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NCAA/NAIA National Championships: Most National Championships by School

Posted by Andrew McKillop on June 15, 2011

A few years ago Sports Illustrated released an end of the year issue, in which they examined sports on a geographic level.  They mapped championships, athletes, events, etc.  The most intriguing map to me in was the one where they mapped NCAA championship schools.  We hear a lot about college football and basketball, but there are dozens of other sports that the NCAA/NAIA sponsors.

Meaning every year there is a handful of national champions that go unnoticed.  The map in the mentioned SI issue helped shed a little light on those champions.  For example the state of Alaska won a few national championships thanks to the rifle team at Alaska-Fairbanks.

I decided to take SI’s idea, and expand on it.  For example in the SI article they only mapped NCAA Division I national champions.  I decided to record every national champion, in every championship sport sponsored by the NCAA and NAIA (including some discontinued sports).  The end result is a database with over 4,000 records of national championship teams.

This week I will start processing all of that data, and come up with some lists, charts, and graphs to explain what I found out about national champions. At the end of my analysis this week, I’ll release the database online.

Click here to see a detailed list of which sports/championships were included in the database.  Vacated championships weren’t included in the database.

Most Team National Championships by School

The UCLA Bruins have won more national championship than any other school, with 108 titles.  Stanford follows with 99 national championships, and Southern California has 98 national championships.  Those three schools account for a little fewer than 7% of all the national championships ever won.

Check out the list below chronicling the top 50:

Rk School Total Championships NCAA NAIA
1 UCLA (CA) 108 108
2 Stanford (CA) 99 99
3 Southern California 98 98
4 Abilene Christian (TX) 65 58 7
5 Kenyon (OH) 57 57
6 Simon Fraser (BC) 55 55
7 Adams St (CO) 51 25 26
8 Oklahoma St 47 47
9 LSU (LA) 45 45
10 Texas 44 44
11t Arkansas 41 41
11t UW La Crosse (WI) 41 34 7
11t Penn St 41 41
11t UW Oshkosh (WI) 41 32 9
15 The College of NJ 39 37 2
16 North Carolina 37 37
17t Azusa Pacific (CA) 36 36
17t Oklahoma City 36 36
19 Michigan 35 35
20 Cal Poly 34 34
21 Cal St Northridge 32 32
22t Drury (MO) 31 17 14
22t St. Augustine’s (NC) 31 31
24 California 30 30
25t Middlebury (VT) 29 29
25t Denver (CO) 29 29
25t Cal St Bakersfield 29 29
28 Ohio St 28 28
29t Georgia 27 27
29t Florida Southern 27 27
29t Central St (OH) 27 2 25
32t Oklahoma 26 26
32t North Central (IL) 26 22 4
34t Williams (MA) 25 25
34t Iowa 25 25
34t UC San Diego (CA) 25 24 1
34t Maryland 25 25
34t Methodist (NC) 25 25
39 Florida 24 24
40t Colorado 23 23
40t Arizona St 23 23
40t Notre Dame (IN) 23 23
40t BYU-Hawaii 23 11 12
40t Wisconsin 23 23
45 Indiana 22 22
46t Nebraska 21 21
46t UTEP (TX) 21 21
46t Michigan St 21 21
49t UC Irvine (CA) 20 20
49t Auburn-Montgomery (AL) 20 20
49t Utah 20 20

Eastern Michigan (1970) and Stanford (1992) have won the most national championships in one year, winning six titles in one calendar year.  Although it’s important to note that in 1970 Eastern Michigan won both the NCAA and NAIA titles in Men’s Cross Country.

Eastern Michigan’s 1970 titles: NAIA: Baseball, Cross Country (M),  Indoor Track & Field (M), Outdoor Track & Field (M), Swimming & Diving (M), NCAA: Men’s Cross Country (M)

Stanford’s titles: 1992 titles: NCAA: Basketball (W), Gymnastics (M), Swimming & Diving (M) & (W), Tennis (M), Volleyball (W)

Kenyon (OH) won national titles in 31 consecutive years (1980-2010) (all in Men’s Swimming & Diving), it’s was the longest streak of its kind.  Stanford follows, winning 28 national titles in consecutive years (1980-2007).

