Chicago Maroons football

The Chicago Maroons football represents the University of Chicago in college football. The Maroons, which play in NCAA Division III, have been a football-only member of the Midwest Conference since 2017.[2] The University of Chicago was a founding member of the Big Ten Conference and the Maroons were coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg for 41 seasons. In 1935, halfback Jay Berwanger became the first recipient of the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, later known as the Heisman Trophy. In the late 1930s, university president Robert Maynard Hutchins decided that big-time college football and the university's commitment to academics were not a good fit.[3] The University of Chicago abolished its football program in 1939 and withdrew from the Big Ten in 1946. Football returned to the University of Chicago in 1963 in the form of a club team, which was upgraded to varsity status in 1969. The Maroons began competing in Division III in 1973.

Chicago Maroons football
Chicago Maroons logo.svg
First season1892
Athletic directorErin McDermott
Head coachChris Wilkerson
7th season, 37–22 (.627)
StadiumNew Stagg Field
(Capacity: 1,650)
Field surfaceFieldTurf
LocationChicago, Illinois
ConferenceMidwest Conference
All-time record416–368–34 (.529)
Claimed nat'l titles2 (1905, 1913)
Conference titles12
Heisman winners1
Consensus All-Americans12
Current uniform
Chicago maroons football unif.png
ColorsMaroon and White[1]
Fight songWave the Flag
MascotPhil the Phoenix


The first team fielded by the University of Chicago in 1892
The team that won its first Big Ten Conference championship in 1899

The team's name derived from coach Amos Alonzo Stagg, who decided that there needed to be a change in their color, which was goldenrod, with Stagg pointing out how the color soiled easily. On May 5, 1894, students and faculty met at a meeting to determine the official color and nickname, with the result being the Maroons. The program began play in 1892, with coach Amos Alonzo Stagg at the helm, which he would serve for until 1933. The Maroons spent their first four seasons as an independent, with 1894 being a highlight year in which they went 10–7–1. They joined the Big Ten Conference in 1896. In 1899, they won their first ever Big Ten title, going 12–0–2 in regular play and 4-0 in conference play. Stagg formed a squad that would be fairly consistent for a quarter of a century, with the Maroons winning seven conference titles from 1899 to 1924, while managing to have four seasons in which they did not lose a game.

Stagg retired from Chicago after the 1932 season, in which he went 3–4–1 (1–4) for the University of Pacific. Clark Shaughnessy took over as coach in 1933. In his seven seasons there, he led them to two .500 seasons, but no finish above 6th in the conference. In 1936, they beat Wisconsin 7-6. As it turned out, this was their last win as a Big Ten member. The team disbanded in 1939. Chicago became a team again to start the 1969 season. The team struggled for a few years, not getting to .500 until 1976 with a 4-4 record and not getting above .500 until 1985. The first few decades were marked by losing, with four winless seasons occurring from 1973 to 1991. In 1994, Dick Maloney was hired as coach of the team. His 1995 team won eight games while only losing two, the most wins in a seasons since coming back as a team. In 1998, the Maroons won the UAA conference title, winning all four conference games. The Maroons won three more conference titles in Maloney's tenure until his retirement in 2012. Chris Wilkerson was hired as coach in 2013. In his second season, he led them to a UAA title.

Conference affiliationsEdit


National championshipsEdit

Chicago lays claim to two national championships. Although they do not compete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, they maintain claims to titles won at the highest level at the time.

Season Coach Selector Record
1905 Amos Alonzo Stagg Billingsley, Helms, Houlgate, NCF 11–0
1913 Amos Alonzo Stagg Billingsley, Parke Davis 7–0

Conference championshipsEdit

Chicago has won 12 conference championships, seven in the Big Ten Conference and five in the University Athletic Association[5][6]

Season Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1899 Big Ten Conference Amos Alonzo Stagg 12–0–2 4–0
1905 Big Ten Conference Amos Alonzo Stagg 11–0 7–0
1907 Big Ten Conference Amos Alonzo Stagg 4–1 4–0
1908 Big Ten Conference Amos Alonzo Stagg 5–0–1 5–0
1913 Big Ten Conference Amos Alonzo Stagg 7–0 7–0
1922 Big Ten Conference Amos Alonzo Stagg 5–1–1 4–0–1
1924 Big Ten Conference Amos Alonzo Stagg 4–1–3 3–0–3
1998 University Athletic Association Dick Maloney 7–2 4–0
2000 University Athletic Association Dick Maloney 7–2 4–0
2005 University Athletic Association Dick Maloney 5–4 3–0
2010 University Athletic Association Dick Maloney 8–2 3–0
2014 University Athletic Association Chris Wilkerson 8–1 3–0

All-time record against current Big Ten membersEdit

School Wins Losses Ties %
Illinois 19 22 3 .466
Indiana 20 4 1 .789
Iowa 9 3 2 .714
Maryland* 1 0 0 1.000
Michigan 7 19 0 .269
Michigan State* 1 0 0 1.000
Minnesota 5 12 1 .306
Nebraska* 1 1 0 .500
Northwestern 26 8 3 .743
Ohio State 2 10 2 .214
Penn State* 0 0 0 N/A
Purdue 27 14 1 .655
Rutgers* 0 0 0 N/A
Wisconsin 16 19 5 .463

Note: Michigan State, Penn State, Nebraska, Maryland, and Rutgers were not members of the Big Ten when Chicago was a member. [7]

Notable personnelEdit

College Football Hall of FameEdit

Name Position Tenure Inducted Notes
Jay Berwanger Halfback 1933–1935 1954 First recipient of the Heisman Trophy
Hugo Bezdek Fullback 1905 1954 Inducted for his career as a coach at Oregon, Arkansas, and Penn State
Fritz Crisler End 1919–1921 1954 Inducted for his career as a coach at Minnesota, Princeton, and Michigan
Paul Des Jardien Center 1912–1914 1955 All-American in 1913 and 1914
Walter Eckersall Quarterback 1903–1906 1951 Leader of the 1905 national championship team
Clarence Herschberger Fullback 1895–1898 1970 First western player selected as a first-team All-American
Tiny Maxwell Guard 1902, 1904–1905 1974 All-American for 1905 national championship team
Clark Shaughnessy Coach 1933–1939 1968 College football coach for 50 years
Amos Alonzo Stagg Coach 1892–1932 1951 "The Grand Old Man of the Midway"
Walter Steffen Quarterback 1906–1908 1969 Scored 156 points for teams that went 13–2–1; First-team All-American, 1908
Andy "Polyphemus" Wyant Guard, Center 1892–1894 1962 Played 8 varsity seasons of college football for Bucknell and Chicago


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The University of Chicago Identity Guidelines (PDF). Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  2. ^ "UChicago football set to join Midwest Conference as affiliate member in 2017" (Press release). Athletics & Recreation, The University of Chicago. May 11, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  3. ^ Bearak, Barry (16 September 2011). "At the University of Chicago, Football and Higher Education Mix". Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via
  4. ^ UAA Football Composite Results (PDF), archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2019, retrieved May 28, 2019
  5. ^ "The University of Chicago Athletics" (PDF). The University of Chicago Athletics. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  6. ^ "The University of Chicago Athletics". The University of Chicago Athletics. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit