Towson Tigers football
|Athletic director||Tim Leonard|
|Head coach||Rob Ambrose
5th year, 32–28 (.533)
|Home stadium||Johnny Unitas Stadium|
|League||Division I FCS|
|Conference||Colonial Athletic Association|
|All-time record||241–221–4 (.521)|
Black and Gold
|Fight song||"Hail Towson"|
|Marching band||Towson Tiger Marching Band|
|Rivals||James Madison University
College of William and Mary
University of Delaware
The Towson Tigers football team represents Towson University in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS, formerly Division I-AA). The Tigers compete within the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). All home games since 2002 have been played at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Maryland.
- 1 Football conference affiliations
- 2 Post Season
- 3 National Individual Awards
- 4 History
- 5 Head coaches
- 6 Division I-AA (FCS) (1987-current)
- 7 Players in the NFL and other professional leagues
- 8 Milestones and memorable moments
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Football conference affiliations
|Conference||NCAA Division||Time period|
|Colonial Athletic Association||NCAA I FCS||2007–present|
|Atlantic 10 Conference||NCAA I FCS||2004–2006|
|Patriot League||NCAA I FCS||1997–2003|
|NCAA Division I Independents||NCAA I FCS||1987–1996|
|NCAA Division II Independents||NCAA II||1979–1986|
|NCAA Division III Independents||NCAA III||1975–1978|
|Mason-Dixon Conference||NCAA III||1973–1974|
|Mason-Dixon Conference||NCAA College||1969–1972|
|NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs||2011, 2013|
|NCAA Division I FCS National Championship Game||2013|
|NCAA Division II Playoffs||1983, 1984, 1986|
|NCAA Division III Playoffs||1976|
|NCAA Division III National Championship Game||1976|
National Individual Awards
|NCAA Division II Hall of Fame||2006: Sean Landeta(P)|
|Walter Payton Award||1988: Dave Meggett(RB)|
|Jerry Rice Award||2011: Terrance West(RB)|
|Eddie Robinson Award||2011: Rob Ambrose (Head Coach)|
|NCAA Division 1 FCS First-Team All-Americans||1993: Tony Vinson
1994: Mark Orlando(WR)
|NCAA Division II Football First-Team All-American||1978: Ken Snoots(SE)
1982: Sean Landeta(P)
|NCAA Division III Football First-Team All-Americans||1975: Dan Dullea(QB)
1976: Skip Chase(SE)
Towson University has had four head coaches since the program began in 1969 and has competed at three levels of NCAA Football: Division III (1969–1978), Division II (1979–1986), and Division I-AA (FCS) (1987–present). The Towson Tigers have qualified for post-season play at each level.
|Head Coach||Years||Seasons||Record||Pct.||Conf. Titles||Post-season record||National Title Games|
Division III (1969–1978)
The Towson Tigers football program debuted in 1969 with Carl Runk as the first-ever head coach. The first Tiger team posted a 4-4-1 record. The First program win came against Frostburg State University (53-16). In only the Second season(1970) of Tiger football the program posted its first winning season at 6-2.
In 1972 Phil Albert was named coach after a 1-8 season in 1971. Following that 1-9 season in 1972 the Tigers went on to winning seasons for the next 15 years. In 1974 the Towson Tigers went 10-0, still the programs only unbeaten season. Towson's first all American came the following year when Dullea led the team to a 6-4 record. 1976 saw the program's first playoff berth after posting an 8-2 record. Towson beat beat C.W. Post (14-10) and St.Lawrence (38-36) on their way to the Championship game. In the Stagg Bowl Towson trailed St. John's of Minnesota 28-0 until quarterback Dan Dullea rallied the team to tie 28-28 with a minute left. Eventually St. John's won with a 19-yard field goal with only seconds remaining. The final score was 31-28.
The 1978 season was the final season that the Tigers played in Division III and the first season that the Tigers played in Minnegan Stadium. The new lighted 5,000-seat facility was christened with a 38–6 win over Mansfield before a crowd of 4,126 fans. The Tigers ended their Division III era with a record of 54–42–2.
Division II (1979-1986)
The debut Division II game was against cross town rival Morgan State. The Bears won 34-7 in front of an over capacity crowd of 6,311. The following week the Tigers beat Maine 13-7 starting a nine-game winning streak leading to the Tigers to playoff contention in their first season in Division II.
The 1982 season saw the Tigers establishing themselves as a Division II power in the East. With Quarterback Joe Anderson at the helm the school ran a high powered passing game leading to a 7-4 season with the hardest schedule in school history up to that point.
