Yale Bulldogs football

The Yale Bulldogs football program represents Yale University in college football in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). Yale's football program, founded in 1872, is one of the oldest in the world. Since their founding, the Bulldogs have won 27 national championships, two of the first three Heisman Trophy winners (Larry Kelley in 1936 and Clint Frank in 1937), 100 consensus All-Americans, 28 College Football Hall of Fame inductees, including the "Father of American Football" Walter Camp, the first professional football player Pudge Heffelfinger, and coaching giants Amos Alonzo Stagg, Howard Jones, Tad Jones and Carmen Cozza. With over 900 wins, Yale ranks in the top ten for most wins in college football history.

Yale Bulldogs football
2023 Yale Bulldogs football team
First season1872
Athletic directorVictoria Chun
Head coachTony Reno
11th season, 67–43 (.609)
StadiumYale Bowl
(capacity: 61,446)
Field surfaceGrass (1914-2018) Field Turf (2019-present)
LocationNew Haven, Connecticut
ConferenceIvy League
All-time record937–390–55 (.698)
Claimed national titles27 (1872, 1874, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1897, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1909, 1927)[1]
Conference titles18 (1956, 1960, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1999, 2006, 2017, 2019, 2022, 2023)
RivalriesHarvard (rivalry)
Princeton (rivalry)
Heisman winnersLarry Kelley – 1936
Clint Frank – 1937
Consensus All-Americans100
Current uniform
ColorsYale blue and white[2]
Fight song"Down the Field"
MascotHandsome Dan

History edit

Early history edit

Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", as Yale's captain in 1878

The Bulldogs were the dominant team in the early days of intercollegiate football, winning 27 college football national championships, including 26 in 38 years between 1872 and 1909.[3] Walter Camp, known as the "Father of Football," graduated from Hopkins Grammar School in 1876, and played college football at Yale College from 1876 to 1882. He later served as the head football coach at Yale from 1888 to 1892.[4] It was Camp who pioneered the fundamental transition of American football from rugby when in 1880, he succeeded in convincing the Intercollegiate Football Association to discontinue the rugby "scrum," and instead have players line up along a "line of scrimmage" for individual plays, which begin with the snap of the ball and conclude with the tackling of the ballcarrier.[5] In 1916, against the advisement of coach Tad Jones, Yale quarterback Chester J. LaRoche (1918s) helped lead the Yale team in a win against Princeton by turning the momentum of the game with a fourth-down call in the huddle to go for first down rather than punt. The team made the down and went on to win the game in one of Yale's greatest victories in its history. LaRoche went on to spearhead the creation of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.[6]

By the 1940s, however, Yale's success in football had waned at the national level. The famed sportswriter Grantland Rice wrote that Yale, along with Harvard and Princeton, was one of the top teams in the late 19th and early 20th century. However, "It was has been a different story in the later years when the far west, the midwest, the southwest, and the south have taken charge as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton fell behind."[7]

Formation of the Ivy League edit

When the Ivy League athletic conference was formed in 1955, conference rules prohibited post-season play in football. While Yale had always abstained from post-season play, other member schools had participated in bowls before, and the new policy further insulated Yale and the Ivy League from the national spotlight.

NCAA Division I subdivision split edit

The NCAA decided to split Division I into two subdivisions in 1978, then called I-A for larger schools, and I-AA for the smaller ones. The NCAA had devised the split, in part, with the Ivy League in mind, but the conference did not move down for four seasons despite the fact that there were many indications that the ancient eight were on the wrong side of an increasing disparity between the big and small schools. In 1982, the NCAA created a rule that stated a program's average attendance must be at least 15,000 to qualify for I-A membership. This forced the conference's hand, as only some of the member schools met the attendance qualification. Choosing to stay together rather than stand their ground separately in the increasingly competitive I-A subdivision, the Ivy League moved down into I-AA starting with the 1982 season.[8]

Conference affiliations edit

Yale has been both an independent and affiliated with the Ivy League.[9]

  • Independent (1872–1955)
  • Ivy League (1956–present)

Championships edit

National championships edit

Yale has won 27 national championships from NCAA-designated major selectors.[10][11]: 110–112  Yale claims each of these championships.[12]

