Eastern Washington Eagles football
The Eastern Washington Eagles football team represents Eastern Washington University in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The Eastern Eagles are members of the Big Sky Conference and play at Roos Field, which is known for being the only stadium in college football with a red playing surface.
|Eastern Washington Eagles|
|Head coach||Aaron Best|
3rd season, 19–7 (.731)
|Field surface||Red SprinTurf|
|NCAA division||Division I FCS|
|Conference||Big Sky Conference|
|All-time record||553–419–23 (.567)|
|Claimed nat'l titles||Div. I FCS: 1 (2010)|
Portland State (rivalry)
|Colors||Red and White|
|Fight song||Go, Eagles, Go|
|Marching band||Eagles Marching Band|
|Washington Intercollegiate Conference||1939–1947|
|Div. II Independent||1980–1983|
|Div. I-AA Independent||1984–1986|
|Big Sky Conference||1987–present|
Beginning & NAIA eraEdit
Eastern Washington University began fielding a football team in 1901, when the school was known at the time as the 'State Normal School' and the team mascot was the 'Savages'. Eastern's first national affiliation came with joining the NAIA.
Eastern competed in the NAIA until 1977, along the way advancing to the NAIA Football National Championship finals in 1967, losing to Fairmont State 28-21. This marked Eastern Washington's first appearance in a national championship game at any level of competition.
During this time period, the school would undergo numerous changes to its identity. The school name would change in 1937 to the 'Eastern Washington College of Education', then again in 1962 to 'Eastern Washington State College'. The final change to the school name came in 1977 when the school was renamed 'Eastern Washington University'.
In 1973, the student body voted to make Eastern's mascot the 'Eagles'. Shortly before that, the Eastern Board of Trustees declared 'Savages', its mascot through its first 92 years, no longer acceptable. Eagles are native to Eastern Washington and thus a logical choice for a replacement.
Transition to NCAA and Big SkyEdit
Denied membership to the Big Sky Conference in May 1985, Eastern was extended an invitation in December 1986 to join, starting in July 1987. Eastern continues to participate in the Big Sky to this day and is now the sixth-most tenured member of the conference.
Red Turf and National ChampionshipEdit
The 2010 season would mark a number of firsts for Eastern Washington's football program. The offseason would see a highly publicized move to install a red turf playing surface, the first of its kind in the country. Eastern would utilize the excitement and energy surrounding the program to complete its finest season of competition in the program's history.
The 2010 season concluded with Eastern Washington's first appearance in the FCS Championship Game. Led by the head coach Beau Baldwin the Eagles defeated the Delaware Blue Hens 20–19 in Frisco, Texas to win the school's first national championship in football.
|2010||Beau Baldwin||NCAA 20 Team Playoff||13–2||Delaware||W 20–19|
|Year||Conference||Overall record||Conference record||Coach|
|1921||Tri-Normal League||3–3–0||3–0–0||A.A. Eustis|
|1923†||Tri-Normal League||5–2–0||4–1–0||A.A. Eustis|
|1925||Tri-Normal League||6–3–0||5–0–0||A.A. Eustis|
|1934||Tri-Normal League||6–1–0||2–0–0||W.B. Reese|
|1935||Tri-Normal League||4–2–1||1–0–1||W.B. Reese|
|1936||Tri-Normal League||7–1–0||2–0–0||W.B. Reese|
|1937||Tri-Normal League||6–1–0||2–0–0||W.B. Reese|
|1939†||Washington Intercollegiate Conference||5–3–0||2–0–0||W.B. Reese|
|1947†||Washington Intercollegiate Conference||6–1–1||4–0–1||A.H. Poffenroth|
|1948†||Evergreen Conference||8–1–0||5–1–0||A.H. Poffenroth|
|1949†||Evergreen Conference||7–2–0||5–1–0||A.H. Poffenroth|
|1950||Evergreen Conference||8–2–0||5–1–0||A.H. Poffenroth|
|1965||Evergreen Conference||8–1–0||4–1–0||Dave Holmes|
|1966||Evergreen Conference||7–1–1||4–1–1||Dave Holmes|
|1967||Evergreen Conference||11–1–0||6–0–0||Dave Holmes|
|1969†||Evergreen Conference||4–5–0||4–2–0||Brent Wooten|
|1992†||Big Sky Conference||7–4–0||6–1–0||Dick Zornes|
|1997||Big Sky Conference||12–2–0||7–1–0||Mike Kramer|
|2004†||Big Sky Conference||9–4||6–1||Paul Wulff|
|2005†||Big Sky Conference||7–5||5–2||Paul Wulff|
|2010†||Big Sky Conference||13–2||7–1||Beau Baldwin|
|2012†||Big Sky Conference||11–3||7–1||Beau Baldwin|
|2013||Big Sky Conference||12–3||8–0||Beau Baldwin|
|2014||Big Sky Conference||11–3||7–1||Beau Baldwin|
|2016†||Big Sky Conference||12–2||8–0||Beau Baldwin|
|2018†||Big Sky Conference||12–3||7–1||Aaron Best|
Eastern Washington made one appearance in the NAIA playoffs in 1967. They advanced to the NAIA Champions Bowl, where they lost to Fairmont State. The Eagles finished with a 1-1 record in NAIA playoff play.
