Varsity Sports at Berkeley

October 27, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Varsity Sports at Berkeley

What are the Varsity Sports at Berkeley? The University of California, Berkeley has set a goal for itself to become the institution of the first choice for student-athletes who place a high priority on the pursuit of academic and athletic achievement and who will enthusiastically pursue their professional objectives after graduation. The mission of the Cal Athletics Department is to give the university’s 850 student-athletes an experience that is on par with the best in the world. “To Educate, Compete, Serve, and Excel…Developing Leaders of Tomorrow” is the University’s aim towards Varsity Sports at Berkeley.

Although the University of California, Berkeley is committed to competing at the highest academic and athletic levels, the education of Berkeley student-athletes and the promotion of their success in the years to come will continue to be the institution’s top focus. The University of California, Berkeley intends to do everything it can to provide its student-athletes the best possible chance of succeeding academically, athletically, and professionally after they graduate from the university.

This mutual dedication to overall excellence serves as the guiding principle behind the Berkeley way of life. In all that it does, including teaching, research, public service, and athletics, the University of California, Berkeley aspire to be a national and international leader. The history of Cal Athletics provides abundant proof of the program’s consistently high level of performance, including more than 200 Olympic medals and 97 national team championships in 16 different sports.

The intercollegiate athletics program is an essential component of the university’s identity and a significant contributor to the excellence and distinctive nature of the institution. “increase possibilities to build the leaders of tomorrow,” which is written as one of its most significant aims in the campus strategic plan, is one of its most important goals.

Sports equipments placed on a bag.

Berkeley’s students have the opportunity to compete at the highest level in their respective sports, and they also have the chance to develop the qualities of mind and character that highly disciplined, team-based sports build. These are qualities that are valued and required for success on campus, in the workplace, and throughout one’s life. There is no doubt that Cal Athletics is an important training ground for the development of leadership.

What are the different Varsity Sports at Berkeley?

What are the different Varsity Sports at Berkeley? The sporting teams that compete under the banner of the University of California, Berkeley are known as the California Golden Bears. The university fields 30 varsity athletic programs and various club teams in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I primarily as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, and for a limited number of sports as a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. In athletic competitions, the university is referred to as California or Cal (MPSF).

Since the school’s founding, the University of California, Berkeley has amassed a total of 111 team championships, including national championships in 13 men’s and 3 women’s sports. Athletes from the University of California have participated in the Olympic Games from a wide variety of countries.

The Bears make use of a number of notable facilities, including California Memorial Stadium (for football games) and Haas Pavilion (basketball and other indoor sports). The Golden Bears ended the athletic season 2010–11 with a total of 1,219.50 points, which was good enough for third place in the Director’s Cup rankings. This was the greatest finish in school history for the Golden Bears. Due to the fact that rugby and men’s crew are not overseen by the NCAA, Cal did not collect any points for winning national titles in any of those sports. The 2014-2015 season ended with Cal finishing in 12th place overall.

Cal began requiring prospective student-athletes to meet rigorous academic requirements in the year 2014 in order to enroll at the school. By the 2017–2018 school year, the University of California requires that 80 percent of prospective student-athletes meet the general student requirement of having a high school grade point average of 3.0 or better. The dominant track and field team from California in 1895 was on a tour of institutions in the Midwest and the East, which is where the moniker for the state arose.

During the journey, the squad carried with them a blue silk banner emblazoned with a golden grizzly bear, which is the official symbol of the state. Since that time, the University of California, Berkeley’s athletic teams have been referred to as the Golden Bears. Here are the following Varsity Sports at Berkeley.

Men’s Varsity Sports at Berkeley

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Water Polo

Women’s Varsity Sports at Berkeley

  • Basketball
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo

Popular Varsity Sports at Berkeley

What are the most popular Varsity Sports at Berkeley? Cal Athletics contributes to the formation and maintenance of the connections that hold a community together. The University of California, Berkeley believes that students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends of the University have the opportunity to come together, celebrate the University’s spirit and identity, and enjoy themselves more fully as a result of participating in and attending competitions. And for many of Berkeley’s alums, sporting events serve as an essential component of the ongoing engagement they have with UC Berkeley as well as the support they provide for the university.

