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The football team was notably successful in the s, under head coach Dick Tomey ; his "Desert Swarm" defense was characterized by tough, hard-nosed tactics. In , the team had its first win season and beat the University of Miami Hurricanes in the Fiesta Bowl by a score of 29—0. It was the bowl game's only shutout in its then year history.

In , the team posted a school-record 12—1 season and made the Holiday Bowl in which it defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Arizona ended that season ranked 4th nationally in the coaches and API poll.

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The Holiday Bowl was televised on ESPN and set the now-surpassed record of being the most watched of any bowl game in that network's history. Dave Heeke was named Arizona's 13th Director of Athletics in February and officially started in that role on April 1, Heeke previously served as Athletics Director at Central Michigan University for 11 years and as a staff member in the University of Oregon athletics department for 18 years.

Greg Byrne resigned the post in January to accept the same role at the University of Alabama. Rodriguez was relieved of his duties on January 2, , in the wake of an internal university investigation of sexual harassment claims made by Rodriguez' former administrative assistant. The baseball team had its first season in The baseball team has captured four national championship titles in , , and , with the first three coached by Jerry Kindall and the most recent by Andy Lopez. Arizona baseball teams have appeared in the NCAA National Championship title series a total of 34 times, [] including , , , , , , , , and Arizona baseball has appeared in the College World Series 17 times.

Arizona is 7th all-time in games won in the regular season with 2, wins. Home games are played at Hi Corbett Field. Jay Johnson , previously head coach of the University of Nevada baseball program, succeeded Andy Lopez who retired after the season. Arizona baseball also has a student section named The Hot Corner.

Seventy-five former Arizona baseball players have played in a Major League.

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The University of Arizona women's soccer team wrapped up their season on Nov. Led by coach Tony Amato, Arizona's seniors became the first group in program history to make three NCAA Tournament appearances, winning at least one match in each Tournament. The program had only two appearances in its history prior to the last four years. Ten members received PAC- 12 academic honors for their performance in the classroom.

The Arizona softball team is among the top programs in the country. The Arizona Wildcats softball team won their first Pac Championship in ten years after defeating the No.

Olympic softball team to a gold medal in Athens, Greece. The university's golf teams have also been notably successful. The lacrosse team is a club team, not a varsity sport at Arizona, known as the "Laxcats". Its existence, since the mids, is saturated with a rich tradition of success. In Runk retired after twenty-eight years at Towson University in Maryland.

Many other Wildcats have met with success at the university. Although surprising to some, the University of Arizona has a noteworthy history in ice hockey. The school's club hockey team, formerly known as the Icecats , won over games between its inception in and Three national championships for synchronized swimming were won in , , and , though these championships were in the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women , and not the NCAA.

Along with winning three national championships in the pool for synchronized swimming, the Wildcats have also won their first NCAA Championship in men and women's swimming and diving for the seasons of — Arizona men became the first team to claim a first-time title since UCLA's win in Also, the men ended Texas and Auburn's winning streak since At the end of the meet, the Texas Longhorns took second while 's champion, the Auburn Tigers , took fifth. For the women, Arizona worked on the disappointment of 's defeat. The women were winning until the last day when Auburn grasped the title.

Unlike , Arizona's women did not let anyone come close. The Wildcats won with team points while the Auburn Tigers came in second with and the Stanford Cardinal in third with Student-athletes from the women's swimming and diving team have been particularly heralded by the NCAA. The three awards and the award won by track and field athlete Tanya Hughes are the highest number of Woman of the Year awards won by a single university.

A number of notable individuals have also won national championships in the NCAA. The University of Arizona leads the all-time record against Arizona State University in men's basketball —83 , as well as in football 49—41—1. The football rivalry game between the schools is known as "The Duel in the Desert. Rivalries have also been created with other Pac teams, especially University of California, Los Angeles which has provided a worthy softball rival and was Arizona's main basketball rival in the early and mids.

The university's mascots are a pair of anthropomorphized wildcats named Wilbur and Wilma. The identities of Wilbur and Wilma are kept secret through the year as the mascots appear only in costume.

