The Razorbacks, also known as the Hogs, are the names of college sports teams at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The term Arkansas Razorbacks properly applies to any of the sports teams (men or women) at the university. The Razorbacks take their name from the pig of the same name. The University of Arkansas student body voted to change the name of the school mascot (originally the Cardinals) in 1910 to the Arkansas Razorbacks after a hard fought battle against LSU in which they were said to play like a bunch of Razorback hogs. The Arkansas Razorbacks are the only major sports team in the US with a porcine nickname, though the Texas A&M–Kingsville Javelinas play in Division II.
The University of Arkansas currently fields 19 total varsity teams (eight men's and 11 women's) in 13 sports. The seven men's varsity sports includes baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, track and field; the 11 women's varsity sports includes basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, indoor track, swimming and diving, outdoor track, tennis, softball and volleyball. The Arkansas Razorbacks compete in the NCAA's Division I (I FBS in football) and is currently a member of the Southeastern Conference (Western Division).
On December 4, 2012, the University of Arkansas named Bret Bielema the football team's new head coach. The position was previously held by John L. Smith, who served as the interim coach while UofA found a replacement for Bobby Petrino after Petrino was released from his duties with cause on April 10, 2012. Petrino followed the ten season tenure of Houston Nutt. The team plays its home games either at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, located on the University of Arkansas campus, or at War Memorial Stadium, located in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1964, the Razorbacks were the only team to go through the regular season and a bowl game undefeated, and they were awarded the Football Writers Association of America National Championship. The 1969 team, led by legendary quarterback Bill Montgomery, challenged the Texas Longhorns for a national championship in the Game of the Century.
The basketball team plays its home games in Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus. One of the top 10 NCAA programs of all time, the Razorbacks were ushered into the modern era on the shoulders of Coach Eddie Sutton (800 game winner). Under the leadership of Nolan Richardson, the Razorbacks won the NCAA tournament in 1994 defeating Duke University, and appeared in the championship game the following year, but were beaten by UCLA. The Razorbacks have been to NCAA Final Four in 1941, 1945, 1978, 1990, 1994 and 1995, though the first two were achieved before the NCAA gathered the final four teams in one site.
The current head coach for the men's basketball team is Mike Anderson. The former assistant under Nolan Richardson has returned to Arkansas. On 26 March 2007, Stan Heath was fired as the head coach of the men's basketball team. John Pelphrey ultimately replaced Heath and made the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, but did not make any subsequent postseason appearances and was fired after the 2010-11 season. Pelphrey compiled a 69–59 overall record and 25–39 SEC conference record while at Arkansas. Mike Anderson was announced as the new men's Basketball head coach on March 23, 2011.
The baseball team, led by former Texan Dave Van Horn reached the 2012 College World Series compiling a 2-0 record in Omaha before falling in consecutive games to two time defending national champion South Carolina in the championship of Bracket Two. South Carolina was defeated in the National Championship Series by Arizona.
The Razorbacks also reached the 2009 College World Series, joining previous appearances in Omaha in 2004, 1979 (finished runner-up); 1985; 1987 and 1989. The team plays home games in Baum Stadium, which finished several major renovations in 2004 and 2009.
Many Razorbacks players have gone on to the majors, perhaps the most successful is Cliff Lee, the 2008 AL Cy Young Award Winner, with the most recent being Dallas Kuechel of the Houston Astros.
The track and field team was under the direction of legendary John McDonnell for over 25 years (since the 1977–78 academic year). McDonnell's men's teams have won 42 NCAA championships since 1984, including 12 cross country, 19 indoor track and 11 outdoor track along with 37 Southwest Conference Championships, and 38 of 40 SEC titles. The Razorbacks, under his direction, won five National Triple Crowns, achieved by winning NCAA titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track in the same school year. Arkansas and the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) are the only teams to have ever won the National Triple Crown. The track and field Razorbacks men completely dominated the sport during the 1990s, winning 24 of the 30 available titles.
The Razorbacks golf teams are based at The Blessings golf course in Fayetteville. From the back tees of the course, the rating is 79.1 and its slope is 153, making it one of the most difficult golf courses in the U.S.
The men's golf team has won two conference championships: 1958 Southwest Conference and 1995 Southeastern Conference. R. H. Sikes won the NCAA Championship in 1963 and the team place second in 2009.
