American Football Database
Bowling Green Falcons
University Bowling Green State University
Conference(s) Mid-American Conference,
CCHA (Hockey)
NCAA Division I (FBS)
Athletics director Greg Christopher
Location Bowling Green, OH
Varsity teams 7 men & 10 women
Football stadium Doyt Perry Stadium
Basketball arena Stroh Center
Baseball stadium Warren E. Steller Field
Other arenas BGSU Ice Arena
Anderson Arena
Mascot Freddie and Frieda Falcon
Nickname Falcons
Fight song "Forward Falcons"
& "Ay Ziggy Zoomba"
Colors Orange and Brown



The Bowling Green Falcons are the intercollegiate athletic teams of Bowling Green State University, located in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Falcons participate in NCAA Division I (FBS for football) in the Mid-American Conference and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. BGSU is one of only 15 universities in the nation that plays Division I FBS football and Division I men's ice hockey. The Falcons have won three consecutive conference championships in women's basketball in 2005, 2006, and 2007. The women's soccer team captured the conference crown. The Falcons' main rivals are the Toledo Rockets; separated by just 20 miles (32 km) of Interstate 75 in northwestern Ohio, the two schools celebrate a heated rivalry in several sports. The best known of these games is the annual football game, known as the Battle of I-75. The winner now takes home a bronzed I-75 road sign. The winner used to take home the Peace Pipe, a Native American peace pipe placed upon a wood tablet.

The 1984 Falcons hockey team defeated Minnesota-Duluth in the longest college hockey championship game in history, to win the NCAA National Championship, Bowling Green's first and only Division I national championship.


The Falcons currently compete in seventeen sports at the NCAA Division I level:

Men's intercollegiate athletic teams

Women's intercollegiate athletic teams


The Bowling Green Falcons football team plays at Doyt Perry Stadium on the east end of the BGSU campus. The Falcons are a historical MAC powerhouse winning ten conference championships, second only to rival Miami (Ohio) (13). Bowling Green has three prominent rivals including Miami (Ohio) and Kent State, but their fiercest rival is Toledo, with the two competing in the Battle of I-75 with the game's winner taking home the Peace Pipe trophy. The Falcons and Kent State also compete for the Anniversary Award which commemorates the two institutions' founding in 1910 with the passing of the Lowry bill. Famous Falcon football players include Kory Lichtensteiger, Shaun Suisham and Don Nehlen (who would also become head football coach at Bowling Green). Notable Bowling Green coaches include College Football Hall of Fame members Doyt Perry and Don Nehlen, as well as Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.

  • MAC titles: 1956, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1982, 1985, 1991, 1992
  • MAC East division titles: 2007
  • MAC West division titles: 2003
  • NWOIAA titles: 1921, 1922, 1925, 1928, 1929
  • National titles: 1959
  • Undefeated seasons: 1928, 1956, 1959
  • Bowl appearances: 1982, 1985, 1991, 1992, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012

Men's basketball

  • MAC titles: 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1981, 1983, 1997, 2000, 2009
  • MAC East division titles: 2000, 2009
  • NCAA Tournament appearances: 1959, 1962, 1963, 1968
  • NIT appearances: 1944, 1945, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1954, 1980, 1983, 1990, 1991, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2009
  • NIT Runner-up: 1945
  • NIT 3rd place: 1949

Women's basketball

The Bowling Green Falcons women's basketball team has had a long standing tradition of success, rivaling only the school's football team as the most prominent athletic team at the university. The women's basketball team has won ten conference tournaments, eleven regular season championships and five division championships. The women's basketball team has made the NCAA tournament nine times and the AIAW tournament (the predecessor to the NCAA tournament) twice, posting an overall tournament record of 6-12. The 2006-07 team became the first women's basketball team from the MAC to reach the Sweet Sixteen after defeating 10th-seeded Oklahoma State 70–60 and upset 2nd-seeded Vanderbilt 60–59.

The current head coach of the Falcons is Curt Miller, who has over 200 wins record in 10 season as head coach. Miller has also lead the Falcons to five conference tournament championships and six consecutive regular season championships (2005–10).

