Florida International Golden Panthers

Florida International Golden Panthers

About Florida International Golden Panthers

The FIU Panthers, or Florida International Panthers, were first established as a college football team in 2002. Representing Miami's Florida International University, the team were initially known as the Golden Panthers, but the word 'Golden' was dropped from their name in 2010. Their main rivals are the Florida Atlantic Owls, with whom they contest the Shula Bowl. The winner of the game receives the Don Shula Award.

From 2002 until 2004, the Panthers competed in NCAA Division I-AA as an independent. In 2005, they made the move up to the Division I FBS. In the process, they became the fastest team in college football history to rise to that level, although that record has since been surpassed. Between 2005 and 2012, they operated as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. In 2013, Florida International joined Conference USA and were placed in its East Division.

In 2010, the team enjoyed its first major success, winning a share of the Sun Belt Conference. As a result, they were invited to compete in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, where they defeated the Toledo Rockets. In total, they have appeared in two post-season bowl games, with their other appearance coming in the 2011 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, where they lost to the Marshall Thundering Herd.

A number of players have passed through the FIU program and have gone on to compete in the National Football League. Some of the most notable examples include Antwan Barnes, Chandler Williams and Eugene "T. Y." Hilton.

The Panthers' home games are contested at the on-campus Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium, which is sometimes referred to as 'The Cage'. The venue opened in 1995 with a capacity of 7,500, but subsequent expansions, especi...