Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens football

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Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens football
2018 Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens football team
Delaware Football wordmark.svg
First season 1889 (1889)
Athletic director Chrissi Rawak
Head coach Danny Rocco
2nd season, 7–4 (.636)
Stadium Delaware Stadium
(Capacity: 22,000)
Field Tubby Raymond Field
Year built 1952
Field surface FieldTurf
Location Newark, Delaware
NCAA division Division I FCS
Conference Colonial Athletic Association
All-time record 691–455–44 (.599)
Bowl record 8–3 (.727)
Playoff appearances 20
Playoff record 22–14 (Div. I FCS)
7–4 (Div. II)
Claimed nat'l titles 6 (1946, 1963, 1971, 1972, 1979, 2003)
Conference titles 16
Rivalries Villanova
James Madison
William & Mary
Colors Royal Blue and Gold[1]
Fight song "The Delaware Fight Song"
Mascot YoUDee
Marching band Fightin' Blue Hen Marching Band
Outfitter Adidas

The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens football team represents the University of Delaware in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) college football. The team is currently led by head coach Danny Rocco and plays on Tubby Raymond Field at 22,000-seat Delaware Stadium located in Newark, Delaware. The Fightin' Blue Hens have won six national titles in their 117-year history – 1946 (AP College Division), 1963 (UPI College Division), 1971 (AP/UPI College Division), 1972 (AP/UPI College Division), 1979 (Division II), and 2003 (Division I-AA). They returned to the FCS National Championship game in 2007 and 2010.

The Blue Hens are recognized as a perennial power in FCS football[2][3][4] and Delaware was the only FCS program to average more than 20,000 fans per regular-season home game for each season from 1999 to 2010.[5]


The program's long history began in the late 1800s, but the tradition did not truly begin to take shape until the arrival of Bill Murray in 1940. During his 11 seasons at the helm, the Fightin' Blue Hens compiled a record of 49–16–2 with one National Championship in 1946, which culminated in a win over Rollins in the now-defunct Cigar Bowl. That was good for an impressive .747 winning percentage. After Murray departed to take over at Duke University in 1950, David M. Nelson came on board as head coach.

During his years at UD, Nelson developed the Delaware Wing-T offensive system. This system, strongly rooted in running the football and deceptive fake hand-offs, became the identity of Delaware football for nearly 50 years. Nelson also brought with him another icon of Delaware football: the "winged" helmet. The iconic "Michigan" style helmet was developed by Nelson's coach at Michigan, Fritz Crisler, who first used the helmet design when he was head coach at Princeton (albeit in black and orange). Nelson played for Crisler when Crisler was head coach at Michigan, and Nelson brought the helmet design with him to every team he coached (Hillsdale College, Harvard, Maine and Delaware).[6] Nelson stepped down as football coach in 1965, and in his 15 years (1951–1965), the Hens compiled an 84–42–2 (.664) record with one National Championship in 1963 and a bowl win over Kent State in the now-defunct Refrigerator Bowl.

In 1966, an assistant football and baseball coach named Harold "Tubby" Raymond took over, and after a rocky start (the team recorded a 2–7 record in his second season) became the face of Delaware football for 36 seasons. While Nelson developed the Delaware Wing-T, Raymond perfected it. When he retired in 2001, Raymond had racked up 300 wins against 119 losses and three ties, good for a .714 win percentage. His teams earned 14 Lambert Cup Trophies (as the best team in the east in a particular division), four national semi-finals, and three National Championships in 1971, 1972, and 1979. His 300 wins account for nearly half of the football victories in school history. These three men (Murray, Nelson and Raymond) are all enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana. Georgia Tech is the only other school to place three consecutive coaches into the College Football Hall of Fame.