The 1983 season saw a stellar defense that only allowed 5.8 points per game, a stat that lead all Division II teams. The Tigers went 10-1 which earned them their first playoff bid in Division II, an appearance that was short lived after North Dakota State beat the Tigers 24-17 on its way to the national title. The team was honored as the ECAC Division II Team of the Year while also winning the Lambert/Meadows Award as the top Division II team in the East. Coach Albert was also named as Kodak Region 3 "Coach of the Year".
The 1984 season saw similar success, with the team making another playoff bid following a 7-0 start to the season. The year ended with an 8-3 record with two of the losses coming from Division I-AA opponents. In the Tigers second Division II playoff appearance the team beat Norfolk State 31-21 in the first round but lost again to the eventual National Champion, in this case Troy State.
1985 was opened by the 100th victory in school history, with a 28-10 win over Shepherd. The Tigers also extended their regular season winning streak against Division II teams to 20 until a tie with Indiana (Pa.) 21-21. The Tigers fell short of making the playoffs with a 7-2-1 record following an injury to quarterback Kury Beathard. The team managed to end the season ranked 10th in the nation.
The 1986 season was then Towson State's last season that they would play in Division II. During the season Coach Phil Albert won his 100th career game. The Tigers made the playoffs but lost 31-0 to unbeaten Central State.
Division II statistics
• Record: 60-28-2 (.698)
• Four (4) Division II top ten finishes
• Three (3) NCAA Playoff appearances
• Three (3) Lambert Cup - Meadowlands trophies
• 17 different Tigers named All-Americans
Division I-AA (FCS) (1987-current)
In their third game as an NCAA Division I-AA program, the Tigers made their presence known with their first I-AA win, a 17-14 victory at fourth-ranked Maine. The Tigers also stunned Howard University with a 30-14 victory, the Bison’s only loss of the year.
Their first I-AA season also provided a showcase for the talents of tailback David Meggett. A transfer from Morgan State where he played defensive back, he was switched to tailback at Towson. In 1987, Meggett scored a school record 16 touchdowns and led Division I-AA in all-purpose yardage, averaging 199 yards per game.
In 1988, the Tigers showed improvement against a rugged schedule, finishing with a 5-5 record as Meggett continued to make headlines. In the season opener, he scored four touchdowns, including a 100-yard kickoff return for a TD, in a 45-34 win over Northeastern. Later in the season, he rushed for a school record 220 yards in a win over New Haven. He finished his career as the most decorated player in Towson football history, winning the Walter Payton Award as the top player in NCAA Division I-AA. He also earned a spot on several All-American teams. Meggett also became the first Tiger to play in the Senior Bowl and was named as the Most Valuable Player for the North squad. A fifth round draft pick by the New York Giants, he became an All-Pro player in the NFL and helped the Giants win Super Bowl XXV.
In 1989, the Tigers struggled in Division I-AA. Despite terrific individual performances from All-Americans Rodney Smith and Mike Smith, the Tigers were only 2-8 on the year, their worst record since 1972. In 1990, the Tigers continued to struggle with a 2-9 record.
In 1991, the Tigers finished with a 1-10 record, losing 10 games for the first time. Their 13-7 win over Howard was Albert’s final victory as the Tiger coach. He resigned after leading Towson to a 117-91-3 mark in 20 years.
The Tigers opened the 1992 season with a new coach as long-time assistant Gordy Combs inherited Albert’s position. In their first season under their new head coach, the Tigers showed resiliency as they posted several thrilling come-from-behind wins in a 5-5 season. In October, the Tigers rallied from a 33-14 deficit with eight minutes left for a 35-33 win at Indiana of Pa. They also posted a 33-32 win over Northeastern, scoring on the game’s final play. Running back Tony Vinson, a transfer from Purdue, made his debut and in 1992 and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in just eight games.
In 1993, the Tigers became NCAA I-AA playoff contenders for the first time. With 27 seniors on the roster, the Tigers celebrated their 25th anniversary season in victorious style. Towson posted an 8-2 record and broke or tied 46 school records.
Vinson led the Tigers to a 32-30 win at nationally ranked Delaware by scoring his fourth TD of the game with ten seconds left. He set 15 Towson records and 11 NCAA records. In a win over Bucknell, Vinson ran for 364 yards, a I-AA record. His 2,016 yards on the year set another I-AA record as the All-American won the “Triple Crown,” leading the nation in rushing, scoring and all-purpose yards. The second Tiger to play in the Senior Bowl, hewas a fifth round draft pick by the San Diego Chargers.
