UCLA first to win 100 NCAA team championships
It took the power of the Bruin women's water polo team to propel UCLA into history as the first school to win 100 NCAA team championships. On Sunday, May 13, the team clinched its eighth NCAA title, with a 9-4 win over Stanford.
The history-making victory burnished the legacy of UCLA as an unparalleled sports powerhouse.
"Reaching 100 team championships is a testament to the outstanding abilities of our student-athletes and their coaches," said Chancellor Norman Abrams. "We salute them and the dedicated fans who have supported them over the years, and we celebrate the teamwork that is the hallmark of UCLA athletics and our strong tradition of combining excellence in athletics with excellence in academics."
A First To 100 Rally to celebrate the milestone and another sports triumph, the winning of the 2007 Lexus Gauntlet trophy in the annual head-to-head challenge with crosstown rival USC, will be held Tuesday, May 15, 11:30 a.m. at Spaulding Field, just west of Pauley Pavilion.
UCLA has won 70 NCAA championships in men's sports and 30 in women's sports; 16 different programs — nine men and seven women — have won at least one NCAA team championship. In the 26 years that the NCAA has awarded both men's and women's championships, UCLA has won 60 NCAA team titles (30 men's and 30 women's), including at least one in 24 of those 26 years.
"To be the first school to win 100 NCAA team championships is a great tribute to all of the outstanding student-athletes, coaches and support staff who call UCLA home," said Dan Guerrero, director of athletics. "UCLA has a rich athletic history and it is important to remember and celebrate those who built the foundation and earned the early championships as well as those who have contributed to the recent successes."
UCLA will celebrate the 100 NCAA championships throughout 2007-08 with presentations of former-student athletes and coaches representing the championship teams at various athletic events, including football and men's basketball. In addition, fans will notice Bruins will be wearing a special "First to 100" logo on their sport uniforms.
The first NCAA team title came in 1950 in men's tennis. In fact, seven of UCLA's first eight titles were in men's tennis, the other coming in men's track and field.
But the NCAA title explosion began in 1964. In the ensuing six years, it won seven more NCAA championships, including five in men's basketball. In each of the next three years — 1969-70 through 1971-72, UCLA won four team championships — and added three more in 1972-73. In that four-year span, the Bruins won four titles in basketball, three each in men's water polo, men's volleyball and men's track and field and two in men's tennis. As the 1980s began, UCLA added 39 more NCAA team championships. In 1981-82, the NCAA began awarding championships in women's sports in addition to men's and UCLA's successful women's program began contributing to the title count. That first year, UCLA won five NCAA titles, three in men's sports and two in women's sports. By the beginning of 1989-90, UCLA increased its total of championships to 62, giving the school 23 in the previous decade. By the end of the 1998-99 school year, the total had increased to 79. Since the start of 1999-2000, UCLA has captured 21 championships, pushing the total to 100.
"Our mission at UCLA is to provide our coaches and student-athletes with the resources necessary for success and to have a broad-based program that is nationally competitive in every sport. In the last five years (2002-03 through 2006-07), our coaches and student-athletes have won 14 NCAA championships in nine different sports (as of May 13) and have finished in the Top Five in numerous others. We will continue to strive for success in all of our sport programs."
Read more at UCLA Athletics.