The University of Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens are an NCAA FCS (formerly Div I-AA) football program in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The team has had much success on the field. In addition to the national championships listed above, notable program victories include multiple wins over Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools Navy (including a win at Navy's Homecoming game during a year when they went to a bowl game), Maryland, Rutgers, and Temple. Speculation regularly exists regarding whether the Blue Hens will "move up" to the FBS level at some point. The University of Delaware has more than 60 wins against opponents playing at the highest level, whether that was FBS (since 2006), I-A, or the University level (prior to 1978). However, whereas most I-AA schools move up because of the perception of increased money and prestige, UD has an extremely profitable football program, and it is already well-regarded academically and athletically.

"We're the LSU; we're the Georgia, the Florida of Division I-AA", Delaware coach K.C. Keeler said in American Football Monthly in September 2004. "We have every resource. There's some people who have better resources than we do, but in general, the college campus we have is in one of the greatest college towns in America, and the academics ... we led the nation last year in out-of-state applications, more than Michigan or Texas. But that's what this school has become – everybody wants to come to school here."[7]

While most schools at the FCS level can expect 8,000–10,000 fans for a football game on a good day, the Fightin' Blue Hens can expect sellout crowds of over 22,000 at every home contest; Delaware was the only FCS program to average more than 20,000 fans per regular-season home game for each season from 1999 to 2010.[8] Since Delaware Stadium opened in 1952, it has undergone four major expansions to come to its current capacity of 22,000 (in the 1970s it actually seated over 23,000, but subsequent modifications have reduced the capacity to the current number). The home attendance record was set in 1973 on October 27 against Temple University with 23,619 fans, and attendance has exceeded 22,000 fans frequently. When the Fightin' Blue Hens have a home game, the stadium population becomes the fourth largest city in Delaware—behind Wilmington, Dover, and Newark itself. Maine head coach Jack Cosgrove told Keeler that playing Delaware at Delaware Stadium is the highlight of many of his players' collegiate careers because of their large fan support.[7] In 2011, Sporting News ranked Newark 162 on its list of the 271 Best Sports Cities.[9]

On June 19, 2008, Keeler was granted a 10-year contract extension that was intended to keep him on as head coach of the Blue Hens through the 2017 season. The Homecoming Game versus William & Mary on October 18, 2008, marked the first time in 18 years that the Fightin' Blue Hens did not score a touchdown in a home game. The final score of 27–3 also made Delaware's third straight loss scoring ten points or fewer for the first time since the end of the 1983 season.[10] Delaware's eighth loss, to Villanova in the final game of the season, ended a season that saw it lose eight games for the first time in 117 seasons. The Fightin' Blue Hens were one of only four teams in the NCAA to never lose eight games in a season, the others being Michigan (which lost its 8th game a week before the Hens), Tennessee, and Ohio State.

Keeler was fired on January 7, 2013, following the 2012 season in which his team posted a 5−6 record.[11] Delaware hired Rutgers offensive coordinator Dave Brock as the team's head coach on January 18, 2013.[12]

Brock was unable to maintain any of the success or momentum of his predecessors, could not recruit as successfully as his predecessors, and oversaw a precipitous decline in the program's on and off field fortunes. He became the first head coach in the 90+ year history of Delaware football to be fired in-season, on October 17, 2016.[13] He was replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Dennis Dottin-Carter, who completed the 2016 season. The team never made the FCS playoffs under his tenure. The team hired Richmond head coach Danny Rocco on December 13, 2016.[14]

Current coaching staff[edit]

Head coach Danny Rocco's first coaching staff was announced in January 2017, with Erik Campbell joining the staff in April 2017.[15] [16]

