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Kent State Golden Flashes
Kent State University's intercollegiate athletic teams are known as the Golden Flashes or simply as the Flashes. The university fields sixteen varsity athletic teams, all of which play in the Mid-American Conference at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level with football competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision. In addition, Kent State has a men's ice hockey club team, which plays in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division I as part of the Central States Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL) and has its home games at the Kent State University Ice Arena. Joel Nielsen has served as athletic director since May 1, 2010.
Several Kent State athletic teams have enjoyed success in the Mid-American Conference and at the national level over the years, in particular in the sixteen years under former athletic director Laing Kennedy from 1994–2010. Under Kennedy, Kent State won 251 individual MAC titles, 85 team titles, 17 tournament titles, and 83 All-America honors. In addition, Kent State has won five Mid-American Conference men's all-sport trophies (known as the Reese Trophy), the most recent being in 2010, while the Golden Flashes women's program has finished in the top-three for 13 consecutive years in the women's all-sport trophy (known as the Jacoby trophy) winning seven overall, the most recent being in 2010. Through the 2009–10 season, both the men's and women's programs have finished in the top-three for 9 consecutive seasons. In 1997 and again in 2004, Kent State received full-certification status from the NCAA. Athletics at Kent State began shortly after the school was first organized in 1910 and the first classes held in 1912. The school's first sporting event was a men's basketball game in 1913 against Kent High School and the following spring (1914) the baseball team was organized, known as the "Normal Nine". The football team followed in 1920 and held their first game on October 30, a 6-0 loss to Ashland College.