It was 100 years ago this year that Ohio State established its athletic department, and joined competitive collegiate athletics by becoming a member of the Western Conference that later became the Big Ten Conference. In 1912, Ohio State initiated its athletics program by establishing teams in baseball, men’s basketball, football, men’s golf, men’s gymnastics, men’s tennis, men’s track & field, men’s cross country, and wrestling.
In 1937 the Buckeyes added additional men’s teams in lacrosse, soccer and swimming. They then further expanded men’s sports in 1962 with hockey and volleyball. These men’s sports have all evolved into the nationally competitive sports that we enjoy today, attracting millions of fans each year to watch and cheer for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State added their first women’s sport in 1937 with the women’s golf team. The women’s programs were further expanded in 1962 with basketball , field hockey, gymnastics, softball, swimming & diving, synchronized swimming, tennis, track, and volleyball. In 1987 hockey, lacrosse, rowing and soccer were added for women.
Ohio State also made coed sports available. In 1937 fencing and rifle teams were added to the athletic list, followed by the pistol team in 1987.
All of these sports are nationally competitive, and all of them have brought positive recognition to Ohio State.
The celebration of 100 years of athletic competition will be kicked off next month. On May 3rd, the Centennial Celebration Kickoff will be held at the Schottenstein Center. According to the Ohio State's official athletic website:
"Buckeye legends from many of Ohio State's 36 varsity sports will be featured at the Centennial Celebration Kickoff, including Archie Griffin (football), Cathy (Kraztzert) Gerring (women's golf), Chuck Csuri (football), Laura Davis Johnson (women's volleyball), Linda Lichter-Witter (synchronized swimming), Susan Gottlieb-Korthals (women's swimming), Tommy Rowlands (wrestling), Stephanie Hightower (women's track and field), Ray Shoup (baseball), Paul Hartman (men's lacrosse, soccer, gymnastics) and Steven Kehoe (men's volleyball)."
Fans can continue celebrating on May 5th by attending Ohio State's home baseball game against Northwestern, followed by a softball double-header against Iowa.
Other celebrations will occur in May, and then continue throughout the 2012-2013 seasons. Go to Ohio State's official centennial website for details on the celebrations and on how you can participate.
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