|Conference||Pac-12 Conference (primary)|
America East (field hockey)
Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (men's gymnastics, men's volleyball, water polo, fencing)
CSA (women’s squash)
|NCAA||Division I (FBS)|
|Athletic director||Bernard Muir|
|Football stadium||Stanford Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Maples Pavilion|
|Baseball stadium||Klein Field at Sunken Diamond|
|Softball stadium||Smith Family Stadium|
|Soccer stadium||Maloney Field at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium|
|Aquatics center||Avery Aquatic Center|
|Rowing venue||Arrillaga Family Rowing and Sailing Center|
|Sailing venue||Arrillaga Family Rowing and Sailing Center|
|Tennis venue||Taube Tennis Center|
|Mascot||Stanford Tree (unofficial)|
|Colors||Cardinal and white|
The Stanford Cardinal are the athletic teams that represent Stanford University. As of June, 2022, Stanford's program has won 131 NCAA team championships. Stanford has won at least one NCAA team championship each academic year for 46 consecutive years, starting in 1976–77 and continuing through 2021–22. Stanford won 25 consecutive NACDA Directors' Cups, from 1994-95 through 2018–19, awarded annually to the most successful overall college sports program in the nation. 177 Stanford-affiliated athletes have won a total of 296 Summer Olympic medals (150 gold, 79 silver, 67 bronze), including 26 medals at the 2020 Tokyo games. Stanford's teams compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for college football) level as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, along with other schools from the western third of the United States.
Nickname and mascot history
Following Stanford's win over California in the first-ever Big Game on March 19, 1892, the team was metonymically referred to as the "Cardinal" by sportswriters in the next day's San Francisco Chronicle. The university's athletic teams continued to be referred to as the "Cardinal" or "Cardinals" even after the adoption of the "Indians" name.
On November 25, 1930, following a unanimous vote by the Executive Committee for the Associated Students, the athletic department adopted the mascot "Indian".
On March 3, 1972, a few months after the football team's second straight win in the Rose Bowl, the Indian symbol and name were dropped by Stanford president Richard Lyman after objections from Native American students and a vote by the student senate.
From 1972 to 1981, the official nickname returned to "Cardinals," a reference to the color, not the bird. During the 1970s, a number of suggestions were put forth as possible nicknames: Robber Barons (a sly reference to Leland Stanford's history), Sequoias, Trees, Railroaders, Spikes, Huns and Griffins. The last suggestion gained enough momentum to prompt the athletics department to move two griffin statues from the site of the former Stanford Home for Convalescent Children to near the athletic facilities.
Stanford has no official mascot, but the Stanford Tree, a member of the Stanford Band wearing a self-designed tree costume, appears at major Stanford sports events. The Tree is based on El Palo Alto, a redwood tree in neighboring Palo Alto that appears in the Stanford seal and athletics logo.
|Men's sports||Women's sports|
|Cross country||Cross country|
|Swimming & diving||Rowing lightweight|
|Track and field†||Softball|
|Water polo||Swimming & diving|
|Track and field†|
|Fencing · Sailing|
|† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor|
Stanford University sponsors 36 varsity sports teams — 15 men's, 20 women's, and two coed sports — competing primarily in the NCAA Division I and the Pac-12 Conference. The rowing program competes in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association, the men's and women's gymnastics, men's volleyball, men's and women's water polo, and women's lacrosse all compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, the field hockey program competes in the America East Conference, sailing in the Intercollegiate Sailing Association, squash program in the College Squash Association, and the synchro program in the USA Synchro.
In July 2020, due to increased financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanford Athletics announced they will be eliminating 11 varsity teams after the conclusion of the 2020–2021 academic year: men's and women's fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men's rowing, co-ed and women's sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, men's volleyball and wrestling. These planned cuts were canceled in May 2021.
The men's golf team has won nine NCAA Championships: 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942 (co-champions), 1946, 1953, 1994, 2007, 2019. They have crowned three individual national champions: Sandy Tatum (1942), Tiger Woods (1996), and Cameron Wilson (2014). They have won 11 Pac-12 Conference championships: 1960, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1977 (south), 1992, 1994, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019. Other notable players include Tom Watson, Bob Rosburg, NFL quarterback John Brodie, and Notah Begay III.
