Marquette's intercollegiate athletic teams were the "Warriors" from May 1954 to July 1994 when the nickname was changed to Golden Eagles. Prior to Warriors, Marquette was known as "Golden Avalanche," "Blue and Gold," and "Hilltoppers." In 2004, Marquette began to consider changing the name back to Warriors, and conducted a poll that showed strong alumni and student support for that nickname. However, the Board of Trustees rejected Warriors on the grounds that it was disrespectful to Native Americans, and changed the nickname to simply "Gold." An intensely negative reaction by students, faculty, alumni, and fans led to a vote that restored "Golden Eagles" in June 2005. Write-in votes for the name Warriors, while tabulated, were not counted toward the result.
The school is well-known for the success of its men's basketball team. Marquette Basketball is 9th in the NCAA for postseason appearances all-time (37). The Warriors, coached by Al McGuire, won the 1977 NCAA Tournament and were runners-up in 1974. Maurice "Bo" Ellis was a member of each of those teams, and remains the only Marquette player to appear in two Final Fours.
In 2003 Marquette, coached by Tom Crean and led by Dwyane Wade and Travis Diener, defeated top-ranked Kentucky to reach the Final Four. In that game, Wade became one of only four players in NCAA Men's Tournament history to record a triple-double. Wade was named an AP All-American two years in a row and won Conference USA Player of the Year while at Marquette.
In 2006, Dwyane Wade led the Miami Heat to the NBA title by defeating the Dallas Mavericks. The victory was the franchise's first NBA title. Wade was named the MVP of the 2006 NBA Finals. He was also named Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Year" in 2006.
Since Wade left Marquette, the University responded to an increase in applications by becoming more academically selective while maintaining undergraduate enrollment around 8,000.
The current men's basketball roster includes guards Dominic James (2005-06 Big East Rookie of the Year), Wesley Matthews, Jerel McNeal and David Cubillan, as well as Senegalese forward, Ousmane Barro. The Golden Eagles came into the 2006-2007 season ranked in the top 25 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls.
Marquette men's basketball players whose jerseys have been retired:
Men's NCAA National Titles
Women's NCAA National Titles
Marquette's athletic rivals include Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Milwaukee, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin.