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Syracuse Orange

Syracuse Orange
UniversitySyracuse University
ConferenceACC (primary)
AHA (women's ice hockey)
EARC (men's rowing)
NCAADivision I (FBS)
Athletic directorJohn Wildhack
LocationSyracuse, New York
Varsity teams20
Football stadiumJMA Wireless Dome
Basketball arenaJMA Wireless Dome
Other venuesManley Field House
Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion
MascotOtto the Orange
Fight songDown the Field
Atlantic Coast Conference logo in Syracuse's colors

The Syracuse Orange are the athletic teams that represent Syracuse University. The school is a member of NCAA Division I and the Atlantic Coast Conference. Until 2013, Syracuse was a member of the Big East Conference.

The school's mascot is Otto the Orange. Until 2004, the teams were known as the Orangemen and Orangewomen. The men's basketball, football, wrestling, men's lacrosse, and women's basketball teams play in the JMA Wireless Dome, referred to as the JMA Dome. Other sports facilities include the nearby Manley Field House complex, the Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion, and Drumlins Country Club.

Important firsts

  • Baseball team established: 1870
  • Rowing team founded: 1874
  • First recorded football game: 1884 vs. Medical College of Syracuse[citation needed]
  • First intercollegiate football game: 1889 vs. University of Rochester[2]
  • First recorded basketball game: 1899 vs. Christian Association of Hamilton (Ontario)
  • Lacrosse team founded: 1916
  • First United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association championship: 1920
  • First National Championship: Football, 1959 vs. Texas
  • First ACC Championship: Men's Cross Country, 2013
  • First Women's National Championship: Field Hockey, 2015

Sports sponsored

Men's sports Women's sports
Basketball Basketball
Cross country Cross country
Football Field hockey
Lacrosse Ice hockey
Rowing Lacrosse
Soccer Rowing
Track and field Soccer
Track and field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor

Syracuse is the only ACC school and one of only four Power 5 schools that do not sponsor baseball, the other three being Colorado, Iowa State, and Wisconsin.

Syracuse University men's rowing team, 1914


Syracuse Orange football, 2006

The Syracuse Orange football program is a college football team that currently represents Syracuse University as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Syracuse University football program is also renowned for producing many All-Americans and Professionals as well as Pro Football Hall of Famers. Among them are Ernie Davis, Jim Brown, Larry Csonka, Joe Morris, Art Monk, Jim Ringo, John Mackey, Doc Alexander, and Floyd Little. Among the current NFL players are Chandler Jones, Alton Robinson, Zaire Franklin, Andre Cisco, Ifeatu Melifonwu, and Riley Dixon.

Men's basketball

Syracuse Orange men's basketball (Dion Waiters)

The Syracuse Orange men's basketball program is the intercollegiate men's basketball program of Syracuse University. The program is classified in the NCAA's Division I, and the team competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Orange won the National Championship in the 2003 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball tournament. During the 2008–09, they played in, and won, a six-overtime thriller against a rival UConn team. The game was during the Big East Championship Tournament, and is the second-longest NCAA Division I basketball game of all time. Their recent success has included a trip to the 2013 Final Four and the 2016 Final Four. In the 2013–14 season they broke a record set two years prior by starting the season 25–0. The previous record was 20–0 set during the 2011–12 season. The 1917–18 and 1925–26 Syracuse teams were retroactively named the national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll.[3][4]

Women's basketball

The Syracuse Orange women's basketball program is the intercollegiate women's basketball of Syracuse University. The program is classified in the NCAA's Division I, and the team competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The head coach of the team is Felisha Legette-Jack. The team began playing in the 1971–72 season.

Women's ice hockey

In 2008, Syracuse University announced that it would sanction a women's ice hockey team and become a member of the women-only College Hockey America (CHA). The team started playing in 2008.

After the 2023–24 season, CHA merged with the men-only Atlantic Hockey Association to form Atlantic Hockey America. All members of both predecessor conferences were brought into the new league.[5]

Men's lacrosse

Syracuse Orange men's lacrosse, vs. Army, 2010

Syracuse fields a Division I NCAA college lacrosse team. Syracuse played its first intercollegiate lacrosse game in 1916, and captured its first USILL division championship in 1920. It would go on to win USILL championships in 1922, 1924, and 1925 and the USILA Division II co-national championship (Laurie Cox Trophy) in 1954. In the modern NCAA era, Syracuse has won ten national championships, with one additional championship (1990) vacated due to rules infractions. The Orange's ten national championship titles are the most of any team in NCAA Division I history. Most recently, Syracuse won the 2009 National Championship in a come-from-behind 10–9 overtime victory against Cornell University. Prior to that year, they won in 2008.