UCLA and Southern California have won national championships in 12 different sports (not counting the difference between men’s and women’s sports).  Michigan and Stanford have won national championships in 11 different sports:

UCLA: Basketball, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Volleyball, and Water Polo.

Southern California: Baseball, Basketball, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field, Soccer, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Volleyball, and Water Polo.

Southern California has won the most “Men’s” national championships with 84, while Stanford has won the most “Women’s” national championships with 40.

Men’s National Championships

Rk School Men’s Championships
1 Southern California 84
2 UCLA (CA) 72
3 Stanford (CA) 59
4 Oklahoma St 47
5 Abilene Christian (TX) 42
6 Arkansas 41
7 UW La Crosse (WI) 38
8 Michigan 33
9t Adams St (CO) 31
9t Kenyon (OH) 31


Women’s National Championships

Rk School Women’s Championships
1 Stanford (CA) 40
2 UCLA (CA) 36
3 Simon Fraser (BC) 32
4 The College of NJ 31
5 North Carolina 27
6 Kenyon (OH) 26
7 LSU (LA) 25
8 Abilene Christian (TX) 23
9t Texas 22
9t UW Oshkosh (WI) 22

Listed below are NCAA Division I (basketball & football) schools that have never won a national championship on any level (NCAA Div I, II, III & NAIA Div I, II).

NCAA Div I Schools w/o National Championships
Alabama St Mississippi
Albany (NY) Mississippi St
Alcorn St (MS) Missouri-Kansas City
American (DC) Monmouth (NJ)
Arkansas St Morehead St (KY)
Austin Peay St (TN) Nevada
Ball St (IN) New Mexico St
Belmont (TN) Niagara (NY)
Bethune-Cookman (FL) Nicholls St (LA)
Binghamton (NY) North Carolina A&T
Bradley (IL) Northeastern (MA)
Bryant (RI) Northern Arizona
Butler (IN) Ohio
C Connecticut St Oral Roberts (OK)
Canisius (NY) Presbyterian (NC)
Central Florida Quinnipiac (CT)
Charleston Southern (SC) Radford (VA)
Charlotte (NC) Rider (NJ)
Chicago St (IL) Robert Morris (PA)
Cleveland St (OH) Saint Joseph’s (PA)
Coastal Carolina (SC) Samford (AL)
Colgate (NY) Savannah St (GA)
Colorado St Seton Hall (NJ)
Creighton (NE) Siena (NY)
Delaware St South Alabama
DePaul (IL) South Carolina St
Drexel (PA) Southern Mississippi
Duquesne (PA) Southern Utah
East Tennessee State (TN) St. Bonaventure (NY)
Fairfield (CT) St. Francis (NY)
Florida Atlantic St. Francis (PA)
Florida Gulf Coast St. Peter’s (NJ)
Fordham (NY) Stetson (FL)
George Washington (DC) Stony Brook (NY)
Georgia St Texas A&M-CC
Hartford (CT) The Citadel (SC)
High Point (NC) Toledo (OH)
Hofstra (NY) UA Pine Bluff (AR)
Houston Baptist (TX) UAB (AL)
Iona (NY) UNC Wilmington
IPFW (IN) UT Arlington (TX)
IUPUI (IN) UT Martin
Jacksonville (FL) UT San Antonio (TX)
Kansas St Utah St
Kent St (OH) Utah Valley
Lafayette (PA) UW Milwaukee (WI)
Liberty (VA) Valparaiso (IN)
Long Island (NY) VCU (VA)
Longwood (TN) Virginia Tech
Loyola Marymount (CA) VMI (VA)
Marist (NY) Weber St (UT)
Memphis (TN) Western Carolina (NC)
Mercer (GA) Winthrop (SC)
Miami (OH) Xavier (OH)

Reference: Sources used to compile list of NCAA/NAIA national champions.


31 Responses to “NCAA/NAIA National Championships: Most National Championships by School”

  1. Chris Woodrow said

    I noticed this randomly, but I graduated from Abilene Christian. We’ve dominated D2 track and field for quite a long time! More recently, we’ve fielded 3 NFL players, although no championships (yet).

