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Minnesota Golden Gophers
The Minnesota Golden Gophers (commonly shortened to Gophers) are the college sports team of the University of Minnesota. The university fields both men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, swimming, tennis, and track and field. Men's-specific sports include baseball, football, and wrestling. Women's-specific sports include rowing, soccer, softball, and volleyball.
In women's ice hockey, the Gophers belong to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. In all other sports, they belong to the Big Ten Conference. Most of the facilities that the teams use for training and competitive play are located on the East Bank of the Minneapolis campus. There are arenas for men and women basketball (Williams Arena) as well as hockey (Mariucci Arena and Ridder Arena). The Gopher football team began playing at TCF Bank Stadium in September 2009. The women's soccer team plays on the St. Paul campus in Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium.
The Cheerleaders and the Dance Team are also part of the university's athletic department; they are present at events for basketball, hockey, football, and volleyball. During the 2006–2007 academic year, the Golden Gophers wrestling team won the NCAA national championship and the Big Ten team title. The Golden Gophers also won conference championships in men's hockey, men's golf, women's rowing, men's swimming and diving, and women's indoor track and field. In 1880, the University of Minnesota was preparing for spring graduation. For the previous 29 years, different graduation colors were used every ceremony. In spring 1880, President Folwell began a tradition of common school colors at the University. He asked an English instructor, Mrs. Augusta Smith, to select proper colors to use for graduation ribbons and other occasions. She chose maroon and gold, which made a favorable impression on the students and faculty in 1880. As the years passed and without any kind of formal action, maroon and gold became the official school colors.