Centre Colonels football

The Centre Colonels football team, historically also known as the Praying Colonels, represents Centre College in NCAA Division III competition. The Colonels currently play in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA), which was established in 2011. Before the establishment of the SAA, Centre played 50 seasons in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Despite the school's small size (2008 enrollment of 1,215), the football team has historically had success and possesses a strong tradition. At the end of the 2008 season, the school ranked as the 12th winningest school in Division III with an all-time record of 509–374–37.[2]

Centre Colonels
Centre College football logo
First season1880
Athletic directorBrad Fields
Head coachAndrew M. Frye
10th season, 58–42 (.580)
StadiumCheek Field and Farris Stadium
(Capacity: 6,000)
Field surfaceField Turf
LocationDanville, Kentucky
ConferenceSouthern Athletic Association
Past conferencesSouthern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1911–1941)
Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (1962–2011)
All-time record509–374–37 (.573)
Bowl record2–1 (.667)
Claimed nat'l titles1 (1919)
Conference titles11 SCAC, 3 SIAA, 1 SAA
Consensus All-Americans2
ColorsGold and White[1]
         
Websitecentrecolonels.com

History

On April 9, 1880, a Centre College team traveled to Lexington to play against Transylvania University in the first football game south of the Ohio River.[2] The Colonels lost that game, and a rematch at home later in the month, but it was the start of a long-running rivalry with their in-state opponent.[3] The first officially recognized game of Centre and the University of Kentucky took place in 1891. In that series, the Colonels compiled a 20–13–2 record before the Kentucky athletic council decided to permanently drop Centre from their schedule after the 1929 season.[4][5] From 1917 to 1924, Centre compiled a 57–8 record while playing against some of the best teams in the nation.[2] The team was retroactively selected by Jeff Sagarin as co-national champion for the 1919 season.[6] After the 1920 season, Centre faced Texas Christian (TCU) in the Fort Worth Classic. The Colonels convincingly routed them, 63–7.[7]

The 1921 Centre–Harvard game resulted in one of the most shocking upsets in college football, with the Colonels winning, 6–0.[8][9] The star of that game, back Alvin "Bo" McMillin, was twice named a consensus All-American, in 1919 and 1921. Center Red Weaver was named a consensus All-American alongside him in 1919.[10] The Colonels finished the 1921 season undefeated, outscoring their opponents, 314-6.[11] In the Dixie Classic, precursor to the modern Cotton Bowl Classic, Centre faced Texas A&M. Miscues contributed to the Colonels' defeat, 22–14.[12] This is also the game in which Texas A&M's 12th man tradition originated. In 1924 Centre defeated Georgia and Alabama and claims a southern title. As early as 1927 it was noticed this prior success was over.[13]

Centre again found success during the 1950s. In 1951, the Colonels finished the season with a 5–1 record and were invited to play Northern Illinois State in the Corn Bowl. The invitation, however, was rejected by the school administration who wished to de-emphasize football.[14] From 1954 to 1956, Centre compiled a sixteen-game winning streak. In 1955, the undefeated Colonels were again invited to a postseason game, the Tangerine Bowl, but once more declined.[2]

In recent years, Centre has secured eight SCAC championships between 1980 and 2003. Jack "Teel" Bruner, a safety from 1982 to 1985, became the second Centre Colonel inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.[2] In 1984, he recorded five interceptions against Rose-Hulman, tying the all-time record.[15]

In 2011, the Colonels' final SCAC season, they finished second in the conference, but received an at-large invitation to the NCAA tournament. The Colonels defeated Hampden–Sydney in the first round to earn their first Division III tournament win, and lost in the next round to traditional D-III powerhouse Mount Union.[16]

The Colonels' 2014 season was arguably their most successful in decades. They won their first SAA championship and finished the regular season 10–0, marking the team's first unbeaten regular season since 1955 and only the third in school history. The season ended in the first round of the Division III playoffs against John Carroll.[17]

Championships

National championships

Centre won its lone national championship in 1919.[18] Centre claims this championship.[19]