The 1994 season was almost a carbon copy of 1993 as Towson went 8-2 and broke 36 records. Quarterback Dan Crowley and wide receiver Mark Orlando combined to form one of the top passing combinations ever to play at Towson. Orlando was a first team All-American in 1994. He caught a career record 178 passes for a record 3,460 yards and 31 TD’s. Crowley finished his career by setting school records with 8,900 yards passing and 81 TD passes.
After the 1994 season, the football changed direction and started playing non-scholarship football. In 1995, the Tigers posted a 6-4 record competing in the ECAC-IFC.
In 1996, the biggest news came off the field. It was announced the Tigers would join the non-scholarship Patriot League for the 1997 season, providing the program with an emotional lift and an exciting conference affiliation. On the field, the Tigers recorded their fourth straight winning season. They won the final four games of the year to post a 6-4 record. Highlighting the season was a 33-32 triple overtime win at Marist, a game in which quarterback Kevin Smith passed for a school record 471 yards.
Towson’s first Patriot League season was a rough one as the Tigers went 2-8 with their only two wins coming in non-league games. Defensive backs Khalid McLeod and Jabari Garrett were both named first team All-Patriot League.
In 1998, Towson’s 30th season of football, the Tigers showed signs of improvement. The Tigers got off to a 2-0 start, beating rival Morgan State in the opener. They also claimed their first Patriot League win, beating Fordham in overtime. After a midseason slump against the league’s heavyweights, the Tigers beat St. Mary’s and Drake. Garrett was a first team All-Patriot League pick at defensive back for a second straight year. Jason Corle led the league in rushing, scoring and all-purpose yards, earning second team all-league honors.
The Tigers posted a second straight 7-4 record in 2000. Tailback Noah Read led the Patriot League in rushing with 1,422 yards, the second highest single season total by a Tiger. He rushed for over 100 yards in 10 of the 11 games. Meanwhile, Hollingsworth enjoyed a tremendous season at defensive end. Although sidelined for most of the last three games with an ankle injury, he led the nation with 18 sacks. Towson’s first consensus first team All-American, he was named Defensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year by the Patriot League.
In 2001, the Tigers struggled offensively due to an unsettled situation at quarterback. On their way to a 3-7 record, the Tigers started three different signal-callers. Defensive back Sporty Evans was the only first team All-Patriot League selection.
Once again, the Tiger football program was on the move. Prior to the start of the 2002 season, it was announced that Towson would be joining the Atlantic-10 Football Conference as the A-10’s 12th member. The move would be effective for the 2004 season.
The Tigers were in the process of having a great year in 2002 when the injury bug hit, derailing the offense and turning an impressive 5-2 start into a very disappointing 1-3 finish. By the eighth game, the Tigers had lost 60 percent of their starting offensive line to season-ending injuries. The Tigers’ 5-2 start included a first-ever win over Lehigh and a big road victory at Holy Cross. The season finale marked the end of White’s record-breaking career. White closed out his career as Towson’s all-time leading receiver as well as the Patriot League’s all-time leader with 219 receptions. Safety Edmund Carazo led the Patriot League with seven interceptions.
Highlighting the 2003 season was the official dedication of Johnny Unitas Stadium at Towson University. In mid-October, the Tigers entertained a crowd of more than 8,000 that included many Baltimore Colt legends with a 30-13 win over Holy Cross in the Dedication Game. The Tigers, who were 5-1 at their newly named home, finished the season with a 6-6 record. Towson went 3-4 in its final Patriot League season. Senior offensive lineman Jason Gunning and defensive back P.D. Moore were named All-Patriot League for the second time.
The 2004 season marked Towson’s entry into the Atlantic 10 where the Tigers were severely challenged. Towson went 0-8 in A-10 play while Moore was named to the A-10’s first team defense. Moore became the first Tiger to be named first team all-conference in two different leagues.
The Tigers were much more competitive in 2005, beating Delaware, Rhode Island and Villanova in A-10 games. Non-league wins over Morgan, Lock Haven and Liberty gave Towson a final 6-5 record. Allante Harrison was named first team All-Atlantic-10 at cornerback.
In 2006, the Tigers enjoyed one of their best seasons as a Division I-AA program. Quarterback Sean Schaefer directed one of the top passing games in the nation and Towson compiled a 7-4 record. Their 4-4 A-10 record included wins over Delaware, Villanova, Richmond and Hofstra.
The Tigers were nationally ranked for six weeks in 2006 and achieved their highest I-AA ranking ever when they were 17th in the nation in late September.