  • MAC titles: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012
  • MAC Tournament titles: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011
  • NCAA Tournament appearances: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011
  • NCAA Sweet Sixteen: 2007
  • WNIT appearances: 1998, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013
  • AIAW Tournament appearances: 1974, 1975

Ice hockey

The Bowling Green Falcons men's ice hockey team is the only athletic program at Bowling Green State University to win a national title, coming during the 1984 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament in Lake Placid, New York. The Falcons defeated Minnesota-Duluth 5–4 in the fourth overtime. The game is the longest NCAA ice hockey game ever played. The game was broadcasted on WBGU, called by John Bowers. John is now with the Cleveland Indians. Prominent coaches Ron Mason and Jerry York spent time as head coaches at Bowling Green before leaving for very successful stints at Michigan State and Boston College respectively.

The Falcons are currently coached by first year head coach and former Miami RedHawks assistant coach and player, Chris Bergeron. He replaced interim head coach Denis Williams who took over for Scott Paluch for the 2009-10 season. Paluch had been the Falcons head coach from the 2002-03 season through the 2008-09 season, replacing Buddy Powers. Over seven seasons, Paluch posted a record of 84-156-23 (.363), with his best season coming during the 2004-05 season in which the Falcons finished in 5th place in the CCHA with a 16-16-4 record. Under Paluch, the Falcons only got past the CCHA Tournament First Round once, defeating Lake Superior 2 games to 1, before falling to Miami (Ohio) 2 games to 0 in the CCHA Quarterfinals.

  • CCHA titles: 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987
  • CCHA tournament titles: 1973, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1988
  • NCAA Tournament appearances: 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990
  • National titles: 1984
  • Frozen Four appearances: 1978, 1984



Doyt Perry Stadium

Doyt Perry Stadium is home to Bowling Green's football team. Named in honor of former football coach Doyt Perry, the stadium was opened in 1966 replacing University Stadium. Through 37 seasons, the Bowling Green Falcons enjoyed an impressive 126-58-6 record at Doyt Perry Stadium. The stadium underwent a renovation in 1982 to expand its seating capacity from 23,272 to 30,599. The stadium and MAC attendance record was set in 1983 when 33,527 fans saw Toledo defeat Bowling Green 6–3 in the annual Battle of I-75. The Doyt hosted its first Big Ten opponent on September 6, 2008 as the Falcons were defeated by Minnesota 42–17. The Sebo Athletic Center opened in 2007 and is located at the north end of Doyt Perry Stadium. The 33,500 sq. ft. center was named after J. Robert and Karen Sebo who donated $4.4 million to the project.[1] Sebo Athletic Center is home to sports medicine and rehabilitation centers, strength and training facilities, coaches offices, teaching space for coaches and players, video equipment and viewing room and team meeting rooms.[2]

Stroh Center

The Bowling Green basketball teams and volleyball team will move into a new, state-of-the art convocation center in 2011, replacing the aging Anderson Arena. The new 5,000-seat facility will be named the Stroh Center, after Kermit and Mary Lu Stroh who donated $7.7 million to the project.[3][4] The Stroh Center will also be home to the largest falcon statue in the world, a gift from North Carolina philanthropist Irwin Belk.[5] The university broke ground on the Stroh Center on September 3, 2009, a few hours prior to the football team's season opener at nearby Doyt Perry Stadium.[6]

BGSU Ice Arena

BGSU Ice Arena is home to Bowling Green's men's hockey team. Opened in 1967, the arena is located on the east end of campus across from the Student Recreation Center. The University had planned to renovate the arena in 2009, but has since postponed the upgrades due to the current economic situation.

Steller Field

Warren E. Steller Field has been home to the Falcons baseball team since 1964. The field is named in honor of Warren E. Steller, a former instructor at the school who coached the school's football (1924–34) and baseball (1925, 1928–59) teams. The stadium is located on the Bowling Green campus, next to BGSU Ice Arena and across the street from Perry Field House.

Other Facilities

Mickey Cochrane Stadium is home to the Bowling Green's men's and women's soccer teams. Opened in 1966, the stadium was renamed on October 11, 1980 in honor of Bowling Green's first men's soccer coach. The stadium was renovated in 1993 and 1994, which included the installation of a permanent grandstand that seats 1,500. Cochrane Stadium is also home to the United States Youth Soccer Association's Olympic Development Program Region II camps. The stadium, which is located behind BGSU Ice Arena, has been listed as one of the finest pitches in the Midwestern United States.[7]

Cooper Pool is home to Bowling Green's women's swimming and diving team. Cooper Pool is located in the Student Recreation Center on the east end of campus.

