UC Riverside Highlanders football

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UC Riverside Highlanders football
Uc riverside textlogo.png
First season 1955
Last season 1975; 40 years ago (1975)
Head coach Bob Toledo (final Highlanders head coach)
2 year, 15–6–0 (.714)
Home stadium Highlander Stadium
Stadium surface Grass
Location Riverside, California
Conference CCAA
All-time record 84–83–8 (.503)
Postseason bowl record 0–0–0 (–)
Colors

Sky Blue and Gold

          

UC Riverside Highlanders football represented the University of California, Riverside from the 1955 through the 1975 college football seasons. The Highlanders originally competed as an Independent before they joined the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) in 1969. They played their home game at Highlander Stadium in Riverside, California. During their 21 years of competition, the Highlanders compiled an all-time record of 84 wins, 83 losses and 8 ties (84–83–8).

History[edit]

In 1954, former California All-America Rod Franz was hired to serve as the first head coach of the Riverside program.[1] After only one season, Franz resigned, and Carl Selin was hired as head coach. Selin remained in his position through the 1958 season when he resigned to become an assistant coach at the Coast Guard Academy.[2]

After Gil Allan served as head coach for only the 1964 season, in March 1965, former Highlanders quarterback Pete Kettela was named head coach.[3] Kettela resigned in 1970 after he compiled an overall record of 23 wins, 19 losses and 2 ties (23–19–2) during his five-year tenure.[4] He resigned his position as he felt the school was not expending appropriate resources on the football program.[4]

After serving as an assistant coach for five seasons, in February 1970 Gary Knecht was promoted to head coach.[4] He compiled an overall record of six wins, thirteen losses and one tie (6–13–1) from 1970 through the 1971 season.[5] Knecht resigned as head coach in March 1972, just as coach Kettela had done previously, as the university had not placed enough resources into the football program.[6] Wayne Howard was hired in 1972, and prior to his resignation in December 1973 to become the head coach at Long Beach State, led the Highlanders to a record of seventeen wins and three losses (17–3).[7] Under Howard, the 1972 squad finished the season with a record of nine wins and one loss (9–1) to capture a share of the first conference championship for the Highlanders.[8]

On December 21, 1973, Bob Toledo was hired to serve as the Highlanders' head coach.[9] As head coach, Toledo led the Highlanders to an overall record of fifteen wins and six losses (15–6) and consecutive conference championships in 1974 and 1975.[10][11] However, on December 4, 1975, the football program was discontinued by the university with a general lack of attendance and poor gate receipts cited for its being discontinued.[10][11] Toledo and his staff remained under contract through July 1, 1976.[11]

Head coaches[edit]

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1955 Rod Franz 1 0–1–0 .000
1956–1958 Carl Selin 3 4–13–3 .275
1959–1963 Jim Whitley 5 17–21–2 .450
1964 Gil Allan 1 2–7–0 .222
1965–1969 Pete Kettela 5 23–19–2 .545
1970–1971 Gary Knecht 2 6–13–1 .325
1972–1973 Wayne Howard 2 17–3–0 .850
1974–1975 Bob Toledo 2 15–6–0 .714
Totals 21 84–83–8 .503

All-time seasons[edit]

During their 21 years of competition, the Highlanders compiled an all-time record of 84 wins, 83 losses and 8 ties (84–83–8).[12]

