1908 Florida football team

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1908 Florida Gators football
Conference Independent
1908 record 5–2–1
Head coach Jack Forsythe
Captain William W. Gibbs
« 1907 1909 »

The 1908 Florida football team represented the University of Florida during the 1908 college football season. The season was Jack Forsythe's third and last as the head coach of the University of Florida football team.[1] Forsythe's 1908 Florida football team posted a record of 5–2–1 in their third varsity season, and Forsythe finished his three-year tenure as Florida's football coach with an overall record of 14–6–2.[2]

Before the season[edit]

The team was captained by veteran transfer William Gibbs. It was the first season for a talented Gainesville product, Dummy Taylor.[3] The backfield also included Charlie Bartleson Jim Vidal, and William A. Shands, future state senator and namesake of Shands Hospital.[3]

One story of Florida becoming the "Florida Gators" originates in 1908. Gainesville shop owner ordered orange and blue pennants with a gator emblem from the Michie Company, drawing inspiration from the University of Virginia.[4]

Schedule and results[edit]

Date Opponent Site Result
October 10 at Mercer Macon, Georgia L 0–24  
October 17 at Riverside Athletic Club Baseball Park • Jacksonville, Florida W 4–0  
October 21 Gainesville Athletic Club The Baseball Park • Gainesville, Florida W 37–5  
October 24 at Columbia College Lake City, Florida W 6–0  
November 1 at Rollins Winter Park, Florida L 0–5  
November 7 Stetson The Baseball Park • Gainesville, Florida W 6–5  
November 21 Riverside Athletic Club The Baseball Park • Gainesville, Florida W 37–0  
November 26 at Stetson DeLand, Florida T 0–0  

Primary source: 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide.[2]

Season summary[edit]


The Florida football team opened the season with a loss to the Mercer Baptists for the third consecutive season, 24–0. Mercer outweighed Florida by 20 pounds.[5]

The starting lineup was Malhorton (left end), Rader (left tackle), Vanfleet (left guard), Parker (center), Videll (right guard), J. Taylor (right tackle), Shands (right end), Thompson (quarterback), Bartleson (left halfback), E. Taylor (right halfback), Gibbs (fullback).[5]

Riverside A. C.[edit]

UF at Riverside, 1908

Florida beat the Jacksonville Athletic Club twice. The first win was 4–0.

Gainesville A. C.[edit]

The Gainesville Athletic Club fell to Florida 37–5.

Columbia College[edit]

Columbia College of Lake City was beaten 6–0.


1 2 Total
Florida 0 0 0
Rollins 0 5 5

Florida lost to the state champion Rollins Tars 5–0. Rollins' Harman broke away for a 30-yard touchdown in the second half.[6]


Florida also played the Stetson College Hatters for the first time, beating them 6–5 on the Orange and Blue's home field in Gainesville. Dummy Taylor's extra point decided the win over Stetson, after a Charlie Bartleson touchdown run.[3][7]

Riverside A. C.[edit]

The second win over Jacksonville was 37–0.


1 2 Total
Florida 0 0 0
Stetson 0 0 0

Florida tied Stetson 0–0 in a rematch on the Hatters' home field in DeLand, Florida.[8]

The starting lineup was Moody (left end), Taylor (left tackle), Shands (left guard), Parker (center), McMillan (right guard), Rader (right tackle), Haughton (right end), Bartleson (quarterback), Gibbs (left halfback), E. Taylor (right halfback), Vidal (fullback).[8]


  1. ^ Norm Carlson, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, pp. 7–11 (2007).
  2. ^ a b 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 107 (2015). Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c McEwen, p. 42
  4. ^ McEwen, p. 43
  5. ^ a b "Mercer 24; Florida 0". The Atlanta Constitution. October 11, 1908. p. 4. Retrieved July 22, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  6. ^ Football 1908
  7. ^ "U. of F. Victorious". Stetson Weekly Collegiate 21 (6). November 12, 1908. 
  8. ^ a b "Football Game". Stetson Weekly Collegiate 21 (3). November 26, 1908. 


  • McEwen, Tom (1974). The Gators: A Story of Florida Football. Huntsville, Alabama: The Strode Publishers. ISBN 0-87397-025-X.