Tulane Green Wave football
|Tulane Green Wave football|
|Athletic director||Rick Dickson|
|Head coach||Curtis Johnson
2nd year, 9–15 (.375)
|Home stadium||Mercedes-Benz Superdome|
|Location||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|League||NCAA Division I FBS|
|Past conferences||SIAA (1896–1922)
|All-time record||503–607–38 (.455)|
|Postseason bowl record||4–7|
SoCon: 1925, 1929, 1930, 1931
SEC: 1934, 1939, 1949
Olive Green and Sky Blue
|Fight song||The Olive and the Blue|
|Marching band||Tulane University Marching Band|
Southern Miss Golden Eagles
The Tulane Green Wave football team represents Tulane University in the sport of American football. The Green Wave compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a member of the West Division of Conference USA (C-USA).
The football team is currently coached by Curtis Johnson and plays its home games off-campus in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. In 2011, Tulane announced it would build a new on-campus stadium in time for the 2014 season. On July 1, 2014, Tulane will leave Conference USA and join the American Athletic Conference in all sports.
- 1 History
- 2 Culture
- 3 Team achievements
- 4 Coaches and staff
- 5 Bowl appearances
- 6 Future non-conference opponents
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Tulane's earliest athletic traditions are tied to its football team. Football was introduced to Tulane by Hugh and Thomas Bayne, who played the game at Yale University. The first organized game was played on New Year's Day in 1890 by dividing students into two teams, and this became the first football game in New Orleans or Louisiana. Tulane began playing intercollegiate football in 1893, and hitting its stride in 1900 with a perfect 5–0 season, in which the Olive and Blue beat the Southern Athletic Club, Alabama, Millsaps, LSU, and Ole Miss. In a 1912 game against Southwestern Louisiana, Tulane set records of 15 rushing touchdowns and 95 points that still stand today. In 1925 the Green Wave again went undefeated, shutting out 6 out of 10 opponents, with only a tie against Missouri to blemish its record. The administration declined a Rose Bowl invitation at the end of that season, however, in order to keep their student-athletes in class.
Tulane Stadium era
1926 saw the completion of a new stadium on campus, Tulane Stadium. Tulane's third and fourth perfect regular seasons came in 1929 and 1931, with a single loss to Northwestern in Chicago, Illinois, marring the 1930 campaign. The 1931 team did go to the Rose Bowl, losing 21–12 to Southern California, and Gerald "Jerry" Dalrymple became the only unanimous All-American selection that year. In 1932 Tulane chartered the Southeastern Conference along with 12 other colleges and universities. In 1935 Tulane began hosting the Sugar Bowl in Tulane Stadium, an annual contest that eventually lent its name to the stadium itself. In 1939 the team completed its fifth unbeaten season, losing a close 14–13 battle to Texas A&M in the Sugar Bowl. In 1951, believing that athletics had begun to overshadow academics, University President Rufus Harris voluntarily lowered Tulane's football scholarships to 75 from 100 and reduced coaches' salaries, among other changes. Tulane left the SEC in 1966 to become an independent. They had some success in the 1970s with three bowl invitations in the decade, including a memorable 17–3 victory in the 1970 Liberty Bowl over the heavily favored Colorado Buffaloes.
A seminal moment in the history of Tulane football occurred following the 1974 season, when the Green Wave moved all of its home games to the new Louisiana Superdome in downtown New Orleans, later renamed the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in 2011. With the move, Tulane became the only Division I-A football team ever to move from a larger, on-campus stadium to a smaller, off-campus stadium. Tulane Stadium was subsequently demolished in 1980.
The 1980s and most of the 1990s were largely down seasons for Tulane, but there were some highlights. In 1987 the Green Wave finished 6–6 under then head coach Mack Brown before losing to Washington 24–12 in the Independence Bowl. The Green Wave that season were led by dynamic quarterback Terrence Jones and wide receiver Marc Zeno. Brown left Tulane for the head coaching post at the University of North Carolina and was succeeded at Tulane by his offensive coordinator, Greg Davis. Davis failed to garner a winning season at Tulane and was fired in 1991 following a 1–10 campaign. Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens was hired to turn the program around, but he too failed to muster a winning season during his tenure at Tulane and was fired following 1996's 2–9 season. In 1995, Tulane left the ranks of the independents and joined a new all-sports league called Conference USA, formed by the merger of the Metro Conference, the non-football conference it belonged to at the time, and the Great Midwest Conference.
Tommy Bowden (1997-1998)
The 1997 football season at Tulane started fresh with a new coach, Tommy Bowden. Using players recruited during the Teevens era, Bowden's first season produced a 7–4 season, the Wave's first winning regular season since 1987; however, the Green Wave did not participate in a bowl game that year. The dramatic turnaround was only a preview of what was to come in Bowden's second year as coach. In 1998, Tulane went undefeated for the first time since 1931. Quarterback Shaun King led the Green Wave to a 12–0 record, a Conference USA championship, and a final No. 7 national ranking. He played most of the season with a cast on his left wrist, which he broke in the third game. King also set the all-time NCAA passing efficiency record for quarterbacks, a record which, at 183.3, was not surpassed until 2006. Despite a perfect regular season, the Green Wave was not invited to a BCS bowl game — an event which fueled questions about championships and revenue management in college football and caused Tulane's President Scott Cowen to demand reform of the system. Cowen's efforts eventually led to changes to the BCS, including allowing more post-season access for schools in non-automatic qualifying conferences.
Tommy Bowden departed Tulane with an 18–4 record to become head coach at Clemson following the regular season. He was replaced by Georgia assistant and South Louisiana native Chris Scelfo, who was chosen over popular Tulane offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez, the architect of the devastating spread offense that averaged 45 points a game in 1998. Rodriguez, who had hoped to be named head coach of the Green Wave, followed Bowden to Clemson to serve as offensive coordinator. He subsequently was hired in 2001 as the head coach of West Virginia, his alma mater, until he took the head coaching position at Michigan in December 2007. After his firing at Michigan following the 2010 season, Rodriguez served as an analyst for CBS Sports for one season then was hired to his current position as head football coach at Arizona in November 2011. The Green Wave completed a perfect 12–0 season with a 41–27 victory over BYU in the Liberty Bowl.
Chris Scelfo (1998-2006)
Chris Scelfo's tenure was highlighted by a 6–5 record in 2000 and a 2002 Hawaiʻi Bowl victory over Hawaiʻi, which completed an 8–5 overall season for the Green Wave. Unfortunately for Scelfo and Tulane fans, the 2002 season was the last winning season for the program until 2013. Mewelde Moore, a lightly recruited running back out of Baton Rouge, signed in 2000 and ultimately finished his four-year career as Tulane's all-time leading rusher with 6,505 career yards, surpassing the legendary Eddie Price. He set Tulane and C-USA records by running for 100 yards or more in 22 games. Moore was selected in the 4th round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Two other Tulane products, Patrick Ramsey and JP Losman, were selected in the first round of the 2002 and 2004 NFL Drafts by the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills, respectively.
Scelfo and his staff guided Tulane football through a particularly difficult 2005 season, in which the program played its 11 games in 11 different stadiums because of its displacement and Tulane's temporary shuttering due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina. After returning to a normal 2006 home schedule in the Superdome and going 4–8, Scelfo was fired by the university. Scelfo finished his career at Tulane with a 37–57 overall record.
Bob Toledo (2007-2011)
Former UCLA Bruins head coach Bob Toledo was named head coach on December 11, 2006. Toledo compiled a 49–32 overall record while at UCLA from 1996–2002, which included a Pac-10 title in 1998 and a 20-game winning streak between the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Ironically, Toledo became head coach at a school whom he lost a prized recruit to: JP Losman signed with UCLA in 1999 but transferred following UCLA's Spring practice to play for Scelfo at Tulane.
The Green Wave finished 4–8 in Toledo's inaugural season, highlighted by the individual performance of running back Matt Forté, who shattered several Green Wave records on his way to rushing for 2,127 yards and 23 touchdowns. In 2007, Forté broke the 200-yard rushing barrier five times and the 300-yard barrier twice, which included a Tulane and Conference USA single-game-record 342 rushing yards against SMU. After compiling a 15–46 record, Toledo resigned during the 2011 season after a 2–5 start. Co-offensive coordinator Mark Hutson became interim head coach for the remaining 6 games, losing each of them.
Yulman Stadium era
Curtis Johnson (2012-present)
On December 5, 2011, New Orleans Saints Wide Receivers Coach Curtis Johnson was introduced as the 38th head coach of Tulane football and the first African American head coach in the program's history. Four days later, with $40 million already raised, it was announced that the university was embarking on a $70 million fundraising campaign known as "Home Field Advantage." The campaign aimed to raise $60 million for construction of a new 30,000-seat stadium on the Uptown campus - to be opened by 2014 - and $10 million for the football program itself, to be put toward locker room, weight room, and academic advising upgrades. The stadium, Benson Field at Yulman Stadium, is currently under construction. The following year the university announced their move from Conference USA, of which they had been a member since 1995, to the Big East (later renamed the American Athletic Conference) on July 1, 2014.
The Green Wave notched its 500th program win on October 5, 2013, a 24–21 homecoming victory over North Texas. Johnson led the Green Wave to a new on-campus era by securing the program's first winning season and bowl game since 2002, closing out the 2013 home schedule with a 45–3 victory over UTEP in Tulane's last scheduled regular-season game with the Superdome as the home field.
Tulane University Marching Band
The Tulane University Marching Band (TUMB) was founded in 1920 as a military band. It dissolved shortly after the team's move to the Superdome in the 1970s and did not formally return until 2006. The TUMB performs at home games each fall and in Mardi Gras parades each spring.