The University of California, Berkeley is committed to ensuring that student-athletes have every opportunity to flourish not only in the classroom but also on the playing field, as well as in their professional careers after graduation. In addition, the University’s goal is to establish a curriculum of world-class quality that is accompanied by a responsible and sustainable financial model.

This model will be supported by philanthropy, creative revenue generation, and careful fiscal management. It is the goal of the University of California, Berkeley, to create an atmosphere in which every student-athlete, coach, and member of the staff at Cal Athletics feels like they belong on campus because they are supported, respected, and welcomed everywhere they go. Thus, here are some of the most popular Varsity Sports at Berkeley.


The University of California, Berkeley is represented in collegiate football competition by the California Golden Bears football team, which competes at the NCAA Division I FBS level and is a member of the Pac-12 Conference. The club is coached by Justin Wilcox and competes at California Memorial Stadium, which serves as the venue for the team’s home games.

The first game was played in 1886, and since then, the team has gone on to win five NCAA national championships (1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, and 1937) and 14 conference championships, the most recent of which was in 2006. A fumble recovery by Roy “Wrong Way” Riegels in the 1929 Rose Bowl and The Play’s kickoff return in the 1982 Big Game are considered to be two of the strangest and most memorable plays in the history of college football. Both of these plays occurred during the Big Game.

Unidentified person practicing in a field.

In the year 1882, the University of California put together its first American Football squad. The school’s first-ever athletic contest took place versus Stanford University in March of 1892. The Big Game is one of the oldest college rivalries in the United States, and this was the very first time it had been played. It is an annual rivalry event. In 1899, the University of California played a home game against the future legend Pop Warner and the rising power of the era, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. The game was coached by Garrett Cochran, an alumnus of Princeton. Warner accepted the challenge that Cochran issued, stating that his unbeaten team could defeat any East Coast competition.

The year 2017 saw the beginning of Justin Wilcox’s tenure as head coach of the Cal Golden Bears. Wilcox is known for his defensive-minded strategy, which is the polar opposite of Dykes’ style. The Bears had a losing season that year, yet they were able to win 37–3 against No. 8 Washington State despite having a losing record overall. The Bears finished with a record of 7–6 in 2018, and Wilcox’s defense was ranked No. 15 in the nation in terms of total yards allowed. The victory over USC was the pinnacle of the season for Wilcox, who was the linebackers coach at Cal at the time. It was the first time they had beaten USC since 2003.

The Bears finished the 2019 season with a record of 8–5, including a victory in the Redbox Bowl. This marked an improvement from their previous season’s record of 5–9. They started the season off with a perfect record of 4-0, which helped them attain their highest ranking since 2009 when they were rated No. 15. They also defeated Stanford in the Big Game for the first time since the same year.


The men’s college basketball team of the University of California, Berkeley is called the California Golden Bears, and they compete in the Pac-12 Conference. The program has enjoyed much success throughout the course of its history, culminating in the winning of the national title in 1959 under the direction of coach Pete Newell. In addition, the team has advanced to the final four on three separate occasions, most notably in 1946 and 1960. Mark Fox, who began his time as head coach at Cal in 2019, is currently in charge of the program.

The squad plays its home games in Haas Pavilion, which was formerly known as Harmon Gym for many years before undergoing a significant renovation with funding contributed in part by the proprietors of Levi Strauss & Co. Before it underwent renovations in the late 1990s and became known as Harmon Gymnasium instead, the arena was formerly known as Men’s Gymnasium. During that time, the team was forced to play its home games elsewhere for two seasons.

Basketball going through the basket.

The Golden Bears participated in their first intercollegiate basketball game in 1907, while regular conference competition did not begin until 1915. Cal basketball was at its pinnacle in the 1920s when head coach E.H. Wright and assistant coach Nibs Price led the Bears to a record-setting six consecutive conference championships. The Premo-Porretta Power Poll decided that Cal should be awarded the title of pre-NCAA tournament national champion for the 1926–1927 season. This decision was made retroactively.

