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Binghamton Bearcats

Binghamton Bearcats
University Binghamton University
Conference America East
Big Sky (men's golf)
MAC (men's tennis)
EIWA (wrestling)
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Patrick Elliott
Location Binghamton, NY
Varsity teams 21
Basketball arena Binghamton University Events Center
Mascot Baxter the Bearcat
Nickname Bearcats
     Green       White

The Binghamton Bearcats are an NCAA Division I athletics program at Binghamton University. They are one of four Division I programs in the SUNY system and a member of the America East Conference. In three sports not sponsored by the America East, Binghamton has separate conference memberships. The men's golf team is a member of the Big Sky Conference effective with the 2014–15 school year, the men's tennis team is a member of the Mid-American Conference as of 2014–15, and the wrestling team competes in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association.


Binghamton has competed in the NCAA since joining the SUNY system in 1950. During the 1946–1950 era, there were no particular affiliations or mascots. When, in fact, they joined SUNY and adopted the new name Harpur College, the school also adopted their first mascot: a donkey named Harpo. In transitioning to SUNY Binghamton, they also developed their athletics program further, adopting the new school nickname and mascot: The red, white, and blue Colonials. With the impending move to Division I, the school adopted the new nickname, the Bearcats, beginning with the 1999–2000 school year.[citation needed] The mascot, Baxter the Bearcat, was unveiled in the fall of 1999.[citation needed]

In the fall of 2001, Binghamton athletics formally entered the NCAA Division I and also became a member of the America East Conference in all sports other than wrestling and golf, which is not sponsored by the America East Conference. The wrestling program actually preceded the jump to Division I by becoming a provisional member of the now-defunct East Coast Wrestling Association[1] beginning with the 1999–2000 season. They made the transition from a Division III school to Division II for three years and then entered Division I.[citation needed] Binghamton has 21 intercollegiate sports. Binghamton's wrestling team is a member of the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association since the America East does not sponsor wrestling.

Former Director of Health, Physical Education, and Athletics, Dr. Joel Thirer oversaw the transition from NCAA Division III to NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I. Hired in 1989, Dr. Thirer resigned on September 30, 2009, amid controversy surrounding the Men's Basketball program.[2]

More recently, the university has hosted a number of conference championships, including the 2005, 2006 and 2008 men's basketball championships, as well as, other championships from other sports.

In a Sept. 29, 2009 statement, Jim Norris had been named Interim Athletic Director. The Director of Athletics reports directly to the current interim President McGraff.[3]

Patrick Elliott was introduced as Binghamton’s director of athletics on October 6, 2011 and began his appointment on November 14.


Binghamton University, SUNY sponsors teams in eleven men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports:[4]

Recent accomplishments

  • The Men's Tennis Team has won eight of the last ten America East titles (2003–2005, 2008-2012)
  • The 2008-09 Men's Basketball team won the America East regular season title. The team has had its best season in history and earned its first post-season berth in history, as well as, after defeating UMBC in the America East Tournament Final 61-51, their first ever NCAA Division I Tournament appearance.
  • The 2008 Men's Soccer team drew the nation's (Div. 1) 20th largest average attendance to regular season play.
  • Rory Quiller became the first Binghamton athlete to win a Division 1 National Championship in 2008. His pole vault of 18-0½ was good enough to take first place at NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. He became the first America East athlete to win a National Championship and received his third All- American honors. He is now pursuing 2008 Summer Olympics.
  • The Men's Soccer team made it to the 6th consecutive America East championship for the 2008 season.
  • Ryan Graham became the first diver from Binghamton to qualify for NCAA Division 1 Zone Championships in 2008.
  • Rory Quiller won the 2007 NCAA East Outdoor Track pole vault Championships with a new conference and Binghamton University record (18' 1"). This victory was followed by placing 4th at the NCAA Championships. He was the first Binghamton athlete to earn All-American honors twice.
  • Men's Lacrosse knocked off 6th ranked SUNY Albany at home on April 28, 2007. This was the schools largest upset and came on Senior Day.[24]
  • Rory Quiller posted a second-place finish in the 2007 Indoor Track pole vault Championships (18' 1/2").
  • The Men's Soccer team played their first game in the new Bearcat Sports Complex against Cornell. They came to a 3-0 victory in front of a record crowd of over 1,800 people. The success lead to receiving votes in the Adidas national ranking and moving into the 7 spot for all of the Northeast.
  • The Men's Soccer team opened the 2007 season with the best record (5-0-0) since 1987. The women's team also played an inaugural game in the new Bearcats Sports Complex (they lost 2-1 in overtime to Syracuse University).
  • The baseball team won back to back regular season championships for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. In 2009, the team won the AEC Tournament and appeared in the NCAA Tournament.[5] Since joining the America East Conference they have the best winning percentage of any team and most players who have signed a professional contract.[citation needed]
  • Binghamton gained national recognition when the university's basketball team was even more out of control than the average athletic team at a US university. The team shenanigans made headlines in the New York Times, and the ensuing scandal caused University President Lois DeFleur to retire and basketball coach Kevin Broadus to resign.


