History of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athletics

Updated 11/21/17

Claremont Men’s College began competing in the SCIAC in 1947–48 after combining with Pomona College to form one athletic team. (Pomona College had been competing since the SCIAC’s inception in 1915.) Pomona-Claremont competed in the SCIAC for 11 years and during that time won 25 SCIAC titles. In 1958–59 Claremont Men’s College combined with Harvey Mudd College and began competing as Claremont-Mudd, although the sports teams were ineligible for SCIAC championships until 1959–60. The program continued as this entity until the SCIAC began sponsoring women’s sports in 1976–77 at which time it became Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. (Claremont Men’s College was renamed Claremont McKenna College in 1981.) The men’s program (Stags) has won 202 SCIAC titles and the women’s program (Athenas) has won 114 SCIAC titles—both the most among SCIAC programs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is the only program in the SCIAC that has won at least two conference titles in each of the 21 sports. Each of the men’s teams has repeated as SCIAC champion at least once and each has won at least four titles. All 11 of the women’s teams have also repeated as SCIAC champion.

The SCIAC All-Sports Competition began in 1972–73. This competition awards points to programs based on the finish of each sport in the SCIAC standings. In the 45 years of the competition the CMS men’s program has won the award 40 times. With the addition of the women’s sports in 1976–77, the competition was expanded to include a women’s award as well as an overall award. The CMS women’s program has won 22 All-Sports Trophies including 20 of the last 30. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps has won the combined All-Sports Trophy 29 times with victories in 28 of the last 32 years. 2016–17 was another successful year for CMS as 14 sports won SCIAC titles.

Only one other SCIAC program has won as many as six men’s titles in one academic year while CMS has won six or more eight times. The most men’s titles CMS has won in one year is eight during 1989–90. CMS is the only program to win six or more SCIAC women’s titles in one year which the Athenas achieved in 1998–99, 2010–11, 2014–15 and 2016-17. The Athenas won eight SCIAC Championships in 2016-17. The combined program has won as many as 14 SCIAC titles in one year (2016–17).

In addition to a strong showing in the SCIAC, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps has also performed well in postseason competition. CMS has won five national championships (either NAIA (1), or NCAA D-III (4). In 2017, the women’s volleyball team won its first national title. The national championship for the Athenas was the first NCAA women’s team title in CMS history. In 2016 the men’s golf team won its first national title. In 2015 the men’s tennis team won its second national championship after a tie for the title in 1981. Additionally, Claremont-Mudd won the NAIA swimming crown in 1967. The men’s swimming and tennis teams have also combined to win 14 second-place trophies at the NCAA Championships. In addition, men’s soccer was the NCAA runner-up in 1983. Overall, 20 of the 21 CMS sports have competed in the postseason and all 20 have finished in the top 17 including 16 in the top 10. Individually, CMS athletes have won 53 NCAA titles in seven sports including men’s golf, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s track & field.

In 1995–96 the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics began their Directors’ Cup Competition for Division III institutions. This competition is similar to the SCIAC All-Sports competition except that points are earned based on national rather than conference results and there are over 400 eligible programs instead of nine. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps has finished among the top 60 programs 20 times with 17 finishes in the top 40, 14 in the top 30, 10 in the top 20, two in the top 10, and most recently a fourth place finish in the 2016-17 season. These have been among the best showings by small programs and CMS had the best result by a SCIAC program in 17 of the 22 years.