UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s lengthy national championship history dates to 1921, including two titles this year, which have boosted the Nittany Lions to the forefront nationally in NCAA title success.
Starting with the men’s and women’s fencing team winning its 10th national crown in March 2007, Penn State leads the nation with 18 NCAA championships over the past nine years, which includes football titles. Oregon and Southern California are tied for second with 16 titles each.
This past weekend, Coach Cael Sanderson directed Penn State to its fifth NCAA wrestling championship in the past six years with a dominating performance in Madison Square Garden. Led by national champions Nico Megaludis (125 pounds) and Zain Retherford (149) and three more finalists, the Nittany Lions rolled up 123.0 points to easily out-distance Oklahoma State (97.5), Ohio State (86) and Virginia Tech (82). Penn State also captured its fifth Big Ten championship in the past six years earlier this month.
Last December, Coach Erica Walsh guided the Penn State women’s soccer program to its first NCAA championship with a 1-0 victory over Duke in Cary, North Carolina. The Nittany Lions were led by senior Raquel Rodriguez, who won the prestigious MAC Hermann Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate player. The Nittany Lions also won their 17th Big Ten championship in the past 18 years and captured their sixth conference tournament title last fall.
The Nittany Lions have won at least one NCAA title in each of the past 10 academic years, starting in 2006-07.
Penn State’s 18 NCAA championships are at least double the number of NCAA titles won by every Big Ten Conference institution over the past nine years. Since 1992-93, the Nittany Lions’ 29 NCAA championships are more than double every Big Ten school that has competed in the conference for at least two full years (Nebraska has 13 titles, Minnesota and Ohio State each have 12).
The Nittany Lions have seen six different teams combine to win their 18 national titles over the past nine years. Penn State has had NCAA crowns earned by women’s volleyball (6), wrestling (5), men’s and women’s fencing (4), men’s gymnastics (1), women’s soccer (1) and men’s volleyball (1).
Florida and Stanford are tied for fourth with 15 NCAA titles since March 2007, followed by UCLA (14), Alabama (10) and Texas A&M (10).Penn State NCAA championships since March 2007:
Women's volleyball — 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014Wrestling — 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016Men's and women's fencing — 2007, 2009, 2010, 2014Women’s soccer — 2015Men's volleyball — 2008Men's gymnastics — 2007Sanderson also directed Penn State to four consecutive NCAA championships from 2011-14. The Nittany Lions have won seven wrestling national titles overall.
Led by Coach Russ Rose, the Penn State women’s volleyball team has won six of the last nine NCAA championships, including four straight from 2007-10. The Nittany Lions’ seven overall NCAA women’s volleyball crowns are the most of any school nationally.
Coach Wes Glon directed Penn State to the 2014 NCAA fencing championship. The Nittany Lions have won 13 national titles to easily lead the nation. Notre Dame is next with four.
Coach Randy Jepson led Penn State to the 2007 NCAA men’s gymnastics championship, its 12th national title, which also leads the nation.
Coach Mark Pavlik guided the Nittany Lions to the 2008 NCAA men’s volleyball championship. Penn State’s pair of national titles is tied for the most among all schools east of the Rocky Mountains.Penn State’s 48 NCAA Championships all-time (76 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River.
Penn State has won 76 national championships and 97 Big Ten titles all-time, including seven NCAA titles and 24 conference crowns since September 2012. The Nittany Lions won three NCAA championships overall in 2013-14, their most since winning three in 1999-2000. Penn State placed No. 8 in the final 2014-15 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup rankings, its 11th top 10 finish in the program’s 22 years.
Penn State student-athletes have an 88 percent NCAA Graduation Success Rate and 63 percent of them earned at least a 3.0 grade-point average last fall. A school record 516 student-athletes posted a 3.0 GPA or higher during the 2015 fall semester, with 234 earning Dean’s List honors with a 3.5 GPA or higher. Penn State ranks No. 4 among all Division I schools with 191 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time.