North Texas Mean Green

North Texas Mean Green
North Texas Solid Green Diving Eagle Left.png
University University of North Texas
Conference(s) Sun Belt Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletics director Rick Villarreal
Location Denton, TX
Varsity teams 18
Football stadium Mean Green Stadium
Basketball arena UNT Coliseum
Mascot Scrappy
Nickname Mean Green
Fight song



North Texas Mean Green is the team name used for both men's and women's intercollegiate athletic teams that play for the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.

The University of North Texas Athletics competes as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Sun Belt Conference. All athletic programs at North Texas are classified as NCAA Division I. North Texas athletes are also known as the “Mean Green” or, alternately, the “Eagles.”


Origin of the name “Mean Green”

The name “Mean Green,” still in use after 45 years, was adopted by fans and media in 1966 for a North Texas football defensive squad that finished the season second in the nation against the rush.[1] That school year, Joe Greene,[2] then a sophomore at North Texas, played left defensive tackle on the football team and competed in track and field (shot put). As of 2011, Greene is the only football player from UNT to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Hayden Fry is the only UNT coach to be inducted.

The nickname "Mean Joe Greene" caught-on during his first year with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969 when the fan base mistakenly assumed that “Mean Green” (a nickname for defensive squad of his alma mater) was derived from a nickname they thought he had inherited while at North Texas. Nonetheless, the athletic department, media, and fans loved the novelty of a young standout's surname being a homophone of the university's school color. The first known local media reference to the phrase “Mean Green” appeared in the Denton Record-Chronicle, November 20, 1966, Sect. 3 (Sports), col. 1, pg 1., "It Was Perfect: 42 for 42," by Charles Clines. By 1968, “Mean Green” was on the back of shirts, buttons, bumper stickers, and the cover of the North Texas football football brochure. Even the band, in 1968, became identified as the “Mean Green Marching Machine.”[3]

Varsity sports

North Texas competes in the Sun Belt Conference of the NCAA's Division I-A.

School spirit

The school's colors are Green and White. The music for the alma mater, Glory to the Green and White, (originally titled Our College)[4] was composed by Julia Smith (1905–1989) in 1919 and adopted by the school in 1922. The lyrics are were written by Charles Langford, then a third year letterman on the football team and an outstanding overall athlete.[5] The University's fight song, composed in 1939 by Francis Stroup, was adopted that same year. The school mascot is an Eagle named Scrappy.


Founded in 1913, the Mean Green has won eight Lone Star Conference championships, five Gulf Coast Conference championships, five Missouri Valley Conference championships, two Southland Conference championships and most recently, four consecutive Sun Belt Conference championships.[6] The team also appeared in a total of 7 bowl games, winning two, most recently the New Orleans Bowl in 2002. Since 1952, home football games have been played at Fouts Field, a stadium with a current capacity of 30,500. A new 30,850-seat stadium, Mean Green Stadium opened for the 2011 season.

Men's basketball

Despite in the past not having a significant or powerful men's basketball program, North Texas has recently experienced success under head coach Johnny Jones. During the 2006-2007 season, North Texas won its first ever Sun Belt Conference title and advanced for the first time since 1988 to the NCAA Tournament. Only three of the state's 20 Division I teams more wins than North Texas’ 23 in 2006-07 - Texas, Texas A&M and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. North Texas won the Sun Belt Conference title a second time during the 2009-10 season to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in four years.

Since 1973, the team has played its home games in the Super Pit. The 10,032 seat arena is the second toughest venue to win at in the Sun Belt, only behind Western Kentucky

Women's basketball

Despite the most successful period in North Texas women's basketball history, the school did not renew coach Tina Slinker's contract at the end of the 2007–08 season. Shanice Stephens was officially hired as the new head coach on April 16, 2008 after serving the last three years as an Assistant Coach at Clemson.

Championship History

National Titles

UNT Paintball (2)
  • 2009, 2011
Men's Golf (4)
  • 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952
Cheerleading (2)
  • 2000, 2002

Conference Titles

Football (24)
Lone Star Conference
  • 1932, 1935*, 1936, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1946, 1947
Gulf Coast Conference
  • 1950, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1956
Missouri Valley Conference
  • 1958, 1959*, 1966*, 1967, 1973*
Southland Conference
  • 1983*, 1994
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2001*, 2002, 2003, 2004
Men's Basketball (2)
Southland Conference
  • Tournament: 1988
Sun Belt Conference
  • Tournament: 2007, 2010
Men's Outdoor Track and Field (2)
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2000, 2003
Men's Cross Country (1)
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2000
Men's Golf (1)
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2003
Women's Soccer (3)
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2001, 2004, 2005
Women's Outdoor Track and Field (1)
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2003
Volleyball (1)
Sun Belt Conference
  • 2010*
* denotes shared conference title

Division titles

Men's Basketball (1)
Sun Belt Conference (West Division)
  • 2009-10

Bowl Titles

Optimist Bowl
  • 1946
New Orleans Bowl
  • 2002


All athletic teams have on-campus facilities for competition. Most of these facilities are located at the Mean Green Village, which opened for the 2006-07 athletic season.

Mean Green Village:

  • North Texas Soccer Field: Soccer
  • Warnach Tennis Pavilion: Tennis
  • Lovelace Stadium: Softball
  • Mean Green Volleyball Center: Volleyball
  • North Texas Softball And Golf Practice Facility: Golf, Softball Practice

Mean Green Stadium: Football

UNT Coliseum: Men's & Woman's Basketball


  1. ^ "Eagles are 19-Point Favorite", The Denton Record-Chronicle, Sep 21, 1967, pg 10
  2. ^ ""Mean" Joe Greene". 
  3. ^ Mike Cochran (AP), "Mean Green Same as Nickname", The Abilene Reporter-News, Sep. 1, 1968
  4. ^ NTSU Honors International Composer, The Dallas Morning News, May 9, 1970
  5. ^ Pianist Will Play Works of Copland, The Denton Record-Chronicle, pg 2, Oct. 6, 1957
  6. ^ "North Texas Championships". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 

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