In 1971 Shelley Hamlin won the women's national intercollegiate individual golf championship (an event conducted by the Division of Girls' and Women's Sports, which evolved into the current NCAA women's golf championship). In 2015, Stanford won the team title in the first match play championship. In 2021, Rachel Heck won the NCAA individual title. In 2022, Rose Zhang won the NCAA individual title, and Stanford won the team title.
Stanford Sailing has won the 1997 Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Team Race Championship, the ICSA Men's Singlehanded Championship in 1963, 1967, and 2006, and the ICSA Women's Singlehanded Championship in 2000 and 2018.
In March 2019, John Vandemoer, Stanford University's head sailing coach for 11 years, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering for accepting bribes in the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal, to hold open admission spots at the university for three applicants falsely portrayed as competitive sailors, in exchange for $770,000 in payments to the sailing program. Unlike others indicted in the scheme, he did not personally benefit financially. The university fired Vandemoer. Clinton Hayes was appointed interim head coach.
The Cardinal have appeared in the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament 14 times since their inaugural season in 1973, including 11 times in the 20 seasons from 1997 to 2016. They have seven appearances in the College Cup, including winning the 2015, 2016, and 2017 national championships.
The Cardinal softball team has appeared in two Women's College World Series, in 2001 and 2004. The Cardinal program was the co-champions of the PAC-10 conference in 2005, which is their only conference championship. The current head softball coach of the Stanford program is Jessica Allister.
The Cardinal have won 17 NCAA Men's tennis championships: 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981,1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000.
The Cardinal have won 20 of the 38 NCAA Women's tennis championships that have taken place: 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2018, and 2019. Stanford has won more than half of all the NCAA women's tennis championships that have been held, and this has been true in every year except 1983, 1985, 2015, and 2017, when Stanford had won exactly half. Donna Rubin won the deciding doubles match which secured the 1978 AIAW championships, and in 1980 she was named an All-American.
The Cardinal have won 9 NCAA Women's volleyball national championships: in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2016, 2018 and 2019. Stanford appeared in the first 39 NCAA tournaments, failing to qualify for the postseason for the first time during the 2020-21 season. Only Penn State has appeared in more. Stanford has won 9 NCAA championships, the most of any team, and has appeared in 17 championship games, more than any other team.
The Stanford Wrestling team is coached by Rob Koll, replacing Jason Borelli after he took the head coaching job at American University in 2021. In his 13 years as head coach, Borelli led the Cardinal to 122 dual wins, making him Stanford's winningest coach. The Cardinal wrestlers practice in the Weintz Family Wrestling Room, and compete on campus at Burnham Pavilion, with a capacity of about 1,400. The Cardinal Wrestling team have placed in the top 20 at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in 1967 (13th), 2004 (19th), 2008 (19th), 2011 (11th), and 2012 (16th). The team finished third in the Pacific Coast Conference placings in 1933 and 1935, second in the AAWU in 1965, third in the Pacific-10 Conference in 1985 and 1986 second in the Pac-10 in 2008, and third in the Pac-12 in 2012.
Stanford has two national champions in its history: Matt Gentry at 157 pounds in 2004 and Shane Griffith at 165 pounds in 2021.
Stanford's wrestling program was one of the eleven the school planned on eliminating after the 2020-21 season. In response, the team wore solid black singlets without the school logo. Wrestling fans also led a movement to keep the program afloat before the school reversed its decision.
Notable non-varsity sports
Stanford has fielded a college rugby team since 1906, and replaced football entirely until 1917. Stanford achieved one of the most surprising victories of American rugby's early history by beating a touring Australian club team in 1912. Rugby remained a varsity sport at Stanford until 1977. Despite the loss of varsity status, the Stanford Rugby Foundation covers many of the team's expenses from an endowment fund. Rugby is one of the largest sports programs on campus with over 100 players. Stanford Rugby is led by Director of Rugby Matt Sherman, who has served as an assistant coach for the U.S. men's national team.
From 1996 to 1998 Stanford reached the national semifinals in three consecutive years, finishing second in 1998. During the 2010–11 season, Stanford was champion of the Northern California conference, reached the national quarterfinals, and finished the season ranked 4th in D1-AA rugby. Following the 2011–12 season, Stanford were promoted to Division 1-A and played in the California conference, but have since returned to Division 1-AA and now play in the Pacific Western conference. Stanford won the Pacific Western conference in 2014, earning a berth in the D1-AA national playoffs, where they defeated Oregon 24–12 at home in front of a strong crowd, before losing to Arizona 27–24 in the quarterfinals.
