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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
2019 Eastern Washington Eagles football team
Eastern Washington University wordmark.svg
First season1901
Head coachAaron Best
3rd season, 19–7 (.731)
StadiumRoos Field
(Capacity: 8,600)
FieldThe Inferno
Year built1967
Field surfaceRed SprinTurf
LocationCheney, Washington
NCAA divisionDivision I FCS
ConferenceBig Sky Conference
All-time record553–419–23 (.567)
Playoff appearances13
Playoff record19–12
Claimed nat'l titlesDiv. I FCS: 1 (2010)
Conference titles26
RivalriesMontana (rivalry)
Portland State (rivalry)
ColorsRed and White[1]
Fight songGo, Eagles, Go
Marching bandEagles Marching Band


Conference Affiliations
Independent 1901–1919
Tri-Normal League 1920–1937
Independent 1938
Washington Intercollegiate Conference 1939–1947
Evergreen Conference 1948–1979
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.

Identity changesEdit

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'.[2][3][4] 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

Eastern joined the NCAA in 1978, and participated at the Division II level as an independent until 1984, when they moved up to Division I-AA (now FCS), also as an independent.[5]

Denied membership to the Big Sky Conference in May 1985,[6][7] Eastern was extended an invitation in December 1986 to join, starting in July 1987.[8][9] 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.


National championshipsEdit

Eastern Washington has won one national championship in the FCS.

Year Coach Selector Record Opponent Result
2010 Beau Baldwin NCAA 20 Team Playoff 13–2 Delaware W 20–19

Conference championshipsEdit

Eastern Washington has won 26 conference championships since 1901, including ten in the Big Sky Conference.[citation needed]

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

† Co–champions

Playoff appearancesEdit

NAIA PlayoffsEdit

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.

Season Round Opponent Result Coach
1967 Semifinals
Champions Bowl
New Mexico Highlands
Fairmont State
W 28–14
L 21–28
Dave Holmes

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.[10]

Year Round Opponent Result Coach
1985 First Round
Northern Iowa
W 42–38
L 14–17
Dick Zornes
1992 First Round Northern Iowa L 14–17 Dick Zornes
1997 First Round
Northwestern State
Youngstown State
W 40–10
W 38–21
L 14–25
Mike Kramer
2004 First Round
Southern Illinois
Sam Houston State
W 35–31
L 34–35
Paul Wulff
2005 First Round Northern Iowa L 38–41 Paul Wulff
2007 First Round
McNeese State
Appalachian State
W 44–15
L 35–38
Paul Wulff
2009 First Round Stephen F. Austin L 33–44 Beau Baldwin
2010 First Round
National Championship Game
SE Missouri State
North Dakota State
W 37–17
W 38–31
W 41–31
W 20–19
Beau Baldwin
2012 Second Round
Illinois State
Sam Houston State
W 29–19
W 51–35
L 42–45
Beau Baldwin
2013 Second Round
South Dakota State
Jacksonville State
W 41–17
W 35–24
L 31–35
Beau Baldwin
2014 Second Round
Illinois State
W 37–20
L 46–59
Beau Baldwin
2016 Second Round
Central Arkansas
Youngstown State
W 37–20
W 38–0
L 38–40
Beau Baldwin
2018 Second Round
National Championship Game
UC Davis
North Dakota State
W 42–21
W 34–29
W 50–19
L 24–38
Aaron Best

Head coachesEdit

Coach Years Seasons Record Pct. Conf. champs Bowl games National titles
Unknown 1901–1902 2 3-3-2 --
Claude Arthur 1903 1 3-2-2 .571
H.E. Smith 1904–1905 2 5-9-0 .357
O.P. Lienau 1906–1907 2 8-5-0 .615
Nick Hinch 1908, 1912 2 2-4-0 .333
Harry Goldsworthy 1909 1 0-2-0 .000
Albert Fertsch 1913–1916 4 4-9-0 .308
A.A. Eustis 1920–1926 7 24-25-1 .490 3
Arthur Woodward 1927–1928 2 7-8-0 .467
G.M. Johnson 1929 1 4-4-0 .500
W.B. Reese 1930–1941, 1946 13 66-26-9 .698 5
Ralph Peterson 1942 1 3-4-0 .429
A.H. Poffenroth 1947–1952 6 32–19–1 .625 4
Ed Chissus 1953–1962 10 29-52-4 .365
Dave Holmes 1963–1967 5 34-13-1 .719 3
Brent Wooten 1968–1970 3 11-18-0 .379 1
John Massengale 1971–1978 8 35-39-1 .473
Dick Zornes 1979–1993 15 89-66-2 .573 1
Mike Kramer 1994–1999 6 37-32-0 .536 1
Paul Wulff 2000–2007 8 53-40-0 .570 2
Beau Baldwin 2008–2016 9 85-32-0 .726 5 1
Aaron Best 2017–present 1 19-7-0 .731 1
Note: Eastern Washington did not field teams from 1910–1911, 1917–1919 & 1943–1945.

Home stadiumEdit

Roos Field with red turf installed in 2010

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.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13] Installation of the red synthetic turf was completed in September 2010, in time for the first home game of the 2010 season against Montana.

The InfernoEdit

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, 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.

Portland StateEdit

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.[14]

Name Position Alma mater Season at EWU
Aaron Best Head Coach Eastern Washington (2001) 20th; 3rd as head coach
Eti Ena Associate Head Coach
Defensive Coordinator
Defensive Ends
Eastern Washington (2005) 4th
Bryan Mills Safeties Pacific (2014) 3rd
Josh Fetter Linebackers
High School Relations
Idaho (1996) 9th
Brian Strandley Defensive Line
Pro Liaison
Idaho (1995) 9th
Allen Brown Cornerbacks
Defensive Passing Game Coordinator
Eastern Washington (2013) 1st
Ian Shoemaker Offensive Coordinator
Grinnell (1996) 1st
Jase Butorac Offensive Line
Academic Coordinator
Community Relations
Eastern Washington (2015) 3rd
Pat McCann Wide Receivers Western Washington (2009) 1st
Kevin Maurice Running Backs
Video Coordinator
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.[citation needed]