UC Irvine Anteaters

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UC Irvine Anteaters
UniversityUniversity of California, Irvine
ConferenceBig West Conference
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
NCAADivision I
Athletic directorPaula Smith (Interim)
LocationIrvine, California
Varsity teams18
Basketball arenaBren Events Center
Baseball stadiumAnteater Ballpark
Soccer stadiumAnteater Stadium
Other arenas
  • Anteater Aquatics Complex
  • Big Canyon Country Club
  • Dove Canyon Country Club
  • Microsemi Field
  • UC Irvine Tennis Stadium
MascotPeter the Anteater
Fight song"Anteaters, Go!" and "The Big C"
ColorsBlue and Gold[1]

The UC Irvine Anteaters are the athletic teams fielded by the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine). Its athletics programs participate in the NCAA's Division I, as members of the Big West Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. For earlier years of the school's existence, the teams participated at the Division II level with great success as explained below.

UC Irvine fields teams in men's baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country running, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, women's indoor track & field, men's and women's outdoor track & field, men's and women's volleyball, and men's and women's water polo. The Anteaters have won 28 national championships in nine different team sports. 64 Anteaters have won individual national championships, and 53 Anteaters have competed in the Olympics.

Sports sponsored[edit]

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Golf
Golf Soccer
Soccer Tennis
Tennis Track and field
Track and field Volleyball
Volleyball Water polo
Water polo
† – Outdoor only
UCI sign at Crawford Hall – the athletic complex.


UC Irvine's baseball team won two national championships at the College Division and the Division II level in 1973 and 1974, prior to moving to Division I. The program was eliminated in 1992 due to state budget cuts, but was reinstated in 2002.

Since the return of its baseball program in 2002, UCI has been ranked as high as No. 1 in the country. In 2007, UCI participated in the College World Series for the first time in school history. The Anteaters eliminated both Cal State Fullerton and Arizona State before losing to Oregon State, earning a 3rd-place finish. In 2014, the Anteaters returned to the College World Series and earned a 5th-place finish.


During the 1982 season the men's basketball team were led by two-time first team All-American Kevin Magee. That season, the team was ranked as high as No. 19 in the nation for NCAA Division I basketball. During the 1986 season the Anteaters were led by future NBA player and current head coach of the Washington Wizards, Scott Brooks.

The Anteaters hired Golden State Warriors assistant Russell Turner as the head men's basketball coach in 2010. Turner was named Big West Conference Coach of the Year after he led the Anteaters to the 2013-2014 conference regular season championship.

The Anteaters won their first ever NCAA tournament game in school history on March 22, 2019, upsetting No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats 70-64.

Cross country[edit]

The UC Irvine Anteaters men's cross country team appeared in the NCAA Tournament three times, with their highest finish being 11th place in the 1986–87 school year.[2] The UC Irvine Anteaters women's cross country team appeared in the NCAA Tournament four times, with their highest finish being 4th place in the 1990–91 school year.[3]


During the early years when the UC Irvine Anteater men's golf team participated at the Division II level, the teams were highly successful for five consecutive years from 1973 through 1977. Coach Jerry Hulbert formed teams consisting of local southern California players. The teams played in the NCAA Division II team national championship for each of these five years, including winning the national team championship in 1975. Anteater team member Jerry Wisz also won the individual national championship that year. At these national championships, the teams finished fourth in 1973, second in 1974, second in 1976, and thirteenth in 1977. Seven players from the 1972 through 1976 teams earned All-American honors awarded by the Golf Coaches Association of America, with two of these players awarded for two consecutive years. After reaching the Division I level, the Anteater teams have played in the NCAA National Regionals fourteen times, including reaching the national championship three of those seasons. In coach Paul Smolinski's quite successful twenty-three years as head coach, his teams have played in twelve NCAA regionals, and two NCAA national championships (2001 & 2008). Arguably his best player John Chin, who along with the above-mentioned Jerry Wisz have been the two best players in the entire school history, earned NCAA Division I All-American honors in 2010. John has played as a member of the PGA Tour and what is currently named the Korn Ferry Tour.


UCI soccer plays its home games at Anteater Stadium. The men's team has been ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation and has made six Division I NCAA tournament appearances with berths in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2018. In addition, since the introduction of the Big West Conference Tournament for soccer in 2008 the Anteaters have won the tournament championship four times. The women's team has made two Division I NCAA tournament appearances with berths in 2010 and 2011.

Notable Anteater soccer alumni include United States men's national team member Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC) and Rouzy (LA Galaxy).

The UC Irvine Anteaters men's soccer team have an NCAA Division I Tournament record of 6–6 through six appearances.[4]

The UC Irvine Anteaters women's soccer team have an NCAA Division I Tournament record of 2–2 through two appearances.[5]


UC Irvine men's volleyball has won a total of four national championships, with titles in 2007, 2009, 2012, and 2013.

The Anteaters made their first final four appearance in 2006, losing in the NCAA semi-finals to Penn State. They won their first national championship in 2007 by defeating IPFW 3–1 in the NCAA final. UCI won its second national championship in 2009 after defeating USC 3-2 in a five-set comeback victory in the NCAA final. The Anteaters won their third NCAA men's volleyball title in 2012 after defeating USC again in the NCAA final, this time in a 3-0 sweep at the Galen Center. UCI's longtime head coach John Speraw had guided the Anteaters to three national championships in six years but immediately after winning the 2012 national title he left UCI after accepting the head coaching position at UCLA.

UC Irvine alum and former assistant coach David Kniffin took over the Anteater program in 2013 and became just the second head coach in NCAA men's volleyball history to win a national championship in his first season. In the 2013 NCAA final the Anteaters defeated BYU in a 3-0 sweep to win back-to-back national championships.

