Cornell College fields 19 intercollegiate athletic teams, all of which compete in NCAA Division III sports. Formerly a member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC), Cornell joined the Midwest Conference (MWC) in the fall of 2012.
Cornell has achieved its greatest success in wrestling. Cornell wrestlers have won eight individual national titles, and in 1947, the wrestling team won the NCAA Division I and AAU national championships. Sixty-Two Cornell wrestlers have been named NCAA All-Americans, and seven have been elected to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Seven wrestlers have also been in the Olympics.
Another Cornell team has also met with success recently. In 2011, the women's volleyball team captured the IIAC title and went on to take part in the national tournament for the first time in school history.
Twenty-five Cornell students have earned NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships, awarded annually to students in their final year of eligibility who excel both athletically and academically. Cornell ranks in the top 15 Division III colleges in recipients of this award.
Cornell's mascot is a Ram. In 1949 the Royal Purple, the school's yearbook, offered a $5 prize for someone who could come up with a new mascot to replace either the "Purples" or "Hilltoppers." A sophomore came up with the idea for the ram.