Ivan Rabb, a five-star power forward from Bishop O’Dowd High School, made the announcement on April 13, 2015, that he would be entering the University of California, Berkeley. After a little more than two weeks, 5-star small forward Jaylen Brown made the announcement that he would also be attending Cal, making this recruiting class the best in Cal’s history. Despite the fact that the team had a successful regular season and earned the fourth seed in the NCAA tournament, they would be eliminated by Hawaii in the first round.

Martin made the announcement of his departure after three seasons, citing his desire to take over as head coach at Missouri. Wyking Jones, who had been Martin’s assistant coach, was promoted to the position of head basketball coach at Cal not long after. Jones was only the head coach of the squad for a total of two years, and during both of those years, the club finished in last place in the Pac-12. Mark Fox, a former head coach at Georgia, was selected to become the 18th head basketball coach at Cal in 2019.


Evans Diamond is where the University of California, Berkeley’s baseball team plays its home games. It is situated in close proximity to Haas Pavilion, the Recreational Sports Facility, and Edward’s Track Stadium. Cal has competed in the postseason a total of nine times, including five times in the College World Series. In 1947 and 1957, Cal was victorious in the College World Series and took home the title both times. Mike Neu, who has been the team’s coach since 2018, is now in charge of the squad.

A bat and a ball placed on a field.

Baseball was named one of the five sports that were going to be eliminated as a result of the university’s decision to cut costs in September 2010. Nevertheless, in April 2011, after collecting over $9 million in pledges from those who supported the idea, the program was brought back into effect. The team’s last appearance in the College World Series was in June 2011, which was also its most recent appearance overall.

Jeff Kent, who played second base for Cal and was a member of the Golden Bears when they won the College World Series in 1988 and went on to be named the Most Valuable Player of the National League in 2000 while playing for the San Francisco Giants, is widely considered to be the most well-known former player from the school. The Chicago White Sox’s shortstop Geoff Blum, who also played for Cal in the 1992 College World Series, hit the game-winning home run in the top of the 14th inning of Game 3 of the World Series in 2005.

Golden Bears players currently playing in Major League Baseball include outfielder Mark Canha of the Oakland Athletics, shortstop Marcus Semien of the Toronto Blue Jays, and first baseman and left fielder Andrew Vaughn of the Chicago White Sox. Vaughn was chosen third overall by the White Sox in the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft, making him Cal’s highest draft pick of all time. Bob Melvin, the manager of the San Diego Padres, is a former player for the University of California baseball team, where he contributed to the Bears’ third-place finish in the 1980 College World Series.


The California Golden Bears volleyball team plays its home matches in Haas Pavilion, which was erected on top of the former Harmon Gymnasium using money contributed in part by the owners of Levi-Strauss. Haas Pavilion is located on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Before undergoing extensive renovations in the late 1990s, the venue was formerly known as Men’s Gymnasium and then later as Harmon Gymnasium. During this time, the team was forced to play their games elsewhere for a total of two seasons.

In recent years, the California volleyball program has seen a great deal of success, achieving notable accomplishments such as reaching the final four in 2007, winning the Pac-10 championship in 2010, and placing second in the NCAA tournament in 2010. Sam Crosson is now serving in his role as head coach, which he began in the year 2019.

Does Berkeley Provide Athletic Scholarships?

Does Berkeley Provide Athletic Scholarships? The undergraduate degree programs at UC Berkeley are famous for having exceptionally high academic requirements. The institution is comprised of five colleges and one school, and it includes more than 130 academic departments and 80 interdisciplinary research areas.

Student-Athletes interested in attending the University of California, Berkeley can qualify for athletic scholarships. There are athletic scholarships available for Division I and Division II of the NCAA, as well as NAIA and NJCAA competitions. Scholarships for athletic participation are awarded to an average of 34% of all student-athletes for the different Varsity Sports at Berkeley.

Students beings instructed by a teacher.

The mission of the Athletic Study Center at Berkeley is to assist student-athletes in growing into successful young adults who are independent, self-reliant, and self-sufficient. It is dedicated to the incorporation and participation of student-athletes into the overall life of the university.

Want to learn more about getting into Varsity Sports at Berkeley? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process, including our athletic recruitment program.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.


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