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The Charlotte 49ers football program represents the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in college football. The UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees officially voted to add a football program on November 13, 2008, after a unanimous recommendation by the Football Feasibility Committee. It was made possible by Student Government initiatives starting in 2006 by then-Student Body President Benjamin Comstock and Student Body Vice President Jordan Van Dyne, namely the first step of organizing a transparent student vote on football that disclosed possible hikes in tuition fees as a result of football.[3] The online poll was approved by the Student Senate and administered in collaboration with the University's IT Department.[4] Despite the possibility of potential rises in student fees, the vote clearly displayed a student interest in a football team.[5] The program began play during the 2013 NCAA Division I FCS football season.[6]

Charlotte 49ers football
2019 Charlotte 49ers football team
49ers wordmark.png
First season2013
Athletic directorMike Hill
Head coachWill Healy
StadiumJerry Richardson Stadium
(Capacity: 15,314)
Field surfaceHallas Sports Construction, Matrix® synthetic[1]
LocationCharlotte, North Carolina
NCAA divisionDivision I FBS
ConferenceConference USA
DivisionEast
All-time record24–52 (.316)
Current uniform
Charlotte 49ers Football Uniforms 2015.png
ColorsGreen and White[2]
         
Fight songCharlotte 49ers Fight Song
MascotNorm the Niner
Marching bandThe Pride of Niner Nation Marching Band
OutfitterNike
Websitecharlotte49ers.com

HistoryEdit

OriginsEdit

In 1946, 22 young men began practice as the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina Owl's first athletic program: a football team.[7] The team finished the season 2–4, with wins over Pembroke State and Belmont Abbey, and losses to Davidson JV, Catawba College JV, and Clemson's "B" team.[7] The team hosted 2 home games that year at American Legion Memorial Stadium.[7] In part due to the effects of fewer World War II veterans entering college in the late 1940s, the football program ended after the 1948 season. The final football game was played on October 27, 1948.[7]

On July 12, 2006, a group of 15 UNC Charlotte students and alumni held the inaugural Charlotte 49er Football Initiative (CFI) meeting. The mission of this group was to "promote the creation of a Division 1 college football program at Charlotte," eventually employing methods such as a promotional website, merchandise sales and a pledge campaign. A student organization, Charlotte Football Advocates (later CFI Students), became a part of the larger CFI group during the fall of 2006.[8] In February 2007, UNC Charlotte students voted overwhelmingly in favor of football in an official campus-wide vote and the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees voted to authorize $150,000 to study adding 49ers Football, and establishing a Football Feasibility Committee to be headed by outgoing board president and prominent Charlotte businessman Mac Everett. The committee held several meetings throughout the summer of 2007, plus three public forums in the fall of 2007.

In December 2007, the Football Feasibility Committee voted unanimously to recommend the addition of 49ers football. In September 2008, a major student-led March to the Endzone rally was held on campus.[9] On September 18, 2008, Chancellor Dubois officially recommended adding a 49ers football program with the condition that its fans first raise $5 million to help fund the stadium complex.[10] On November 13, 2008, the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees voted to add a Charlotte 49ers football program by 2013.[11]

Chancellor Dubois originally recommended that the university start Division I football at the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) level with no timeline to move up to FBS. The team played their first full season in the fall of 2013 as an FCS Independent.[12] On May 4, 2012 Charlotte agreed to rejoin Conference USA for all sports except football in 2013, with football joining in 2015 (the first year the 49ers would be eligible due to the NCAA requirement that start-up programs play a minimum of two years in FCS).[13] Charlotte moved to the FBS in 2015 and became FBS bowl eligible in 2016. The 49ers were founding members of C-USA from 1996–2005. Other schools to join C-USA with Charlotte include Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Louisiana Tech University, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of North Texas, and Old Dominion University.

Brad Lambert era (2013–2018)Edit

On March 1, 2011 the 49ers introduced Wake Forest defensive coordinator Brad Lambert as the program's first head coach.[14]

The 49ers played as an Independent during their two years in the FCS subdivision.[15] Charlotte Football officially joined the FBS subdivision and C-USA Football on July 1, 2015.[16]

On November 18, 2018, Charlotte Athletics Director Mike Hill announced that after 8 years and 6 seasons as head coach, Lambert would not be retained following the season.[17] Lambert had compiled a record of 22 wins, 48 losses during his tenure, including the program's first win in the inaugural game and winning the program's first FBS game.[18] Lambert would finish his career at Charlotte a week later with a season-ending road victory against the previous season conference champion FAU.[19]

Will Healy era (2018–present)Edit

On December 5, 2018 Austin Peay's Will Healy was announced as the Charlotte 49ers second head football coach.[20] The 2017 Eddie Robinson Award by STATS for FCS Coach of the Year, had a 8-1 FCS record and a 7-1 record in the Ohio Valley Conference in his second season with the Governors, who previously had a 1-46 record before Healy took over the previous season.[21]

The 49ers recorded their first win under Will Healy in their season opener during a 49-28 victory against Gardner-Webb on August 29, 2019.