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In , Wilbur married his longtime wildcat girlfriend, Wilma. Together, Wilbur and Wilma appear along with the cheerleading squad at most Wildcat sporting events. Wilbur was originally created by Bob White as a cartoon character in the university's humor magazine, Kitty Kat.

From through the s the school mascot was a live bobcat , a species known locally as a wildcat. This succession of live mascots were known by the common name of Rufus Arizona, originally named after Rufus von Kleinsmid, president of the university from to Ed Stuckenhoff was chosen to wear the costume at the homecoming game in against Texas Tech and since then it has become a long-standing tradition.

Wilbur celebrated his 50th birthday in November In Jack K. Lee, an applicant for the UA's band directorship, departed Tucson by air following an interview with UA administration. By the time his plane landed, he had virtually finished it.

Soon thereafter, "Bear Down, Arizona! Officially implemented in , ZonaZoo is the official student section and student ticketing program for the University of Arizona Athletics. The McKale Center , which opened in , is used by men's and women's basketball, women's gymnastics, and women's volleyball.

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The official capacity has changed often. The largest crowd to see a game in McKale was 15, in for a game against the University of New Mexico , a main rival during that period. In , the floor in McKale was dubbed Lute Olson Court, for the basketball program's winningest coach. During a memorial service in for Lute's wife, Bobbi, who died after a battle with ovarian cancer, the floor was renamed Lute and Bobbi Olson Court.

In addition to the playing surface, McKale Center is host to the offices of the UA athletic department. McKale Center is named after J. Pop McKale, who was athletic director and coach from through Arizona Stadium , built in and last expanded in , seats 56, patrons. It hosts American football games and has also been used for university graduations. The turf is bermuda grass , taken from the local Tucson National Golf Club. Arizona football's home record is —— The largest crowd ever in Arizona Stadium was 59, in for a game against Arizona State University.

Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium hosts softball games.

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Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium hosted baseball games until the season, when the baseball program began playing home games at Hi Corbett Field , a former Cactus League spring training facility located three miles southeast of campus. The fraternities and sororities are governed by four governing councils. A new and expansive Student Union building opened in ; it is the largest student union in the U.

CSIL also houses the Arizona Blue Chip Program [] one of the largest collegiate-level leadership development programs in the United States, with over active students at any one time throughout the 4 years of the program. Blue Chip was founded in and has formed a partnership with the University of Wollongong , in Wollongong , Australia where a sister program, the Black Opal Leadership Development Program [] began in February Structure, curriculum, students and even staff are exchanged between the two institutions in a unique international leadership development initiative.

Also located in the CSIL is the office of Camp Wildcat, a student-run non-profit service organization that serves local disadvantaged youth. Through funding from the CSIL and the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, clubs are given the resources and encouragement to explore unusual interests.

In , The U. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the University of Arizona for its food diversion efforts, giving particular recognition to the student-formed Compost Cats, a nationally unique organization.

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Founded in , this organization of UA students each year hosts several hundred high school students in a bilingual simulation of the United Nations and other international bodies. Founded during the academic year as a program within the Student Resource Center. At the time, SALT had provided academic services and accommodations up to three students with learning disabilities.

During the time, SALT staff was located in tight offices while tutors conducted tutoring sessions around Old Main, often sitting outside, immersed in the sounds of everyday university life. As of [update] , the SALT Center has more than students at the University of Arizona with learning disabilities, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD , and a range of other learning and attention challenges.

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For more than 45 years, CESL has offered a variety of English language learning and teaching programs. Students are able to learn on campus while pursuing complete admission into the UA as they meet their English language proficiency requirements. At the beginning of each school year, freshmen repaint the "A" on "A" Mountain , and since the "A" remains a Tucson and Wildcat landmark. This was passed by the ASUA student government body shortly after the war in Afghanistan began in As of [update] the "A" on A mountain has returned to white.

The Rites of Spring. The event occurs every April, and brings together the U of A community and the Tucson community. The tradition of the Territorial Cup goes all the way back to , the year the University of Arizona first fielded a football team. In , Arizona schools began competing in the Territorial Cup Series.