Whittaker Track is home to Bowling Green's women's track and field team. Located northeast of Doyt Perry Stadium, Whittaker Track underwent a renovation in 2007 and was reopened in 2008 in time to host the MAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships.[8]

College Park Rugby Field is home to the Bowling Green State University Rugby Football Club. Located on the northwest corner of campus at the corners of North College and Poe Road. It is one of the few dedicated collegiate rugby pitches in the United States. It has grandstand seating for 150, an electronic scoreboard, an onsite changing room and parking for 100 cars

National Championships

  • Figure Skating-
    • USCFS Championship Alissa Czisny 2004, 2008
  • Football-
    • National titles: 1959
  • Ice hockey -
    • 1984 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament

Notable Falcon Athletes

Several notable athletes have played collegiately for Bowling Green, among the most memorable is NBA legend Nate Thurmond. Thurmond, whose number 42 is the only basketball number retired by the university, graduated in 1963 before eventually being named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.[9] Bowling Green also was the collegiate home to one of the NBA's first ever draft picks, Chuck Share, who was selected by the Boston Celtics in the 1950 NBA Draft.[10] Current NBA players Antonio Daniels and Keith McLeod also played at BGSU.

BGSU's hockey team perhaps has provided the school with the greatest number of notable athletes. Two of its players were on the "Miracle on Ice" U.S. hockey team that captured the 1980 Winter Olympics gold medal: Ken Morrow and Mark Wells. Rob Blake also captured a gold medal for his country as Canada took up the top prize during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Two Falcons have also won the Hobey Baker award, given to the top collegiate hockey player each season: George McPhee (1982) and Brian Holzinger (1995). In 1984 the Bowling Green Hockey Team won the National Championship in one of the longest games in college hockey history. Geno Cavillini scored at 7:11 in the 4th overtime to give the Falcons their first college hockey national championship. Also advancing to the NHL was current Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Ken Klee.

Omar Jacobs became a household name to college football fans during his two years of starting for the Falcons. As the starting quarterback in 2004, he passed for 4,002 yards and set the NCAA record for TD to INT rate, at 41 touchdowns to 4 interceptions. He entered the 2005 season on the Heisman radar nationwide, but he didn't have as good of a season as 2004, and he missed two starts due to injury.

Don Nehlen is perhaps one of the more memorable Falcon football players and coaches. He played quarterback for BG during his playing days before coaching the Falcons for nine seasons from 1968-1976. Nehlen went on to coach West Virginia University where he would receive national attention. The legendary coach joined the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. Doyt Perry is another Hall of Fame coach who led the Falcons from 1955 through 1964. The university's football stadium is now named in his honor. More recently, Urban Meyer coached the Falcons for two seasons in 2001 and 2002 before leaving for the University of Utah. Meyer is the former head coach at the University of Florida, which he led to victory in the BCS National Championship in 2007 and 2009.

Club Sports

Students at Bowling Green also have the opportunity to participating and compete in various sports at the club level. Club sports do not offer scholarships that varsity sports offer and are operated by the Department of Student Life.[11]


The Bowling Green State University Rugby Football Club has been one of the more successful college rugby clubs in the United States. Established in 1968, the club has over 80 members and fields five teams. The club has been embraced by the University as a quasi-varsity sport, with a home game fan attendance that makes it the fourth most watched sport on campus.[12] The club averages nine wins for every loss with an all-time record of 1771-369-83.[12] BGSU RFC became the first Bowling Green athletic program (varsity or club) to compete outside of North America, touring England (1987, 1995), Wales (2000), South Africa (2002, 2007) and Ireland (2005). The club is scheduled to tour England again in 2012. BGSU RFC plays their home matches on the College Park Rugby Field on the corner of North College Avenue and Poe Road.

Bowling Green Rugby has won 28 consecutive Mid American Conference titles, eleven Ohio Collegiate titles, eleven Michigan Collegiate titles and has received nine National Collegiate Championship bids. Six Falcons have received All-American honors including: Chuck Tunnacliffe (1986), Tony Konczak (1988), Wes Harmon (1991), Scott Hogg (2003) and Rich Hines and Nick Viviani (2008). Two Falcons have seen call ups to United States national rugby union team by Tunnacliffe in 1991 and Vince Staropoli in 1999. Bowling Green finished ninth at the 2010 Collegiate Rugby Championship, a tournament broadcast live on NBC. Bowling Green's Rocco Mauer was the leading try scorer and the MVP of the tournament. Mauer signed a professional contract in 2012 to play full-time for the US national team.


