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Ohio University intercollegiate athletics include six men's squads and nine women's squads and range from individual athletics to team sports, all called the Bobcats. The Bobcats are 1946 charter members of the Mid-American Conference, one of 11 leagues to be NCAA Division FBS, the highest competition level within American intercollegiate athletics. The school colors are Ohio Green and White. In her book, Hollow records that Frank Super, the son of university president Charles W. Super, took time from his electrical engineering studies to quarterback Ohio's first gridiron squad in 1894. Local businesses and “sympathizers”, or fans, sported light-blue decorations and ribbons to show their support. Not only two years later, in 1896, did Ohio teams adopt green and white as school colors, chosen by the student body's vote. Hal Rowland, a former student, won the $10.00 contest to put forward the idea of a nickname that exemplified the team's tenacity and fighting spirit best: the Bobcat was born. Women's sports had advanced over many years at Ohio University, starting originally as the tennis club and participation in the field day, where women could only compete in the baseball throw. The football team's was invited to meet U.S. President Herbert Hoover at the White House in 1932. Despite wide acclaim, football's legacy at the university is presently out-shined by Bobcat baseball.
Number “54” and is the only number ever retired at Ohio University. It belonged to Frank Baumholtz, a two-sport star and one of the few athletes ever to play two professional sports. Baumholtz and men's basketball head coach W.J. “Dutch” Trautwein led the Cats to the 1941 National Invitational Tournament championship, building upon standards established by Butch Grover during his 16-year run as head coach from 1922 to 1938. Larry Hunter is one on a distinguished list of coaches that also includes Jim Snyder, whose twenty-five seasons produced 355 wins, conference crowns, and NCAA and NIT appearances. Baumholtz signed with the Cincinnati Reds in 1941. Bob Wren, a Bobcat infielder, was named coach in 1949 and in his twenty-three seasons his teams won almost 500 games, never suffering a losing season.