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UWF Athletics History Timeline

(last updated in 2010)
1967: UWF athletics starts with three men’s teams - basketball, golf, and tennis

  • Tom Gross, faculty chair of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation serves as the first athletic director and tennis coach
  • Tom Martin, provost of Omega College, serves as the first golf coach
  • Marvin Beck, head coach at Pensacola High School and already a member of the UWF faculty, named first basketball head coach
    • first UWF basketball schedule includes Washington and Lee University, Nicholls State College, and Huntingdon College, and the first home game is on December 7 against the Florida Institute of Technology
    • Argonauts compiled 19-3 record in first season, marking the highest winning percentage (.864) in school history

1967: UWF sailing starts as a co-recreational team and a member of the Southeastern Intercollegiate Sailing Association (SEISA), competing against the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Miami, Georgia Tech, Louisiana State University, and Tulane University, among others

1969: UWF sailing team wins the SEISA championship, marking the first intercollegiate championship for a team at West Florida

1969: Argos basketball begins competing in the UWF Field House for the first time, having played at the Pensacola Junior College Health Center the previous two seasons

1970: National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) admits West Florida as a member

1973: men’s golf program ends

1973: administration of the athletic program moves from Health, Physical Education and Recreation to the Division of Student Affairs, which marks the first of three decisive years in which the fate of the program is debated

1974: men’s soccer moves from club to varsity status, while men’s tennis moves from varsity to club

1976: men’s tennis returns as varsity sport, as well as women’s tennis, marking the school’s first women’s varsity sport

1976: men’s basketball team goes 19-12 and earns a first ever berth into the NAIA national tournament

1976: Pensacola News Journal front page headline reads “UWF Bounces All Varsity Sports from Program”, which appears on the same day that the men’s basketball team returns from a first round loss at the NAIA national tournament

1976: students vote to end all varsity sports in favor of expanded opportunities for student participation at the club and intramural level

1979: Pensacola News Journal interview reveals that the Student Government Association (SGA) is considering a proposal to resume an athletic program with four sports: men’s and women’s tennis, women’s basketball, and men’s soccer

1980: ad hoc committee for intercollegiate athletics recommends tennis, softball, baseball, and men’s soccer to begin in the fall of 1980; recommendation is endorsed by the SGA, which provides a budget for tennis, baseball, and women’s basketball instead of softball

1980: Joe Ambersley takes over as athletic director in the department’s first year back

1981: UWF men’s and women’s tennis returns under head coach James McDougall

1981: in its first year the UWF baseball team wins the Southern Division championship of the NAIA Southern States Conference under head coach Chuck Goldfarb

1981-82: women’s basketball begins its first season under head coach Kathy Davis

1982: Ralph “Skeeter” Carson takes over as head coach of UWF men’s and women’s tennis

1982: softball begins play in the Florida Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (FAIAW), finishing fourth in the state tournament

1983: Jim Spooner takes over as UWF baseball coach, a position he would hold for 23 seasons until 2005

1984: Dr. Joe Ellenburg appointed athletic director

1984: Pensacola Sports Association presents $50,000 grant to restart men’s golf program, and Jake Johnson is named head coach

1986: men’s and women’s cross country teams are added; Stuart Towns hired as men’s coach and Dave Seiler as women’s coach

1987: men’s soccer is restarted under new coach Charles Long

1987-88: 15 student-athletes earn All-America honors and 30 receive all-district honors

1988: women’s tennis duo Laura Cadena and Bronna Allison wins NAIA national doubles championship

1988: Richard Berg succeeds Joe Ellenburg as athletic director

1988-89: UWF enjoys one of the top overall seasons in school history in Richard Berg’s first year

  • second year men’s soccer team wins NAIA District 27 title in triple overtime win over Auburn Montgomery
  • five teams advance to national tournament play (baseball, softball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s golf)
  • golfer John Grant finishes second at the NAIA national tournament
  • Bronna Allison wins the NAIA singles national championship; Skeeter Carson named the women’s tennis National Coach of the Year

1990: Erich Hochman wins the NAIA singles national championship in men’s tennis; Ralph “Skeeter” Carson wins a second National Coach of the Year award

1991: men’s tennis duo Erich Hochman and Geoff Watts wins the NAIA doubles national championship

1991: women’s soccer plays first season under head coach Tami Cyr

1992: Sorin Cherebetiu and Andrej Toneck successfully defend UWF’s NAIA doubles national championship

1993: UWF softball wins the school’s first team national championship at the NAIA tournament; Doug Palmer and Tami Cyr both receive National Coach of the Year honors, as Cyr took over for Palmer prior to the national tournament due to health problems

1993: men’s basketball returns to action under new head coach Don Hogan

1994: UWF voted into the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II and Gulf South Conference (GSC), and the Argonauts win four GSC championships in their first year as a conference member (men’s cross country, men’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s tennis)

1994: former Argonaut Steve Fell starts his first season as new men’s golf head coach

1995: Bill Elliott hired as new head coach for both the UWF men’s and women’s soccer teams

1995-96: Moochie Norris stars for the men’s basketball team and is drafted into the NBA

1996: UWF men’s and women’s cross country sweeps the GSC championships, as the men’s team wins its second conference title and women their first; John Viitanen wins the NAIA marathon race

1997-98: head coach Megan Henry leads UWF women’s basketball to a 25-5 record and the team’s first GSC East Division title and NCAA tournament appearance

1998: the Argos men’s golf team wins its fourth straight GSC title and finishes fourth at the NCAA Championships

1998: West Florida softball claims its first GSC championship and finishes with a record of 48-17

1998: Orjan Larsen wins the NCAA Division II men’s golf individual championship and is named National Player of the Year

1998: men’s soccer wins its first GSC championship and advances to the NCAA tournament for the first time

1999: Derrick Racine takes over as head coach of the UWF men’s and women’s tennis teams, as Ralph “Skeeter” Carson retires after 17 seasons

1999: Shannan Bergen is promoted to head coach and replaces Megan Henry after spending three years as an assistant coach

2000: men’s tennis star Radovan Chrz wins the “Super Bowl” singles title at the ITA Small College Championships, a tournament including all players from the Division II, Division III, NAIA, and junior/community college levels

2000: volleyball starts at UWF under head coach Nicole Keshock

2000: UWF softball wins the south regional and advances to the NCAA national tournament for the first time

2001: the men’s golf team wins the school’s first NCAA team national championship; Steve Fell is named National Coach of the Year

2001: Joe Bartlinski starts his UWF coaching career with the women’s soccer team

2002: Krissy Styrna of the UWF softball team becomes the first Argonaut to win GSC Commissioner’s Trophy honors

2002: women’s golf starts at UWF under head coach Robin Dezarn

2003: Melissa Wolter hired as the new West Florida volleyball head coach, and Wolter leads the Argos to a program-best 24-7 record

2004: UWF baseball wins its second straight GSC East Division title after finishing the year with a program-best 15 conference wins

2004: men’s tennis wins first NCAA national championship

2004: UWF’s fall seasons canceled due to Hurricane Ivan

2005: men’s tennis teams wins second straight NCAA national title and head coach Derrick Racine wins his third National Coach of the Year honor

2006: Mike Jeffcoat, a former player and assistant coach under Jim Spooner, starts his first year as head coach of the UWF baseball team

2006: West Florida women’s golf wins its first GSC championship and the first of five straight titles

2006: UWF hosts the NCAA Division II National Championships Festival in Pensacola, including national championship tournaments for cross country, field hockey, soccer, and volleyball

2006: West Florida men’s soccer has its best season in school history, going 20-1-3 and advancing to the NCAA semifinals

2007: including the baseball team’s first ever GSC championship, UWF wins six conference titles in one season, marking its most successful year in school history

2007: UWF women’s tennis advances to the NCAA finals for the first time

2008: men’s golf claims its second NCAA championship, marking UWF’s fifth team national championship; Steve Fell earns his second National Coach of the Year honor

2008: Dave Scott takes over as athletic director

2008: UWF volleyball wins its first GSC title after posting its second straight undefeated conference record; the Argos advance to the finals of the NCAA regional and finish one win shy of a bid to the NCAA Championships

2008: women’s soccer has its best season in school history, winning the GSC title and advancing to the championship game of the NCAA tournament; Shaneka Gordon is named National Player of the Year and Joe Bartlinski wins National Coach of the Year

2009: UWF President Judith Bense appoints the Athletics Visioning Team, a committee that is tasked with developing recommendations regarding the future direction of UWF Athletics

2009: West Florida women’s tennis wins its 10th GSC title, becoming the first UWF team to reach 10 conference championships

2009: Bob Stinnett, UWF hall of famer and team captain of the Argonauts’ first ever basketball team, is hired as the team’s new men’s basketball head coach

2009: men’s soccer wins its fourth straight GSC championship and sixth in nine seasons

2009: UWF women’s soccer advances to the NCAA semifinal round for the second straight year and finishes with a record of 22-0-1; Shakira Duncan named National Player of the Year

2010: Jennifer Pandolfi is named new head coach of the Argos women’s golf team and leads UWF to a fifth straight GSC championship

2010: UWF President Judith Bense gives her response to the Athletics Visioning Team; she announces that UWF will stay in Division II for the foreseeable future, but a decision will be made about the potential addition of a football team by summer 2011

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