Cougar Athletics Rising to be Elite Powerhouse

To be known for a specific sport in the collegiate world is pretty common. For instance Vanderbilt University is the emphasis of college baseball, Duke University has basketball, and of course Alabama University is most commonly known for its football program.

For a college to be known for more than one sport is special. The University of Houston has the opportunity to soon be one of those special schools. U of H is a public school with a basketball team ranked sixth in the Associated Press rankings. The football department finished 17th in AP rankings and second in the American Athletic Conference just under fourth ranked University of Cincinnati.

The success of the cougars athletically has not gone unnoticed with 17 sport programs and 158 conference championships, 17 National Collegiate Athletic Association team national championships, and 68 NCAA individual awards. All the success amassed has earned U of H an invitation to the Big 12 Conference. The move will be cemented in the fall of 2023.

In the professional sports world it is not uncommon to see large groups of players in one sport all be from the same college. In the National Basketball Association (NBA) Kentucky leads the league in active alumni with 27. Duke is second with 22. In the NFL, Alabama has 53 former players on rosters currently. Ohio State University is runner up with 47. These numbers are impressive with only two percent of collegiate athletes going on to perform professionally.

While U of H is not yet on the scale of those schools, when the cougars develop an athlete, their impact is not ignored.

Notable alumni that competed professionally are NBA Hall of Fame inductee Hakeem Olajuwon, two-time NBA Hall of Fame inductee Clyde Drexler, and nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis. More recently though former Houston Texans Quarterback Case Keenum and Buffalo Bills Defensive Tackle Ed Oliver.

Everything is in place for U of H to be the next Texas powerhouse college very soon. It will not be too surprising if they then become a national one.