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Happy Birthday Southern Miss!

March 30, 2010

100 Years of Southern Miss Athletics

* The University of Southern Mississippi (then State Teachers College) was founded March 30, 1910. When Southern Miss opened its doors on September 18, 1912, athletics, most notably football, must have been on the minds of both the administration and the students, because less than a month passed before the college's first football game occurred. Also during that first month, approximately 150 students organized an athletic association, with science professor Ronald J. Slay as athletic director. At the association's first meeting, held in October 1912, the schools colors of black and gold were adopted.

* Football was established during the 1912 season and the Golden Eagles have played 93 seasons on the gridiron. The school's first game was played on October 13, 1912 at Hattiesburg's Kamper Park (which would remain the football team's home until 1932) against the Hattiesburg Boy Scouts, winning 30-0.

*The Golden Eagles football program won two UPI College Division national championships during the 1958 and 1962 seasons and have captured four league titles since joining Conference USA in 1995 and also won the Gulf States Conference championship in 1948, 1950 and 1951.

* The football team reached its first postseason game in the 1953 Sun Bowl and have been to 20 postseason events in its history including in each of the last eight seasons.

* The program has enjoyed 65 winning seasons including 17 consecutive years from 1651 until 1967 and currently sports 16-straight winning seasons.

* Men's basketball started during the 1912-13 school year and has played 91 seasons on the hardwood. The 1959-60 squad finished the season with a 23-2 record and was ranked fourth in the UPI College Division poll and the 1960-61 squad finished the year 23-3 and ranked 2nd in the UPI College Division poll and 3rd in the Associated Press College Division Poll.

* Men's basketball has a national title of its own, winning the 1987 National Invitational Tournament and becoming team the first in-state Division I team to win a national basketball tournament. The program also has made two NCAA Tournament appearances in 1990 and 1991. During the 1990-91 basketball season the Golden Eagles were ranked as high as No. 9 in the nation and won the regular season championship of the metro Conference.

* Women's basketball was played for the first time during the 1912-1913 school year and continued to play until the early 1930s. The program started again for the 1975-76 season. The women's basketball team has reached NCAA Tournament play eight times including a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 1994. They won the metro Conference regular season title in 1988-89, 1992-93 and 1993-94.

* The baseball program began at Southern Miss in 1913 and competed until the early 1930s, then resumed following World War II. The baseball team reached the College World Series for the first time in the program's history during the 2009 campaign and the school's highest-ever final ranking of No. 8 nationally, by winning the Atlanta regional and the Gainesville super-regional producing the school's crowning moment. The baseball program won the regular season and post-season Conference USA tournaments in 2003 and has played in 10 NCAA regional tournaments, including the last seven seasons.

*The Lady Eagle softball has won two NCAA regional championships and appeared in the College World Series twice (1999 and 2000). The Lady Eagles have appeared in the NCAA regionals four times (1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004) and won the Conference USA regular season championship in 2000 and 2004 and the Conference USA Tournament championship in 2000 and 2001.

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