The Michigan Wolverines and Their Championship Tradition

Submitted by justingoblue on February 26th, 2012 at 3:36 AM

It might surprise everyone to hear that there is no concise, summarized data on Michigan athletic championships by team (this page is close, though, and was found after I completed the diary). This diary is, to my knowledge, going to be the first (crude) repository of Michigan's team and individual championship history by sport. I will include number of conference championships, latest year, and number of national championships as well.

The table has been edited to include regular season championships for sports with tournaments. After some thinking, that's the standard I decided to go with. I do include individual championships (tennis doubles and track relays are considered individual for this diary), with the exception of women's tennis, simply because I could not find the information. I would be happy to add them to the chart if someone can give me a total number of women's singles/doubles Big Ten championships. One more note before starting: for hockey, the Big Ten titles won during the 1960's will count towards the total number of conference championships. This is not meant to be a list of CCHA champions, rather a look at M hockey and their championship tradition.

All data was compiled from either the Bentley Historical Library or MGoBlue. There may be inaccuracies, simply because I'm human, or more likely one of the sources messed it up and my counting/notes were perfect.

It wouldn't be a diary without a...Chart? Chart.



Sport CC (Team) Last CC CC (Ind.) NCAA Titles Last NCAA (Team) NCAA (Ind.)
Basketball 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A
Cross Country 6 2004 6 0 N/A 1
Field Hockey 4 2007 N/A 1 2001 N/A
Golf 0 N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Gymnastics 18 2011 76 0 N/A 7
Rowing 5 2004 N/A 0 N/A 1
Soccer 2 1999 N/A 0 N/A N/A
Softball 14 2011 N/A 1 2005 N/A
Swimming 19 2004 N/A 0 N/A 11
Tennis 3 2011 ? 0 N/A 0
Outdoor T/F 7 2007 77 0 N/A 6
Indoor T/F 8 2006 55 0 N/A 6
Volleyball 1 1981 N/A 0 N/A N/A
Water Polo 6 2011 N/A 0 N/A N/A



Sport CC (Team) Last CC CC (Ind.) NCAA Titles Last NCAA (Team) NCAA (Ind.)
Baseball 35 2008 N/A 2 1962 N/A
Basketball 12 1998 N/A 1 1989 N/A
Cross Country 9 1998 11 1 1997 0
Football 42 2004 N/A 11 1997 N/A
Golf 12 1952 14 2 1935 3
Gymnastics 15 2010 126 6 2010 29
Hockey 14 2010 N/A 9 1998 N/A
Lacrosse 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A
Soccer 1 2010 N/A 0 N/A N/A
Swimming 36 2012 299 11 1995 160
Tennis 35 1996 49 1 1957 2
Outdoor T/F 31 2008 303 1 1923 34
Indoor T/F 26 1994 221 0 N/A 11
Wrestling 11 1973 123 0 N/A 21

On a related note, I had an idea for an MGoProject. I think it would be nice if we could work together and create a page for each Wolverine athletic team which could then be edited by other users for updates/corrections. If we did this in a standard form that included coaching histories, championship years, All-American/All-Conference selections, ect. we could put the pages into the User Created HoF and they would be easily accessible to anyone looking for information on a particular sport. I could volunteer to take several sports, and users could post on a team they follow closely (i.e. MGoSoftball could make the softball page). If that idea resonates with enough users, I'll create a template and post it as a diary, and we can begin. If you're interested, or want to tell me that it's a dumb idea, just let me know here



February 26th, 2012 at 4:28 AM ^

You are missing the NCAA Championship in Women's Field Hockey (2001),

Also, this link on MGoBlue lists numbers of individual national championships. If you're going to count individual conference champions, might as well add a column for individual national champions.


You could also throw in the 2 NCAA championships in Trampoline, even though that is no longer an NCAA championship sport.

I think this is a potentially worthwhile compilation, but might ultimately a better place for this information to be documented.


February 26th, 2012 at 4:51 AM ^

I was more concerned with team competition, but that might be a good idea to add. I'll get the field hockey championship into the chart once I hit reply here.

Just explaining my thought process here, so don't take it as an argument or anything more or less than that:

The project, at least in the terms I thought of it, would resemble a sport specific Wikipedia page, and MGoBlue doesn't have anything too similar. For some sports there are PDF's including everything from last season's record to a list of every letterman ever, along with championships and what-not. This isn't particularly user friendly, or easy to search, so I thought there might be a niche available here.

Again, I could be convinced either way, which is why I asked for feedback. Right now it's just an idea from a guy who needs to get to sleep but won't get off the couch.

Edit: I included trampoline (conference and NCAA) in gymnastics. That was how Bentley had it, so those championships are counted, just not as their own sport.


