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The University of Colorado Boulder sponsors 17 varsity sports teams, with the addition of women's lacrosse, which began play in the spring of 2014. Both men's and women's team are called the Buffaloes (Buffs for short) or Golden Buffaloes (acceptable, but rare). "Lady Buffs" referred to the women's teams beginning in the 1970s, but was officially dropped in 1993. The nickname was selected by the campus newspaper in a contest with a $5 prize in 1934 won by Andrew Dickson of Boulder. The university participates in the NCAA's Division I (FBS) in the Pacific-12 Conference. Rick George was announced as the sixth athletic director in program history on July 17, 2013, following the resignation of Mike Bohn, and after an interim appointment by former Women's Basketball Head Coach and current senior associate athletic director and senior women's administrator Ceal Barry. Colorado has won 26 national championships in its history, with 19 in skiing, including 2013. It was ranked #14 of "America's Best Sports College" in a 2002 analysis performed by Sports Illustrated.
Competitive football began on the Boulder campus in 1890. Early games, which bore more resemblance to rugby than modern football, were played against the School of Mines and Utah. The football stadium, originally named "Colorado Stadium," was opened in 1924 and was officially named Folsom Field in November 1944 to honor Coach Fred Folsom, one of the most respected college football coaches of his day.
In 1934, the university's intercollegiate teams were officially nicknamed the "Buffaloes." Previous nicknames used by the press included the "Silver Helmets" and "Frontiersmen." The final game of 1934, against the University of Denver, saw also the first running of a bison in a Colorado football game. A bison calf was rented from a local ranch and ran along the sidelines.