The Citadel Bulldogs football

The Citadel Bulldogs football program represents The Citadel in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Bulldogs play in the Southern Conference, as they have since 1936. The Bulldogs are coached by Brent Thompson, who was hired on January 19, 2016, to replace Mike Houston, who became the head football coach of James Madison University on January 18, 2016.[2][3][4]

The Citadel Bulldogs football
2022 The Citadel Bulldogs football team
Citadel Bulldogs logo.svg
First season1905 (1905)
Athletic directorMike Capaccio
Head coachVacant
StadiumJohnson Hagood Stadium
(capacity: 21,000)
FieldSansom Field
Year built1948
Field surfaceNatural grass
LocationCharleston, South Carolina
ConferenceSouthern Conference
All-time record508–560–32 (.476)
Bowl record1–0 (1.000)
Playoff appearances5
Playoff record2–5
Conference titles4 (1961, 1992, 2015, 2016)
ColorsInfantry blue and white[1]
Fight song"The Fighting Light Brigade"
Marching bandThe Regimental Band and Pipes



The Bulldogs first recorded stadium was College Park, located in the northeast corner of Hampton Park in Charleston, South Carolina. This field predated the current College Park at the same site, which is used as a practice facility for The Citadel Bulldogs baseball. Due to increasing attendance and the poor state of the stadium, the Bulldogs moved to the original Johnson Hagood Stadium in 1927. In 1948, that stadium was replaced by the current Johnson Hagood Stadium, which lies just to the south of The Citadel's gates in Charleston.

Johnson Hagood Stadium

Johnson Hagood is a 21,000-seat stadium, in which The Citadel routinely ranks in the top 25 in attendance at the FCS level. In 2001, the Altman Athletic Center opened in the south end zone, complete with new home and visitor's locker rooms, official's locker rooms, and an upstairs hospitality area for donors. In 2008, The Citadel completed a re-construction of the west stands and West Side Tower. The stands contain reserved premium seats and bleacher seats, while the tower, shared with the South Carolina National Guard, contains twelve suites, a club level, and state of the art press box. During preparation for construction, workers discovered the remains of sailors from failed test runs of the H.L. Hunley. These remains were reinterred in Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston.

Beginning in 2012, The Citadel implemented a points system for parking and seat selection in Johnson Hagood Stadium, joining many large programs who use similar systems. The program is designed to reward long-time and large donors to The Citadel athletics by giving them preference in selecting seat and parking locations.[5]

In 2016, The Citadel determined that lead paint needed remediation on the east (visitor's) side of the stadium. The work resulted in the entire east side being closed for the first game of the 2016 season and some sections being opened for subsequent games. The capacity was thus 10,500 for the first game and about 15,000 for later games.[6][7][8] The Board of Visitors decided to fully renovate the east side of the stadium, announcing that decision on December 2, 2016.[9]

Practice and on-campus facilitiesEdit

Practices are held at the Maybank Triplets Practice Facility, an artificial turf field at the north edge of campus. The Bulldogs utilize Seignious Hall, located across from McAlister Field House for weightlifting, locker rooms, team meeting and video space, and academic tutoring. The Citadel Sports Medicine Department also utilizes Seignious Hall.[10]

Coaches and staffEdit

Coaches from The Citadel have often been targeted for larger programs. Former head and assistant coaches at The Citadel include Bobby Ross, Charlie Taaffe, Ellis Johnson, Frank Beamer, Al Davis, Ralph Friedgen, and Mike Houston.[11]

