The Tampa Spartans are the athletic teams that represent the University of Tampa, located in Tampa, Florida, in NCAA Division II intercollegiate sports. The Spartans compete as members of the Sunshine State Conference for all 20 varsity sports. Tampa has been a member of the conference since 1981.
Spartan teams have won a combined total of 15 NCAA Division–II National Titles, as follows: seven in Baseball (1992, 1993, 1998, 2006, 2007, 2013 and 2015), three in Men's Soccer (1981, 1994 and 2001), two in Golf (1987 and 1988), two in Volleyball (2006 and 2014), and one in Women's Soccer (2007).
|1993||Cal Poly San Luis Obispo||7–5|
|Men's Soccer||1981||Cal State Los Angeles||1–0 (OT)|
|2001||Cal State Dominguez Hills||2–1|
|Women's Soccer||2007||Franklin Pierce||3–1|
Each August, the Spartans men's soccer team faces their crosstown rivals, the Division I, University of South Florida Bulls , in an NCAA preseason match which celebrates the Tampa Bay Area's rich soccer history. In addition to holding the Rowdies Cup trophy for the next 12 months, the winning side also gets to hoist the actual 1975 Soccer Bowl trophy that was won by the original Tampa Bay Rowdies and is housed at USF's Corbett Soccer Stadium. As of the 2017 edition, USF holds an 20–9–3 edge in the all-time series. The match was originally contested as the Mayor's Cup and dates back to 1972.
UT fielded a men's football team from 1933 to 1974. The "Tampa U" Spartans first played at Plant Field near the school's campus from 1933 to 1936, then played across the street at Phillips Field for three decades, then became Tampa Stadium's first home team when they moved to the brand-new venue in 1967. The move to Tampa Stadium coincided with the program's greatest success. The Spartans beat the cross-state rival Miami Hurricanes in 1970, moved up to NCAA Division I in 1971, and defeated the Hurricanes again in 1972. Several UT players from this era went on to play in the NFL, and the Spartans won the 1972 Tangerine Bowl.
However, rising expenses resulted in the football program operating at a loss and required the school to subsidize it with several hundred thousand dollars per year. When the NFL awarded Tampa an expansion team (the future Tampa Bay Buccaneers) in 1974, the university's financial committee predicted that local support for Spartan football would decrease and recommended that the program be folded before the 1975 season. On February 12, 1975, the University of Tampa's board of directors voted to drop the sport immediately,
In addition to varsity sports, UT fields competitive Junior Varsity Baseball and Men's Lacrosse teams that play a full schedule against area colleges and visiting northern schools and it also fields a crew team that competes in crew events around the nation.
The Sports Hall of Fame at UT includes former New York Yankees Lou Piniella and Tino Martinez, and former NFL players Freddie Solomon of the San Francisco 49ers and John Matuszak of the Oakland Raiders.