The UC Irvine Anteaters women's volleyball team have an NCAA Division I Tournament record of 1–3 through three appearances.[6]

Water polo[edit]

UC Irvine's men's water polo team won three NCAA Division I national championships in 1970, 1982, and 1989.[7]

UCI's head men's water polo coach for many years was Ted Newland. As the Anteaters' head coach from 1966-2005, Newland had a lifetime record of 714–345–5. In his 39 years at the helm the Anteaters won three national championships, and the team was consistently rated among the nation's top 5 programs. Many world-class water polo players have been affiliated with UCI, with more than 70 NCAA All-Americans and 13 Olympians being produced by the program. Four Anteaters were a part of the United States team that won the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The UC Irvine Anteaters men's water polo team have an NCAA Division I Tournament record of 29–18 through twenty-one appearances.[8]

The UC Irvine women's water polo team is coached by 2004 Olympian Dan Klatt since 2005 and has led the team to 6 NCAA Tournament Appearances in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 finishing as high as 4th place in 2012. In addition, the team has won 8 Big West Titles and 7 Big West Tournament Titles under Klatt in the last 10 seasons. [9]



The UC Irvine Anteaters competed in the NCAA Tournament across 18 active sports (10 men's and 8 women's) 96 times at the Division I level.[10]

NCAA Tournament Appearances
Baseball (8): 2004 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2014
Men's basketball (2): 2015 • 2019
Women's basketball (1): 1995
Men's cross country (3): 1977 • 1986 • 1987
Women's cross country (4): 1983 • 1987 • 1989 • 1990
Men's golf (3): 1992 • 2001 • 2008
Women's golf (3): 2005 • 2007 • 2009
Men's soccer (6): 2008 • 2009 • 2011 • 2013 • 2014 • 2018
Women's soccer (2): 2010 • 2011
Men's tennis (10): 1983 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1996 • 1997 • 2005 • 2010 • 2011
Women's tennis (3): 2007 • 2010 • 2013
Men's indoor track and field (1): 1977
Men's outdoor track and field (8): 1968 • 1969 • 1982 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 2011 • 2012
Women's outdoor track and field (5): 1982 • 1988 • 1989 • 1991 • 1992
Men's volleyball (7): 2006 • 2007 • 2009 • 2012 • 2013 • 2015 • 2018
Women's volleyball (3): 1988 • 2003 • 2004
Men's water polo (21): 1969 • 1970 • 1971 • 1972 • 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1985 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993
Women's water polo (6): 2011 • 2012 • 2014 • 2015 • 2017 • 2018


The Anteaters of UC Irvine earned 7 NCAA championships at the Division I level.[11]


School year Sport Opponent Score
1970–71 Men's water polo UCLA 7–6
1982–83 Men's water polo Stanford 7–4
1989–90 Men's water polo California 9–8
2006–07 Men's volleyball Purdue Fort Wayne 3–1
2008–09 Men's volleyball USC 3–2
2011–12 Men's volleyball USC 3–0
2012–13 Men's volleyball BYU 3–0

UC Irvine won 15 national championships at the NCAA Division II level.[11]

  • Baseball: 1973, 1974
  • Men's cross country: 1975, 1976
  • Men's golf: 1975
  • Men's outdoor track and field: 1976
  • Men's swimming and diving: 1969, 1970, 1971
  • Men's tennis: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977

Below are sixteen national club team championships:

  • Co-ed archery (1): 2016 (USIAC)
  • Men's archery (1): 2016 (USIAC)
  • Women's archery (1): 2016 (USIAC)
  • Co-ed badminton (3): 2004, 2007, 2008 (ABA)
  • Men's badminton (2): 2007, 2008 (ABA)
  • Co-ed paintball – Division IAA (1): 2006 (NCPA)
  • Co-ed sailing (7): 1972, 1979, 1980, 1987, 1988, 1990, 2006 (ICSA)

Note: Those with no denoted division is assumed that the institution earned a national championship at the highest level.


UC Irvine had 3 Anteaters win NCAA individual championships at the Division I level.[11]

At the NCAA Division II level, UC Irvine garnered 61 individual championships.[11]


Basketball court of the Bren Events Center before a game

The UCI basketball and volleyball teams compete at the Bren Events Center as the main venue. They train and compete at the nearby Crawford Hall as the secondary location. The baseball team plays in Anteater Ballpark, which is located behind the Mesa Parking Structure. Anteater Stadium itself is part of UCI's Crawford Athletics Complex, which houses the track and swimming facilities.


Since 2006, the UC Irvine Anteaters have participated in the annual "Black and Blue Rivalry Series" with Long Beach State Beach. In this challenge, each school earns points for its collective conference championships and head-to-head victories against each other (across all NCAA sports in which both schools participate). The totals are added up at the end of the season and a winner is declared.[13]


  1. ^ UCI Art Sheet (PDF). May 1, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  2. ^ "Division I Men's Cross Country Championships Records Book" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Division I Women's Cross Country Championships Records Book" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Division I Men's Soccer Championships Records Book" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Division I Women's Soccer Championships Records Book" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Division I Women's Volleyball Championship Records Book" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  7. ^ "UC Irvine". Mwater.uci.edu. Retrieved 2015-09-08.
  8. ^ "National Collegiate Men's Water Polo Championships Records Book" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Dan Klatt". UC Irvine Athletics. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  10. ^ "NCAA Championships Statistics". National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d "Championships Summary" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  12. ^ a b c "Division I Men's Outdoor Track Championships Records Book" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  13. ^ "The Black and Blue Rivalry Series". longbeachstate.com. Retrieved May 17, 2019.

External links[edit]