Founded in 1971, the University of Arkansas Rugby Club is the longest tenured sports club on campus. Arkansas plays college rugby in the Division 1 Heart of America conference, a conference composed mostly of Big 12 and SEC teams.The team plays at Walker Park, just south of the Donald W. Reynolds Stadium. Arkansas rugby is led by head coach Warren Fyfe.
Arkansas has consistently been one of the best teams in the Heart of America conference, winning the conference title in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years, and finishing second in 2011-12. Arkansas defeated Kansas 28-12 to reach the finals of the 2012 Heart of America 7s tournament, where they lost to Lindenwood.
Historically, Arkansas' most heated rivalry was with the Longhorns of the University of Texas. However, the rivalry has become much less intense since the two teams joined different conferences in the early 1990s and now meet up infrequently. Texas leads the series in football and baseball, while Arkansas holds the series lead in basketball and track & field.
Another rival from the state of Texas is Texas A&M. During their Southwest Conference rivalry days, the two teams played annually in all sports. In 2009, the rivalry resumed again on an annual basis, being played each year at Cowboys Stadium. (see Arkansas–Texas A&M rivalry) The rivalry in all other sports resumed in the fall of 2012 after A&M joined the SEC.
Since joining the Southeastern Conference the Razorbacks have developed a rivalry with Louisiana State University (LSU Tigers) in football. The game between these two teams usually takes place near the end of the season and has sometimes decided the SEC Western Division Championship. The winner of this game takes home the "Golden Boot" which is a gold trophy in the shape of the two states. Arkansas took the Golden Boot home in 2007 with a 50–48 win over the #1 ranked Tigers in Baton Rouge. This was their first time winning the trophy since 2002. Arkansas and LSU have also built a rivalry in baseball, as the two schools have been at the top of the NCAA attendance standings for the past several seasons. In 2001, despite coming into the series in last place in the SEC West, Arkansas swept a three-game series from top-ranked LSU, which won the 2000 College World Series, in Fayetteville.
In basketball, the primary rival for the Razorbacks in the SEC had been the Wildcats of the University of Kentucky. This rivalry developed during the coaching tenures of Rick Pitino at Kentucky and Nolan Richardson at Arkansas when Kentucky was annually in competition for a national title and Arkansas had a few good years as well.
However, as of the 2012-13 Academic year, the Men's Basketball team's new rivalry is the Missouri Tigers, who joined the SEC conference in 2012. The two Universities had squared off 37 times prior to the 2012-13 season, with the Razorbacks holding a 19-18 edge in the overall series.
Inside the state of Arkansas, the University of Arkansas has contiuned to maintain the policy of not competing against other in-state Division I schools  There are now four other Division I schools in the state of Arkansas: Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. ASU is the only school of the three to compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision; UALR does not have football, while UAPB and UCA compete in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
After classes were first held at the university, a contest was held on campus to select school colors. Cardinal (a shade of deep red) was selected over heliotrope, a shade of moderate purple. The first Arkansas football team was formed that same year and was known as the "Arkansas Cardinals". Sometime around the year 2000, the color black began making its way onto Razorback merchandise and eventually some team uniforms. Indeed, for some time, the Collegiate Licensing Company (responsible for all UA licensed gear) touted the university's colors as red and black instead of cardinal red and white. While this has been corrected, many manufacturers of UA related merchandise still make product according to the red and black color scheme.
In 1909 the football team finished a 7–0 season allowing only 18 points on defense and scoring 186 points on offense. College Football Hall of Fame coach Hugo Bezdek proclaimed his team played "like a wild band of razorback hogs". The name proved so popular that it was changed for the 1910 season. The tradition of calling the hogs, “Woo, Pig! Sooie” was added in the 1920s.
In 1957 Frank Broyles was hired as head football coach and served in that position for 19 years. Broyles team was awarded the 1964 National Championship by the Football Writers Association of America and the Helms Athletic Foundation. At the time, The AP and UPI awarded the designation before bowl games, and gave the award to Alabama. However, Alabama lost their bowl game to Texas, while Arkansas won their bowl game against Nebraska. The FWAA and HAF awarded their National Championship designations to Arkansas, who was the only team to go undefeated through bowl games that year. Both the University of Arkansas and the University of Alabama claim National Championships for the year 1964. However, by the standards of today, Alabama is recognized as the official National Champion.