Yale champions
Season Coach Selectors Record
1872 No coach Parke Davis 1–0
1874 No coach National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 3–0
1876 No coach Billingsley, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 3–0
1877 No coach Billingsley,[13] National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 3–0–1
1879 No coach Parke Davis 3–0–2
1880 No coach Billingsley, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 4–0–1
1881 No coach National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 5–0–1
1882 No coach Billingsley, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 8–0
1883 No coach Billingsley, Helms, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 9–0
1884 No coach Billingsley,[13] Helms, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 8–0–1
1886 No coach Billingsley,[13] Helms, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 9–0–1
1887 No coach Billingsley, Helms, Houlgate, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 9–0
1888 Walter Camp Billingsley, Helms, Houlgate, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 13–0
1891 Walter Camp Billingsley, Helms, Houlgate, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 13–0
1892 Walter Camp Billingsley, Helms, Houlgate, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 13–0
1893 William Rhodes Parke Davis 10–1
1894 William Rhodes Billingsley, Helms, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 16–0
1895 John A. Hartwell Parke Davis 13–0–2
1897 Frank Butterworth Parke Davis 9–0–2
1900 Malcolm McBride Billingsley, Helms, Houlgate, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 12–0
1901 George S. Stillman n/a[a][b] 11–1–1
1902 Joseph R. Swan Parke Davis 11–0–1
1905 Jack Owsley Parke Davis, Whitney 10–0
1906 Foster Rockwell Billingsley, Parke Davis, Whitney 9–0–1
1907 William F. Knox Billingsley, Helms, Houlgate, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis, Whitney 9–0–1
1909 Howard Jones Billingsley, Helms, Houlgate, National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis 10–0
1927 Mal Stevens Football Research 7–1
  1. ^ Parke Davis' selection for 1901, as published in Spalding's Foot Ball Guide (to which he was a contributor until his death) for 1934 and 1935, was Harvard.[14][15]
  2. ^ The NCAA Record Book states "Yale" for 1901, which is an error that has been perpetuated since the first appearance of Parke Davis' selections in the NCAA book about 1995.[14][15]

Conference championships edit

Yale has won 18 conference championships, all in the Ivy League, as of 2023 with nine outright and nine shared.[16]

2019 Yale Bulldogs
Year Conference Coach Overall record Conference record
1956 Ivy League Jordan Olivar 8–1 7–0
1960 9–0 7–0
1967 Carmen Cozza 8–1 7–0
1968 8–0–1 6–0–1
1969† 7–2 6–1
1974† 8–1 6–1
1976† 8–1 6–1
1977 7–2 6–1
1979 8–1 6–1
1980 8–2 6–1
1981† 9–1 6–1
1989† 8–2 6–1
1999† Jack Siedlecki 9–1 6–1
2006† 8–2 6–1
2017 Tony Reno 9–1 6–1
2019† 9–1 6–1
2022 8–2 6–1
2023† 7–3 5–2

† Co-championship

Head coaches edit

Career records of Yale head coaches.[17]

Coach Tony Reno confers with players in November 2021
Coach Years Record Pct.
No coach 1872–1887 79–5–8 .902
Walter Camp 1888–1892 67–2–0 .971
William Rhodes 1893–1894 26–1–0 .963
John A. Hartwell 1895 13–0–2 .933
Sam Thorne 1896 13–1–0 .929
Frank Butterworth 1897–1898 18–2–2 .864
James O. Rodgers 1899 7–2–1 .750
Malcolm McBride 1900 12–0–0 1.000
George S. Stillman 1901 11–1–1 .885
Joseph R. Swan 1902 11–0–1 .958
George B. Chadwick 1903 11–1–0 .917
Charles D. Rafferty 1904 10–1–0 .909
Jack Owsley 1905 10–0–0 1.000
Foster Rockwell 1906 9–0–1 .950
William F. Knox 1907 9–0–1 .950
Lucius Horatio Biglow 1908 7–1–1 .833
Howard Jones 1909, 1913 15–2–3 .825
Ted Coy 1910 6–2–2 .700
John Field 1911 7–2–1 .750
Art Howe 1912 7–1–1 .833
Frank Hinkey 1914–1915 11–7–0 .611
Tad Jones 1916–1917, 1920–1927 60–15–4 .785
Albert Sharpe 1919 5–3–0 .625
Mal Stevens 1928–1932 21–11–8 .625
Reginald D. Root 1933 4–4–0 .500
Ducky Pond 1934–1940 30–25–2 .544
Spike Nelson 1941 1–7–0 .125
Howard Odell 1942–1947 35–15–2 .692
Herman Hickman 1948–1951 16–17–2 .486
Jordan Olivar 1952–1962 61–32–6 .646
John Pont 1963–1964 12–5–1 .694
Carmen Cozza 1965–1996 179–119–5 .599
Jack Siedlecki 1997–2008 71–48 .597
Tom Williams 2009–2011 16–14 .533
Anthony Reno 2012–present 67-43 .609

Rivalries edit

Harvard edit

Harvard-Yale football game, 1905

Harvard and Yale have been competing against each other in football since 1875. The annual rivalry game between the two schools, known as "The Game", is played in November at the end of the football season. As of 2023, Yale leads the series 70-61-8.[18]

The Game is the second oldest continuing rivalry and also the third most-played rivalry game in college football history, after the Lehigh–Lafayette Rivalry (1884) and the Princeton–Yale game (1873). Sports Illustrated On Campus rated the Harvard–Yale rivalry the sixth-best in college athletics in 2003.

