Cal Poly: Athletic and Academic Excellence

Why choose Cal Poly for your academic and athletic future?

1. For 19 years in a row, Cal Poly has been rated the best public-master's university in the West by U.S. News & World Report in its America's Best Colleges guidebook. The university's College of Engineering is ranked No. 2 by the same publication among public engineering programs for schools whose highest degree is a bachelor's or master's, trailing only the U.S. Military Academy.

 2. Cal Poly, well known for its coaches with knowledge, passion and a strong interest in the student-athlete experience, recently hired a new president, Dr. Jeffrey D. Armstrong, as well as a new director of athletics, Don Oberhelman. Formerly the dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and professor of Animal Science at Michigan State University, Armstrong believes strongly in Cal Poly’s renowned Learn by Doing philosophy. Oberhelman came to Cal Poly after serving as the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Associate Athletic Director at San Diego State University. The Kansas State graduate served as the senior associate athletic director at Southern Mississippi from 2002-07.

3. San Luis Obispo's average yearly temperature high is 73 degrees, it receives an average of 24 inches of rain a year and the number of average days of sunshine each year in the college town is 315. The city of San Luis Obispo has a population of 45,119 (2010 Census) and the average household income in San Luis Obispo is $60,534.

4. Hikers, bikers, equestrians and other outdoor enthusiasts have access to extensive trails, parks and mountains in San Luis Obispo County. There are 15 golf courses within 28 miles of downtown San Luis Obispo and, with 80 miles of coastline, San Luis Obispo County features unlimited opportunities for surfers, anglers, kayakers and whale-watchers.

5. Opened in 2008, Poly Canyon Village houses approximately 2,700 students, contains 618 furnished apartment units and spans 30 acres. The state-of-the-art complex includes Einstein Bros. Bagels, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Jamba Juice, a post office, community center, swimming pool and study rooms. There are four floorplans in Poly Canyon Village that house up to six residents in private and shared bedrooms. Eighty percent of the apartments are four private bedroom units.

6. Cal Poly has strong rivalries in several sports, most notably the Blue-Green rivalry with UC Santa Barbara. Two men's soccer matches pitting the Mustangs against the Gauchos drew sellout crowds of 11,075 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium and the Mustang football team also has drawn five sellout crowds in the last four years, including two games with rival UC Davis.

7. Cal Poly has upgraded many of its athletics facilities since the turn of the century. Recent projects include the $3 million Anderson Aquatic Center, a new floor in Mott Gym, expansion of Alex G. Spanos Stadium to a capacity of 11,075 and installation of a $1 million state-of-the-art videoboard/scoreboard.

8. Cal Poly's newly expanded Recreation Center will open in January 2012 and will include six new racquetball courts, a lap swim pool, a leisure pool, locker rooms, three sand volleyball courts and barbecue area, an indoor track, three air-conditioned fitness studios, the martial arts room, a multi-activity center, 21,000 square feet of weight/exercise space, additional basketball, volleyball and badminton courts, and much more!

9. Cal Poly's admissions process is highly competitive. The 2010 Fall Quarter marked the 16th straight year that the university experienced a record applicant pool of nearly 41,000 prospective students. Freshmen enrolled for the Fall 2010 term had an average high school GPA of 3.84, an average ACT score of 26.8, and a combined average SAT 1 reading and math score of 1,215.

10. Cal Poly annually remains among the top-10 schools in the United States in granting degrees to Hispanic, Asian and other minority students in the fields of agriculture, architecture and engineering.

11. A Cal Poly graduate can expect a great return on their investment in their education. In a 2008-2009 self-reported survey conducted by Career Services, 81 percent of graduates reported they were either working full time (63 percent) or attending graduate school (18 percent).

12. Cal Poly's graduates are in high demand in the job market, with 56 percent reporting job offers before graduation. Within three months of graduation, 82 percent had jobs and, nine months after graduation, 97 percent of graduates had jobs. Of those reporting, 90 percent found jobs in their related field of study.

13. Cal Poly now has more than 140,000 alumni living and working everywhere from New York to Washington D.C. to Wisconsin to Idaho to Hawaii to Hong Kong. Geographically, San Luis Obispo County has the largest concentration of Cal Poly alumni (14,480+), followed by Santa Clara County (8,480+) and Los Angeles County (8,450+).