    • Andrew McKillop said

      Your right about that. Abilene Christian actually leads the state of Texas in NCAA/NAIA team national championships. Quite an achievement considering all the strong athletic programs in Texas.

  2. Bobby Ricigliano said

    Georgia won the AP footbal national championship in 1980 and the College World Series in 1990.

    • Andrew McKillop said

      Your absolutely correct. In fact earlier in the post I mentioned Georgia won a total of 27 national championships and is the top 50 list. They clearly shouldn’t have been on the “no national championships list”. Probably a matching error in the spreadsheet. Thank you for the correction.

  3. Jim said

    Women’s Rowing is included, but Men’s Rowing is not on the list of sports. Why?

    • Andrew McKillop said

      Believe it or not, Men’s Rowing isn’t a sport officially sponsored by the NCAA.

    • Muldoon said

      Men’s rowing has its own governing body, the Intercollegiate Rowing Association. The IRA was founded in 1895 and therefore pre-dates the NCAA by over a decade. Rowing is steeped in tradition – the first intercollegiate sporting event of any kind was a rowing race between Harvard and Yale in 1852 (the race is still held to this day). National championships have been held in rowing since 1871. Cornell has won 38 of those national championships since then, making it perhaps the most decorated college sports team in the country. The IRA and its predecessor, the RAAC, established many of the rules that were later adopted by the NCAA. Though the NCAA has courted Men’s Rowing since its inception, the men’s rowing community is perfectly content with its own governing body and the IRA has no plans of joining its younger cousin, the NCAA.

      Women’s rowing, which does not share the same history/tradition as men’s rowing, defected to the NCAA in the 90’s, and has since been a major beneficiary of the enforcement of Title IX. But even women’s rowing has a history that goes back nearly half a century before it joined the NCAA.

  4. Jim said

    “Unofficial” championships are also not included in the school totals, correct? For example, Oklahoma State is listed as having won 47 team championships, but three unofficial championships in wrestling would bring the total to 50. The unofficial champs are still listed on the NCAA wrestling champions list, so those could be included since the NCAA recognizes that OSU won them (a judgement call).

    • Andrew McKillop said

      The championships are listed in the record books, but the NCAA puts an asterisk to them. The only sport that I broke the unofficial championship rule for was D1-FBS football; that was the judgement call I made here.

      • GO BLUE said

        You leave out all football championships pre 1936 . . . very unfair to 50 years of football which most older/traditional schools do consider valid.

      • Andrew McKillop said

        Your right. It is unfair, although not “very”. I’ll mostly likely add them at a later date.

  5. Charlie Buttrey said

    Quinnipiac in is Connecticut.

  6. Charlie Buttrey said

    Let me try that again. Quinnipiac is in Connecticut. The sentence “Quinnipiac in is Connecticut” makes no sense. But you knew what I meant.

  7. Jake said

    Your total for the University of Wisconsin (23) is incorrect. The UW has actually won 28 official NCAA national championships:
    * Boxing: 1939, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1948, 1952, 1954, 1956
    * Men’s Basketball: 1941
    * Men’s Cross Country: 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 2005
    * Women’s Cross Country: 1984, 1985
    * Men’s Ice Hockey: 1973, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1990, 2006
    * Women’s Ice Hockey: 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011
    * Men’s Indoor Track & Field: 2007
    * Men’s Soccer: 1995

    In addition to those, they have also won 30 non-NCAA national titleS in crew (rowing):
    * Men’s Varsity Eight: 1951, 1959, 1966, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1986, 1990, 2008
    * Men’s Second Varsity Eight: 1973, 1974, 1986
    * Men’s Freshman Eight: 1900, 1907, 1964, 1972, 1973, 1979, 1983, 1985
    * Women’s Varsity Eight: 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1986
    * Women’s Lightweight Eight: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009

    • Andrew McKillop said

      Thanks for bringing this up.

      I checked into it and I’m going to stay with my tally of 23.