NCAA team championships
- Men's (69)
- Baseball (2): 1987, 1988
- Basketball (1): 1942
- Cross country (4): 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003
- Golf † (9): 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1953, 1994, 2007, 2019
- Gymnastics (8): 1992, 1993, 1995, 2009, 2011, 2019, 2021, 2022
- Outdoor track & field (4): 1925 (unofficial), 1928, 1934, 2000
- Soccer (3): 2015, 2016, 2017
- Swimming (8): 1967, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998
- Tennis (17): 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000
- Volleyball (2): 1997, 2010
- Water polo (11): 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2002, 2019
- Women's (62)
- Basketball (3): 1990, 1992, 2021
- Cross country (5): 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007
- Golf (2): 2015, 2022
- Rowing (1): 2009
- Soccer (3): 2011, 2017, 2019
- Swimming (11): 1983, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2017, 2018, 2019
- Tennis (20): 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019
- Volleyball (9): 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2016, 2018, 2019
- Water polo (8): 2002, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2022
- † The NCAA started sponsoring the intercollegiate golf championship in 1939, but it retained the titles from the 41 championships previously conferred by the National Intercollegiate Golf Association in its records.
Other national team championships
Below are 39 national team titles in NCAA sports that were not bestowed by the NCAA:
- Men's (17)
- Women's (22)
- ‡ Unofficial by virtue of winning both the collegiate individual and doubles crowns of the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association
Below are 42 national team titles won by Stanford varsity and club sports teams at the highest collegiate levels in non-NCAA sports:
- Men's (5)
- Rugby (1) (Div. II): 2002
- Sailing, offshore large boats (2): 1967, 1968
- Ultimate (2): 1984, 2002
- Women's (24)
- Archery (2) (recurve): 2006, 2007
- Rugby (4): 1999, 2005, 2006, 2008
- Synchronized swimming (9): 1998, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2016, 2021 (USA Synchro collegiate championships)
- Table tennis (1): 2006
- Ultimate (8): 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2016
- Combined (13)
- Badminton (3): 1997, 1998, 1999
- Canoe/Kayak (4) (flatwater): 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
- Cycling (4) (road): 1995, 1996, 1997, 2007
- Sailing (1) (team race): 1997 (ICSA)
- Taekwondo (1): 2013
Consecutive years winning NCAA team championships
Stanford has won at least one NCAA team championship each academic year for 46 consecutive years, starting in 1976-77 and continuing through 2021–22. This is the longest such streak in NCAA history. The second-longest NCAA championship streak ever was 19 years, achieved by USC from 1959-60 through 1977-78. As of June, 2022, the second-longest active streak is four years.
The most NCAA team championships Stanford has won in a single year is six in 1996-97 (men's and women's cross-country, men's and women's tennis, and men's and women's volleyball) and again in 2018-19 (men's golf and gymnastics and women's volleyball, swimming, tennis and water polo). Stanford has won five NCAA team championships in a year three times (1991–92, 1994–95, and 1997–98). In the 2019-2020 academic year, when collegiate athletics were cut short because of COVID, only seven NCAA team championships were held, all in fall sports, and Stanford won three of them.
Stanford has won two NCAA team championships in a single day three times: in men's and women's cross-country on November 25, 1996; in men's and women's cross-country on November 24, 2003; and in men's water polo and women's soccer on December 8, 2019.
NCAA individual championships
Stanford athletes have won 529 NCAA individual championships as of January 1, 2022.
Stanford's 529 individual championships are the most individual championships won by any school in NCAA Division I. No other Division I school is within 100 of Stanford's total.
Stanford won the NACDA Directors' Cup in 25 consecutive academic years, from 1994-95 through 2018-19. Stanford was the runner-up in 1993-94 and 2020–21, the other two years the Directors' Cup has been awarded.
The Directors' Cup recognizes the most successful overall sports program in NCAA Division I. It is awarded annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). The Directors' Cup rewards broad-based success in both men's and women's college sports. Points are awarded based on post-season success in NCAA-sponsored sports.
Stanford finished second in the first Directors' Cup competition in 1993–94, behind North Carolina. Stanford won its first Directors' Cup the following year, 1994–95. From 1994-95 through 2018-19, Stanford won 25 Directors' Cups in a row. When the Directors' Cup was next awarded, in 2020-21, Stanford finished second, behind Texas.
- Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation — Fencing, squash
- Arrillaga Family Rowing and Sailing Center — Men's and women's rowing, Women's lightweight rowing, sailing
- Avery Aquatic Center — Men's and women's swimming and diving, women's synchronized swimming, men's and women's water polo
- Burnham Pavilion — Men's and women's gymnastics, wrestling
- Cobb Track and Angell Field — Men's and women's track and field
- Klein Field at Sunken Diamond — Baseball
- Maloney Field at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium — Men's and women's soccer, women's lacrosse
- Maples Pavilion — Men's and women's basketball, men's and women's volleyball
- Red Barn — Equestrian
- Smith Family Stadium — Softball
- Stanford Beach Volleyball Stadium — Beach volleyball
- Stanford Golf Course — Men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf
- Stanford Stadium — Football
- Taube Tennis Center — Men's and women's tennis
- Varsity Field Hockey Turf — Women's field hockey
Stanford athletes have traditionally been very well represented at the Summer Olympics. 175 Stanford-affiliated athletes have won a total of 296 Summer Olympic medals (150 gold, 79 silver, 67 bronze). In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Stanford sent 47 current or former student athletes, 32 of whom competed for the United States, 14 for other countries, and one as a coach for the United States softball team. In all, Stanford athletes won 25 medals: For the 2012 London Olympics, 39 athletes were from Stanford and 26 represented Team USA. Stanford athletes won 27 medals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games and 26 medals at the 2020 Tokyo games.
Stanford does not compete at the varsity level in any events contested at the Winter Olympics. Stanford students and alums who have won Winter Olympic medals include John Coyle, Eileen Gu, Eric Heiden, Sami Jo Small, and Debi Thomas.
Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame
The Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame was established on December 21, 1954. Envisioned by Walt Gamage, sports editor of the now-defunct Palo Alto Times, the first class of inductees consisted of 34 Stanford sports greats. New members are inducted annually and are recognized during halftime of a home Stanford football game. The Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame Room is located on the first floor of the Arrillaga Family Sports Center on the Stanford campus.
- "What is the history of Stanford's mascot and nickname?". Stanford Athletics. July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
- "Stanford Identity Toolkit: Color". Retrieved May 7, 2017.
- "Olympic Medal History". Stanford University Athletics. Archived from the original on August 15, 2021.
- "TOKYO CENTRAL". Stanford University. Archived from the original on August 8, 2021.
- "Palo Alto On Top — Stanford Downs Berkeley at Football — The Blue and Gold Bow to the Cardinal — The Winners Paint the Town With Their Own Peculiar Color". San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco. March 20, 1892. p. 24. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
- Written at New York. "Minnesota Gains Favor as A.P. Coaches' Poll Goes On". St. Cloud Times'. Saint cloud, Minnesota. Associated Press. November 15, 1934. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
Ranked second by the experts were Stanford's Cardinals with 468 points
- "Indian Symbol To Replace 'Cardinal;' Considered More Appropriate". The Stanford Daily. November 26, 1930. Retrieved September 8, 2022.
- "Indians are no more as Stanford name". Lodi News-Sentinel. (California). UPI. March 4, 1972. p. 8.
- Wascher, Jim (March 3, 1972). "Senate abolishes mascot". The Stanford Daily. (California). p. 10.
- "Stanford vote favors 'Robber Barons' tag". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. December 5, 1975. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
- Chesley, Kate (27 June 2018). "The Stanford griffins return to public view". Stanford News. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
- Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Drell, Persis; Muir, Bernard (8 July 2020). "An open letter to the Stanford community and the Stanford Athletics family" (Press release). Stanford News. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
- University, Stanford (2020-07-08). "Stanford Athletics varsity sport reductions: FAQ". Stanford News. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
- "Stanford eliminates 11 varsity sports in the face of mounting deficit, pandemic impact". The Mercury News. 2020-07-08. Retrieved 2020-07-08.
- Harrish, Kevin (2021-05-18). "Stanford Reverses Decision, Will Not Cut Any Varsity Sports". Eleven Warriors. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
- Rubin, Jeremy (2021-05-18). "Stanford to reinstate all 11 discontinued varsity sports". Stanford Daily. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
- The NCAA started sponsoring the intercollegiate golf championship in 1939, but it retained the titles from the 41 championships previously conferred by the National Intercollegiate Golf Association in its records.
