Luther Athletics History
Intercollegiate athletics began at Luther College in 1891 with a baseball game in Decorah between Luther and St. Olaf College.
Luther competes in 10 men's and nine women's intercollegiate athletic programs. The college is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III (NCAA III) and the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC or Iowa Conference). Members of the Iowa Conference include Buena Vista University, Central College, Coe College, University of Dubuque, Loras College, Simpson College and Wartburg College.
Since joining the Iowa Conference as a charter member in 1922, Luther has dominated the championship scene, winning an unmatched 226 IIAC titles. The men have won 159 team championships, while the women have won 67.
Even though Luther College became coeducational in 1936, intercollegiate athletics for women did not begin until 1964-65. The women's athletic program was a charter member of the Iowa Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (IAIAW) and remained a member until joining the newly formed women's league of the IIAC and the NCAA III in 1982.
During the 53-year history of the Men's All Sports Championship (currently called the Elmer Hertel Men's Sports Championship), the Norse have won the award 30 times.
The Luther women have won the All Sports Championship (currently called the Majorie Giles Women's Sports Championship), nine times since the inception of this award in 1982-83.
At the conclusion of the 2002-03 academic year, the IIAC All-Sports Championship was established. It is awarded to the school that demonstrates overall excellence in men's and women's sports for a given year. In 2002-03 Luther finished third. Since that first year, the Norse have never finished lower then second and won the All-Sports Championship in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Three hundred and ten All-America honors have been earned by Luther student-athletes. Twenty-one athletes have been crowned national champions.
Thirty-six student-athletes have received the distinguished NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and 53 student-athletes have been awarded a CoSIDA Academic All-America honor.
Since 1993-94, the Iowa Conference sports information directors sponsored academic all-conference teams for the fall, winter and spring sports. To earn academic all-conference honors, a student-athlete must have a grade point average of 3.50 or greater on a 4.0 scale. have attended the school for a full year, and competed on a varsity sport. Since the first year of this award, 1,551 academic all-conference honors have been earned by Luther student-athletes.
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