In April 2007, offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod became the fourth Towson football player drafted by an NFL team when he was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round. Bushrod was a three-time all-conference selection in the A-10.
In 2007, the Atlantic-10 Football Conference became the Colonial Athletic Association and the Tigers entered the season with high expectations. Towson was ranked in the top 25 in the pre-season and got off to a 2-0 start. But, a rash of injuries took their toll and Towson finished with a 3-8 record.
Senior linebacker Brian Bradford had a stellar season in 2007 when he finished second in the nation with 149 tackles in 11 games. In addition to earning first team All-CAA notice, he was a consensus first team All-American.
In 2008, the Tigers celebrated their 40th anniversary with an explosive passing game and a difficult schedule. In the season opener, the Tigers achieved a milestone when they played Navy in Annapolis. Before a crowd of 31,613, the Tigers battled the Mids on nearly even terms in the first half before Navy pulled out a 41-13 victory.
While Schaefer seemed to break a record every week, the Tigers had a difficult time defensively. A third team All-CAA pick, Schaefer led the CAA in passing yards (3,286) and yards of total offense (3,288). He set school career records for pass completions (1044), pass attempts (1610), completion percentage (.648) and passing yardage (11,644). He finished his career ranked eighth among the NCAA FCS all-time passing leaders.
Senior Marcus Lee, his favorite target, set an NCAA FCS record by catching at least one pass in all 45 games of his career. Lee ended his career as Towson’s all-time leader with 225 catches for 2,389 yards with 13 touchdowns.
The Tigers finished the 2008 season with a 3-9 record and a 1-7 mark in the CAA.
For only the third time in program history, there was a coaching change after the end of the season. Rob Ambrose, a 1993 Towson graduate who was an assistant coach at the University of Connecticut for seven years, was introduced as Towson’s new coach.
Rob Ambrose Era (2008-)
|Season||All Games||Regular Season||Conference||Post-Season Play||Coaches Poll Ranking/The Sports Network Ranking|
|2009||2-9||2-9||1-7||Did Not Qualify||Unranked|
|2010||1-10||1-10||0-8||Did Not Qualify||Unranked|
|2011||9-3||9-2||7-1||0-1||9 / 8|
|2012||7-4||7-4||6-2||Did Not Qualify||14 / 15|
|2013||13-3||10-2||6-2||3-1||4 / 5|
In his first season as head coach, Ambrose led the Tigers to a 2-9 record while going 1-7 in CAA play. The Tigers' lone conference victory came against Rhode Island while their other victory came against Coastal Carolina of the Big South.
Ambrose was met with additional growing pains in his second season as head coach, ending up with a 1-10 record with no conference wins. The Tigers' only win was memorable as the Tigers needed 5 overtimes to outlast Coastal Carolina. Several staff changes were made in the off-season, including Ambrose taking over as the team's Offensive Coordinator. Ambrose was the OC at UConn for three seasons before assuming the head coaching duties at his alma mater.
The 2011 season began with three wins, vaulting the Tigers into the national FCS polls for the first time since 2007. Home wins over instate rival Morgan State 42-3, #20 Villanova 31-10, and 42-17 over the Colgate Raiders, gave the Tigers their first 3-0 start since 2007. Through the first three games the average attendance at Johnny Unitas Stadium was 9,125, which was up from the 2010 season which saw an average crowd of 7,107 fans per game.
The Tigers' next game was a 28-3 setback loss to the in-state Maryland Terrapins, a BCS team from the ACC, a game in which the Tigers outgained the struggling Terps but failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities in the first half. The Tigers came back strong for a last-second 31-28 win over the #14 Richmond Spiders at Unitas Stadium. This marked the second win for Towson over a Top 25 opponent during the 2011 season and the second victory over a former FCS national champion. Richmond won the title in 2008 and Villanova claimed the crown in 2009. Following those victories, a thrilling come-from-behind road victory over the Old Dominion Monarchs, another nationally ranked team, put Towson atop the CAA standings.
The victory of Old Dominion was one of the program's most memorable moments as it defined the never-give-up attitude instilled by Ambrose.
Towson's 3-0 start in CAA play was their best-ever beginning in league action. Towson added to that total the following week with another road win against the nationally ranked William & Mary Tribe. With the win over the Tribe, the Tigers rose to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in CAA play and achieved the highest ranking in school history #13.
The following week the Tigers dropped a tough 35-30 decision to 2010 FCS runners-up, University of Delaware, in a game plagued by snow, sleet and bitter temperatures.