|New Mexico Highlands
Division I-AA/FCS PlayoffsEdit
Eastern Washington has participated thirteen times in the I-AA/FCS playoffs since 1978. Their first appearance occurred during the 1985 season, when they advanced to the quarterfinals. The Eagles' best finish came during the 2010 season, when they won the national championship.
|1992||First Round||Northern Iowa||L 14–17||Dick Zornes|
Sam Houston State
|2005||First Round||Northern Iowa||L 38–41||Paul Wulff|
|2009||First Round||Stephen F. Austin||L 33–44||Beau Baldwin|
National Championship Game
|SE Missouri State
North Dakota State
Sam Houston State
|South Dakota State
National Championship Game
North Dakota State
|Coach||Years||Seasons||Record||Pct.||Conf. champs||Bowl games||National titles|
|Nick Hinch||1908, 1912||2||2-4-0||.333|
|W.B. Reese||1930–1941, 1946||13||66-26-9||.698||5|
- Note: Eastern Washington did not field teams from 1910–1911, 1917–1919 & 1943–1945.
The EWU football team plays at Roos Field, opened in 1967 and recently expanded and renovated in 2004 and 2010 to seat 11,702. The stadium was originally named Woodward Field in honor of former Eagles head football and basketball coach Arthur C. Woodward. It replaced the original Woodward Field, which was located near the present JFK Library.
Red turf installation and name changeEdit
On February 26, 2010, ESPN reported that Eastern Washington planned to remove the natural grass surface at Woodward Field and replace it with red SprinTurf, the first of its kind at any level of American football. A funding drive was initiated in late January 2010, with EWU alumnus Michael Roos donating $500,000 toward the installation costs, and fellow alumnus and ESPN personality Colin Cowherd also making a donation.
On May 20, 2010 the Eastern Washington Board of Trustees approved a name change to Roos Field, scheduled for the 2010 season, upon the successful completion of the project. Installation of the red synthetic turf was completed in September 2010, in time for the first home game of the 2010 season against Montana.
Eastern Washington's red playing surface is known as The Inferno. The nickname was chosen through a vote conducted by Eastern on its athletic website, goeags.com. Voting began on August 4, 2010 and allowed fans to choose from seven proposed names: red sea, red zone, inferno, big red, red carpet, ring of fire and lava pit. Inferno finished as the top choice and the nickname was revealed at the first home game with the new field on September 18, 2010.
The EWU–UM Governors Cup is the game against conference rival Montana, usually played in mid-season in October, alternating between Roos Field in Cheney and Washington–Grizzly Stadium in Missoula. The Eagles currently trail in the overall series with 17 wins, 27 losses, and a tie; it became the Governors Cup in 1998 for the 25th meeting and Montana also leads that series at 13–8 (.619), through 2017. The Cup was originally contested between EWU and the University of Idaho, from 1984 through 1997.
The Eagles also have a new rivalry with the Portland State Vikings in all sports, starting in 2010 called The Dam Cup. Eastern football won the first rivalry match between the two schools in 2010 with a score of 55-17. The purpose of the Dam Cup is to create a rivalry between Portland State University and Eastern Washington University and provide a sense of pride between alumni in the Portland and Spokane areas. Other goals include increasing attendance at events between both schools and building school spirit among each institutions' student body.
|Team||Rivalry name||Trophy||Games played||First meeting||Last meeting||EWU win||EWU loss||Ties||Win %|
|Montana Grizzlies||EWU–UM Governors Cup||Governors Cup||45||1938†||2017, Won 48–41||17||27||1||.389|
|Portland State Vikings||The Dam Cup||Dam Cup||41||1986‡||2018, Won 74–23||20||20||1||.500|
† The Governors Cup rivalry with Montana was officially established in 1998, but both teams have played against each other since the date listed above.
‡ The Dam Cup rivalry with Portland State was officially established in 2010, but both teams have played against each other since the date listed above.
Individual award winnersEdit
National award winners – playersEdit
Big Sky Conference honorsEdit
Current coaching staffEdit
Staff as of February 28, 2019.
|Name||Position||Alma mater||Season at EWU|
|Aaron Best||Head Coach||Eastern Washington (2001)||20th; 3rd as head coach|
|Eti Ena||Associate Head Coach
|Eastern Washington (2005)||4th|
|Bryan Mills||Safeties||Pacific (2014)||3rd|
High School Relations
|Brian Strandley||Defensive Line
Defensive Passing Game Coordinator
|Eastern Washington (2013)||1st|
|Ian Shoemaker||Offensive Coordinator
|Jase Butorac||Offensive Line
|Eastern Washington (2015)||3rd|
|Pat McCann||Wide Receivers||Western Washington (2009)||1st|
|Kevin Maurice||Running Backs
|St. Joseph's (IN) (2006)||3rd|
|Heath Pulver||Tight Ends
Special Teams Coordinator
|Eastern Washington (2009)||3rd|
|Marc Anderson||Director of Football Operations||Eastern Washington (2014)||5th|
|Nate Barry||Assistant Athletic Director of Athletic Performance||Idaho (2011)||2nd|
Eagles in the prosEdit
The following former Eastern Washington players are currently playing in one of the three professional football leagues listed below.
Future non-conference opponentsEdit
Scheduled opponents as of January 18, 2019.