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Additional Facts and Figures
Intercollegiate Athletics

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Intercollegiate athletic competition involving Purdue dates to the 1880s, when the first Purdue baseball teams took on Lafayette-area clubs as well as regional foes, including Wabash College.

Football debuted in 1887. In those early days, the names hurled at opponents were nearly as fierce as the competition. Newspaper reporters who covered sports often took jabs at opposing teams.

By the early 1890s, Purdue not only was enjoying great success in football but also was becoming known as a “railroad school,” where research on the first in a succession of locomotives was beginning to establish the University as a leader in engineering teaching and research.

In 1891, sports writers picked up on the railroad theme as they chronicled the exploits of the Purdue team. Although Purdue football teams had been called by such unsavory epithets as rolling mill hands, blacksmiths, and grangers, one insult stuck. It came after Purdue defeated Wabash College 44-0 in October 1891. A headline in a newspaper in Crawfordsville, Indiana – home of Wabash – read “Wabash Snowed Completely Under by the Burly Boilermakers From Purdue.” By the next week, Lafayette papers were gleefully reporting that the Purdue team was being called boilermakers. By the next fall, the name had entered the popular lexicon.

Purdue offers 18 varsity sports with teams and individuals competing in the Big Ten Conference and at the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The aim of this program is to enable qualified undergraduates to engage in competition at the highest level. The responsibility for enforcing the association’s rules as well as those defined by Purdue is placed by the University jointly upon the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Faculty Athletic Affairs Committee.

Purdue has four revenue sports: football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and volleyball. The football team has been to five bowl games in the last five years, not missing a postseason appearance since the arrival of head coach Joe Tiller for the 1997 season.

The Boilermaker men’s and women’s basketball teams have won nine of the 18 Big Ten titles from 1994 to 2002. By winning the NCAA title in 1999, the women made conference history by becoming the first Big Ten team to win a national championship. The women, whose seven conference titles have come within the last 12 years, have won the last two back-to-back. The men continue to lead the Big Ten in overall titles with 21.

Intercollegiate Athletics Facilities

The 14,123-seat Mackey Arena is the site for men’s and women’s basketball. Volleyball matches are held in the 1,696-seat Intercollegiate Athletic Facility, which also is home for wrestling. Lambert Fieldhouse accommodates indoor track and field. The new Boilermaker Aquatics Center, the home of intercollegiate, recreational, and educational swimming, was dedicated in October 2001.

Among the outdoor facilities are the 66,000-seat Ross-Ade Stadium; Rankin Track and Field; Lambert Field (baseball); the Varsity Softball Complex; the Varsity Soccer Complex; the Varsity Courts (tennis); the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, including the Ackerman and Pete Dye-designed Kampen golf courses; and two football practice fields. The Mollenkopf Athletic Center contains a full indoor practice football field and a 14,000-square-foot weight/strength room. It is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the nation.

School Colors
   Old Gold and Black

Athletics Director
   Morgan Burke

Sports and Head Coaches

Men’s Sports

Baseball — Doug Schreiber
Basketball — Gene Keady
Cross Country — Mike Poehlein
Football — Joe Tiller
Golf — Devon Brouse
Swimming — Dan Ross
Tennis — Tim Madden
Track & Field — Lissa Olson
Wrestling — Jessie Reyes

Women’s Sports

Basketball — Kristy Curry
Cross Country — Mike Poehlein
Golf — Devon Brouse
Softball — Carol Bruggeman
Soccer — Rob Klatte
Swimming — Cathy Wright-Eger
Tennis — Mat Iandolo
Track & Field — Lissa Olson
Volleyball — Vacant

Source: Intercollegiate Athletics


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