The Falcons

Before 1927, BG teams were called the Normals or Teachers. Ivan Lake (’23) suggested the nickname after reading an article on falconry. Lake, managing editor and sports editor of the Sentinel-Tribune in Bowling Green at the time, proposed the name change because it fit headline space and because falcons were “the most powerful bird for their size and often attacked birds two or three times their size.”

Bowling Green's athletic teams have been known as the "Falcons" ever since.[13]

School colors

The historical story behind how BGSU began using Brown and Orange as its school colors dates back to 1914.

Dr. Homer B. Williams, the university's first President, gathered a group of people which included a Dr. L.L. Winslow from Industrial Arts as a selection committee for the school's new colors. While on an a trolley to Toledo, Dr. Winslow sat behind a woman wearing a large hat adorned with beautiful brown and orange feathers. Dr. Winslow was so interested in the color scheme of the pair that he convinced the committee to approve the combination of Brown and Orange.[14]

School songs

Bowling Green State University has three common songs that can be heard being played by the Falcon Marching Band at various athletic and academic events. These three songs are the Alma Mater, "Forward Falcons" which is the school's fight song, and "Ay Ziggy Zoomba" which is played to hype up the crowd at events, which is more familiar to most students, alumni, and fans.[15][16]

Forward Falcons

Forward Falcons,
Forward Falcons,
Fight for victory.

Show our spirit,
make them fear it,
Fight for dear Bee Gee.

Forward Falcons,
Forward Falcons,
Make the contest keen.

Hold up the fame
of our mighty name,
and win for Bowling Green

Ay Ziggy Zoomba

Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Zoomba
Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Ze

Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Zoomba
Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Ze

Roll along you BG warriors
Roll along and fight for BGSU!

Freddie and Frieda Falcon

Freddie and Frieda Falcon are the mascots for Falcons athletics. The pair are anthropomorphized Peregrine Falcons. They are somewhat of a rarity among collegiate mascots, being one of the few male-female mascot pairs in existence. In 2006 they were both named “Best Collegiate Mascot” at the 2006 NCA Cheer Camp in Nashville, Tennessee at Vanderbilt University.[17] Freddie first appeared at Bowling Green sporting events in 1950. Frieda made her first appearance in 1966, but did not become an official mascot until 1980.[18]


SICSIC are a six member, anonymous pep squad and the official spirit crew for BGSU, which began in 1946. SICSIC members adorn Halloween masks throughout their time with the organization and remain anonymous until the final home basketball game of the member's senior year, where they are unmasked in front of the student body.[19]

BGSU Athletic Hall of Fame

Any former BG student-athlete out of school for at least 10 years, a coach, or a contributor to BGSU athletics is eligible for induction into the BGSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Athletes who leave school early are not eligible to be placed on the ballot until 10 years after what would have been their senior year. Portraits of each of the over nearly 200 inductees are on display in the lobby of the BGSU Ice Arena. BG’s 1984 NCAA championship squad was inducted in 1993 as the first “team” ever named to the Hall of Fame.


  1. Held, Chayse (2007-06-13). "BGSU Unveils Sebo Center". BG News. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  2. "Sebo Athletic Center Information". 2005-06-06. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  3. "BGSU Receives $8 Million, the Largest Gift in its Nearly 100-Year History". 2008-03-01. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  4. Gilbert, Meghan (March 1, 2008). "$8M gift to BGSU is largest in its history". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  5. "Falcon Statue to be a Part of the Stroh Center". July 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  6. Emmons, Donald (September 4, 2009). "Bowling Green upsets Troy". Toledo Blade. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  7. "Mickey Cochrane Stadium". Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  8. "Whittaker Track opens for MAC Championship at BGSU, Falcons place 11th". BG News. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  9. The NBA at 50
  10. 1950 NBA Draft -
  11. "Department of Recreation and Wellness". Bowling Green State University. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Bowling Green State University Rugby Club, History,
  13. "Traditions". Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  14. "Why Brown & Orange?". Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  15. "Bowling Green State University Traditions". Bowling Green State University. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
  16. "BGSU Songs". Retrieved 2008-03-03.
  17. "Freddy and Frieda". Retrieved 2008-04-07.[dead link]
  18. "History of Freddie and Frieda Falcon". Bowling Green State University. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  19. "The Spirit Crew". Sic Sic. Retrieved 2008-03-04.

External links