Conference affiliationsEdit

  • Independent (1946–1948, 2013–2014)
  • Conference USA (2015–present)

Head coachesEdit

Coach Tenure Record Pct.
Arthur Deremer 1946 2–1 (2 results unknown) .667
Marion Woods 1947 1–3 (2 results unknown) .250
Carol Blackwell 1948 (4 results unknown)
Brad Lambert 2013–2018 22–48 .314
Will Healy 2018–current 2–4 .333

Homecoming HistoryEdit

Since coming back as a program in 2013, the 49ers have had a Homecoming Game, generally held in the middle of the season. They have a 2–5 program record on Homecoming.

Year Opponent Result
2013 UNC Pembroke L 22–45
2014 James Madison L 40–48
2015 Southern Miss L 10–44
2016 FIU L 26–27
2017 UAB W 25–24
2018 WKU W 40–14
2019 Florida Atlantic L 27-45

All-time record vs. In-State NCAA Division I teamsEdit

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current In-State NCAA Division I opponents.[22][23][24][25][26][27][28]

Team Games Played 1st Meeting Last Meeting Record (W–L) Last Result Streak
Appalachian State 2 Sept. 8, 2018 Sept. 7, 2019 0–2 L 41–56 @ App. St. Lost 2
Campbell* 2 Aug. 31, 2013 Aug. 28, 2014 2–0 W 33–9 @ Campbell Won 2
Davidson* 0 NA NA 0–0 NA -
Duke 0 2020 2020 0–0 2020 -
East Carolina 0 2024 2024 0–0 2024 -
Elon* 2 Sept. 20, 2014 Sept. 10, 2016 1–1 W 47–14 @ Charlotte Won 1
Gardner-Webb* 3 Oct. 5, 2013 Aug. 29, 2019 2–1 W 49–28 @ Charlotte Won 1
UNC 0 2024 2024 0–0 2024 -
NC A&T* 1 Sept. 16, 2017 Sept. 16, 2017 0–1 L 31–35 @ Charlotte Lost 1
NC Central* 2 Sept. 7, 2013 Sept. 13, 2014 1–1 W 40–28 @ NC Central Won 1
NCSU 0 NA NA 0–0 NA -
Wake Forest 0 NA NA 0–0 NA -
Western Carolina* 0 NA NA 0–0 NA -
Total 12 Aug. 31, 2013 Sept. 7, 2019 6–6 L 41–56 vs App. St. Lost 1

(*)FCS Opponent

All-time record vs. C-USA teamsEdit

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current C-USA opponents.[22]

Team Games Played 1st Meeting Last Meeting Record (W-L) Last Result Streak
Florida Atlantic* 5 Sept. 26, 2015 Sept. 28, 2019 2–3 L 27–45 @ Charlotte Lost 1
FIU* 5 Nov. 7, 2015 Oct. 12, 2019 0–5 L 23–48 @ FIU Lost 5
Louisiana Tech 0 - - 0–0 - -
Marshall* 4 Oct. 31, 2015 Nov. 10, 2018 1–3 L 13–30 @ Marshall Lost 2
Middle Tennessee * 4 Sept. 19, 2015 Oct. 20, 2018 0–4 L 13–21 @ Middle Tennessee Lost 4
North Texas 0 2019 2019 0–0 - -
Old Dominion* 4 Oct. 17, 2015 Sep. 13, 2018 1–3 W 28–25 @ Charlotte Won 1
Rice 2 Nov. 28, 2015 Nov. 12, 2016 0–2 L 21–22 @ Charlotte Lost 2
Southern Miss 4 Oct. 24, 2015 Oct. 27, 2018 2–2 W 20–17 @ Southern Miss Won 1
UTEP 0 2019 2019 0–0 - -
UTSA 2 Nov. 21, 2015 Nov. 26, 2016 0–2 L 14–33 @ UTSA Lost 2
UAB 2 Nov. 21, 2017 Sep. 29, 2018 1–1 L 7–28 @ UAB Lost 1
WKU* 2 Oct. 14, 2017 Oct. 13, 2018 1–1 W 40–14 @ Charlotte Won1
Total 34 Sept. 19, 2015 Oct. 12, 2019 8–26 L 23–48 vs FIU Lost 2

