University of Minnesota Athletics
Donning their famed maroon and gold colors, the Minnesota Golden Gophers call the Big-10 conference their home. The beautiful campus calls Minneapolis, Minnesota home. At any home sporting event, you will find Goldy Gopher, a lovable gopher decked out in team colors, revving up the crowd to cheer their team to victory. The mascot is derived from the fact that Minnesota is known nationwide as the “Gopher State.”
When anyone thinks about Golden Gopher sports, the first thing that comes to mind is ice hockey. At the famed Mariucci arena in Minneapolis, 10,000 hockey fans gather to cheer on the Golden Gopher team. Minnesota has a rich hockey heritage as a state and this definitely carries over to the Golden Gopher traditions. The men’s program has captured seven national championships in its existence and has appeared in the NCAA Frozen Four tournament 21 times. The lady Golden Gophers hockey team has also seen their fair share of success as well with seven national championships and 13 NCAA Frozen Four tournaments. Around the state of Minnesota, it is common to see fans decked out in the maroon and gold Gopher hockey jerseys.
Other notable programs at the University of Minnesota include the wrestling program, which is a perennial championship contender in the Big-10 conference. The program also won three national team championships near the turn of the 21st century. The football program is also big on campus. The Golden Gophers football team has many traveling trophies at risk each year with their Big-10 rivals, most notably Paul Bunyan’s Axe that they battle yearly for with the neighboring Wisconsin Badgers program. Another notable traveling trophy is Floyd of Rosedale, a bronze pig trophy that the Gophers battle the Iowa Hawkeyes for during their annual meeting.
At any Golden Gopher sporting event, the crowd gets riled up to the tune of “Minnesota Rouser,” the fight song of the University athletic teams. The Golden Gophers have seen a fair share of professional athletes come through their programs. Paul Molitor, Denny Neagle, Terry Steinbach and Dave Winfield all were Gopher baseball players. The football program has seen the likes of Marion Barber III, Bronko Nagurski, Carl Eller and Tony Dungy. The Golden Gopher hockey program has had Herb Brooks, Neal Broten and Jordan Leopold all skate for the team.