Carolina's 28-Sport Program

• What is a Tar Heel?

• School Colors

• The Ram as Mascot

• Some of Carolina's Famous Alumni

• Carolina's National Athletes of The Year

• UNC's National Champions

• Tar Heel Olympians

Patterson Medal Winners


A Brief Historical Summary

• Carolina is a charter member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, competing in the league each year since the 1953-54 season. Prior to that, UNC competed in the Southern Conference.

• Carolina sponsors 28 varsity programs, including 15 women's and 13 men's sports. The most recent sports to gain varsity status were women's lacrosse in 1995-96 and rowing in 1997-98.

• The women's program began in 1971-72 for basketball, field hockey, gymnastics, tennis and volleyball.

• The Tar Heels have won 40 NCAA team championships in seven different sports, including 21 women's soccer, six field hockey, five men's basketball, four men's lacrosse, one women's lacrosse, two men's soccer and one women's basketball. In addition, the Helms Foundation declared the 1923-24 men's basketball team national champions, the women's soccer team won the AIAW national title in 1981 and the women's tennis team won the ITA indoor national tournament in 2013.

• Carolina is third in NCAA history with 29 women's team championships (only Stanford and UCLA have won more). 

• The Carolina women's soccer team has won more NCAA championships (21) than any other women's team in history. Stanford women's tennis is second with 16. Maryland's lacrosse team is the next highest ACC women's team with 10.

• Bubba Cunningham is the seventh director of athletics in Carolina history, following Robert A. Fetzer (1923-52), Chuck Erickson (1953-67), Homer Rice (1969-75), Bill Cobey (1976-80), John Swofford (1980-97) and Dick Baddour (1997-2011). Cunningham became UNC's athletics director in October 2011.

• Carolina has won 238 Atlantic Coast Conference post-season championships. Nine different sports have won 10 or more titles, including women's track and field (29), men's tennis (25), women's soccer (20), field hockey (18), men's basketball (17), men's swimming and diving (17), wrestling (17), women's swimming and diving (16) and men's golf (11).

• In 2004, Tar Heel alumni Michael Jordan (men's basketball, 1981-84) and Mia Hamm (women's soccer, 1989-93) were named the top male and female athletes, respectively, for the first 50 years of the Atlantic Coast Conference. In 2000, ESPN named Jordan the Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century, beating out Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali.

• Carolina placed 14th in the Learfield Directors Cup in 2013-14. 

• UNC's 17 Top-10 finishes are the fourth-most among all schools behind Stanford, Florida and UCLA. Three other ACC schools have combined for a total of 12 Top 10 finishes. The Tar Heels have finished either first or second among ACC schools 18 times in 20 years. UNC won the first-ever Directors Cup in 1994. Carolina is the only school other than Stanford to win the all-sports competition.

• Carolina has averaged a sixth-place finish in the 20-year history of the Directors Cup. In addition to winning it in 1994, UNC has finished second four times (1995, 1997, 1998 and 2009). No other ACC school has ever finished in the top two places.

• Sixteen (16) of Carolina's 21 current head coaches have won ACC Coach of the Year honors (three of the four other head coaches who compete in the ACC are in either their first or second season at UNC). Eight current coaches have won National Coach of the Year honors, including Roy Williams (men's basketball, seven times), Anson Dorrance (women's soccer, six), Karen Shelton (field hockey, five), Sylvia Hatchell (women's basketball, three), Brian Kalbas (women's tennis, twice), Mike Fox (baseball), Carlos Somoano (men's soccer) and Jenny Levy (women's lacrosse).

• Carolina men's basketball has played in the NCAA Final Four more times (18) than any other program in the nation. The Tar Heels are third all-time in wins, second in NCAA Tournament history in appearances and wins and tied for third in national championships.

• Carolina men's basketball has produced 11 National Players of the Year, including Phil Ford, Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Antawn Jamison, Sean May and Tyler Hansbrough. There are nine former Tar Heel players and coaches enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

• Dean Smith retired in 1997 as the winningest basketball coach in Division I history (879 wins). Smith led Carolina to two NCAA championships, 11 Final Fours, 13 ACC Tournament titles, 30 20-win seasons, 17 ACC first-place finishes and 23 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and graduated more than 95 percent of lettermen. He also led the United States to an Olympic gold medal in 1976.

• Men's basketball coach Roy Williams is a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame. He has led UNC to two national championships, six ACC regular-season titles and 10 straight 20-win seasons. He has the sixth-best winning percentage in the history of college basketball and was named the Coach of the Decade for the 2000s by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News.

• Women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell is the nation's winningest active coach and second all-time with 900-plus wins. A 2013 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Hatchell led UNC to the 1994 national championship and eight ACC titles. In Hatchell and Williams, UNC is the only school in the nation to have both its current basketball coaches be members of the Naismith Hall of Fame.

• Carolina football has produced more 1,000-yard running backs than any school in the ACC, including in 2011 and 2012 by Giovani Bernard.

• Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice is one of the most famous UNC football players, leading Carolina to post-World War II appearances in the Sugar and Cotton Bowls. He won the Maxwell Award as the nation's best player in 1948 and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1948 and 1949. Defensive end Julius Peppers won the Lombardi Award as best lineman and the Bednarik Award as the best defensive player in 2001.

• Carolina football has played in 29 bowl games, won five ACC titles (1963, 1971, 1972, 1977 and 1980) and finished in the Associated Press Top 10 seven times.

• Carolina became the first ACC school to play in the College World Series in four consecutive years (2006-07-08-09).

• Carolina baseball produced the 1984 No. 1 draft pick B.J. Surhoff and 1988 American League Rookie of the Year Walt Weiss (now the manager of the Colorado Rockies). There were 13 Tar Heels in MLB in 2012, including Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager (Seattle), Daniel Bard and Andrew Miller (Boston), Matt Harvey (NY Mets) and Chris Iannetta (Angels).

• Baseball head coach Mike Fox enters 2014 as the winningest active coach by percentage in the country.

• Carolina players and coaches have won Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year three times, including Michael Jordan in 1991, Dean Smith in 1997 and the United States Women's Soccer Team in 1999. The U.S. team featured eight Tar Heels among the 20 players (Tracy Ducar, Lorrie Fair, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Carla Overbeck, Cindy Parlow, Tiffany Roberts and Tisha Venturini). No other college had more than two players on the team that won the Women's World Cup.

• Ninety-three (93) former Tar Heel student-athletes have competed in the Olympic Games a total of 133 times. That includes 28 track and field athletes, 18 women's soccer players, 13 men's basketball players, 13 field hockey player and 10 swimmers.

• Former Tar Heel men's golfer Davis Love III won the 1997 PGA Championship, 19 other PGA events, played on six Ryder Cup teams and captained the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team.

• Carolina men's soccer has played in the College Cup in four of the last five seasons, winning the program's second national title in 2011 under then first-year head coach Carlos Somoano.

• Men's soccer defensive standouts Gregg Berhalter and Eddie Pope played for the United States in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. Pope played 11 years for Team USA and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

• Dennis Craddock coached the men's and women's cross country and track and field teams to 45 ACC team titles, the most in ACC history for any coach in any sport. He retired in 2012.

• Men's track hurdler Allen Johnson won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics, one year after he set the world record in the 110-meter hurdles. Johnson came back to UNC and earned his degree in 2012. Monique Hennagan won gold on the U.S. 4x400 relay in 1996 and 2004. She was joined on the 1996 gold medal relay by her former UNC teammate, LaTasha Colander.


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