14. Prominent Cal Poly alumni include NASA astronauts Gregory Chamitoff, Robert L. Gibson and Rick Sturckow, "Voyager" designer Burt Rutan, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Ramos, U.S. Congressmen George Radanovich and Devin Nunes, Los Angeles Times national correspondent Peter King, Las Vegas entertainer of the year Danny Gans and former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell.

15. Since its move to NCAA Division I in 1994, Cal Poly has captured 34 conference championships through the 2010-11 school year. A total of 27 teams have qualified for NCAA Division I Tournament competition, led by women's volleyball with 14, men's cross country with six and women's soccer with five. In addition, 184 student-athletes have competed in NCAA postseason competition as individuals.

16. In 17 Division I seasons, Cal Poly has produced 508 all-conference selections, 576 conference all-academic honorees, 22 regional or national academic selections, 31 conference coaches of the year and six regional or national coaches of the year.

17. Cal Poly claimed 35 NCAA Division II national team championships prior to elevating its athletics program to Division I in 1994, including 10 in women's cross country, eight in wrestling, six each in men's and women's track and field and one in football.

18. Eleven Cal Poly athletes have earned NCAA Division I national championships, including nine in track and field and a pair of wrestlers. In Division II, more than 100 Cal Poly athletes captured individual national titles, including 83 in track and field and 18 in wrestling.

19. Cal Poly sponsors 20 intercollegiate sports -- 10 each for men and women. Fifteen of the teams compete in the Big West Conference, of which Cal Poly became a full-fledged member on July 1, 1996. Football competes in the Great West Conference (Big Sky Conference beginning in 2012), wrestling and men's swimming are members of the Pacific-10 Conference and women's indoor track and field and women's swimming participate in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

20. Several Cal Poly teams have attained lofty national rankings. Women's volleyball, wrestling and football all have been ranked in the Top 10 while baseball and softball have earned top-25 national rankings on numerous occasions in recent seasons.

21. Cal Poly is one of just four California schools competing in football in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision and is one of just three CSU schools that fields a football team. The Mustangs have won three Great West Conference titles in the seven-year history of the conference and have qualified for the NCAA FCS playoffs twice. Prior to becoming a member of the Great West Conference, Cal Poly won the American West Conference title in 1994, its first year at the Division I level.

22. In 2008, former Cal Poly track and field standout Stephanie Brown captured Olympic gold in the women's discus at Beijing, becoming the third former Mustang to medal in the Olympics. Gina Miles earned a silver medal in the equestrian sport of eventing in Hong Kong, also in 2008, while Karen Kraft earned a silver medal for pairs rowing at the Atlanta Games in 1996 and a bronze at the 2000 competition in Sydney.

23. Many more Mustangs have excelled in the professional ranks, including Stan Sheriff, Gary Davis, Cecil Turner, Don Milan, Dana Nafziger, Jimmy Childs, Robbie Martin, Mel Kaufman, LeCharls McDaniel, Chris Thomas and, more recently, Jordan Beck, Chris Gocong, Courtney Brown and Ramses Barden in the National Football League. Ex-Mustang quarterback Bobby Beathard was a personnel director and general manager for many years in the NFL while John Madden and Ted Tollner were highly successful coaches in the college and/or NFL ranks.

24. Over the last nine baseball seasons under the guidance of head coach Larry Lee, a total of 44 Mustangs were drafted, including 17 in the first 10 rounds. Eight former Mustangs haven been chosen in the first three rounds since the draft began in 1965. Five Mustangs have played in the Major Leagues in recent years -- pitchers Garrett Olson, Kevin Correia, Bud Norris and Casey Fien along with third baseman Brent Morel -- and the list of former Mustangs in the Major Leagues also includes Ozzie Smith, Mike Krukow and Thornton Lee.

25. Softball players Desarie (Knipfer) French and Lisa Modglin played professionally while former Cal Poly golfer Loren Roberts won eight tournaments on the PGA Tour and has continued his success on the Champions Tour since 2005, winning 12 tournaments through the 2010 season. He has earned over $26 million on the PGA and Champions tours. Gene Lenz was the university's first All-American swimmer. In 1959, he competed on the National Team in the Pan American Games and in 1960 represented the United States in the Olympic Games. Dan Lambert was a five-time NCAA Division II All-American and played on the American Express Challenger's Tour in 1977.