Name Position Year Alma mater
Danny Rocco Head Coach 2nd Wake Forest (1984)
Matt Simon Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs 2nd Eastern New Mexico (1976)
Chris Cosh Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs 2nd Virginia Tech (1984)
Erik Campbell Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers 2nd Michigan (1988)
Bill Polin Recruiting Coordinator/Offensive Line 2nd Colby (2000)
Manny Rojas Inside Linebackers/co-Special Teams Coordinator 2nd Liberty (2007)
Clint Sintim Outside Linebackers/co-Special Teams Coordinator 2nd Virginia (2009)
Alex Wood Quarterbacks 1st Iowa (1978)
Kevin Reihner Offensive Assistant/Tight Ends 1st Stanford (2015)
Levern Belin Defensive Line 2nd Wake Forest (1991)
Nick Rapone Cornerbacks 8th Virginia Tech (1978)
Greg Meyer Recruiting Assistant/Offensive Quality Control 1st Buffalo State (2009)
Jalen Kindle Defensive Assistant 1st Delaware (2017)
Chris Stewart Strength & Conditioning 2nd Western Carolina (1998)
Carl Kotz Director of Football Operations 2nd Clemson (2003)
Felicia Bergman Director of Football Advising 2nd Colorado State (2009)
Tony Palmieri Video Coordinator 2nd North Florida (2009)
Jude Moser Administrative Assistant 9th

Head coaches[edit]

