Seattle University athletic events are a gathering place for current students, faculty and staff, as well as alumni and the community.
Opportunities for prospective student-athletes are on the rise at SU, with the addition of six sports (baseball, men’s and women’s golf, women’s rowing, men’s and women’s tennis) in the past five years as well as increased scholarship money in established sports such as soccer and softball.
In fall 2012, Seattle University Park expanded intramural sports and sport clubs programming from 38 to 69 hours a week. The park provides a new softball venue with field turf and lights for night play, as well as a practice field for the soccer teams and a two-lane track to boost the track and field program.
As of July 2012, 17 of SU's 20 sports compete as part of the Western Athletic Conference, while men's soccer and men's swimming continue to participate in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The newest inclusion is women's rowing, which now competes as a Division I independent.
Seattle University has a long and rich NCAA Division I athletics history that first flourished during the 1950s with its men’s basketball teams and All-Americans Johnny and Eddie O’Brien, who led SU in becoming the only team in history to have defeated the world famous Harlem Globetrotters at that point.
In 1958, Hall of Fame inductee Elgin Baylor paced a men’s basketball team that advanced to the Final Four and defeated what was then number one ranked Kansas State University. During this decade, Seattle University was a leader in the area of racial integration and diversity, commonly referred to as the “United Nations of college basketball.”
Student-athletes at Seattle University consistently perform well in the classroom. In spring quarter 2012, 73 students earned a spot on the Dean’s List and 32 more placed on the President’s List, including 18 student-athletes with a perfect 4.0 GPA for the quarter.
The Seattle University athletics department participates in numerous service projects throughout the academic year. Each team performs at least one community service project every year, working with groups such as the Rotary Boys and Girls Club and the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.
“That’s at the core of who I am, too. It’s not just talk. It’s who we really are as a university,” says Cameron Dollar, head coach of men’s basketball. “As you go through life, it’s about building relationships, investing in people, giving back and serving others. I can legitimately look in the faces of parents and say I’m training their sons to serve others.”