Arkansas has been publicly criticized for still claiming a National title in football to this day.
In 1969 Broyles team was ranked #2 and played the #1 Texas Longhorns, coached by Darrell Royal, at Fayetteville. The game, known as "The Big Shootout" is perhaps the most notable football game in Razorback history. President Richard Nixon was even in attendance. The Razorbacks led 14–0 until the 4th quarter. Texas scored 15 unanswered points and won the National Championship 15–14.
After Broyles left coaching and became Athletic Director he hired Lou Holtz to take his former position. Holtz served as head football coach from 1977 through the 1983 season. Under Holtz the Razorbacks lost a National Championship in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama and beat the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl ending their National Championship hopes.
The basketball team rose to prominence in the 1970s under the coaching of Eddie Sutton and with future NBA star Sidney Moncrief along with Marvin Delph and Ron Brewer, three similarly-sized Arkansas bred guards, known as "The Triplets." The team made a Final Four appearance under Sutton, finishing 3rd by defeating Notre Dame on a last second shot in the now defunct consolation game.
In the 1980s the football team was coached by Ken Hatfield and established itself as a powerful running team. The Razorbacks challenged for the SWC title each year and went to the Cotton Bowl Classic twice. Hatfield's teams established excellent regular season records, but had difficulty winning bowl games.
In 1990 Broyles led the Razorbacks out of the Southwest Conference and into the Southeastern Conference, setting off a major realignment in college football. In 1995 Arkansas won its first SEC Western Division Title in football.
In 1994 Nolan Richardson's basketball Hogs won the NCAA Tournament. Richardson's basketball teams challenged for the SEC and National Championships regularly during the 1990s, making three trips to the Final Four and two trips to the championship game while compiling a record of 389–169 (.697) in his 17 years as the head coach.
On 10 December 1997, Houston Nutt was hired as head football coach for the Razorbacks (1998 season was his first full season) to replace his predecessor, Danny Ford, who had been head coach since 1993. Highly sought after as a Little Rock Central quarterback, Nutt had been the last recruit to sign under Broyles, but transferred to Oklahoma State once he did not fit Holtz's offensive plans.
Soon after Houston Dale Nutt's timely departure, Razorback fans rejoiced as Atlanta Falcons Coach Bobby Petrino called the Hogs. Petrino quickly rebuilt the depleted Razorback football program into a top ranked nationally relevant program leading them to a BCS game in 2010 and the school's third 11 win season with a top five season ranking in the 2011 season. Petrino was subsequently fired as details of an affair with a member of his staff and Petrino's attempts to cover up this relationship surfaced. AD Jeff Long introduced John L. Smith as the interim coach for the 2012 season in late April.
Smith entered the season as the steward of a pre-season top ten squad with multiple pre-season Heisman hopefuls. He recorded the school's first loss to a Sunbelt team in the program's 100 year history as Louisiana Monroe pulled the upset in Little Rock. In only his second game he had managed the second largest drop from the AP ranking narrowly missing the number one spot held by Michigan after losing the season opener to Appalachian State just threes years before.
On December 4, 2012, the school named former University of Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema as head coach for the 2013 season.
The live mascot for the University of Arkansas is named Tusk. He is a Russian boar that closely resembles a wild razorback hog and weighs in at approximately 400 pounds. Tusk attends all home Razorback football games, as well as various other events.
There are a number of costumed mascots for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks that attend most major sporting events. Big Red (aka the "Fighting Razorback") is the traditional mascot for the University and represents the intimidating fighting spirit of the Razorbacks at all athletic events. Sue E., is the female hog and is famous for her costume changes and dancing ability. Pork Chop is the "kid" mascot. Boss Hog, a nine-foot inflatable mascot, joined the mascot family during the 1998–99 football season.
The Razorback was officially adopted as the University's mascot in 1909 after Hugo Bezdek, the coach at the time, stated after a big win that his team played like a "wild band of razorback hogs". Subsequently, the razorback became the mascot for the entire university, replacing the cardinals as the official mascot. The only current athletic logo for the University is the classic or running hog as has been depicted on the program's football helmets. The university has ceased manufacture of memorabilia with any of the other logos in an attempt to re-brand the athletic department.