Season Head coach Conference Wins Losses Ties Winning percentage
1955 Franz, RodRod Franz Independent 0 1 0 .000
1956 Selin, CarlCarl Selin Independent 1 6 0 .143
1957 Selin, CarlCarl Selin Independent 1 4 1 .250
1958 Selin, CarlCarl Selin Independent 2 3 2 .429
1959 Whitley, JimJim Whitley Independent 5 2 0 .714
1960 Whitley, JimJim Whitley Independent 7 0 1 .938
1961 Whitley, JimJim Whitley Independent 1 7 0 .125
1962 Whitley, JimJim Whitley Independent 3 5 0 .375
1963 Whitley, JimJim Whitley Independent 1 7 1 .167
1964 Allan, GilGil Allan Independent 2 7 0 .222
1965 Kettela, PetePete Kettela Independent 6 1 0 .857
1966 Kettela, PetePete Kettela Independent 4 5 0 .444
1967 Kettela, PetePete Kettela Independent 4 4 1 .500
1968 Kettela, PetePete Kettela Independent 5 1 1 .786
1969 Kettela, PetePete Kettela CCAA 3 6 0 .333
1970 Knecht, GaryGary Knecht CCAA 4 6 0 .400
1971 Knecht, GaryGary Knecht CCAA 2 7 1 .250
1972 Howard, WayneWayne Howard CCAA 9 1 0 .900
1973 Howard, WayneWayne Howard CCAA 8 2 0 .800
1974 Toledo, BobBob Toledo CCAA 8 3 0 .727
1975 Toledo, BobBob Toledo CCAA 7 3 0 .700

Highlanders in the NFL[edit]

UC Riverside has seven alumni that have played in the National Football League (NFL).[13][14]

Name Position Year Overall Pick Team
Michael Basinger DE 1973 Free Agent Green Bay Packers
Russ Bolinger[A 1] G/T 1976 68 Detroit Lions
Dan Bunz[A 2] LB 1978 24 San Francisco 49ers
Butch Johnson WR 1976 87 Dallas Cowboys
Frank Johnson 1974 102 Los Angeles Rams
Calvin Sweeney[A 3] WR 1979 110 Pittsburgh Steelers
Derek Williams 1974 221 Los Angeles Rams

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ After he started his college career at Riverside, Russ Bolinger transferred after the 1973 season to follow head coach Wayne Howard to Long Beach State.[15]
  2. ^ After he started his college career at Riverside, Dan Bunz transferred to Long Beach State.[16]
  3. ^ After he started his college career at Riverside, Calvin Sweeney transferred to USC.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rod Franz gets Riverside job". Lodi News-Sentinel (Lodi, California: Google News Archive). UP. July 8, 1954. p. 8. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ "CG Academy announced varsity backfield coach". The Day (New London, Connecticut: Google News Archive). 11. August 22, 1959. p. 11. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Riverside coach Gil Allan resigns". Los Angeles Times (ProQuest Historical Newspapers). March 27, 1965. p. A4. 
  4. ^ a b c "Gary Knecht grid boss at Riverside". Lodi News-Sentinel (Lodi, California: Google News Archive). UPI. February 26, 1970. p. 11. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Coach resigns". The Gadsden Times (Gadsden, Alabama: Google News Archive). AP. March 11, 1972. p. 25. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Football ranks No. 3, So UCR coach resigns". Los Angeles Times (ProQuest Historical Newspapers). March 6, 1972. p. D2. 
  7. ^ "Howard named Cal State grid coach". The Daily Record (Ellensburg, Washington: Google News Archive). UPI. December 22, 1973. p. 5. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Howard new football coach at L. B. State". Los Angeles Times (ProQuest Historical Newspapers). December 22, 1973. p. C7. 
  9. ^ "Toledo Named Coach at UC Riverside". Los Angeles Times (ProQuest Historical Newspapers). December 22, 1973. p. OC A6. 
  10. ^ a b "Gives up collegiate football". The Daily Record (Ellensburg, Washington: Google News Archive). UPI. December 5, 1975. p. 10. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c "UC Riverside quits football". Los Angeles Times (ProQuest Historical Newspapers). December 5, 1975. p. G20. 
  12. ^ "University of California, Riverside". College Football Reference. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  13. ^ "California-Riverside Players/Alumni". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  14. ^ "California-Riverside Draft History". NFL.com. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Long Beach St. continues its bounce". Los Angeles Times. September 5, 1975. p. E7. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Dan Bunz goes from 49ers to 49ers". Los Angeles Times. May 3, 1978. p. G3. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  17. ^ "USC signs 21 players". Los Angeles Times. February 29, 1976. p. C9. Retrieved March 18, 2012.