Year Coach Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Rank#
Gus Ziegler (Independent) (1929–1930)
1929 Gus Ziegler 0–7–1
1930 Gus Ziegler 6–3–1
Gus Ziegler: 6–10–2
Charles Rogers (Independent) (1931–1933)
1931 Charles Rogers 5–1–2 Class B Eastern Co–Champions
1932 Charles Rogers 5–4
1933 Charles Rogers 2–4–2
Charles Rogers: 12–9–4
J. Neil Stahley (Independent) (1934)
1934 J. Neil Stahley 4–3–1
J. Neil Stahley: 4–3–1
Lyal Clark (Independent) (1935–1937)
1935 Lyal Clark 2–5–1
1936 Lyal Clark 2–6
1937 Lyal Clark 1–7
Lyal Clark: 5–18–1
Stephen Grenda (Independent) (1938–1939)
1938 Stephen Grenda 3–5
1939 Stephen Grenda 1–7
Stephen Grenda: 4–12
William D. Murray (Independent) (1940–1942)
1940 William D. Murray 5–3
1941 William D. Murray 7–0–1
1942 William D. Murray 8–0
William D. Murray (Mason-Dixon Conference) (1946)
1946 William D. Murray 10–0 1st W Rollins Cigar Bowl 19
William D. Murray (Independent) (1947–1950)
1947 William D. Murray 4–4
1948 William D. Murray 5–3
1949 William D. Murray 8–1
1950 William D. Murray 2–5–1
William D. Murray: 49–16–2
David M. Nelson (Independent) (1951–1957)
1951 David Nelson 5–3
1952 David Nelson 4–4
1953 David Nelson 7–1
1954 David Nelson 8–2 W Kent State Refrigerator Bowl
1955 David Nelson 8–1
1956 David Nelson 5–3–1
1957 David Nelson 4–3
David Nelson (MAC) (1958–1965)
1958 David Nelson 5–3 2–3 5th
1959 David Nelson 8–1 5–0 1st
1960 David Nelson 2–6–1 1–4 6th
1961 David Nelson 4–4 3–2 3rd
1962 David Nelson 7–2 5–0 1st 9
1963 David Nelson 8–0 4–0 1st 1 2
1964 David Nelson 4–5 3–3 4th
1965 David Nelson 5–4 3–3 4th
David Nelson: 84–42–2
Tubby Raymond (MAC) (1966–1969)
1966 Tubby Raymond 6–3 6–0 1st
1967 Tubby Raymond 2–7 2–3 4th
1968 Tubby Raymond 8–3 5–0 1st W Indiana (PA) Boardwalk Bowl
1969 Tubby Raymond 9–2 6–0 1st W North Carolina Central Boardwalk Bowl 10 10
Tubby Raymond (D–II Independent) (1970–1979)
1970 Tubby Raymond 9–2 W Morgan State Boardwalk Bowl 8 11
1971 Tubby Raymond 10–1 W C.W. Post Boardwalk Bowl 1 1
1972 Tubby Raymond 10–0 1 1
1973 Tubby Raymond 8–4 L Grambling State II First Round 10 3
1974 Tubby Raymond 12–2 L Central Michigan II Championship Game 3 4
1975 Tubby Raymond 8–3
1976 Tubby Raymond 8–3–1 L Northern Michigan II First Round 4 1
1977 Tubby Raymond 6–3–1
1978 Tubby Raymond 10–4 L Eastern Illinois II Championship Game 3
1979 Tubby Raymond 13–1 W Youngstown State II National Champions 1
Tubby Raymond (I-AA Independent) (1980–1985)
1980 Tubby Raymond 9–2 6
1981 Tubby Raymond 9–3 L Eastern Kentucky I–AA First Round 7
1982 Tubby Raymond 12–2 L Eastern Kentucky I–AA Championship Game 3
1983 Tubby Raymond 4–7
1984 Tubby Raymond 8–3 19
1985 Tubby Raymond 7–4
Tubby Raymond (Yankee Conference) (1986–1996)
1986 Tubby Raymond 9–4 5–2 1st L Arkansas State I-AA Quarterfinal 13
1987 Tubby Raymond 5–6 2–5 5th
1988 Tubby Raymond 7–5 6–2 1st L Furman I-AA First Round 15
1989 Tubby Raymond 7–4 5–3 4th
1990 Tubby Raymond 6–5 5–3 2nd
1991 Tubby Raymond 10–2 7–1 1st L James Madison I-AA First Round 6
1992 Tubby Raymond 11–3 7–1 1st L Marshall I-AA Semifinal 8
1993 Tubby Raymond 9–4 6–2 2nd L Marshall I-AA Quarterfinal 18
1994 Tubby Raymond 7–3–1 5–3 3rd
1995 Tubby Raymond 11–2 8–0 1st L McNeese State I-AA Quarterfinal 6
1996 Tubby Raymond 8–4 6–2 2nd L Marshall I-AA First Round 10
Tubby Raymond (A10) (1997–2001)
1997 Tubby Raymond 12–2 7–1 1st L McNeese State I-AA Semifinal 3 3
1998 Tubby Raymond 7–4 4–4 2nd 23 24
1999 Tubby Raymond 7–4 5–3 2nd
2000 Tubby Raymond 12–2 7–1 1st L Georgia Southern I-AA Semifinal 3 3
2001 Tubby Raymond 4–6 4–5 6th
Tubby Raymond: 300–119–3
K. C. Keeler (A10) (2002–2006)
2002 K.C. Keeler 6–6 4–5 6th
2003 K.C. Keeler 15–1 8–1 1st W Colgate I-AA National Champions 1 1
2004 K.C. Keeler 9–4 7–1 1st L William & Mary I-AA Quarterfinal 7 8
2005 K.C. Keeler 6–5 3–5 3rd
2006 K.C. Keeler 5–6 3–5 4th
K.C. Keeler (CAA South) (2007–2009)
2007 K.C. Keeler 11–4 5–3 3rd L Appalachian State FCS Championship Game 2 2
2008 K.C. Keeler 4–8 2–6 5th
2009 K.C. Keeler 6–5 4–4 4th
K.C. Keeler (CAA) (2010–2012)
2010 K.C. Keeler 12–3 6–2 1st L Eastern Washington FCS Championship Game 2 2
2011 K.C. Keeler 7–4 5–3 5th 20 17
2012 K.C. Keeler 5–6 2–6 8th
K.C. Keeler: 86–52
Dave Brock (CAA) (2013–2016)
2013 Dave Brock 7−5 4−4 5th
2014 Dave Brock 6−6 4−4 6th
2015 Dave Brock 4−7 3−5 T−8th
2016 Dave Brock* 2−4 0−3 T−12th * Fired after six games in 2016
Dave Brock: 19−23
Dennis Dottin-Carter (interim coach) (CAA) (2016)
2016 Dennis Dottin-Carter (interim coach) 2−3
Dennis Dottin-Carter: 2−3
Danny Rocco (CAA) (2017–present)
2017 Danny Rocco 7−4 5−3 T-4th
Danny Rocco: 7−4
Total: 691–455–44
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

Conference affiliations[edit]


National championships[edit]

