Article Tag Archives: athletics

Celebrating 100 Years of Bulldogs

BulldogPuppy2012-23of41Tenacity, perseverance and dedication were the traits that first earned Truman athletics the name Bulldogs 100 years ago. While much has changed over the last century, these core qualities remain strong on campus. This spring, students celebrated the Bulldogs’ centennial with a week of events leading up to Truman’s National Spirit Day, April 3.

Although the term “bulldogs” was first used by coach O.C. Bell to describe the football team’s tenacity in 1909, it was not until 1915 that Bulldogs became the official name. After several losing seasons — and no wins at all in 1914 — a committee was formed to see what could be done about reviving school spirit. While the students were very supportive, the committee knew they were discouraged, so it was decided that some type of emblem was needed to inspire enthusiasm.

President Troy Paino and Spike

President Troy Paino and Spike

The committee suggested the bulldog be adopted as the team mascot because of his perseverance and ability to hold on and fight until the very end. This perfectly represented not only the team’s dedication, but also the loyalty of the student body. The 1914 team never gave up and neither did their fans, who always gave them a hearty send off and welcome home for every away game.

It was the baseball team that first played under the Bulldog name in the spring of 1915. To honor this tradition, Spike the Bulldog threw out the first pitch at a Truman home baseball game as part of the week of festivities.

Spike100Cake Other events in the weeklong celebration included an open mic night and murder mystery improv comedy night. Another highlight of the week was an official 100th birthday party in the Student Union Building where Spike was joined by members of more than a dozen campus organizations and received a bulldog-themed birthday cake.

More information about the Bulldog mascot can be found at

Baseball Earns Trip to College World Series

Sports-BaseballAfter shattering a school record in wins last season, the 2015 Truman baseball team raised the bar to new heights during the most historic season to date in program history.

Coach Dan Davis’ squad won nine more games than the year before (35), finished above .500 for the fourth time in program history and first time since 1982 (35-22), earned a spot in the 48-team NCAA Division II national tournament, and swept through the Midwest regional to earn a trip to Cary, N.C., and the Division II College World Series.

The Bulldogs raced out of the gate winning 11 of their first 13 games, including a four-game sweep over the defending national champion, the University of Southern Indiana. The two losses came against Division I opponent the University of Missouri and a one-run loss to the University of Illinois-Springfield.

The early season success coupled with a strong GLVC West division schedule earned the Bulldogs a spot in the NCAA Midwest regional tournament for another first in program history. Truman was the fourth seed in the tournament and was the only team to run the table and go undefeated, finishing off Ashland (Ohio) in the championship game 6-3 to earn the trip to the World Series.

In Cary, the team was treated to first-class facilities at the USA Baseball Training Complex. A high-profile banquet took place on the floor of the RBC Arena, the home of the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League, and the team participated in a community engagement project with The Miracle League of the Triangle.

When games restarted, the Bulldogs lost 3-1 in an 11-inning dogfight to Mercyhurst (Pa.) in the opening game, then fell 13-2 to the No. 8 team in the nation, Cal Poly Pomona, in an elimination game.

Six Bulldogs earned All-GLVC honors with pitcher Kent Frantz earning GLVC Freshman of the Year accolades. He was joined on the first team by seniors Paul Trenhaile and Jarod Hahn, while seniors Zak Larkin and Cody Gardner, along with freshman Brendan Trimble, were named to the second team.

Frantz and Gardner led the team and broke the single-season pitching wins record with nine apiece. Trenhaile nabbed all-region honors and wrapped up his career as Truman’s leader in hits (235) and RBIs (129).