Wednesday, July 10, 2002
Dynasties not to be forgotten
By Amy Chou
While Notre Dame football and UCLA basketball stand as the model of collegiate sports dynasties, the list doesn't end there. Though they have enjoyed little national fanfare, these team accomplishments of longevity, commitment and performance are more time-tested than Armor All.
Kenyon College men's and women's swimming
How they ruled: Jim Steen doesn't have the name recognition of John Wooden, but his men's and women's swim teams at Kenyon College are every bit as dominant as UCLA's basketball team of the 1960s and '70s. Steen's 41 NCAA titles in 28 seasons at Kenyon are more than any other NCAA coach. His women's teams have won 18 Division III titles since 1975, overshadowed only by the men's 23 consecutive titles from 1980-2002.
UNC women's soccer
How they ruled: Dean who? The Tar Heels' amazing nine-year championship run from from 1986-94 was depicted in a full-length documentary film made in 1995 entitled, fittingly, "Dynasty." Coach Anson Dorrance has produced 16 NCAA College Cups (1982-84, '86-94, '96-97, '99-2000) and coached the U.S. national team to its first Women's World Cup title against China in 1991. There were two Tar Heels on that squad, and eight of 20 players on the 1999 team. UNC boasts the NCAA soccer record for consecutive home victories, 84 (Sept. 6, 1986 -- Sept. 18, 1994) and consecutive conference victories, 55 (Oct. 23, 1994 -- Sept. 1, 2000).
Tennesee women's basketball
How they ruled: Perhaps the most overlooked dynasty in college sports despite six NCAA titles in 12 years and a record 13 trips to the Final Four. Obliterating competition in the 1990s, the Vols captured titles in 1991, '96, '97 and '98. Tennessee has sent nine players to the WNBA since the league's inception in 1997, a number surpassed only by Connecticut's 11. The Vols were voted "College Team of the Decade" for the 1990s.
Maryland women's lacrosse
How they ruled: The Terps might have captured the men's basketball title, but Maryland's greatest team success has long been on the lacrosse field. The Terps have won eight NCAA titles since 1993, including a seven-year streak from 1995-2001. Coach Cindy Timchal's teams finished the 1995, '96 and '99 seasons with perfect records. Australian Jen Adams scored an NCAA record 445 points (267 goals, 178 assists) by the time she graduated in 2001.
Notre Dame football
How they ruled: No school has a more storied football history than the Fighting Irish. Under coach Frank Leahy, Notre Dame won three national titles (1943, '46, '47) in four seasons. Most notably, in the 1946 campaign when the Irish met the undefeated, defending champions Army team and leveled the score 0-0, capturing the national title. All-Americans and Heisman winners John Lujack and Leon Hart were both produced during the Leahy dynasty.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo women's cross country
How they ruled: Coach Lance Harter transformed the Division II school to a women's cross-country powerhouse, capturing 14 national titles, including six in track and field, before moving on to Division I Arkansas in 1989 where he has become a six-time SEC Coach of the Year recipient. Cal Poly dominated the 1980s under Harter and took the championship title for 10 consecutive years in women's cross-country from 1982-91.
Reign: 1947-1964 and 1973-1988
How they ruled: Not one, but two coaches can be attributed to Oklahoma football's dynastic years, and the similarities are striking. Legendary Bud Wilkinson coached 17 years starting in 1947, winning three national championships, including back-to-back titles in 1955 and '56, and set the NCAA record for 47 consecutive victories over five seasons. Later, Barry Switzer (1973-88) also would win three more national championships, including his own back-to-back titles in 1974 and '75.
Southern California baseball
How they ruled: Not only have the Trojans won more College World Series than any other school (12), but they also set the bar at five consecutive titles from 1970-74 under famed coach Rod Dedeaux. From 1968-78, Southern Cal cranked out seven titles in 10 years, including the unprecedented five in a row. By the time Dedeaux retired from coaching in 1986 to become the director of baseball, he had developed a remarkable roster of pro-bound players that included Mark McGwire, Dave Kingman and Randy Johnson.
How they ruled: Iowa wrestling rose past Olympian expectations when 1972 gold medallist Dan Gable became its coach in 1977. In Gable's 21 seasons in charge of the Hawkeyes, Iowa took 21 Big Ten titles and 15 national championships, including an astounding nine NCAA titles from 1978-1986. The success continued with current coach Jim Zalesky, who was responsible for four titles (1997, '98, '99, 2000) in five seasons under his name.
Stanford men's tennis
How they ruled: Though Stanford holds the record for most NCAA tennis championships at 17, they are in perennial competition with Southern California, which owns 16 titles. You could point to the extensive coaching experience of Dick Gould as the difference. Gould, the 2000 NCAA Coach of the Year, has won back-to-back national titles three times during his 36-year career (1973-74, '77-78 and '88-81) at Stanford.
Compiled by ESPN.com intern Amy Chou