      Your right about the boxing titles, but boxing wasn’t an official NCAA sport until 1948. Titles before that are still listed in the record book but with an asterisk.

      The Men’s CC title in 1983 was vacated by UTEP. The Wisconsin record books might list Wisconsin as the champs, but the NCAA RB doesn’t see it that way.

  8. […] Re: Parking/Tailgating in Lincoln By the way, considering Iowa has more NCAA Championships than Nebraska, I'm not sure why any Iowa fan would be jealous of Nebraska. NCAA/NAIA National Championships: Most National Championships by School […]

  9. Chris said

    your responses were so respectful to the questioners I just needed to thank you for being so civil.

  10. Matthew said

    Hey Andrew, Great Blog Post, I did find an error however. Middlebury has won 31 National Championships (all since 1995 when their division – NESCAC – began allowing its schools to compete in national championships).

    Here’s a list of all their National Championships.

    Men’s Hockey (8)-1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006
    Women’s Cross Country (6)-2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010
    Women’s Hockey (5)-2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006
    Women’s Lacrosse (5)-1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004
    Men’s Lacrosse (3)-2000, 2001, 2002
    Men’s Tennis (2)-2004, 2010
    Men’s Rugby (2)-2007, 2009
    Men’s Soccer (1)-2007
    Field Hockey (1)-1998
    International Quidditch Association World Cup Championship(4)-2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

    Obviously rugby and Quidditch aren’t recognized by the NCAA, so they don’t count, but the rest of them add up to 31. Am I missing something?

    • Andrew McKillop said

      Thanks for the additional info Matthew. I’ll look into it and see where my error is. I’ll probably update the list sometime after the spring championships are over with.

  11. Aaron Fawcett said

    this is a good website my first time on it

  12. nick said

    Actually you need to do better research Ohio State has a total of 67 that for all sports

  13. nick said

    The Ohio State University has 67 total team national titles. Of these, 23 are NCAA championships. The Buckeye athletics program also has 299 individual national champions.

    Baseball: 1966
    Basketball: 1960, 1986 (NIT), 2008 (NIT)
    Fencing: 1942
    Football: 1942, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970, 2002
    Golf: 1945, 1979
    Gymnastics: 1985, 1996, 2001
    Swimming & Diving: 1943, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1962
    Outdoor Track & Field: 1929
    Volleyball: 2011

    Synchronized swimming: 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
    Pistol: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009
    Cheerleading: 1993
    Fencing: 2004, 2008
    Pistol: 2000

    • Andrew McKillop said

      I’ll look into it, but I can see a few of those sports are not sponsored by the NCAA/NAIA. I clearly stated that my list only included NCAA/NAIA titles.

  14. Steven Oldham said

    This is an interesting site. It is somewhat non-representative in that the list is limited to NCAA and NAIA championships. While admittedly this is clearly stated, a better list would include sports with national championships sanctioned by other bodies, particularly since a stated purpose is to recognize all championships, not just football and basketball. For example, over half of the University of California’s championships are highly recognized sports but happened to be sanctioned by other organizations (rowing and rugby). Including these would raise California from number 24 on your list to perhaps number 4 on a combined list with about 80 national championships, as well as one of the highest in the men’s category. I am not sure of this, but I would hazard a guess that California has won more national championships in rugby, 29, than any other school in a single sport.

    • Andrew McKillop said

      I did the NCAA/NAIA because that is all I had time for. As it was, chasing down the champions in the NCAA/NAIA was difficult, considering I included sports that were no longer sponsored. I would like to add traditional sports like rugby, rowing, etc. Perhaps this summer I can get it done.

  15. Billy said

    I noticed Louisville and Kentucky University’s aren’t on here. How come? I think UL has 41 and UK has about 29 or so.

    • Andrew McKillop said

      I’ll look into it at a later date. But it’s possible the titles were in sports not sponsored by the NCAA/NAIA.

  16. Noel said

    Just to point out, Mississippi should not be on the list of no championships, with claims to the 1959, 1960, and 1962 college football championships.

    • Andrew McKillop said

      I only included AP and coaches poll national championships. I’ll probably add others at a later date.

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