(*)Division Opponent

Current coaching staffEdit

[29]

Name Position Previous Playing career Tenure
Will Healy Head Coach Head Coach – Austin Peay QB Richmond 2008 1
Marcus West Assistant Head coach/Co-Defensive coordinator/Defensive line Defensive line coach - Minnesota DE - Memphis (2005) 1
Alex Atkins Offensive coordinator/Offensive line Assistant HC/Offensive line coach - Tulane OG - UT Martin (2007) 1
Brandon Cooper Co-Defensive coordinator/Safeties Defensive coordinator - Austin Peay DB - UT Martin (2007) 1
Mark Carney Quarterbacks coach Offensive coordinator - Virginia State QB - Fordham (2004) 1
Sean Dawkins Running backs coach/Run game coordinator Runningbacks coach - Troy RB - Troy (2007) 1
Montario Hardesty Wide receivers coach Running backs coach - WKR RB - Tennessee (2010) 1
Eddie Hicks Cornerbacks coach Coornerbacks coach - So Miss DB - So Miss (2010) 1
Tommy Langford Nicklebacks coach Head coach - Christ School GA - Minn. State (2015) 1
Max Thurmond Linebackers coach Defensive coordinator/Linebackers coach - Central Arkansas CB - Jacksonville St. (2001) 1
Cody Woodiel Tight ends coach Offensive Graduate Assistant - Oregon QL/TE - Fordham (2012) 1

Forty Niner Seat LicensesEdit

To generate financial support for the launch of the football program, Chancellor Dubois created a program called Forty Niner Seat Licenses, or FSLs, which essentially served as seat deposits for season tickets. The Chancellor initially set forth a goal of 5,000 FSL reservations within 6 months. However, due to the tremendous level of support for the new program, the goal was met in only 2 months.[30]

In February 2008, a fundraising capital campaign was established and led by prominent community leaders. These leaders included Mac Everett, Johnny Harris and Gene Johnson. Additionally, three other UNC Charlotte alumni were introduced as executive chairs: David Hauser, chief financial officer for Duke Energy Corporation; Bob Hull, chief financial officer for Lowe's Companies, Inc; and Joe Price, chief financial officer for Bank of America Corporation.[31]

Seat licenses are being sold in three tiers of seating: Green, Gold and White Gold. Green seat licenses are being sold at $1,000 per seat and will be located between the 30 yard line and the end zone; Gold seat licenses at $2,500 per seat and will be located between the 30 yard lines; and White Gold seat licenses at an undisclosed amount in a block of exclusive seating.[32] Seat locations will be determined by the ticket holders' Charlotte 49ers Athletics Foundation rank which is determined by the amount of the cumulative financial contribution the donor has made to the Foundation.[6]

StadiumEdit

Chancellor Dubois conducted a lengthy review process of the committee's results before making his final recommendation to the Board of Trustees. He presented the findings of his own internal review to the board at a June meeting which included estimates from stadium design firm Populous. The estimates significantly increased facilities construction numbers from the feasibility committee figures. They were also significantly higher than those for a much larger facility recently constructed for the University of Central Florida's Bright House Stadium.

On February 12, 2010, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors approved a debt service fee increase to fund the construction of the football stadium and football center,[33] and on August 2, 2010 Governor Bev Perdue signed the debt service fee bill into law to clear the way for stadium construction.[34] Designed by the architecture teams of Jenkins-Peer Architects and the DLR Group, its location was shown near the campus entrance at Highway 29 north of Hayes Stadium.[35] On April 28, 2011 Charlotte held a groundbreaking ceremony for the football stadium.[36] The stadium was completed in summer 2012. The 49ers' first game was a 52-7 win over Campbell on August 31, 2013.

Future non-conference opponentsEdit

AttendanceEdit

The largest crowd for a Charlotte football game at Jerry Richardson Stadium is 19,151, which was achieved on September 8, 2018, against Appalachian State University.[39] The previous record was 18,651, set in the season home opener in 2017.[40]

Decade Season Games Sellouts Record (Pct.) Attendance Average Best
2010's 2013 6 4 3–3 (.500) 93,244 15,540 16,630
2014 6 2 3–3 (.500) 79,632 13,272 15,875
2015 6 3 1–5 (.167) 87,603 14,606 17,444
2016 6 1 1–5 (.167) 85,154 14,192 15,807
2017 6 1 1–5 (.167) 71,420 11,903 18,651
2018 6 1 4–2 (.667) 70,263 11,710 19,151
2019 3 1 2–1 (.667) 41,265 13,755 16,119
Totals 2010's 39 13 15-24 (.385) 528,581 13,553 19,151

