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December 2010: Volume 29, Number 3

Centennial Perspectives: Forward Falcons! | Bibliography of BGSU Athletics | Archival Chronicle Index | CAC Homepage

Centennial Perspectives:
One Hundred Years of Falcon Athletics at BGSU

This issue of the Archival Chronicle gives a brief overview of athletics at Bowling Green State University over the past one hundred years.  These are just a few of the outstanding athletes, coaches, and supporters who have made the program great.  Inevitably, many names will be missed in a brief article like this. Interested researchers are encouraged to see the accompanying bibliography and to browse the BGSU website for more information. The photographs in this issue are found in the University Archives.

College Athletics: Good-will Ambassadors

Men's Varsity Sports: A Small Selection

(Above) Suited up for football in the 1940s meant less padding than it does today.

(Below) Baseball action in the 1980s.

(Above)  Don Otten towers over teammates Knierim, Dudkley, Kubiak, and Inman. 

(Below) Javelin throwers on the track team, about 1935.Action in baseball, 1980s .

Women's Athletics: The Early Decades

(Above) Field Hockey, 1925 

(At right)  Bicycling as a healthy pursuit.

(At left) Hiking was among the sports available to women during the 1920s.

Archery was for women, too.

Cheerleaders through the Years

Cheerleaders Then...

Above left, cheerleaders Esther Russell, Leo Lake, and Frances Kurz were responsible for building excitement in the crowd. Above right,  male cheerleaders Halberg, Galanka and Yoder practice their moves.

Spirit Now...

(Above left) The BGSU Pommerettes helped build spirit, performing at half-time of basketball games.  In 1997, they became the BGSU Dance Team.

(Above right) Today, the BGSU Cheerleaders currently cheer for all men's and women's basketball games and football games as well as making appearances at many other campus functions.  Stunting and gymnastics play a major role in today's cheerleading program. In 2005 and 2006 the squad competed at NCA Nationals finishing among the top 12 schools in Division IA.  In 2007 the cheerleaders were named Ameri-Cheer Open Nationals Champions.

A Variety of Opportunities

Strength & Action

(Above) BGSU's rugby team has been a powerhouse on the national scene for years.(Right) Lacrosse combines speed and stamina.  Based on a Native American game, the sport is popular at many colleges around the country.

(Above) BGSU's softball team won the Mid American Conference Championship in 1988.

(Left)  The 1980s Falcon swimming teams built on strengths developed over decades.

Beauty and Grace

(Above) The Spur Club offered women the opportunity to compete in equestrian sports during the 1940s.  Today, the equestrian team competes in both Hunt Seat and Stock Seat events.

(Top right) The Swan Club's spring Aquacade was a highlight of the athletic season.

(Below, left) The Crew club practices rowing on the Maumee River in the early morning.

Fencing, first offered as a Women's Physical Education course, now attracts men and women alike.

Falcons on Ice

At right, the 1996-1997 BGSU Precision Skating team pose with Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton.  The Falconettes have represented BGSU at many national championships.  Declared an "honorary alumnus" in 1985, Hamilton first learned to skate in BGSU's Ice Arena.

At left, BGSU alumna Alissa Czisny has joined the ranks of the world's top figure skaters.

Other Varsity Sports

Above, the 1955 men's golf team practices putting.The 1965 Ice Hockey Team 

Below, the 1996 men's and women's Cross Country teams both won their Mid American Conference Championships.

Fun and Fitness for Everyone!

Just for Fun!

The Student Recreation Center

The Student Recreation Center is one of the most popular gathering places on campus.  Students come to meet friends and exercise away the stresses from a day of classes and study.  Above, left, is an aerobics class, and at right, the weight room where assistance is available to help students develop proper techniques.
Water polo (at left) has many enthusiastic participants and fans.

We Remember...

We Remember...

Boxing was pursued on campus during the late 1930s and 1940s.  Popular nationwide, it was not a varsity sport, yet those men who participated received some coverage in the BG News.

(Above) During World War II, men in the Navy's V-5 and V-12 program were required to complete an obstacle course as part of their physical training.

Wrestlers Al Kebl, John Ruper and Jim Hoppel in 1961 were Mid American Conference Champions.

Below, the 1974 Men's Gymnastic Team

Field hockey was a popular women's sport at BGSU from the earliest years.