William & Mary Tribe football, 1893–99

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The William & Mary Orange and White football[a] teams represented The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States. Now known as the William & Mary Tribe, the athletic program began in 1893. As of 2009, William & Mary is one of only 20 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) schools to have played 1,000 (or more) games in college football history. Outside of the Ivy League schools, W&M is one of 13 to have played 1,000.

Contents: 1893 - 1894 - 1895 - 1896 - 1897 - 1898 - 1899 - Decade totals - Notes


1893 William & Mary football
Conference Independent
1893 record 2–1
Head coach None
1894 »

In the fall of 1893, Charles L. Hepburn brought together the first official football team at William & Mary—the college's first organized athletic team. The 1893 team played three games, starting with the first contest in school history against a YMCA team from nearby Norfolk, Virginia.

Date Opponent Site Result
1893 at Norfolk YMCA Norfolk, VA L 4–16  
1893 Old Dominion Club Football Norfolk, VA W 14–4  
1893 vs. Capital City Athletic Club Richmond, VA W 8–4  


In their only game of the 1894 season, Hampden–Sydney beat the then-unnicknamed William & Mary for their football program's first ever win.

1894 William & Mary football
Conference Independent
1894 record 0–1
Head coach John W. Wright (1st year)
« 1893 1895 »
Date Opponent Site Result
1894 Hampden–Sydney L 0–28  


No team was fielded for the 1895 college football season.


1896 William & Mary Orange and White football
Conference Independent
1896 record 0–2
Head coach Bill Armstrong (1st year)
« 1895 1897 »
Date Opponent Site Result
1896 Randolph–Macon L 0–10  
1896 Randolph–Macon L 0–4  


1897 William & Mary Orange and White football
Conference Independent
1897 record 0–1
Head coach W. J. King (1st year)
« 1896 1898 »
Date Opponent Site Result
November 6 at George Washington Washington, D.C. L 0–26  


1898 William & Mary Orange and White football
Conference Independent
1898 record 1–1
Head coach W. J. King (2nd year)
« 1897 1899 »

The 1898 season was significant because it marked the first meeting between William & Mary and the University of Richmond, which later became known as the I-64 Bowl (so named for the highway between the two nearby schools), then eventually as the Capital Cup. The Richmond–W&M rivalry is the fourth-longest played college football rivalry and, through the 2013 match-up, the schools have played each other 123 times. The Richmond Spiders football team won the inaugural contest 15–0.

Date Opponent Site Result
1898 Randolph–Macon W 5–0  
November 19 at Richmond Richmond, VA (I-64 Bowl) L 0–15  


1899 William & Mary Orange and White football
Conference Independent
1899 record 2–3
Head coach William H. Burke (1st year)
« 1898 1900 »
Date Opponent Site Result
October 21 at Richmond Richmond, VA (I-64 Bowl) L 0–14  
1899 Hampden–Sydney L 5–10  
November 11 Portsmouth Athletic Club L 0–6  
1899 Hampton Athletic Club W 41–0  
1899 vs. Baltimore City College Newport News, VA W 6–5  

Decade totals[edit]

  • Final record: 5–9
  • Points scored: 83
  • Points against: 142
  • +/- point differential: –59

Of the Orange and White's decade total of 83 points, 41 came from one game alone (a 41–0 win over Hampton AC in 1899).


  • a Between 1896 and 1909 their nickname was "Orange and White," deriving that name from the school's former colors (William & Mary now uses green and gold).[1] Since white uniforms dirtied too quickly, they became known as the "Orange and Black" from 1910 through 1916.[1] Between 1917 and 1977 they were known as the Indians, and throughout this period a man dressing up as a Native American would ride around on a pony along the sidelines during games.[1] This practice was discontinued when the outcry of stereotyping Native Americans as well as the use of a live animal became controversial.[1] Since the 1978 season William & Mary has adopted the nickname "Tribe."[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "A History of W&M Mascots and Nicknames". wm.edu. The College of William & Mary. 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2012.