CM – BYU Cougars: History of the National Team Championships


PROVO, Utah – Since Brigham Young University was founded in 1922, BYU Cougars’ sports programs have won 11 national championships in their history.

BYU has a total of 10 national championships of NCAA events. The 1984 national soccer championship was not an « NCAA title ». It was a national championship that was awarded by the Associated Press and Coaches poll at the time.

BYU’s 10 national NCAA championships are with Alabama, the state of Florida, Harvard, Old Dominion, the state of San Jose and the State of Wayne, Michigan.

For individual sports, BYU athletes have won 76 national individual championships over the years. 31 of the 76 national individual championships come from the men’s outdoor track.

The controversial BYU national soccer championship from 1984 remains an issue in college football to this day. After an unbeaten 13-0 season, the pollsters gave BYU the national title. The Cougars and the Holiday Bowl did everything they could to land the best possible bowl game and achieve a « National Championship » style of play in this polling era.

On that day 36 years ago, @BYUfootball opened the 1984 season with an angry win in Pittsburgh between 20 and 14. It was the first live college football game to air on ESPN. #KSLSportsArchive #BYU

Instead of Tennessee, Washington, South Carolina or anyone with a better record, BYU was left with 6-5 Michigan. BYU won that game and was at the top of the polls weeks later to win the national championship.

The first national championship of a women’s team at BYU came in 1997, when the cross-country team beat the Stanford powerhouse 100-102. Stanford was the defending national champion and took part in the country’s No. 1 team in the Cross Country Championships.

BYU was the best program in the country in 1999. They went into the national championship round with a 29: 1 record. The only loss was to Long Beach State. BYU had to beat The Beach at the historic Pauley Pavilion in Natty to win the first national title in men’s volleyball.

Coach Patrick Shane built a powerhouse and showed that the 1997 title was no accident. BYU dominated 1999 to claim their second national title in three years.

A rare win over UCLA ended BYU’s memorable 2001 season with a national championship at the Pyramid of Long Beach. It was only BYU’s seventh win against UCLA since 1990.

For the first time in BYU sports history, the Cougars produced a consecutive national championship program.

BYU won the last two sets of a thriller by five Sets against Long Beach State. This was the first national championship for head coach Tom Peterson, who had previously led Penn State to the title in 1994. Peterson was the first men’s volleyball coach to lead two different programs to national championships.

This is the first team national championship for a BYU program under Sporting Director Tom Holmoe (since 2004). BYU defeated rivals and strong favorites Northern Arizona with 54 points (163-109) to claim the title.

Mitch Harper is BYU Insider for and moderator of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday ( Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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