The final three weeks of the 2011 regular season presented a march towards a first-ever CAA Championship and NCAA FCS playoff berth. Road games at Maine and Rhode Island with a home match-up against New Hampshire provided the menu for the Tigers, who were picked to finish dead last in the preseason conference poll.
The game against the Maine Black Bears was played at Alfond Stadium in Orono, Maine. The Towson running game clicked on all counts to total a seasonal high 334 yards en route to a 40-30 victory over the No. 7 Maine. With the win, the Tigers moved into a three-way tie for first place in the CAA with Maine and No. 9 New Hampshire. The loss snapped the Black Bears' six-game winning streak. The Tigers' ground game was led by junior Tremayne Dameron and freshman Terrance West as both of them rushed for more than 100 yards. While Dameron, who had been injured for much of the season, picked up a season high 109 yards on 19 carries, West ran for a then career high 183 yards on 21 carries and scored three rushing touchdowns to increase his NCAA FCS-leading total to 21 touchdowns. The win was Towson's first ever road win over a top 10 opponent and was the 5th victory of the season against a team ranked in the Top 25 and 3rd such win coming on the road in 2011.
The final regular season home game at Unitas Stadium saw the Tigers defeat New Hampshire, 56-42. West would run for a career-best 261 yards and 4 touchdowns, including scores of 72 and 69 yards in the first and second quarters, respectively. The victory, coupled with Maine's triumph over the UMass, vaulted Towson into a two-way tie with the Black Bears for the CAA lead going into the final week of the season, which would see the Black Bears facing off against the Wildcats and the Tigers playing against the Rhode Island.
In the regular season finale against Rhode Island, the Tigers emerged victorious 28-17 after falling behind early in the first quarter 10-0. The Rams defense was able to keep star freshman running back Terrance West under 100 yards rushing for the first time since the October 1st game against Maryland, although he still found the end zone twice to increase his league leading total to 27. Instead, Grant Enders would lead the team to victory in Kingston, Rhode Island, with 212 yards passing and 2 passing touchdowns to junior receiver Tom Ryan. With Maine's 30-27 defeat at the hands of New Hampshire, the Tigers clinched their first-ever CAA title outright. The title made the Tigers the first team in NCAA history to make the postseason at the Division III, Division II, and the FCS levels of College Football.
2011 FCS Playoffs
With their automatic bid to the playoffs secured, the Tigers received a first round bye and played the Lehigh Mountain Hawks (10-1) of the Patriot League at Unitas Stadium in the second round of the FCS Playoffs. The Tigers would lose the game, 40-38, after a fourth quarter sack of Enders by Lehigh defensive lineman Tom Bianchi led to a safety.
The Tigers played their most competitive schedule in the history of the program, playing two FBS programs (Kent State & LSU). Even with a tough schedule, Towson came out with a winning record (7-4) which included wins over ranked teams; Delaware, Villanova and New Hampshire. Unfortunately the Tigers missed the playoffs, although some sports writers thought they should have qualified since New Hampshire and Villanova both made the playoffs and there were teams with less competitive schedules selected.
The 11th ranked Tigers began the year by beating UConn, an FBS team from the American Athletic Conference, by a score of 33-18, giving the Tigers their first victory over a FBS team in program history. The win would be the first in a 6-game win streak to start the season for the Tigers, including wins over Holy Cross, Delaware State, North Carolina Central, Stony Brook, and New Hampshire. The Tigers were handed their first loss of the season during Towson's homecoming weekend at the hands of Villanova. After victories against Albany, Richmond, William & Mary, James Madison, and a loss to Delaware, The Tigers qualified for the FCS playoffs with a final record of 10-2 (6-2 CAA), the program's first 10 win season.
2013 FCS Playoffs
The Tigers were selected as #7 seed for the FCS playoffs and received a first-round bye. They hosted Fordham University (11-2, 0-0 Patriot) at Johnny Unitas Stadium following the Rams' victory over Sacred Heart in the first round of the FCS playoffs. Although Fordham tied the game late in the second quarter, Towson cruised to a 48-28 victory behind a combined 490 yards of offense including 146 total yards and 2 touchdowns from freshman running back Darius Victor, 105 total yards and 3 touchdowns from 2013 CAA first team running back Terrance West, and 310 total yards and three touchdowns from senior quarterback Peter Athens.
In a game played in snowy conditions at O'Brien Stadium, the #7 ranked Tigers defeated Eastern Illinois (12-2, 8-0 Ohio Valley), the #2 ranked FCS team, 49-39. They did so on the strength of 472 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns, including 354 yards and 5 touchdowns by 2013 Walter Payton Award finalist Terrance West.
The Tigers advanced to the semifinals where they played Eastern Washington (12-3, 8-0 Big Sky) at Roos Field in Cheney, Washington. In a game plagued by fog and wet conditions, the Tigers emerged victorious, 35-31, in a wild shootout over the host Eagles. After the Tigers jumped out to an early 21-0 lead, the Eagles scored 31 unanswered points and knocked Towson starting quarterback Peter Athens out of the game with a shoulder injury. The Tigers would then score 14 unanswered points behind Terrance West and sophomore backup quarterback Connor Frazier to win the game and qualify for the school's first ever FCS national title game .
At Toyota Stadium, The Tigers (13-3, 6-2 CAA) were defeated by three-time defending national champion North Dakota State (15-0, 8-0 MVC) for the NCAA FCS National Championship. Despite a gallant beginning effort in which the Tigers played the Bison to stalemate, the defending champions would pull away in impressive fashion, shutting down the Tigers, 35-7. Terrance West was held under 100 yards rushing for only the third time this year, giving Towson a 1-2 record in such games. West added 39 yards receiving to give him 138 all purpose yards. Although Towson quarterback Peter Athens outgained NDSU's Brock Jensen through the air, the Bison's pummeling run game was the factor that proved too much for Towson to handle. The Bison got 170 total rushing yards from their duo, Senior Sam Ojuri and Junior John Crockett - more than Towson's entire running back corps.
Players in the NFL and other professional leagues
Marc Brown- Wide Receiver (1981-1982 at Towson)
Career at Towson included 94 receptions for 1,732 years and 14 TD’s.
Played for Buffalo Bills (1987) where he had 9 receptions for 120 yards and 1 touchdown. He also had 2 kickoff returns for 35 yards.
Sean Landeta- Punter (1979-1982 at Towson):
Landeta was a four-year starter at Towson University from 1979-82. He was a three-time All-Eastern College Athletic Conference selection for the Tigers from 1980–82 and led Division II in punting in 1980 with a 43.4 average, and also led the nation in field goals with 14. He was named to the Kodak and Associated Press All-America teams as a senior in 1982 and was later selected as the punter for the NCAA Division II Team of the Quarter Century from 1972-97. His jersey number 5 was also retired by Towson in 1996.
He began his professional career by playing three seasons in the United States Football League from 1983-85 with the Baltimore/Philadelphia Stars. He was the first punter selected in the USFL Open Draft in 1983. Landeta earned two USFL championship rings and was a two-time, first-team All-USFL punter. In 1985 he signed as a free agent with the New York Giants and spent the next 21 years in the National Football League.
Stan Eisenhooth - Offensive Line (1983-1985 at Towson)
In 1985 was selected 1st team All-AA (Kodak, AP) on a Towson team that finished the season ranked 10th in Division II football.
In the NFL, he played for Seattle (1987–1988) and Indianapolis (1989).
Dave Meggett- Running Back (1987–1988 at Towson)
As a Towson senior in 1988, he won the Walter Payton Award as the nation's outstanding offensive Division IAA football player. The New York Giants chose him in the fifth round of the 1989 NFL draft.
He led the NFL in punt return yardage with 582 yards in 1989 and 467 yards in 1990, when he was named to The Sporting News all-pro team. In 1993, he became one of the few NFL players ever to gain more than 300 yards rushing, receiving and returning kicks. Meggett played for the Giants in their victory in Super Bowl XXV.
Rodney Smith- Defensive Tackle (1986-1989 at Towson)
As a defensive standout he recorded 4 sacks in a 34-6 Homecoming win over James Madison (1988). In 1989 he was team captain and was also selected 2nd Team All- FCS (1989)
Played Arena Football for 7 years following Towson, with Washington (1990) and then Albany (1991-1994 & 1996-1997).
Tony Vinson - Running Back (1993-1994 at Towson)
As an all-American running back, in 1993 he led the nation in rushing yards with 2,016 (then an NCAA Division I-AA record), all-purpose yards (2,073) and points scored (138).
Vinson was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round of the NFL draft in 1994. He made the Charger's practice squad and accompanied the team to the January 1995 Super Bowl in Miami, where the Chargers lost.
Chad Scott - Defensive Back (1993-1994 at Towson)
Transferred to the University of Maryland to play for 2 years after Towson.