- "Stanford 2012–13 Men's Golf" (PDF). Retrieved June 26, 2013.
- "Stackhouse gives Stanford its first NCAA women's golf title". ESPN. Associated Press. May 28, 2015.
- "Stanford freshman Rachel Heck 'at a loss for words' after winning women's NCAA individual golf title". ESPN. Associated Press. May 24, 2021.
- "Simply Dominant". Stanford University Athletics. May 25, 2022.
- "Stanford Sailing History". Stanford University Athletics.
- "Stanford coach pleads guilty in massive college admissions fraud case". March 12, 2019.
- Witz, Billy (September 27, 2021). "A Cog in the College Admissions Scandal Speaks Out". The New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
- "Stanford: Third student with 'fabricated sailing credentials' surfaces". March 14, 2019.
- "Plot thickens for Stanford sailing scandal >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News". Scuttlebutt Sailing News. March 15, 2019.
- "Men's Tennis History". Go Stanford. Stanford University.
- "Women's Tennis Championship History". NCAA. NCAA.
- "Stanford storms back to win 18th NCAA women's tennis championship". The Mercury News. The Mercury News.
- Friedman, Charles (13 November 1983). "Rye Tennis Player Tries For Comeback". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2022-03-14.
- Cribari, Guido (July 10, 1980). "Rubin serves up some week!". The Herald Statesman.
- "Wisconsin women nab 1-seed in volleyball tourney". ESPN.com. 2021-04-04. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
- Wallach, Jordan. "Fantastic Fours". Stanford Daily. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- "Stanford Women's Volleyball History". GoStanford.com. Stanford Athletics. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- "Year-By-Year Results". GoStanford.com. Stanford Athletics. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- "US Wrestling" (PDF). Stanford Athletics. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- "US Wrestling Head Coach". Stanford Athletics. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
- Unmack, William (October 17, 1912). "Stanford defeats the Australian team, 13 to 12: Cardinal cuts loose and plays open game, beating them on their own style". This is American Rugby. The San Francisco Call.
- Stanford Rugby, Foundation, http://www.stanfordrugby.org/
- Stanford Men's Rugby, Coaches, http://mrugby.stanford.edu/coaches
- College Premier Division
- Rugby Mag, Final Men's D1 College Top 25, 2010/2011, May 17, 2011, "Final Men's DI College Top 25, 2010/2011". Archived from the original on 2013-06-17. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- "Stanford Down Ducks 24-12 - Onto Elite 8 vs. Arizona", Stanford Men's Rugby, May 4, 2014.
- "Combined Championships Summary" (PDF). Retrieved May 22, 2018.
- Scott, Jon (Nov 9, 2010). "The truth behind the Helms Committee". Retrieved 2015-12-14.
- ESPN, ed. (2009). ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. New York, NY: ESPN Books. p. 545. ISBN 978-0-345-51392-2.
- Stanford's 1926 football team won the Rissman Trophy as the national champion of one contemporary selector, the Dickinson System, and also was ranked #1 by three retroactive selectors, the Helms Athletic Foundation, the National Championship Foundation, and Jeff Sagarin,
- Stanford's 1940 team was ranked #1 by one contemporary selector, the Poling System, and by two retroactive selectors, Helms Athletic Foundation and Billingsley Report.
- "STANFORD ATHLETICS HOME OF CHAMPIONS". Stanford University. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
- "The Road to Victory". Stanford Magazine. 15 April 2021. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
- "Championships Summary" (PDF). NCAA website. Retrieved April 17, 2022.
- "2014-15 Year in Review". Stanford Athletics website. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- "Learfield Sports Directors Cup". NACDA website. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Directors' Cup Runner-Up". Stanford Athletics website. July 2, 2021. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
- "Stanford Olympic Medalists by Olympiad". Stanford Athletics website. Archived from the original on December 19, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2008.
- "Stanford Well-Represented at Upcoming Summer Olympics". Stanford Athletics website. July 16, 2008. Retrieved August 25, 2008.
- "Stanford Medal Count". Stanford Athletics website. Retrieved August 25, 2008.
- "Stanford Olympic Medalists From London". Stanford University. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- "Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame". Stanford Athletics website. Retrieved August 15, 2018.