USU athletes have a graduation success rate of 82%, the highest in the WAC.
Perfecting his pole vault for the Aggie track team (2009 conference champions).
Coming a long way since its first intercollegiate football game at in 1892, student athletes today compete in 16 Division I sports in the Western Athletic Conference.
The athletics program at USU has much to brag about. Accolades include multiple conference championships, a nationally ranked NCAA basketball team and the newly finished Jim and Carol Laub Athletics-Academics Complex. The Aggie tradition also includes former Olympians — such as L. Jay Silvester (‘72 Olympics, silver medal in discus) and Ladonna Antoine (’96, ’00 Olympics, 400 meters) — and former and current NFL players Merlin Olsen, Chris Cooley and Kevin Curtis, among others.
Spotlight: Men’s Basketball
Utah State University completed its 104th basketball season in 2009. The team won the 2008-2009 WAC regular season and tournament championships and was ranked 17th in the last ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Its 18-game winning streak was the longest in the nation at the time and the second-longest in school history.
Over the years, USU men’s basketball has proven to be a powerhouse not only in Utah but in the nation. In the past 10 years, Utah State has played in 10 straight post seasons. The Aggies also rank fourth in the nation for winning percentage, behind only Duke, Kansas and Gonzaga.
NEW HONOR FOR USU’S GREATEST ATHLETE
USU honored the most decorated football player in school history by naming the playing field inside Romney Stadium “Merlin Olsen Field.”
Olsen earned All-American honors during his junior and senior seasons, and in 1961 he won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s outstanding interior defensive lineman. He was also a three-time academic All-American and graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Kappa Phi in 1962 with a degree in finance.
Olsen was the third overall pick in the 1962 NFL draft and became a charter member of the Los Angeles Rams’ famed “Fearsome Foursome.” He was named to an NFL-record 14 Pro Bowls. Olsen was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1962 and the league’s Most Valuable Lineman in 1973.
He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and in 1999 was ranked No. 25 on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. He was voted to the All-Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 1988.
Notable USU Athletic Alumni:
Greg Grant: One of Utah State’s top scorers in basketball, played for Detroit Pistons, NBA
Merlin Olsen: 15 seasons in NFL
Jaycee Carroll: All-time scoring leader for men’s basketball, currently plays for a Spanish first-division team
Elaine Roque: Fourth on all-time prize money list, Women’s Pro Volleyball Association
Chris Cooley: Tight end, Washington Redskins, NFL
Kevin Robinson: Wide receiver, Kansas City Chiefs, NFL
Kevin Curtis: Wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles, NFL
Mary Lou Ramm: pitcher, U.S. world championship softball team