February 26th, 2012 at 4:53 AM ^

I wasn't meaning to be critical. I always love to have concise reference information like this available and I agree it can be hard to find. I was only thinking that it might find a broader audience on or even Wikipedia. Then again, MGoBlog may have more editorial freedom to create such pages and certainly has plenty of dedicated fanatics to help with the research.


February 26th, 2012 at 11:23 AM ^

I would be happy to help with a project like this.

One correction.  You state--"For example, baseball had no tournament prior to 1981. Regular season champion is used until the 1980 season, but only tournament wins are counted from 1981 onward."

This is not accurate.  From 1896 to 1980, the regular season chammpion was the conference champion.  From 1981 to 1992, the winner of the conference tournament was the conference champion.  But from 1993 to present, the regular season champion was the conference champion, and the tournament was only used to determine the automatic bid to the NCAA tournaments.  This gives Michigan 35 Big Ten baseball championships, not 34.

The Big Ten does this in several sports--the regular season champion is given the "conference championship," but the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament is given to the tournament champion.  This is true in Field Hockey, M & W Soccer, M & W Basketball and M & W Tennis in addition to Baseball.


February 26th, 2012 at 11:59 AM ^

I had no idea there were separate competitions for the autobid and the championship in the Big Ten, and I did miss the part where baseball went back to regular season titles determining conference championships. I'll change their number to 35.


February 26th, 2012 at 12:28 PM ^

I wish I had known about that record book while putting together this information. There's a ton of information in there; thanks for linking to it.

It would also be perfect for putting together those sports pages, since it lays out the coaching histories and a recap of many tournaments/final standings.


February 26th, 2012 at 12:45 PM ^

That was actually in there at one point, but I'm working back and forth between MGo and Excel and must not have put the number on the spreadsheet I paste from. That's now corrected in Excel itself, along with the baseball number, so it shouldn't change again.


February 26th, 2012 at 2:15 PM ^

I regularly do some editing on hockey's Wiki page.  According to John Bacon and "Blue Ice," we won conference championships in the '20's and '30's, as well, when we played in the WIHL.  So, if you add up regular season and conference tournament championships, we have 30, of course pending the 2012 CCHA Tournament. 


February 26th, 2012 at 3:10 PM ^

Michigan has, as far as I am aware, a total of 18 trophies that say "Conference Champion" on them.  Michigan has the following officially recognized conference championships in hockey--

MCHL 1953

WIHL 1956

Big Ten 1961, 1962, 1964, 1968, 1969

WCHA 1964

CCHA 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2011

I don't agree with the pre-1951 championships, as I understand that those are simply "unofficial" Big Ten championships.  The Big Ten officially recognized hockey from 1959 to 1981, but not before then.

The MCHL and the WIHL are the same conference, and it existed from 1952 to 1958, changing its name for the 1954 season.  The WCHA was created for the 1960 season, but it claims the MCHL and WIHL as part of its history.  Michigan moved from the WCHA to the CCHA after the 1981 season.

The CCHA, like the Big Ten in several sports, awards its championship trophy and the title league champions to the winner of the regular season.  The tournament is for the automatic bid, and a trophy called the "Mason Cup." 


February 26th, 2012 at 3:31 PM ^

I don't agree with calling the regular season champions the conference champions in a given year. The CCHA tournament is designed to designate a champion, as the media guide for the CCHA explains, and the name of the game surely does ("CCHA Championship Game") in the media guide. If it earns a team an autobid, it's the championship in my eyes.

For example, if the Red Wings win the President's Trophy this season, they won't be NHL champions; if Big Ten football had a regular season crown it wouldn't make Sparty conference champions from last year.


February 26th, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

I see what you are saying, but look at the trophies that the teams are given, and at the banners they put up in Yost.  The regular-season winner gets a trophy that says "CCHA Champions."  The tournament winner gets a trophy that says something like "Mason Cup."

The banners hanging from the ceiling of Yost Arena confirm this.  For the years that Michigan won the regular season, they have banners saying "CCHA Champions."  For the years that Michigan won the CCHA tournament, they have banners saying "CCHA Playoff Champions."

I think that's an important distinction, one that Michigan recognizes as important, and one that we should keep making. 


February 26th, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

If you see above, Alton had corrected me about the format used for Big Ten baseball championships. Softball is the same way, where CC =/= BTT champs.

The correct number is fourteen by that measure, and yes they've won at least a share in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Wallaby Court

February 26th, 2012 at 6:04 PM ^

Have you considered changing your post formatting? It makes more sense to have the team championships organized together, then put the individual championships afterwards. Proposed order would look something like:

CC (Team) - Last CC - NCAA Titles - Last NCAA - CC (Ind.) - NCAA (Ind.)

That reads cleaner to me and allows for a better comparison between CC and NCAA.