Sam Houston State Bearkats Logo
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The Sam Houston Bearkats are the intercollegiate athletic teams that represent Sam Houston State University, located in Huntsville, Texas. Sam Houston’s colors are orange and white and their sports teams' nickname is the Bearkats. Sam Houston sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (Football Championship Subdivision (FCS-formerly known as Division I-AA) for football) in the Southland Conference. SHSU’s primary rival is Stephen F. Austin and tensions between the two schools can run high before major sporting events that pit one against the other.
As a whole, the Sam Houston athletic department has captured the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Cup in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2014, 2018 and 2019 for all-around athletic department and topped the Southland Conference for all-academic recognition. The Kats are the only athletic department in the Southland Conference to get the Commissioner’s Cup for 3 consecutive years while the 7 total cups are the most in league history.
Sam Houston boasts both the best average student athlete GPA as well as the highest number of student athletes named to the Southland Conference honor roll. This is particularly evident in the men’s basketball program, which fielded 6 of the 13 student athletes who gained Academic All-Conference honors, including junior Ryan Bright, who was also named student athlete of the year for men’s basketball.