Yale Bulldogs Football
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Yale Bulldogs Football
Yale Bulldogs football
Yale Bulldogs script.svg
First season 1872
Head coach Tony Reno
6th season, 24-26 (.480)
Stadium Yale Bowl
(Capacity: 64,246)
Field surface Grass
Location New Haven, Connecticut
Conference Ivy League
All-time record 890-366-55 (.700)
Claimed nat'l titles 27[1]
Conference titles 15
Rivalries Harvard Crimson (rivalry)
Heisman winners 2
Consensus All-Americans 100
Current uniform
Yale Football Uniform 2014.png
Colors Yale Blue and White[2]
Fight song "Down the Field"
Mascot Handsome Dan
Website YaleBulldogs.com

The Yale Bulldogs football program represents Yale University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). Yale's football program is one of the oldest in the world (i.e. North America), having begun competing in the sport in 1872. The Bulldogs have a legacy that includes 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 890 wins, Yale ranks second in wins in college football history, trailing only the University of Michigan.


Early history

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]

Formation of the Ivy League

Yale's original mascot Handsome Dan

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

The NCAA decided to split Division I into two subdivisions in 1978 (which was the graduation year of George Washington (Sam) Rapp, IV, who starred at the linebacker position and who roomed with Todd "Tedious" B. LaRoche, grandson of Chester J. LaRoche, in his freshman year), 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.[7]

Recent history

Since the formation of the Ivy League in 1956, Yale has won 15 Ivy League championships. 1956 (8-1-0), 1960 (9-0-0), 1967 (8-1-0), 1968 (8-0-1), 1969 (7-2-0), 1974 (8-1-0), 1976 (8-1-0), 1977 (7-2-0), 1979 (8-1-0), 1980 (8-2-0), 1981 (9-1-0), 1989 (8-2-0), 1999 (9-1-0), 2006 (8-2-0), 2017 (9-1-0).[8]

Harvard-Yale football rivalry

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 2017, Yale leads the series 67-59-8.

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 2016 victory over Harvard in Cambridge, 21-14, 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.[9][10]

Yale Bowl

Yale Bowl aerial.jpg

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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[11][13]

Head coaching history

Name Years Wins Losses Ties Pct.[14]
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 0 .597
Tom Williams 2009-2011 16 14 0 .533
Anthony Reno 2012-present 24 26 0 .480
Totals 876 364 55 .698

College Football Hall of Fame inductees

End Tom Shevlin was a four-time All-American from 1902 to 1905.

As of 2017, 29 Yale Bulldogs players and coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.[15] The inductees from Yale are as follows:

Name Position Years Inducted
Mal Aldrich Halfback 1919-1921 1972
Doug Bomeisler End 1910-1912 1972
Albie Booth Halfback 1929-1931 1966
Gordon Brown Guard 1897-1900 1954
Walter Camp Coach 1888-1895 1951
Pa Corbin Center 1886-1888 1969
Ted Coy Fullback 1907-1909 1951
Carmen Cozza Coach 1965-1996 2002
Clint Frank Halfback 1935-1937 1955
Pudge Heffelfinger Guard 1888-1891 1951
Bill Hickock Guard 1892-1894 1971
Frank Hinkey End 1891-1894 1951
James Hogan Tackle 1901-1904 1954
Art Howe Quarterback 1909-1911 1973
Dick Jauron Running Back 1970-1972 2015
Howard Jones Coach 1908-1940 1951
Tad Jones Coach 1909-1927 1958
Larry Kelley End 1934-1936 1969
Hank Ketcham Center, Guard 1911-1913 1968
John Kilpatrick End 1908-1910 1955
Alex Kroll Center 1956, 1960-1961 1997
Bill Mallory Fullback 1921-1923 1964
Lee McClung Halfback 1888-1891 1963
Century Milstead Tackle 1920-1921, 1923 1977
Tom Shevlin End 1902-1905 1954
Amos Alonzo Stagg End 1885-1889 1951
Mal Stevens Quarterback, Halfback 1919-1921, 1923 1974
Herbert Sturhahn Guard 1924-1926 1981
Sam Thorne Halfback 1893-1895 1970

Yale players in the NFL

More than 25 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
Fritz Barzilauskas Guard 1947-1951 Boston Yanks, New York Bulldogs, New York Giants
Art BBrama Tackle 1922-1923 Racine Legion
Bruce Caldwell Fullback 1928 New York Giants
Rich Diana Running back 1982 Miami Dolphins
Brian Dowling Quarterback 1972-1977 New England Patriots, Charlotte Hornets (WFL), Green Bay Packers
Greg Dubinetz Guard 1979 Washington Redskins
Joe Dufek Quarterback 1983-1985 Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers
Gary Fencik Defensive back 1976-1987 Chicago Bears
Chris Hetherington Fullback 1996-2006 Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers
Calvin Hill Running back 1969-1981 Dallas Cowboys, The Hawaiians (WFL), Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns
Kenny Hill Defensive back 1981-1989 Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs
Dick Jauron Defensive back 1973-1980 Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals
Eric Johnson Tight end 2001-2007 San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints
Herb Kempton Quarterback 1921 Canton Bulldogs
Alex Kroll Tackle, Center 1962-1962 New York Titans
Nate Lawrie Tight end 2004-2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals
Don Martin Defensive back 1973-1976 New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chuck Mercein Running back 1965-1970 New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins, New York Jets
Than Merrill Defensive back 2001 Chicago Bears
Century Milstead Tackle 1925-1928 New York Giants, Philadelphia Quakers (AFL), New York Giants
John Prchlik Tackle 1949-1953 Detroit Lions
Gene Profit Defensive back 1986-1988 New England Patriots
Mike Pyle Center 1961-1969 Chicago Bears
Jeff Rohrer Linebacker 1982-1987 Dallas Cowboys
Bill Schuler Tackle 1947-1948 New York Giants
John Spagnola Tight end 1979-1989 Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers
Tyler Varga Fullback 2015-2016[16] Indianapolis Colts
Paul Walker End, Defensive back 1948 New York Giants


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


  1. ^ "Yale Football By Year" (PDF). Retrieved 2011. 
  2. ^ "Yale University - Identity Guidelines". Retrieved 2017. 
  3. ^ Official 2009 NCAA Division I Football Records Book (PDF). Indianapolis, IN: The National Collegiate Athletic Association. August 2009. pp. 76-81. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ "Walter "The Father of Football" Camp". College Football Hall of Fame. 
  5. ^ Parke H. Davis. Football: The American Intercollegiate Game. 
  6. ^ Sports Illustrated, 9/22/1958, 'Never de-emphasize the value of winning'
  7. ^ Mark F. Bernstein, Football: The Ivy League Origins of an American Obsession
  8. ^ "Yale Composite Championship Listing". College Football Data Warehouse. 
  9. ^ Bergin, Thomas G. (1984). The Game: The Harvard-Yale Football Rivalry, 1875-1983. Yale University Press. 
  10. ^ Corbett, Bernard M. and Simpson, Paul (2004). The Only Game That Matters. Crown. ISBN 1-4000-5068-5. 
  11. ^ a b "Yale Bowl, Class of 1954 Field". Yale Athletics. Retrieved . 
  12. ^ The Morning Record, Meriden, CT, November 3, 1975
  13. ^ James H. Charleton (December 1985). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Yale Bowl" (PDF). National Park Service. 
  14. ^ "Yale Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. 
  15. ^ "Hall of Fame Inductee Search". College Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010. 
  16. ^ Florio, Mike (July 26, 2016). "Tyler Varga retires". profootballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved 2016. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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