Five Things to Know About the University of Houston
1. A Diverse Student Body: Located in the country’s fourth-largest city, the University of Houston’s student body is the second most ethnically diverse major research institution in the United States (According to U.S. News & World Report, 2010). Of the 38,752 students, many come from across the country and from more than 137 countries.
2. Houston Quarterbacks Air It Out: Over the past 25 years, several Houston quarterbacks have gained national attention for their passing prowess. Beginning with 1989 Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware, who threw for 4,699 yards and 46 touchdowns. A year later, David Klingler set a then-FBS record with 50 passing touchdowns. More recently, Kevin Kolb (now of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals) passed both with a Cougars-record 12,964 career passing yards. And this season, Case Keenum became the FBS career leader in touchdown passes and total offense.
3. The Cougars Have a Proud Basketball Tradition: Counting some of the game’s great players among its alums, the Houston Cougars sport an impressive history on the hardwood. In 1968, in front of 52,693 fans at Houston’s Astrodome, the Cougars defeated John Wooden’s UCLA team in what was dubbed the “Game of the Century”. The game was the first NCAA regular season game broadcast in prime time and the Cougars, behind Elvin Hayes, ended UCLA’s 47-game winning streak. In the 1980s, Houston reached the Final Four three consecutive years behind Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. These teams, nicknamed “Phi Slama Jama” ended their run by losing to Georgetown in the 1984 NCAA championship game. The Cougars’ five Final Four appearances are good for eighth-most in college basketball. The women’s program has also made the NCAA tournament five times and has had two top-10 WNBA Draft picks.
4. Cougars are Elite on the Links: The most successful program at Houston historically may be the men’s golf program. The team has won 16 national championships and sports professional alums Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Bruce Lietzke, John Mahaffey, Bill Rogers, and Blaine McCallister.
5. New Facilities on the Horizon: The University of Houston announced ambitious plans to upgrade its facilities in 2010. As part of the plans, a new 40,000-seat football stadium will be built on the site of Robertson Stadium and extensive renovations will be made to Hofheinz Pavilion – the home of Cougar Basketball. The arena would house two new practice courts, offices for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball programs, academic/video rooms and new space for sports medicine and sports performance.