A Century Of Basketball
It’s November 26th and the Fresno State Bulldogs Men’s basketball team is 5-0. We couldn’t be more excited to see another awesome season of great games from our Fresno State’s Bulldogs. Fresno State has some great basketball players and both the men’s and women’s teams have earned their places in NCAA history for their outstanding playing.
Fresno State has been around since 1911, and the basketball program came hardly a decade later, starting with their inaugural year in 1921—making this season the hundred-year anniversary. The Bulldogs’ first basketball coach was Arthur W. Jones who coached until 1929 after taking over for Emory Ratcliffe, who was a pivotal figure in the athletics programs of Fresno State. Their first season, the Bulldogs played as an independent team, but they soon joined the California Coast Conference, which would last until 1928, though the Bulldogs only remained members until 1924.
In 1971, the women’s basketball team under the guidance of coach Donna Pickel, another pivotal figure in Fresno’s State’s athletics, pulled ten wins to only four losses in their first season. They went on to win nine games the next season for only five losses, putting them in a strong start.
Since the 1920s, the teams have evolved along with the sport, and the bulldogs have participated as members of numerous conferences and associations, all the way up to today, as we prepare for the 2021-22 season!
The Bulldogs have had several very notable seasons since their inception in the ‘20s and both the men’s and women’s teams have earned a place in NCAA history as very formidable teams. The men’s team first showed up in NCAA tournaments in 1981, and the women’s team first competed in the NCAA tournaments in 2008.
The women’s team then went on to compete in the tournament for seven years in a row. In the 2009-10 season, the women’s team didn’t face a single loss until the NCAA tournament, posting a whopping sixteen conference wins that season.
The men’s team has also competed in ten National Invitation Tournaments, beginning in 1983, as well as the 2014 College Basketball Invitational. The Bulldogs men’s team won the Pacific Coast Athletic Association Tournament in 1981, 1983, and 1984, and won the Mountain West Conference Tournament in 2016.
Traditions Carry Strong
Blue and Red
We’re familiar with the cardinal red wave of Fresno State fans, but what about the blue? The Bulldogs are known for their distinctive and eye-catching blue and red colors. The adoption of blue came from a minor dispute between students from Fresno Normal School and Fresno Junior College. Women from Fresno Normal School wanted to adopt a blue and white color combination as a counterpart to the men’s red and white colors, while men from Fresno Junior College insisted on red. In the end, a compromise was reached, and the Bulldogs still sport the blue and red colors today.
Bulldogs – Pride of the Valley
You might have noticed that the bulldog jerseys are adorned with a small green V near the shoulder—what’s that about? Aren’t the colors blue and red? They are, but Fresno State has been for decades and continues to be one of the biggest agricultural schools in the San Joaquin Valley, and Bulldogs carry the green V as a respectful reminder of the agricultural heritage of the valley.
A Century Later
A century after the first Bulldogs teams, we’re getting ready for yet another season of red wave magic! This season, the women’s team, coached by Jaime White began competing starting on November 4th, and the men’s team, coached by Justin Hutson, kicked off the season on November 3rd. We couldn’t be more proud of a century of basketball as we gear up for another great season from both teams!