The Orange softball team began play in 2000. The team has made three NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010, 2011, 2012. The current head coach is Shannon Doepking.


Men's soccer

Syracuse Orange men's soccer team are a Division I team in the Atlantic Coast Conference and play their games at the Syracuse Soccer Stadium. Syracuse is currently coached by Ian McIntyre who has brought the team to three NCAA tournament appearances and two ACC Conference Titles in 2015 and 2022. McIntyre was named the ACC Coach of the Year in 2014 and 2022.[6]

The Orange won the National Championship in the 2022 NCAA Division I men's soccer tournament under coach Ian McIntyre.[7]

Women's soccer

Syracuse Orange is the NCAA Division I women's college soccer team for Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. They play in the Atlantic Coast Conference and play their games at the Syracuse Soccer Stadium. The team was founded in 1996.

Notable non-varsity sports


Syracuse University baseball team, the "Ball Nine" in 1888.

Syracuse's club baseball team was established in 1979 and has been successful in tournaments. The sport is currently played at the club level and the team is part of the National Club Baseball Association (NCBA).

Many students, alumni, citizens and other baseball enthusiasts in the area are in favor of an NCAA varsity team being formed on campus, but the athletic budget is a difficult barrier.[citation needed] In a September 12, 2006, story in The Daily Orange, Michael Wasylenko, chairman of the Athletic Policy Board, said Title IX and Syracuse's athletic budget is still a major crutch.

Men's ice hockey

Men's ice hockey competes at the ACHA Division I level in the ESCHL league. The team has been on campus for over 60 years. They play out of the on-campus ice rink, The Tennity Ice Pavillion


Founded in 1969, Syracuse University Rugby Football Club plays in Division 1 in the Empire Conference. Syracuse has enjoyed success, including a trip to the Division 1 sweet 16 national playoffs in 2010.[8] Syracuse has participated in international tours to Europe, Argentina and Australia.[9] Syracuse are led by head coach Bob Wilson.[10]


JMA Wireless Dome

Remodeled JMA Wireless Dome 2021

Built in 1980, the JMA Wireless Dome is a 49,250-seat domed sports stadium located on the campus of Syracuse University. It is both the largest domed stadium on a college campus and the largest domed stadium in the Northeast. It is home to the Syracuse Orange football, basketball, and lacrosse teams. With regard to basketball, it holds another title, being the largest on-campus basketball arena, with a listed capacity of 33,000. This limit has been exceeded several times. The Dome sold an on-campus NCAA record of 35,446 tickets for a game against the Duke Blue Devils on February 1, 2014. The previous record was set on February 23, 2013, against the Georgetown Hoyas, with 35,012 in the stands.

Manley Field House

Manley Field House

Built in 1962, this complex houses many of the offices of SU Athletics including the Equipment Room. It also contains academic rooms and two weight rooms strictly for Syracuse athletes only. Adjacent to the complex there are a variety of fields used for softball, soccer, field hockey, as well as a track for the track and field team. Manley was initially used as an indoor training facility for the football team, as well as a home court for men's basketball. Its seating capacity, 9,500, for basketball, at the time among the largest campus facilities in the Northeast, supported the rise to national prominence of the men's basketball program. The team shifted to the JMA Wireless Dome after the 1980 season. In the final men's basketball game played at Manley, Georgetown snapped the Orangemen's 57 game home winning streak.

Carmelo Anthony Basketball Center

The name comes from Syracuse basketball star, Carmelo Anthony, who donated $3 million to the project. Anthony played one year with the Orange, the 2002–2003 season, in which he helped the program win its only NCAA Championship. It's a college basketball practice facility located in Syracuse, New York. The facility opened September 24, 2009. Both the men's and women's basketball teams for Syracuse University use the center. The facility houses two practice courts, locker rooms and office facilities for the men's and women's basketball programs at Syracuse. It is located on the north side of Manley Field House, in between the Roy Simmons Sr. Coaches Wing and the Comstock Art Facility.[11]

Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion

Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion

Home of the NCAA Division I Syracuse University ice hockey programs playing in the College Hockey America conference. Named for donors Marilyn and Bill Tennity, the Pavilion opened in October 2000.