Madieu Williams- Corner Back (1999 -2000 at Towson)
1999 (Freshman); Finished the season with 53 tackles and one interception while appearing in 11 games as a backup cornerback and 2 starts as strong safety.
2000 (Sophomore); Started at cornerback for 9 games and finished the season with 42 tackles (32 solo) on a defense that held opponents to 155.9 yards per game passing.
Transferred to the University of Maryland in 2001 where he finished his college career.
After being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft, he played for several teams; Cincinnati Bengals (2004–2007), Minnesota Vikings(2008–2011) and San Francisco (2011).
A four-year starter for the Tigers, he was team captain in 2006 and was selected All-Atlantic 10 conference (2004–2006).
In 2007 he became the earliest Tiger selected in the NFL draft when New Orleans Saints(2007–2011) selected him in the 4th round.
In 2010, he was a member on the first New Orleans Saints team to win a Super Bowl. 2011 Pro-Bowl.
Brian Bradford - Linebacker (2004-2008 at Towson)
A four-year starter who finished his career as the third-leading tackler in Towson Football history, he was named as a first team selection on three of the five major FCS All-America teams.
Terrance West - Running Back (2011-2013 at Towson)
A three year starter at Towson who led the team to their first FCS National Championship appearance in 2013, Terrance West is the all time leading rusher in Towson history. He also set numerous FCS rushing records while at Towson and won the Jerry Rice Award for outstanding Freshmen FCS players in 2011.
Milestones and memorable moments
The Towson Tigers football team has crossed many milestones since its birth in 1969. A long the way there have been many memorable moments.
2010: Five-overtime game
On September 11, 2010 Towson played the longest game in school history. Coastal Carolina came to Towson, MD looking for their first win of the season after losing the previous week to West Virginia. Coastal Carolina fullback Racheed Gause scored a 10-yard touchdown with 12:36 in the fourth quarter bringing their lead to 21-7. Just a few minutes later Towson quarterback Chris Hart threw a 57-yard pass to Hakeem Moore who went out of bounds at the Coastal Carolina four-yard line. On third-and-goal at the two-yard line, Hart threw a two-yard touchdown pass to freshman tight end James Oboh, cutting the Tigers' deficit to 21-14 with 9:40 left in regulation.
On the next Coastal Carolina possession the Towson Tigers forced a punt taking possession at their own 30-yard line with 3:54 remaining. On fourth-and-four at the Coastal 39-yard line, Hart completed a short pass to sophomore Alex Blake at the 35-yard line. On the next play, Hart scrambled 12 yards to the Chanticleers' 20-yard line. Moments later, he ran to the two-yard line on an 18-yard scamper. With just 29 seconds left Hart completed a pass to Tom Ryan in the left corner of the end zone. Following a successful conversion by Nick Wallace the game was tied 21-21.
Towson took possession of the ball first, unable to move the ball they settled for a 34-yard field goal by Nick Wallace to take the lead at 24-21. On Coastal's first possession they were unable to convert on three straight passes, tying the game with a 42-yard field goal at 24-24.
The Chanticleers struck first with a scoring drive capped off by a one-yard run giving Coastal a 30-24 lead. The Tigers caught a break when Coastal missed their extra point try. Towson took control of the ball and scored on five straight carries by Tremayne Dameron. To win the Tigers just needed a successful extra point kick to win their first game of the season. The conversion attempt though hit the left upright and fell to the ground, leading to a tie of 30-30.
Towson received the ball and drove down the field. Towson scored on a third-and-one at the Coastal four-yard line with a run by Tremayne Dameron giving Towson the lead at 36-30. Overtime rules stipulate that both teams must try for two-point conversions after the second overtime. On the two-point conversion attempt Towson quarterback failed to connect with Hakeem Moore. Coastal received the ball and drove for a Touchdown, failing as well to convert the two-point attempt.
Both teams settled for field goals in the fourth overtime, with a 43-yard field goal by Coastal Carolina and a 27-yard field goal by the Towson Tigers. The score leading into the fifth overtime was 39-39.
Towson had possession of the ball first, on the first play of the fifth overtime quarterback Chris Hart threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Moore giving the Tigers a 45-39 lead. On the two-point conversion attempt quarterback Hart ran to his left, dropped the ball, picked it upon the bounce and ran into the end zone giving Towson a 47-39 lead. Coastal received the ball on the 25-yard line and drove down the field. They found themselves facing a fourth down-and-one at the Towson six-yard line. They converted with a one-yard run to bring up a first-and goal at the Towson five-yard line. On the next play quarterback Zach Macdowall completed a five-yard touchdown pass to Eric O'Neal bringing the score to 47-45. On the two-point conversion attempt Towson safety Jordan Dangerfield tipped a pass intended for Jamie Childers securing the win for the Towson Tigers.