Riptide the Pelican debuted in 1998 with the re-branding of Tulane athletics. Prior to that, the school used an angry wave nicknamed "Gumby" by fans, and before that a John Chase creation named "Greenie."
Tulane's biggest and oldest rival is LSU. It began in 1893 with a 34–0 Green Wave victory over the Tigers. Since then the teams have met nearly every year in the Battle for the Flag. The rivalry became less competitive after 1948, until Tulane broke a 25-game losing streak in 1973 with a 14–0 victory in front of a Tulane Stadium record crowd of 86,598 in the final installment of the long-time rivalry played on Tulane's campus. Between 1979 and 1982, Tulane won three out of four games against the Tigers; the 1982 win was the last win to date. The two schools stopped playing annually after the 1994 game; however, they have met six times (1996, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009) since. LSU currently leads the series 69–22–7 and has won 45 of the last 50 games. As a condition of the broken series agreement made in 2006, a game will be played in a future season in New Orleans.
Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Known as the Battle for the Bell, Tulane's rivalry with Southern Miss was played yearly from 1979 until 2006 and alternates sites between New Orleans and Hattiesburg, Mississippi. As a result of Conference USA splitting into divisions in 2005, the game is now played two out of every four years. The status of the rivalry is now in doubt due to Tulane's move to the American in 2014.
|Season||Conference||Coach||Overall Record||Conference Record|
|1949||SEC||Henry E. Frnka||7-2-1||5-1|
|† Denotes co-champions|
Coaches and staff
|Curtis Johnson||Head coach||2nd|
|Eric Price||Offensive Coordinator||2nd|
|Jon Sumrall||Co-Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Line||2nd|
|Lionel Washington||Co-Defensive Coordinator, Secondary||2nd|
|David Johnson||Tight Ends, Running Backs||2nd|
|Barry Lamb||Asst Head Coach, Linebackers, Special Teams||2nd|
|John McDonell||Offensive Line||2nd|
|Keith Williams||Wide Receivers||2nd|
|Byron Ellis||Director of Football Operations||2nd|
|Doug Lichtenberger||Asst AD for Operations/Recruiting||6th|
|Kwahn Drake||Graduate Assistant, Defense||2nd|
|Chad Jenkins||Graduate Assistant, Defense||3rd|
|Mike McCarthy||Graduate Assistant Coach, Offense||2nd|
|Casey Robottom||Graduate Assistant Coach, Offense||2nd|
Tulane has been to 11 bowls in its history, winning 4. Its victories include the inaugural Sugar Bowl (held in the team's home stadium and the game's namesake, Tulane Stadium), the 1970 Liberty Bowl, the 1998 Liberty Bowl (after a perfect 11–0 season), and the 2002 Hawaiʻi Bowl.
Future non-conference opponents
|vs Southeastern Louisiana||vs Duke||at Mississippi State||at Ole Miss||at Georgia Tech||vs South Alabama||at South Alabama||at Ole Miss||at Syracuse|
|at Duke||at Georgia Tech||vs UL–Lafayette||vs Wake Forest||at Duke||at Wake Forest||vs LSU|
|vs Georgia Tech||at Wake Forest||vs Georgia Tech|
- "SIAA Conference Champions". CFDataWarehouse.com. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- Tammy Nunez (December 8, 2011). "Tulane plans to build a 30,000-plus seat on-campus football stadium". Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- "Tulane Football History". TulaneGreenWave.com. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Old Tulane Stadium". TulaneStadium.com. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Southeastern Conference charter schools move on in different directions". AL.com. Retrieved 2013-11-27.
- "2011 Football Bowl Subdivision Records". NCAA. p. 30. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- Denny O'Brien (2003). "Bucking the BCS: Tulane CEO demands reform". Bonesville.net.
- "Mewelde Moore Profile". TulaneGreenWave.com. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Matt Forte Profile". TulaneGreenWave.com. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- John Reid (2011-10-19). "Bob Toledo's departure doesn't stir too many emotions on Tulane's campus". nola.com. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- Tammy Nunez (5 December 2011). "Tulane Green Wave gives new football coach a warm welcome". Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- "Tulane Community Stadium Capital Giving & Naming Opportunities". tulanestadium.com. 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- "Tulane University Traditions". Tulane.edu. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "LSU, Tulane in discussions to play each other in football in 2013". nola.com. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- Richie Weaver (2010-11-05). "Football to "Battle for the Bell" Saturday vs. C-USA Rivals Southern Miss". TulaneGreenWave.com. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Tulane Football Yearly Records". tulanegreenwave.com. 2004. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
- "Tulane Football Records since 1945". michigan-football.com/ncaa. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
- "2013 Tulane Football Roster". Tulane Athletics. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- "Tulane Green Wave Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
- "Live Chat with Rick Dickson". tulanegreenwave.com. 2012-12-18. Retrieved 2012-12-26.