Head coachesEdit


Name First Year Final Year No. Seasons
Syd Smith 1905 1905 1
Ralph Foster 1906 1908 3
Sam Costen 1909 1910 2
Louis LeTellier 1911 1912 2
George Rogers 1913 1919 4
Harvey O'Brien 1916 1921 5
Carl Prause 1922 1929 8
Johnny Floyd 1930 1931 2
Tatum Gressette 1932 1939 8
Bo Rowland 1940 1942 3
J. Quinn Decker 1946 1952 7
John D. McMillan 1953 1954 2
John Sauer 1955 1956 2
Eddie Teague 1957 1965 9
Red Parker 1966 1972 7
Bobby Ross 1973 1977 5
Art Baker 1978 1982 5
Tom Moore 1983 1986 4
Charlie Taaffe 1987 1995 9
Don Powers 1996 2000 5
Ellis Johnson 2001 2003 3
John Zernhelt 2004 2004 1
Kevin Higgins 2005 2013 9
Mike Houston 2014 2015 2
Brent Thompson 2016 2022 6

Seasons and resultsEdit

Conference championshipsEdit

The Citadel has won four conference championships, three outright and one shared.

Season Conference Coach Overall record Conference record
1961 Southern Conference Eddie Teague 7–3 5–1
1992 Charlie Taaffe 11–2 6–1
2015 Mike Houston 9–4 6–1
2016 Brent Thompson 10–2 8–0

† denotes co–champions

Postseason appearancesEdit

Bowl gamesEdit

Season Coach Bowl Opponent Result
1960 Eddie Teague Tangerine Bowl Tennessee Tech W 27–0

FCS playoffsEdit

The Citadel has appeared in the NCAA Division I Football Championship playoffs five times, posting a 2–5 record.

Year Round Opponent Result
1988 First Round Georgia Southern L 20–38
1990 First Round Georgia Southern L 0–31
1992 First Round
North Carolina A&T
Youngstown State
W 44–0
L 17–42
2015 First Round
Second Round
Coastal Carolina
Charleston Southern
W 41–38
L 6–14
2016 Second Round Wofford L 3–17


The Citadel's primary rivals are the VMI Keydets football and Furman Paladins football. The game with VMI is known as the Military Classic of the South. The Citadel and Furman have been heated, annual rivals since both joined the Southern Conference in 1936. The Citadel is 151-174-9 all-time against in-state opponents.

Opponent Wins Losses Ties First meeting Last Citadel win Last Opponent win
VMI 43 32 2 1920 2021 2020–21
Furman 37 61 3 1913 2020–21 2021

Record vs. Current SoCon opponents

Excludes Furman and VMI, listed above.
East Tennessee State returned to the SoCon in 2016.
Opponent Wins Losses Ties First meeting Last Citadel win Last Opponent win
Chattanooga 20 33 2 1926 2021 2018
East Tennessee State[a] 13 17 0 1966 2019 2021
Mercer[b] 11 7 1 1906 2019 2021
Samford 7 8 0 1989 2018 2021
Western Carolina 26 19 1 1972 2019 2021
Wofford 44 30 1 1916 2021 2019
  1. ^ East Tennessee State did not sponsor football from 2004–2014
  2. ^ Mercer did not sponsor football from 1941–2012

Record vs instate opponents

Division 1, non-SoCon only
Opponent Wins Losses Ties First meeting Last Citadel win Last Opponent win
Charleston Southern[a] 7 6 2002 2019 2021
Clemson 5 32 1 1909 1931 2017
Coastal Carolina 1 1 2014 2015[b] 2014
Presbyterian 51 11 1 1915 2017 1979
South Carolina 8 40 3 1905 2015 2011
South Carolina State 4 0 0 1989 2001 none
  1. ^ In 2018, Charleston Southern vacated three wins against The Citadel, including one from the 2015 playoffs, after NCAA sanctions.[13]
  2. ^ The Bulldogs won a 2015 matchup in the first round of the FCS Playoffs.