Drumlins Country Club

Drumlins Country Club in the 1920s

Owned by Syracuse University, the Drumlins Country Club, 800 Nottingham Road, DeWitt, New York, operates a private, 18-hole golf course; a public, 18-hole golf course; indoor tennis courts; and other facilities. The tennis courts are home of the Syracuse University's women's tennis team.[12][13]

SU Soccer Stadium

The SU Soccer Stadium is a 1,500 seat soccer-specific stadium that is home to the Syracuse Orange men's and women's soccer programs. The stadium opened in 1996 and is located behind the Manley Field House.[14] The Hookway Fields Complex is a large practice facility with seven grass practice fields for training. The complex was completed in 2004 and is located near the soccer stadium.[15]


Archbold Stadium

Archbold Stadium

Thanks to a $600,000 gift by Syracuse University trustee and Standard Oil President, John D. Archbold, what was publicized as the "Greatest Athletic Arena in America" opened in 1907. Designed to resemble the Roman Colosseum and to never become outdated, Archbold Stadium became a trademark of Syracuse football. The stadium formed a massive concrete oval, 670 feet (204 m) long and 475 feet (145 m) wide. It was 100 feet (30 m) longer and only 22 feet (7 m) thinner than the JMA Wireless Dome, and more than 6 million Orangemen football fans passed through its gates.

From 1907 until 1978, Archbold Stadium was the home of SU football. Archbold opened up with a bang when the Orange defeated Hobart 28–0. It went out in style 71 years later, with an improbable victory over second-ranked Navy 20–17. Syracuse posted a record of 265–112–50 at Archbold, and it housed many great teams. It was home of the 1915 squad, which was invited to play in the prestigious Rose Bowl and outscored its opponents 331 to 16. The 1959 team also called Archbold home en route to SU's only National Championship.

In 1978, SU fans said good-bye forever to the historic stadium. Archbold was demolished to make way for the new on-campus facility, the JMA Wireless Dome, which opened in 1980.[11]


NCAA team championships

Syracuse University has won 16 NCAA team national championships.[16]

Syracuse University crewman (1905)

Other national team championships

Below are 17 national team titles that were not bestowed by the NCAA:

  • Men's
    • Basketball (2): 1918, 1926
    • Cross-country (4): 1919, 1922, 1923, 1925
    • Football (1): 1959
    • Lacrosse (4): 1920#, 1922, 1924, 1925[20]
    • Rowing (6): 1904, 1908, 1913, 1916, 1920, 1978

* After the 1990 championship, the NCAA Committee on Infractions determined that Paul Gait had played in the 1990 championship while ineligible. Under NCAA rules, Syracuse and Paul Gait's records for that championship were vacated. The NCAA does not recognize Syracuse and Coach Roy Simmons Jr.'s 3–0 record, and Paul Gait's 7 goals, 7 assists and his participation in that championship.[21]

No title games or contemporary selections made. Retroactive selections by Helms and Premo-Porretta.

# Syracuse and Lehigh claim 1920 title based on winning their USILL divisions. No title game played. Syracuse-Lehigh game won by Lehigh.

Notable coaches, past and present

Notable athletes

Jim Brown
Larry Csonka
Gary Gait

Nicknames, mascots and colors

Orange is the official school color, adopted as such in 1890. Prior to that time, the school's colors were rose pink and pea green. In 1898, a proposition to add secondary blue color was vehemently opposed by students and alumni.[24] Orange, blue, and white are traditionally used for athletic uniforms.[25] According to an 1890 newspaper article uncovered by the Syracuse Post Standard, the orange was originally a reference to the Netherlands, which first colonized New York State.[26] It's common in upstate New York for place names to make reference to the Dutch heritage. In a similar way, the original settlement that became Albany was called Fort Orange.

The athletic nickname derives from the official color. Prior to 2004, the official nicknames of the athletic teams were the "Orangemen" and "Orangewomen." These former nicknames are still affectionately used by some fans. However, beginning with the 2004–2005 school year, the official nickname was changed to the "Orange." This revision is gender-neutral, concise, and reflects the basis of the nickname as being the school color.

Other nicknames over the years have included the "Hilltoppers," for the school's location on a hill, and the "Saltine Warriors," for a former mascot.[citation needed]


The Saltine Warrior

In 1931, a Native American warrior known as Nathan March aka: "Saltine Warrior" became the athletic mascot. The name derived from an article describing an archaeological dig on campus allegedly uncovering the artifacts of a Native American warrior.[27] The warrior was called the "Saltine Warrior" because of the abundant salt deposits in the Syracuse, New York area. The article was later revealed to be a hoax, but the mascot remained for next four decades.

In the mid-1950s, the father of a Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brother owned a cheerleading camp. He made a Saltine Warrior costume for his son to wear at Syracuse football games.[28] Thus began a nearly forty-year tradition of Lambda Chi brothers serving as the university's mascot.