Harvard had been unbeaten versus Yale from 2007 to 2015. The nine game winning streak was the longest during the rivalry. Yale's 21–14 victory over Harvard in Cambridge in 2016 ended the streak.

The Game is significant for historical reasons as the rules of The Game soon were adopted by other schools. Football's rules, conventions, and equipment, as well as elements of "atmosphere" such as the mascot and fight song, include many elements pioneered or nurtured at Harvard and Yale.[19][20]

Princeton edit

The series with Princeton dates to 1873.

Yale Bowl edit


The Yale Bowl is Yale's football stadium in New Haven, Connecticut about 1-1/2 miles west of Yale's main campus. Completed in 1914, the stadium seats 61,446, reduced by renovations from the original capacity of 70,869.[21]

Ground was broken on the stadium in August 1913. It was the first bowl-shaped stadium in the country, and provided inspiration for the design of such stadiums as the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Rose Bowl, and Michigan Stadium. Through its inspiration of the Rose Bowl stadium, its name is also the origin of college football's bowl games. It was the perfect setting for New Haven native Albie Booth, also known as "Little Boy Blue" to perform his heroics vs. Army in November 1929 and for the 47-yard "kick that made history" by Randall "Randy" C. Carter, '77, snapped by the stalwart center from Illinois, Ralph Bosch, '77 and surely placed by John "Nubes" Nubani, '78, in the last seconds of the 1975 Yale-Dartmouth game to win the game for Yale, 16–14. The victory lifted head coach Carm Cozza into a tie with the legendary Walter Camp for most victories by a Bulldog mentor.[22] The current scoreboard (notable for the time clock being arranged vertically instead of horizontally) was added in 1958, and in 1986 the current press box was added. Yale hosted Penn in the first night football game at the Bowl on October 21, 2016. Penn defeated Yale in the game, 42–7. The Bowl was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.[21][23]

College Football Hall of Fame inductees edit

As of 2017, 29 Yale Bulldogs players and coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.[24]

End Tom Shevlin was a four-time All-American from 1902 to 1905
Lee "Bum" McClung later served as Treasurer of the United States
Name Position Years Inducted
Mal Aldrich HB 1919–1921 1972
Doug Bomeisler End 1910–1912 1972
Albie Booth HB 1929–1931 1966
Gordon Brown G 1897–1900 1954
Walter Camp Coach 1888–1895 1951
Pa Corbin C 1886–1888 1969
Ted Coy FB 1907–1909 1951
Carmen Cozza Coach 1965–1996 2002
Clint Frank HB 1935–1937 1955
Pudge Heffelfinger G 1888–1891 1951
Bill Hickock G 1892–1894 1971
Frank Hinkey End 1891–1894 1951
James Hogan T 1901–1904 1954
Art Howe QB 1909–1911 1973
Dick Jauron RB 1970–1972 2015
Howard Jones Coach 1908–1940 1951
Tad Jones Coach 1909–1927 1958
Larry Kelley End 1934–1936 1969
Hank Ketcham C, G 1911–1913 1968
John Kilpatrick End 1908–1910 1955
Alex Kroll C 1956, 1960–1961 1997
Bill Mallory FB 1921–1923 1964
Lee McClung HB 1888–1891 1963
Century Milstead T 1920–1921, 1923 1977
Tom Shevlin End 1902–1905 1954
Amos Alonzo Stagg End 1885–1889 1951
Mal Stevens QB, HB 1919–1921, 1923 1974
Herbert Sturhahn G 1924–1926 1981
Sam Thorne HB 1893–1895 1970

Yale players in the NFL edit

More than 30 players from Yale have gone on to play in the National Football League, including running backs Calvin Hill, Chuck Mercein and Chris Hetherington, defensive backs Dick Jauron, Gary Fencik and Kenny Hill, tight ends Eric Johnson and John Spagnola, quarterback Brian Dowling, and linemen Fritz Barzilauskas, Century Milstead and Mike Pyle.