Season Coach Selector Record
1919 Charley Moran Sagarin 9–0

Conference championships

Year Conference Coach Overall record Conference record
1919 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Charles Moran 9–0 3–0
1921 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Charles Moran 10–1 5–0
1924 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Robert L. Myers 5–1–1 1–0
1968 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Steele Harmon 3–1[20]
1969 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Steele Harmon 4–0
1971 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Steele Harmon 3–1
1980 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Joe McDaniel 4–0–1
1983 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Joe McDaniel 4–1
1984 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Joe McDaniel 4–0
1985 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Joe McDaniel 3–1
1989 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Joe McDaniel 4–0
1990 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Joe McDaniel 3–1
1995 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Joe McDaniel 3–1[21]
2003 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Andrew Frye 8–2 5–1[22]
2014 Southern Athletic Association Andrew Frye 10–1 6–0[23]

Individual achievements

Consensus All-Americans
College Football Hall of Fame

References

  1. ^ "Centre College Brand Standards". Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e History and Records, Centre College, retrieved October 14, 2016.
  3. ^ "Centre College Football Record". library.centre.edu. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  4. ^ Centre vs. University of Kentucky Archived May 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, CentreCyclopedia, retrieved March 14, 2009.
  5. ^ "25 Oct 1929, Page 1 - The Advocate-Messenger at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  6. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (2015). "National Poll Rankings" (PDF). NCAA Division I Football Records. NCAA. p. 108. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  7. ^ Foldesy, Jody. "Bowls burgeon as big business", The Washington Times. December 21, 1997. Page A1.
  8. ^ ESPN ranks 1921 Centre-Harvard game among college football's greatest upsets Archived 2004-12-17 at the Wayback Machine, The Advocate-Messenger (Danville, Kentucky), June 26, 2006.
  9. ^ "Centre College Remembers Day When It Was King of the Gridiron".
  10. ^ Official 2007 NCAA Division I Football Records Book, National Collegiate Athletic Association, p. 218, 2007.
  11. ^ "1921 Season". Archived from the original on 2008-12-03.
  12. ^ Gene Schoor (1994). The Fightin' Texas Aggies: 100 Years of A&M Football. Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Company.
  13. ^ "Centre College Loses Sportlight After Flash of Football Fame". The Billings Gazette. December 11, 1927. p. 31. Retrieved April 17, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  14. ^ Football Bowls Archived May 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, CentreCyclopedia, retrieved March 13, 2009.
  15. ^ Teel Bruner, College Football Hall of Fame, retrieved March 13, 2009.
  16. ^ "Colonels finish 16th in final D3football.com Poll, 18th in AFCA" (Press release). Centre College. December 30, 2011. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
  17. ^ "Centre Football History". Centre College Athletics. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  18. ^ 2018 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. August 2018. p. 111. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  19. ^ "Centre College to be inducted into Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame". January 1, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  20. ^ Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, College Football Data Warehouse, retrieved March 13, 2009.
  21. ^ Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships, College Football Data Warehouse, retrieved March 13, 2009.
  22. ^ 2003 Centre Colonels, Division III Football, retrieved March 14, 2009.
  23. ^ "2014 Centre Colonels". D3Football.com. Retrieved August 13, 2015.

External links

1880 Centre Colonels football team

The 1880 Centre Praying Colonels football team represented Centre College in the 1880 college football season. This was Centre's first ever season. The first game is claimed as the first game ever played in the south at Stoll Field, though Washington & Lee and VMI played earlier games; it's the first game in the state of Kentucky. The game was said to have resembled a combination of soccer and rugby. Centre lost both its games this season to Transylvania University (then known as Kentucky University).

1896 Centre Colonels football team

The 1896 Centre Praying Colonels football team represented Centre College in the 1896 college football season.

1900 Centre Colonels football team

The 1900 Centre Praying Colonels football team represented Centre College in the 1900 college football season.

1910 Centre Colonels football team

The 1910 Centre Colonels football team represented Centre College during the 1910 college football season. The team went undefeated, beating Tennessee, Tulane, and Sewanee.

1917 Centre Colonels football team

The 1917 Centre Praying Colonels football team represented Centre College in the 1917 college football season and began a string of unparalleled success for the school. The first two games were coached by Robert L. "Chief" Myers, and the rest by Charley Moran. According to Centre publications, "Myers realized he was dealing with a group of exceptional athletes, who were far beyond his ability to coach. He needed someone who could the team justice, and found that person in Charles Moran."In 1916, Myers became coach at his alma mater Centre after coaching at North Side High School in Fort Worth, Texas. His team there included future Centre stars Bo McMillin and Red Weaver, who were recruited by boosters to Somerset High School in Kentucky where they joined up with Red Roberts. Also at North Side were Sully Montgomery, Matty Bell, Bill James, and Bob Mathias. McMillin kicked and made his only ever field goal attempt to defeat Kentucky 3 to 0.

