American Football Database
North Texas Mean Green
University University of North Texas
Conference(s) Sun Belt Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletics director Rick Villarreal
Location Denton, TX
Varsity teams 18
Football stadium Apogee Stadium
Basketball arena The Super Pit
Mascot Scrappy
Nickname Mean Green
Fight song
Colors  and 



North Texas Mean Green is the team name used for both men's and women's intercollegiate athletic teams that play for the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. The school competes as a member of the Sun Belt Conference as a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I program. North Texas athletes are known as the "Mean Green."

Origin of the name "Mean Green"

The name "Mean Green," still in use after 55 years, was adopted by fans and media in 1966 for a North Texas football defensive squad that finished the season second in the nation against the rush.[1] That school year, Joe Greene,[2] then a sophomore at North Texas, played left defensive tackle on the football team and competed in track and field (shot put). The nickname "Mean Joe Greene" caught-on during his first year with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969 when the fan base mistakenly assumed that "Mean Green" was derived from a nickname they thought he had inherited while at North Texas. The athletic department, media, and fans loved the novelty of a young standout's surname being a homophone of the university's school color.[citation needed] By 1968, "Mean Green" was on the back of shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, and the cover of the North Texas football brochure. Even the band became identified as the "Mean Green Marching Machine."[3]

School spirit

The school's colors are green and white. The music for the alma mater, "Glory to the Green and White," (originally titled "Our College")[4] was composed by Julia Smith in 1919 and adopted by the school in 1922. The lyrics are were written by Charles Langford, then a third-year letterman on the football team.[5] The school's fight song, Fight, North Texas, composed by Francis Stroup, was adopted in 1939. The school mascot is an eagle named Scrappy.



Founded in 1913, the Mean Green has won eight Lone Star Conference championships, five Gulf Coast Conference championships, five Missouri Valley Conference championships, two Southland Conference championships and most recently, four consecutive Sun Belt Conference championships.[6] The team has also appeared in seven bowl games, winning two, most recently the 2002 New Orleans Bowl. From 1952 until the 2010 season, home football games were played at Fouts Field. A new 30,850-seat stadium, Apogee Stadium opened for the 2011 season.


Since 1973, the school's teams for men's and women's basketball have played their home games in the Super Pit. From 2001 to 2012, the men's team experienced relative success under head coach Johnny Jones. During the 2006-2007 season, North Texas won its first Sun Belt Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1988. North Texas won the Sun Belt Conference title a second time during the 2009-2010 season to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in four years.

Championship History

National Titles

Men's Golf (4)
  • 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952

Conference Titles

Football (24)
Lone Star Conference
  • 1932, 1935*, 1936, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1946, 1947
Gulf Coast Conference
  • 1950, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1956
Missouri Valley Conference
  • 1958, 1959*, 1966*, 1967, 1973*
Southland Conference
  • 1983*, 1994
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2001*, 2002, 2003, 2004
Men's Basketball (2)
Southland Conference
  • Tournament: 1988
Sun Belt Conference
  • Tournament: 2007, 2010
Men's Outdoor Track and Field (2)
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2000, 2003
Men's Cross Country (1)
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2000
Men's Golf (1)
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2003
Women's Soccer (3)
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2001, 2004, 2005
Women's Outdoor Track and Field (1)
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2003
Volleyball (1)
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2010*
* denotes shared conference title

Division titles

Men's Basketball (1)
Sun Belt Conference (West Division)
  • 2009-10

Bowl Titles

Optimist Bowl
  • 1946
New Orleans Bowl
  • 2002


The school's football team plays its home games at Apogee Stadium. The men's and women's basketball programs play at the UNT Coliseum. Many of the school's athletic facilities are located at the Mean Green Village, which opened for the 2006-07 athletic season. The athletic village area includes:

  • Mean Green Soccer Complex
  • Warnach Tennis Pavilion
  • Lovelace Stadium (Softball)
  • Mean Green Volleyball Center


  1. "Eagles are 19-Point Favorite", Denton Record-Chronicle, Sep 21, 1967, pg 10
  2. ""Mean" Joe Greene".
  3. Mike Cochran (AP), "Mean Green Same as Nickname", The Abilene Reporter-News, Sep. 1, 1968
  4. "NTSU Honors International Composer," The Dallas Morning News, May 9, 1970
  5. "Pianist Will Play Works of Copland", Denton Record-Chronicle, pg 2, Oct. 6, 1957
  6. "North Texas Championships". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2007-08-20.

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