In 1978, the Saltine Warrior was banned by the university as part of the national movement to eliminate Native American motifs, becoming one of the first colleges to do so. The mascot briefly morphed into a Roman warrior, but was eventually replaced unofficially in 1982 by a giant, cartoon-style Orange.[28]

Otto the Orange

The cheerleaders and mascots were at a UCA Cheerleading Camp in Tennessee that summer, and narrowed the field down to two potential names—"Opie" and "Otto." Figuring the name "Opie" would lead to the inevitable rhyme with "dopey," they settled on "Otto." Later that fall, word got out that the cheerleaders were calling the latest mascot costume Otto, and the name stuck.[29][30]

Otto the Orange was adopted by the university in 1995 as the university's official mascot, selected over a wolf and a lion also under consideration.[28]


  1. ^ "Color Palette". Syracuse University Brand Guidelines (PDF). Retrieved December 19, 2022.
  2. ^ Alandt, Anthony (2 November 2022). "The storied history of Syracuse football began well before its 1889 loss to Rochester". The Daily Orange. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  3. ^ "NCAA Division I Men's Basketball – NCAA Division I Champions". Rauzulu's Street. 2004. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  4. ^ ESPN, ed. (2009). ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. New York, NY: ESPN Books. pp. 534–38. ISBN 978-0-345-51392-2.
  5. ^ "Atlantic Hockey and College Hockey America Join to Form Atlantic Hockey America" (Press release). Atlantic Hockey America. April 30, 2024. Retrieved May 2, 2024.
  6. ^ Bambini, Cole (9 November 2022). "ACC names Syracuse's Ian McIntyre coach of the year". The Daily Orange. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  7. ^ a b Camargo, Alberto (13 December 2022). "Syracuse wins the 2022 Men's College Cup on PKs after dramatic 2-2 draw". NCAA. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  8. ^ Rugby Mag, Empire Conference Play Starts, Sep. 9, 2011,'s-di-college/1893-empire-conference-play-starts-saturday.html
  9. ^ "404 Not Found". Retrieved 2022-12-13. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  10. ^ "404 Not Found". Retrieved 2022-12-13. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  11. ^ a b (Source: SU Athletics)
  12. ^ "UpdatedTennisQF (PDF)" (PDF). Syracuse University Athletics. Retrieved 2022-12-13.
  13. ^ "Drumlins: 'A Syracuse tradition since 1926,'" Accessed: December 24, 2013.
  14. ^ "SU Soccer Stadium". Syracuse University Athletics - Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  15. ^ "Men's Soccer Facilities: HOOKWAY FIELDS". Syracuse University Athletics. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  16. ^ "Championships summary through Jan. 1, 2022" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-03-20. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  17. ^ "Syracuse wins first Cross Country title in 64 years". National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 2015-11-22.
  18. ^ Smith, Connor; Shay, Nolan (21 November 2020). "'ZERO TO HERO': An oral history of Syracuse cross country's 2015 national title". The Daily Orange. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  19. ^ "Syracuse tops UNC, claims national title". National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 2015-11-22.
  20. ^ 2014 Syracuse Orange Lacrosse Media Guide. Syracuse University. 2014. pp. 110–111. Archived from the original on 2014-12-08. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
  21. ^ " – The Official Website of NCAA Championships". Retrieved 2013-08-30.
  22. ^ Kirst, Sean (2013-07-18). "Amid renewed dreams of Syracuse University baseball, a drive to honor an Orange coaching legend". syracuse. Retrieved 2022-12-13.
  23. ^ admin. "Ted Kleinhans – Society for American Baseball Research". Retrieved 2022-12-13.
  24. ^ Croyle, Johnathan (16 March 2023). "SU blues? How Syracuse University students, alumni pushed to keep school orange only". Retrieved 17 March 2023. (subscription required)
  25. ^ "THE SYRACUSE ORANGE". Syracuse Orange Athletics Department. March 10, 2006. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  26. ^ "Origins of Orange: Colors, nicknames and mascots of Syracuse sports over the years (from the archive)". syracuse. May 31, 2004.
  27. ^ "History of Syracuse University". Archived from the original on February 11, 2009.
  28. ^ a b c "Campus Traditions". Archived from the original on November 7, 2008.
  29. ^ "Syracuse University Athletics - SU's Mascot". Retrieved 2013-08-30.
  30. ^ "Letter to the editor: 'Otto the Orange' coined in 1992". Archived from the original on December 3, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2007.

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