Edgar Diddle was a halfback on the team.

1918 Centre Colonels football team

The 1918 Centre Colonels football team represented Centre College in the 1918 college football season. The season started late due to flu epidemic. The game on November 16 with University of Kentucky was cancelled for the same reason.

1919 Centre Praying Colonels football team

The 1919 Centre Praying Colonels football team represented Centre College in the 1919 college football season. The Praying Colonels scored 485 points, leading the nation, while allowing 23 points and finishing their season with a perfect record of 9–0. The team was retroactively selected by Jeff Sagarin as national champion for the 1919 season.Quarterback Bo McMillin and center James "Red" Weaver were named to Walter Camp's first-team 1919 College Football All-America Team. Just the year before Bum Day was the first Southern player ever selected to Camp's first team – and Centre became the first school with two. Fullback and end James "Red" Roberts was named to Camp's third team.

The highlight of the season was the win over West Virginia. McMillin had the team pray before it, forever giving the Centre College Colonels its alternate moniker of "Praying Colonels."

1921 Centre vs. Harvard football game

The 1921 Centre vs. Harvard football game, played October 29, 1921, was a college football game between Centre College and Harvard University. Centre beat Harvard 6–0, in what is widely considered one of the greatest upsets in college football history.

1924 Centre Praying Colonels football team

The 1924 Centre Praying Colonels football team represented Centre College in the 1924 college football season. The Praying Colonels scored 119 points while allowing 20 points and finished 5-1-1, including giving Alabama its only loss of the season; Alabama would not lose another game until 1927.Quarterback Herb Covington was named to the 1924 College Football All-America Team.

Bill James (American football)

William James was an American football player and coach.

Carl Anderson (American football)

Carl Rudolph Frederick "Swede" Anderson IV (September 9, 1898 – April 30, 1978) was an American college football coach at Western Kentucky University and Howard Payne University. Anderson graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky in 1924, where he played in the backfield with legendary alumnus Bo McMillin. Anderson then followed McMillin to Centenary College of Louisiana and Geneva College. Anderson then served one year as the head football coach at Western Kentucky, before moving to Kansas State as its freshman team coach in 1930. Anderson returned to Western Kentucky as its head coach from 1934 to 1937. He was the backfield coach under McMillin at Indiana from 1938 to 1945. He then returned to his alma mater, Centre College, where he coached the Praying Colonels until 1950. The following season, Anderson became the seventh head football coach at the Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas and held that position from 1951 to 1952. His coaching record at Howard Payne was 7–10.

Ed Kubale

Edwin C. Kubale (November 22, 1899 – February 4, 1971) was an American football player and coach.

Ed Tutwiler

Edward Magruder Tutwiler Jr. (September 13, 1880 – September 3, 1932) was a college football player and coach. He played quarterback for the Alabama Crimson White of the University of Alabama and the Virginia Cavaliers of the University of Virginia.

Eugene Messler

Eugene Lawrence Messler (born April 6, 1873) was an American college football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky in 1894.

Harry Anderson (coach)

Harry McCLellan Anderson (January 29, 1872 – June 14, 1957) was an American football coach. He served as the sixth head football coach at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia and he held that position for the 1898 season. His coaching record at West Virginia was 6–1.

Anderson also served as the head coach at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky during the 1896 and 1897 seasons.

Red Weaver

James Redwick "Red" Weaver (July 19, 1897 – November 23, 1968) was an American football player and coach.

Rick Fox (American football)

Rick Fox is the former head coach of Drake Bulldogs football team. He was named the head coach in December 2013, and coached his first game during in 2014. He resigned from Drake on December 10, 2018.

Robert L. Myers (coach)

Robert Lee "Chief" Myers was an American football coach and athletic director foundational in the success of the Centre Praying Colonels football programs of Centre College in the period from 1917 to 1924. This era included the 1921 Centre vs. Harvard football game, one of the sport's greatest upsets.

Tom Moran (blocking back)

Tom McGee Moran (December 10, 1899 – July 4, 1933) was an American football blocking back who played one season with the New York Giants of the National Football League. He played college football at Centre College and attended Horse Cave High School in Horse Cave, Kentucky. His father, Charley Moran, was a Major League Baseball player and college football coach.Prior to his playing career in the NFL, he was a coach at Carson–Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, and he also served as short time as the interim coach of the Frankford Yellow Jackets while his father, Charley Moran, officiated the 1927 World Series.

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