Name Position Years Teams
Shane Bannon FB 2011–2011 Kansas City Chiefs
Fritz Barzilauskas G 1947–1951 Boston Yanks, New York Bulldogs, New York Giants
Art Brama T 1922–1923 Racine Legion
Bruce Caldwell FB 1928 New York Giants
Rich Diana RB 1982 Miami Dolphins
Brian Dowling QB 1972–1977 New England Patriots, Charlotte Hornets (WFL), Green Bay Packers
Greg Dubinetz G 1979 Washington Redskins
Joe Dufek QB 1983–1985 Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers
Gary Fencik DB 1976–1987 Chicago Bears
Chris Hetherington FB 1996–2006 Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers
Calvin Hill RB 1969–1981 Dallas Cowboys, The Hawaiians (WFL), Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns
Kenny Hill DB 1981–1989 Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs
Jaeden Graham TE 2018- Atlanta Falcons
Dick Jauron DB 1973–1980 Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals
Eric Johnson TE 2001–2007 San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints
Herb Kempton QB 1921 Canton Bulldogs
Alex Kroll T, C 1962–1962 New York Titans
Nate Lawrie TE 2004–2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals
Don Martin DB 1973–1976 New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chuck Mercein RB 1965–1970 New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins, New York Jets
Than Merrill DB 2001 Chicago Bears
Century Milstead T 1925–1928 New York Giants, Philadelphia Quakers (AFL), New York Giants
Foyesade Oluokun LB 2018– Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars
John Prchlik T 1949–1953 Detroit Lions
Gene Profit DB 1986–1988 New England Patriots
Mike Pyle C 1961–1969 Chicago Bears
Jeff Rohrer LB 1982–1987 Dallas Cowboys
Bill Schuler T 1947–1948 New York Giants
John Spagnola TE 1979–1989 Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers
Tyler Varga FB 2015–2016[25] Indianapolis Colts
Paul Walker End, DB 1948 New York Giants
Rodney Thomas II DB 2022- Indianapolis Colts

All-Americans edit

Yale guard Pudge Heffelfinger became the first professional football player in 1892.
Frank Hinkey was a four-time All-American (1891–1894).
Fullback Ted Coy was a three-time All-American (1907–1909).

Since the first All-American team was selected by Caspar Whitney in 1889, more than 100 Yale football players have been selected as first-team All-Americans. Consensus All-Americans are noted below with bold typeface.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Yale Football By Year" (PDF). Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  2. ^ "Yale Athletics Brand Guidelines" (PDF). December 17, 2019. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  3. ^ Official 2009 NCAA Division I Football Records Book (PDF). Indianapolis, IN: The National Collegiate Athletic Association. August 2009. pp. 76–81. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  4. ^ Walter "The Father of Football" Camp at the College Football Hall of Fame
  5. ^ Parke H. Davis (1912). Football: The American Intercollegiate Game. c. Scribner's sons. p. 51.
  6. ^ Sports Illustrated, 9/22/1958, 'Never de-emphasize the value of winning'
  7. ^ "Lincoln Nebraska State Journal 20 Jul 1944, page 10". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2023-08-03.
  8. ^ Mark F. Bernstein, Football: The Ivy League Origins of an American Obsession
  9. ^ "Yale Bulldogs Football Record by Year".
  10. ^ Christopher J. Walsh (2007). Who's #1?: 100-Plus Years of Controversial National Champions in College Football. Taylor Trade Pub. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-58979-337-8.
  11. ^ 2017 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). Indianapolis: The National Collegiate Athletic Association. July 2017. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  12. ^ Conn, Steve (2009). 2009 Yale Football Media Guide (PDF). Yale University. pp. 106–108. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c 1996 NCAA Football Records Book. National Collegiate Athletic Association. 1996. pp. 54–59. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  14. ^ a b Okeson, Walter R., ed. (1934). Spalding's Official Foot Ball Guide 1934. New York: American Sports Publishing Co. p. 206.
  15. ^ a b Okeson, Walter R., ed. (1935). Spalding's Official Foot Ball Guide 1935. New York: American Sports Publishing Co. p. 233.
  16. ^ "Yale Composite Championship Listing". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  17. ^ "Yale Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  18. ^ https://masseyratings.com/rivals?t0=9177&t1=3162&lg=41714
  19. ^ Bergin, Thomas G. (1984). The Game: The Harvard-Yale Football Rivalry, 1875–1983. Yale University Press.
  20. ^ Corbett, Bernard M.; Simpson, Paul (2004). The Only Game That Matters. Crown. ISBN 1-4000-5068-5.
  21. ^ a b "Yale Bowl, Class of 1954 Field". Yale Athletics. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
  22. ^ The Morning Record, Meriden, CT, November 3, 1975
  23. ^ James H. Charleton (December 1985). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Yale Bowl". National Park Service.
  24. ^ "Hall of Fame: Select group by school". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved October 24, 2010.
  25. ^ Florio, Mike (July 26, 2016). "Tyler Varga retires". profootballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved July 26, 2016.

External links edit