity Athletics. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- "DIII Baseball: How Trinity (Texas) captured 2016 DIII Championship in Appleton". NCAA Championships. Retrieved June 2, 2016.