The Tigers and Chanticleers were just one overtime period away from tying the NCAA FCS record with a six-overtime contest.
2011: Unbelievable comeback
On October 15, 2011, Towson and Old Dominion played a game players will not soon forget. At the time Towson was ranked 17th in the nation, while Old Dominion was ranked 18th.
The heroics for Towson came late in the 4th quarter, in a game played in Norfolk Virginia in front of a crowd of 19,818 mostly ODU fans.
Being ahead by 11 points with less than 4 minutes to play in the game, ODU knew Towson would need more than a miracle to win.
Things began to unravel to the Monarchs when Grant Enders scored on a yard QB keeper with 3:13 left in the game. The Tigers converted a 2-point conversion on a halfback pass from Leon Kinnard to Mike Evans and ODU's lead was 35-32.
The Tigers recovered the ensuing D.J. Soven onside kick off, and it looked like Towson was in excellent position to move the ball close enough for game tying field goal as the offense would start out on the ODU 34-yard line.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, the Old Dominion Defense was not ready to give up and the Tigers chances appeared bleak when ODU defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron sacked Enders with a jarring hit, bloodying his nose and knocking Enders out of the game with 1:50 left in regulation.
Enders replacement (Pete Athens) came in, but was unable to get things going for the Tigers and was sacked for a big loss of yards which pushed the Tigers out of field goal range. Facing fourth and 29 from his 37-yard line, Enders scrambled out of the pocket to his right and somehow saw Tiger Receiver, Tom Ryan across the field near the first-down stick.
As if scripted from a made for movie scene, Ryan out-leapt the ODU safety to pull in the catch, escaped the grasp of 4 ODU defenders, raced down the sideline, crossed the goal line with 1:07 left in the game with ODU defender Paul Morant on his back.
ODU players and fans were left in shock as Towson pulled off one of the most incredible come-back games in the programs history.
2013 saw a few memorable moments for the Tigers' football team, including the program's first 10 win season, their first FBS victory, and the deepest playoff run in school history.
On August 29, 2013, the Tigers defeated UConn, 33-18, at Rentschler Field in Storrs, Connecticut for their first ever victory over an FBS team. Junior Terrance West ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns while Senior quarterback Peter Athens threw for 192 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The Tigers out-gained their FBS opponent by 103 total yards.
National Championship Run
The Tigers were selected as #7 seed for the FCS playoffs and received a first-round bye. They hosted Fordham University (11-2, 0-0 Patriot) at Johnny Unitas Stadium following the Rams' victory over Sacred Heart in the first round of the FCS playoffs.
In the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs, the #7 ranked Tigers defeated Eastern Illinois (12-2, 8-0 Ohio Valley), the #2 ranked FCS team, 49-39. They did so on the strength of 472 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns, including 354 yards and 5 touchdowns by 2013 Walter Payton Award finalist Terrance West.
The Tigers advanced to the semifinals where they played Eastern Washington (12-3, 8-0 Big Sky) at Roos Field in Cheney, Washington. In a game plagued by fog and wet conditions, the Tigers emerged victorious, 35-31, in a wild shootout over the host Eagles.
The victory over Eastern Washington was Towson's third win in a row over a 2013 top 5 Walter Payton Award finalist. They defeated #5 finisher Michael Nebrich and Fordham University in the second round, 2013 Walter Payton winner Jimmy Garoppolo and Eastern Illinois in the quarterfinals, and runner-up Vernon Adams (as well as 2013 Jerry Rice Award winner, Cooper Kupp) and Eastern Washington in the semifinals. Towson boasted its own finalist, third-place finisher Terrance West. The streak of facing Top 5 finishers will continue in the National Championship when the Tigers face #4 finisher Brock Jensen, quarterback for North Dakota State.
The Tigers' run fell short against two-time defending national champion North Dakota State at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas in the NCAA FCS National Championship. The Bison thoroughly manhandled the Tiger defense and held Terrance West in check en route to a 35-7 victory and a third consecutive national title.
- 2012 FCS Playoffs: Some Teams Are More Equal Than Others
- 2011 Towson Tigers Media Guide
- TowsonTigers.com; Johnny Unitas Stadium
- Obama attends brother-in-law's game
- Gaithersburg Patch.com; Gaithersburg Alum embraces Chance of a lifetime
- The Gadsden Times, Sunday, December 5th, 1976