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Synthetic Turf and Artificial Grass". Hellas Construction. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  2. ^ The Official Stake Your Claim Brand Platform (PDF). Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  3. ^   (January 4, 2007). "UNCC students can vote on football - News14.com". Triangle.news14.com.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  4. ^   (January 15, 2013). "49er Football online poll - News14.com". Triangle.news14.com.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  5. ^ "UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees Votes To Add Football to 49ers Athletic Program". Charlotte49ers.cstv.com.
  6. ^ a b "Charlotte 49ers Football FAQ". Charlotte49erfootball.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d "Charlotte 49ers Football Our Story". Charlotte49erfootball.com. Archived from the original on May 4, 2009.
  8. ^ "Charlotte 49er Football Initiative". Web.me.com.
  9. ^ Hundreds Attend Football Rally on Campus
  10. ^ Perlmutt, David (September 19, 2008). "Yes to 49ers Football – with a $5m catch". Charlotteobserver.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2009.
  11. ^ Trustees Vote to Add Football to 49ers Athletic Program
  12. ^ "Charlotte board votes to start football program by 2013". Sports.espn.go.com. November 13, 2008.
  13. ^ "Conference USA Adds Five New Members". Conferenceusa.com. May 4, 2012.
  14. ^ Collins, Dan (March 1, 2011). "Lambert leaving WFU to become UNC Charlotte coach". Winston-Salem Journal. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
  15. ^ "49ers to play Independent in FCS". Gmine.blogspot.com. September 29, 2011.
  16. ^ "Niners Talk FBS at C-USA Football Kickoff". Charlotte49ers.com. July 23, 2015.
  17. ^ "Hill Makes Football Coaching Change". University of North Carolina at Charlotte Athletic Department. November 18, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  18. ^ Scott, David (November 18, 2018). "Brad Lambert out as Charlotte 49ers' football coach". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  19. ^ Scott, David (November 25, 2018). "After emotional sendoff for Brad Lambert, is stage set for Charlotte 49ers success?". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  20. ^ Stewart, Mike (December 4, 2018). "Charlotte hires Will Healy as football coach". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  21. ^ "Healy wins National Coach of the Year".
  22. ^ a b "Charlotte 49ers Head-to-Head Results". sports-reference.com. Sports Reference.com. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  23. ^ "2013 Charlotte Football Combined Team Statistics" (PDF). Charlotte49ers.com. University of North Carolina at Charlotte Athletics Department. December 3, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  24. ^ "2014 Charlotte Football Combined Team Statistics". Charlotte49ers.com. University of North Carolina at Charlotte Athletics Department. November 22, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 29, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  25. ^ "2015 Charlotte 49ers Football Media Guide" (PDF). Charlotte49ers.com. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  26. ^ "2016 Charlotte Football Combined Team Statistics" (PDF). Charlotte49ers.com. University of North Carolina at Charlotte Athletics Department. November 28, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  27. ^ "2017 Charlotte Football Combined Team Statistics" (PDF). Charlotte49ers.com. University of North Carolina at Charlotte Athletics Department. November 27, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  28. ^ "2018 Charlotte Football Combined Team Statistics" (PDF). Charlotte49ers.com. University of North Carolina at Charlotte Athletics Department. November 29, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  29. ^ "2019 Football Coaching Staff". Charlotte49ers.com. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  30. ^ "49ers FSL Numbers Reach Goal of 5,000". Lincolntribune.com.
  31. ^ "Feb 10 2008 Press Release" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 7, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
  32. ^ "Charlotte 49er Football 49ers Seat License (FSL)". Charlotte49erfootball.com. Archived from the original on July 29, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2011.
  33. ^ UNC Charlotte Office of Public Relations (February 12, 2010). "UNC Board of Governors approve football funding". publicrelations.uncc.edu. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  34. ^ Scott, David (August 3, 2010). "49ers football gets Governor's boost". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  35. ^ Spanberg, Erik (September 24, 2010). "Sales slow as UNC Charlotte unveils stadium plans". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  36. ^ Spanberg, Erik (April 28, 2011). "UNC Charlotte kicks off football". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  37. ^ "Charlotte 49ers Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  38. ^ "49ers; Mountaineers Ink Four-Game Series". Charlotte49ers.com. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  39. ^ "Appalachian State wears down Charlotte 49ers 45-9 before record crowd". The Charlotte Observer. September 8, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  40. ^ "The Point After: NC A&T at Charlotte". Charlotte 49ers. September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2017.

External linksEdit