Bulldogs in professional footballEdit

Many Citadel alumni have played in various professional leagues, including the National Football League, Canadian Football League and Arena Football League. Sixteen players have been drafted in the NFL Draft and AFL Draft, and other players have signed as undrafted free agents. Likely the most famous Citadel alumni in professional football are Running Back Stump Mitchell and broadcaster Paul Maguire. Currently, Andre Roberts is a member of the Buffalo Bills and Cortez Allen recently played with the Pittsburgh Steelers for 5 seasons; Running Back Travis Jervey played in 2 Super Bowls with the Green Bay Packers and was named an All Pro as a special teams player.[14]

Individual honorsEdit

This list includes selected First Team All-Americans at The Citadel[15]

Year Name AFCA AP Walter Camp Sports Network/STATS Football Gazette
1976 Brian Ruff
1985 Jim Gabrish
1986 Scott Thompson
1988 Carlos Avalos
1990 J. J. Davis
1991 Lester Smith
1992 Lester Smith
Carey Cash
Terrence Forney
Lance Hansen
1994 Levi Davis
1995 Brad Keeney
1997 Carlos Frank
2008 Andre Roberts
2012 Mike Sellers
2015 Tyler Renew
Dee Delaney
2016 Dee Delaney
Isaiah Pinson
Tyler Renew

Honored jerseysEdit

Numbers has not been retired and remain active

No. Player Position
14 Jack Douglas QB
15 Lester Smith S
35 Stump Mitchell RB
51 Brian Ruff LB
59 Marc Buoniconti LB
66 John Small LB

Future schedulesEdit

This represents the most recent verified future non-conference games as of July 31, 2022.[16] The upcoming season schedule can be found at 2022 The Citadel Bulldogs football team. NCAA Division I FCS football teams are usually permitted to play 11 games per season. In years when 13 weekends fall between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, they may add a twelfth game. This will be the case in 2024 and 2025. With nine football playing members, the Southern Conference regular season consists of eight games, leaving 3 non-conference games to be scheduled in most years.[17]

2023 2024 2025 2026
Date Opponent Date Opponent Date Opponent Date Opponent
Sept. 2 Georgia Southern Aug. 31 at Charleston Southern Aug. 30 at Ole Miss Sept. 5 at Charlotte
Sept. 9 Campbell Nov. 23 at Clemson TBA Charleston Southern


  1. ^ "Colors: Thw Citadel Brand Guidelines". Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  2. ^ Jeff Hartsell (January 9, 2014). "The Citadel introduces new football coach Mike Houston". Post and Courier. Charleston, SC. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  3. ^ Kevin Bilodeau (January 18, 2016). "Mike Houston leaves The Citadel for James Madison". WCSC-TV. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  4. ^ Kevin Bilodeau (January 19, 2016). "The Citadel names Brent Thompson as new head coach". WCSC-TV. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  5. ^ "Priority Points System". The Citadel. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
  6. ^ Jeff Hartsell (August 29, 2016). "Citadel considers tearing down visitors' side at Johnson Hagood Stadium". Post and Courier. Charleston, SC. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  7. ^ Jeff Hartsell (September 9, 2016). "Citadel football returns to (half of) Johnson Hagood Stadium". Post and Courier. Charleston, SC. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  8. ^ Jeff Hartsell (October 11, 2016). "Citadel home at last, with nation's best 4 road wins". Post and Courier. Charleston, SC. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  9. ^ Jeff Hartsell (October 11, 2016). "Citadel Notes: Stadium's east side to be renovated; Georgia Tech on 2019 schedule". Post and Courier. Charleston, SC.
  10. ^ 2011 Citadel Football Media Guide. p. 7. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  11. ^ 2011 Citadel Football Media Guide. pp. 10–11. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  12. ^ 2011 Citadel Football Media Guide. p. 142. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  13. ^ David Shelton (December 10, 2018). "Charleston Southern vacates 122 victories, 3 Big South titles, with more to come". Post and Courier. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  14. ^ 2011 Citadel Football Media Guide. p. 12. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  15. ^ 2011 Citadel Football Media Guide. p. 133. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  16. ^ "Future The Citadel Football Schedules". Retrieved July 31, 2022.
  17. ^ TK Maxwell (June 12, 2016). "Ohio Valley and Southland Conferences Propose Permanent 12-Game FCS Slate". Underdog Dynasty. Retrieved August 29, 2017.

External linksEdit