Men's basketball

  • The Binghamton men's basketball team has experienced negative publicity during their 2008-2009 year. *Following a loss to Boston University (BU) in the first round of the 2007 America East Championship, head coach Al Walker (the only coach Binghamton had had in its Div. I history) resigned as head coach. As of March 26, Kevin Broadus, assistant coach for Georgetown University was announced to fill Walker's position.
  • In his second season as head coach, Kevin Broadus took the Bearcats to their first regular season conference title in school history.
  • Binghamton defeated UMBC 61-51 in the America East Tournament Championship Game and made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, earning the 15 seed and losing to second-seeded Duke in the first round.

In October 2009, Broadus was suspended with pay and replaced by Mark Macon on an interim basis.[6]


Other programs

Main Article: Binghamton Bearcats wrestling

Binghamton has 20 other sports that successful Division I program although the media focuses primarily on men's basketball. They include women's basketball, golf, baseball, softball, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's cross country, women's cross country, men's swimming & diving, women's swimming & diving, men's tennis, women's tennis, women's volleyball, wrestling, men's indoor track, women's indoor track, men's outdoor track and women's outdoor track. The program posted an overall 3.1 APR for all 21 sports and has been recognized for its scholar athletes. The men's tennis program posted an overall 3.69 GPA for the 2010 spring semester.


Events Center

The Events Center plays host to both men and women basketball games. It has a capacity of nearly ten thousand for non-sporting events and approximately 5,222 for basketball games. With recent capacity issues, the Athletic Department will be looking at various existent options for expanding capacity in the 2009–2010 season. The facilities has an indoor track where the track and field teams practice and compete, indoor tennis courts for both men and women tennis teams, as well as the primary weight and fitness equipment, sports medicine and uniform issuance facilities. The facility also includes a 150-person private lounge donated by a Binghamton University fraternity, Tau Alpha Upsilon (TAU). It is known as the TAU Bearcat Clubroom.

Bearcats Sports Complex

File:Bearcats Sports Complex.jpg
The main stands of the Bearcats Sports Complex during a soccer game

Opened in the Fall of 2007, the Bearcat Sports Complex features two artificial turf fields for soccer and lacrosse. One field is intended primarily for competition and the other for practice. Additional features include night lighting, over 2,500 seats for the competition field and 1,000 for the practice field, a concession stand and bathrooms. In 2009, the Tau Alpha Upsilon [TAU] fraternity sponsored the naming of both the press box and the scoreboard. A plaque was dedicated in their honor at the entrance of the new sports complex. A recent announcement unveiled plans to moved the Softball competition field to the complex. A new field along with a modestly sized stadium and pressbox will be added immediately behind the current concession stand.

West Gym

The West Gym is an Athletic facility that hosts the weight, practice and competition facilities for the wrestling team. Also, the varsity pool is home to both men and women swim and diving teams. The gymnasium is used for volleyball, basketball practice, and also wrestling matches.

Varsity Field

Home to the varsity baseball team, Varsity Field features a diamond with dugouts and bleachers. It was recently announced that Varsity field will undergo major renovations set for completion by the 2012 season. The project includes artificial turf, bull-pens and a modest-sized stadium/pressbox.

East Gym Field

Home to the softball team.

Alumni Stadium

A 2,000 seat stadium, athletic field, outdoor track and field facilities. While it has previously hosted the lacrosse teams, it is primarily used for the track and field teams. The track was resurfaced in 2007.


  1. ^ "Wrestling Terriers To Join Colonial Athletic Association". Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  2. ^ "Binghamton Bearcats AD Joel Thirer resigns after player dismissals from men's basketball". 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  3. ^ "Changes to athletics program". 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "America East Conference Baseball Record Book". America East. America East Conference. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-17. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  6. ^ Saginaw native Mark Macon appointed interim head basketball coach of Binghamton University

External links