Utah’s Greatest Sports Achievements Since Joining the Pac-12


Jose Alex Garcia

(Graphic by Jose Alex Garcia | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Emily Dush, Sports Writer


Ever since the University of Utah Athletics Program entered the Pac-12 Conference back in 2011, athletics have been an even bigger part of the university, with better competitions and athletes coming to Salt Lake City to be a part of the hallowed history that Utah Athletics possesses. In the past ten seasons, a lot of history has been made. With multiple National Championships, a plethora of athletes being drafted at the next level and plenty of new records being achieved on and off the field, these are the top moments that have shaped Utah Athletics over the past decade.

Men’s Tennis Makes the NCAA Tournament

The Utah Men’s Tennis team had a stellar 2017-18 season, where the team made its first appearance in the NCAA Championship tournament in over 20 years. During this particular season, the Utes had been ranked in the top 25 nationally, the team’s highest ranking in nearly three decades. The team had a winning record of 19-10, which gave them a spot in the postseason. That same year, Dan Little was the first Ute since 2007 to compete in the NCAA Individual Championships where he made it to the second round.

The Runnin’ Utes Make it to the Round of Sixteen in March Madness

During the 2014-2015 season, the Utah Men’s Basketball Program had an epic year where the team posted a record of 25-9, 12-5 in conference play. The Runnin’ Utes made it through to the Pac-12 Championships, making it all the way to the semifinals before losing to Oregon in a close game, 64-67. Following the Conference Championships, the team headed to the NCAA Tournament where they posted a solid run, beating Stephen F. Austin and Georgetown before falling to Duke in the Round of Sixteen. This was the start of a promising program turnaround led by former head coach Larry Krystkowiak.

Utah Baseball Wins Pac-12 Championship

The Utes baseball team had a historic season in 2016 where they competed against some of the best teams in the country to win a Pac-12 Championship. Before this season, the Utah baseball team had been at the bottom of the pack in the conference standings before finding a way to break through and do something great for the program. During this season, the Utes were off to a rocky start and had to make up a lot of ground if they wanted to make a real run at the postseason. Luckily, the Utes rallied, winning a majority of their conference games and claiming the highly coveted Pac-12 Championship.

Utah Football Domination

It has been illustrated time and again that the Utah Football program is one of the top teams in the country, continuously recruiting solid players and turning them into NFL prospects. Utah Football has also attended two Pac-12 Championship games and six bowl games since joining the conference and has produced many NFL draft picks. Some of these players include Zack Moss, who broke multiple school records — including the most rushing yards earned — and Mitch Wishnowsky, who was one of the best college football punters — earning the Ray Guy Award in 2016. Additionally, the team still dominates against its rivals, such as BYU, and is looking to continue being a top team this coming season.

Gymnastics Wins Multiple Pac-12 Titles

Utah Gymnastics has become one of the most popular sports at the university and is one of the best teams in the nation. Since joining the Pac-12 Conference, the Red Rocks have won four Pac-12 Championships. Not only has the team performed well, but several athletes have taken the individual all-around title. MyKayla Skinner, Maile O’Keefe and Breanna Hughes are some of the most recent Utes to have taken the title. Notably, this past season, the Red Rocks not only won the Pac-12 Championship but finished third place in the NCAA Championships.

Utah Ski Wins Back-to-Back National Championships

With some of the world’s greatest snow at their disposal, the Utah Ski Team has won back-to-back National Championships in 2019 and 2021 (2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19). Not only have they won the team National Championship, but this past year, Sydney Palmer-Ledger won two individual National Championships with her teammates coming in second and third place.


While these are just a few of the outstanding achievements by the Utah Athletic’s Program, there has been a multitude of players and teams which have made it into the record books since joining the Pac-12 Conference. As sports return to normal, many of the teams have their eyes set on continuing the Utah tradition and competing at high levels as they look to hoist more conference trophies.


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