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The Xavier Musketeers football program, formerly known as the St. Xavier Saints, was an American football program that represented Xavier University of Cincinnati in college football from 1900 to 1943 and 1946 to 1973. Xavier discontinued its participation in intercollegiate football following the 1973 season, citing the escalating cost of the sport and resulting deficits.

Xavier Musketeers football
First season1901
Last season1973
StadiumCorcoran Stadium
(Capacity: 15,000)
Year built1929
LocationNorwood, Ohio
Past conferencesIndependent
All-time record302–222–22 (.573)
Bowl record1–0–0 (1.000)
ColorsNavy Blue, White, and Gray[1]
              

HistoryEdit

The program began in 1900 when the school was known as St. Xavier College and the team as the Saints. In its earliest season, the football team competed against both colleges and high schools, but gradually improved their schedule. In 1907, the school began a rivalry against the University of Dayton, then named St. Mary's Institute.[2]

Joseph A. Meyer was the head coach for 16 years from 1920 to 1935. During the Meyer era, the football teams compiled a record of 85–44–6 (.652), including eight one- or two-loss seasons (1920-1922, 1925-1928, and 1934). The team name became known as the Musketeers at the beginning of the 1925 season.[3] In 1929, the school built Corcoran Stadium.

The program's success continued under head coach Clem Crowe from 1935 to 1943. The 1941 team compiled a compiled a 9–1 record and outscored opponents by a total of 257 to 47.

After a temporary hiatus in the program during World War II, Ed Kluska took over as head coach and posted a 35–12–2 record between 1947 and 1951. The 1949 team went 10–1 and defeated Arizona State, 33–21, in the 1950 Salad Bowl. The 1950 team compiled an 8–1 record and defeated the otherwise unbeaten 1950 Miami Redskins football team that was coached by Woody Hayes and Ara Parseghian and that featured John Pont at halfback and Bo Schembechler at tackle. The 1951 team was undefeated and outscored opponents by a total of 305 to 46. Seven players from the 1950 and 1951 teams later played in the National Football League.[2] Xavier declined an invitation to the 1952 Salad Bowl.[4]

From the 1920s through the 1960s, Xavier scheduled regional and national opponents, including Haskell (1919-1920, 1922-1934), Kentucky (1935-1942, 1946-1949, 1956-1962), Marshall (1926, 1938-1940, 1942, 1946-1947, 1949, 1955-1958, 1961-1962, 1967-1968), Louisville (1926, 1948-1953, 1955-1956, 1959-1962), Villanova (1952-1953, 1959-1960, 1962-1969), Detroit (1936, 1957-1964), Boston College (1952-1955), Loyola (1930-1933), UTEP (1963, 1965, 1969), Navy (1922-1923), and South Carolina (1936, 1938).

The program declined in the late 1960s and early 1970s, experiencing consecutive 1-9 seasons in 1969, 1970, and 1971. On December 19, 1973, the Xavier University Board of Trustees voted 15 to 3 to discontinue the school's intercollegiate football program, effective immediately. The university's president, Rev. Robert W. Mulligan, attributed the decision to the "spiraling costs of intercollegiate football" which had led to a $200,000 deficit in 1973 despite the team having its most successful season in five years.[5]

As recently as 2013, Xavier fielded a club football team in the National Club Football Association.

Head coachesEdit

Tenure Coach Record Pct.
1900–1917 None / staff 26–6–5 .770
1918–1919 Albert B. Lambert 10–3–1 .750
1920–1935 Joe Meyer 85–44–6 .652
1935–1943 Clem Crowe 46–32–2 .588
1946 Philip H. Bucklew 3–7 .300
1947–1954 Ed Kluska 42–33–4 .563
1955–1958 Harry W. Connelly 24–15 .615
1959–1961 Ed Doherty 15–15 .500
1962–1968 Ed Biles 40–27–3 .593
1969 Irvin A. Etlar 1–9 .100
1970–1971 Dick Selcer 2–18 .100
1972–1973 Tom Cecchini 8–13–1 .386
Totals 11 coaches 302–222–22 .573

[6]

StadiumEdit

The Musketeers played their games in Corcoran Stadium, which opened in 1929 after a $300,000 fundraising drive led by future Governor of Ohio Myers Y. Cooper. The stadium could seat 15,000 spectators. Xavier demolished the stadium in 1988.[2]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Xavier University: Brand and Graphic Identity Guide (PDF). Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Schaber, Greg (Fall 2004). "Legends of the Fall". Xavier University. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
  3. ^ "Priest Confers Name". The Cincinnati Enquirer. October 4, 1925. p. 43 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Xavier Turns Down Salad Bowl". Daily Chronicle. November 30, 1951. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
  5. ^ Paul Ritter (December 20, 1973). "Xavier Drops Football; Costs Cited". The Cincinnati Enquirer. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ Xavier University. "XAVIER UNIVERSITY CAREER COACHING RECORDS" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-12-16.

ReferencesEdit