Bobcats Highlights

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Sun Belt Conference
Past Conferences: Lone Star Conference, Gulf Star Conference, Southland Conference, Western Athletic Conference
City: San Marcos, Texas
Arena: Strahan Arena
NCAA Tournaments: 2 (1994, 1997)


National Championships: None
Conference Titles: 15 (1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1972, 1978, 1979, 1997, 1999, 2011, 2021, 2022 )

Team History

Texas State began playing basketball in 1920-21 under coach O.W. Strahan. The Bobcats were one of the founding members of the Lone Star Conference in 1931, where they remained for more than 50 years. Texas State had the typical ups and downs of a college basketball team for its first 25 years, but things began to change when Milton Jowers took over the program for the 1946-47 season.

Jowers inherited a team that went 3-31 its two previous seasons, and, by his third season, he had the team over .500. The 1950-51 team went 21-5 and earned its first NAIA Tournament berth. The Bobcats won three straight Lone Star regular season titles beginning in 1952, winning the third-place game at the NAIA Tournament in 1952. Texas State returned to the NAIA Tournament in 1957 and again won the third-place game at the 1959 tournament. 

In 1960, Texas State rolled through the opposition at the NAIA Tournament, claiming the national title with a 66-44 victory over Westminster in the championship game. The team was knocked out of the tournament in the Elite Eight the following season, and Jowers stepped down to concentrate on the school’s athletic director duties. He finished with a 281-106 record, seven conference titles, and six tournament appearances.

Things went downhill for the Bobcats, who didn’t return to the NAIA Tournament until the 1978-79 season under coach Dan Wall. Texas State spent three seasons in the Gulf Star Conference and switched to the Southland Conference in 1987. The first few seasons as a Division I team weren’t the easiest for Texas State, but the team had a breakthrough season in 1993-94 under Jim Wooldridge and reached its first NCAA Division I Tournament. Woolridge returned to coach his alma mater, Louisiana Tech, the following season.

The Bobcats reached the NCAA Tournament again in 1997 under coach Mike Miller but have been a better regular-season team than a tournament team since then. The Bobcats won regular season conference titles in 1999, 2021 and 2022 but were unable to return to the NCAA Tournament. Still, they have appeared in the CIT in 2017 and 2019 and in the 2022 NIT. The Bobcats joined the Sun Belt Conference for the 2013-14 season.

All-Time Records

  • Points Scored

    • Nijal Pearson, 2,122
    • Donte Mathis, 1,622
    • Brandon Bush, 1,569
  • Rebounds

    • Jeff Foster, 931
    • Nijal Pearson, 739
    • Brandon Bush, 671
  • Assists

    • Ryan White, 414
    • David Sykes, 338
    • Russell Ponds, 327



Have Any Texas State Players Played in the NBA?

The Bobcats have had two players who went on to play in the NBA. Torgeir Bryn, who is better known for being the only Norwegian-born player to make it to the NBA, played three games for the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1989-90 season. Jeff Foster had a lengthy 13-year career with the Indiana Pacers between 1999-2012. 

How Long Has Texas State Been Known as the Bobcats?

According to the university, “the bobcat, known for its fierceness and courage, was adopted by the university as its mascot in 1921. Texas State was the first college in the country to use this name for its athletic teams.

How Many Texas State Players Have Been Drafted by NBA Teams?

The Bobcats have seen 15 players drafted by NBA teams, although Jeff Foster is the only one to have played in the NBA. He is the school’s only first-round draft choice, taken by the Golden State Warriors No. 21 in the 1999 NBA Draft but was dealt to Indiana on draft day.

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