Hurricane Katrina forced Tulane University to cut half of its athletic programs. Today, all 16 teams have been reinstated and are riding a wave of momentum.
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On August 29, 2005, just five days before the start of the Tulane Green Wave football season, Hurricane Katrina smashed into New Orleans.
Included in its path of destruction was over $800 million in damage to the Tulane Campus.
Despite canceling classes for the semester, school administrators felt the unifying power of sports was needed for the longterm health of the university.
For four months, Tulane’s student-athletes lived on the road, practiced on the road, and played on the road.
We didn’t have any gear. Everything was at Tulane. Every day was a new day.
Even without their home facilities or all their equipment, Green Wave athletics did more than just exist. They endured and competed.
The Green Wave rallied a school and a community that refused to throw in the towel.
Then, when they returned to campus, budget problems forced the university to cut half of its athletic programs.
Despite being one of Tulane’s most historically successful programs, the Green Wave Men’s Tennis team was one of those teams.
I think this place can be great again.
Showing the same determination as the student-athletes, university alumni banded together and raised more than $130 million to resurrect their teams and facilities.
By 2011, Tulane University had reinstated all 16 Green Wave athletic programs.
The men’s tennis team perfectly exemplifies the resurgence of Tulane Athletics. After finishing 3-16 in 2008 behind nine freshmen and six walk-ons, Tulane men’s tennis returned to the NCAA tournament in 2017.
In similar fashion, Green Wave baseball, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball have all returned to post season play in recent years.
Amazingly, 80 student-athletes currently on Green Wave rosters are from gulf coast communities hit by Katrina. Twenty-six of them are from New Orleans.
I look at where we were then and where we are now, and we’re stronger than we’ve ever been.
To learn more about Tulane Green Wave Athletics and follow their success, visit TulaneGreenWave.com.