Year Coach Record Championship
1946 Bill Murray 10–0 AP College Division National Champions
1963 David Nelson 8–0 UPI College Division National Champions
1971 Tubby Raymond 10–1 AP & UPI College Division National Champions
1972 Tubby Raymond 10–0 AP & UPI College Division National Champions
1979 Tubby Raymond 13–1 NCAA Division II National Champions
2003 K. C. Keeler 15–1 NCAA Division I-AA National Champions

Conference Championships[edit]

Year Coach Conference Conference Record
1946 Bill Murray Mason-Dixon Conference 3–0
1959 David Nelson Middle Atlantic Conference 5–0
1962 David Nelson Middle Atlantic Conference 5–0
1963 David Nelson Middle Atlantic Conference 4–0
1966 Tubby Raymond Middle Atlantic Conference 6–0
1968 Tubby Raymond Middle Atlantic Conference 5–0
1969 Tubby Raymond Middle Atlantic Conference 6–0
1986 Tubby Raymond Yankee Conference 5–2
1988 Tubby Raymond Yankee Conference 6–2
1991 Tubby Raymond Yankee Conference 7–1
1992 Tubby Raymond Yankee Conference 7–1
1995 Tubby Raymond Yankee Conference 8–0
2000 Tubby Raymond Atlantic 10 Conference 7–1
2003 K.C. Keeler Atlantic 10 Conference 8–1
2004 K.C. Keeler Atlantic 10 Conference 7–1
2010 K.C. Keeler Colonial Athletic Association 6–2

Bowl games[edit]

Division I-AA/FCS Playoffs[edit]

The Fightin' Blue Hens have appeared in the Division I-AA/FCS Playoffs 15 times. Their combined record is 22–14. They were I-AA National Champions in 2003.

Year Round Opponent Result
1981 Quarterfinals Eastern Kentucky L 28–35
1982 Quarterfinals
National Championship Game
Louisiana Tech
Eastern Kentucky
W 20–13
W 17–0
L 14–17
1986 First Round
William & Mary
Arkansas State
W 51–17
L 14–55
1988 First Round Furman L 7–21
1991 First Round James Madison L 35–42
1992 First Round
W 56–21
W 41–18
L 7–28
1993 First Round
W 49–48
L 31–34
1995 First Round
McNeese State
W 38–17
L 18–52
1996 First Round Marshall L 14–59
1997 First Round
Georgia Southern
McNeese State
W 24–14
W 16–7
L 21–23
2000 First Round
Portland State
Georgia Southern
W 49–14
W 47–22
L 27–18
2003 First Round
National Championship Game
Southern Illinois
Northern Iowa
W 48–7
W 37–7
W 24–9
W 40–0
2004 First Round
William & Mary
W 28–14
L 38–44
2007 First Round
National Championship Game
Delaware State
Northern Iowa
Southern Illinois
Appalachian State
W 44–7
W 39–27
W 20–17
L 21–49
2010 First Round
National Championship Game
New Hampshire
Georgia Southern
Eastern Washington
W 42–20
W 16–3
W 27–10
L 19–20

Division II Playoffs results[edit]

The Fightin' Blue Hens have appeared in the Division II playoffs five times with an overall record of 7–4. They were Division II National Champions in 1979.

Year Round Opponent Result
1973 Quarterfinals Grambling State L 8–17
1974 Quarterfinals
National Championship Game
Youngstown State
Central Michigan
W 35–14
W 49–11
L 14–54
1976 Quarterfinals Northern Michigan L 17–28
1978 Quarterfinals
National Championship Game
Jacksonville State
Winston–Salem State
Eastern Illinois
W 42–21
W 41–0
L 9–10
1979 Quarterfinals
National Championship Game
Virginia Union
Mississippi College
Youngstown State
W 58–28
W 60–10
W 38–21



Delaware State[edit]

Delaware and Delaware State first played against each other on November 23, 2007, in Newark, Delaware, in the first round of the NCAA Division I National Championship Tournament. The Blue Hens defeated the Hornets 44–7 in front of 19,765 people, the largest playoff crowd in Delaware Stadium history.[17]

Prior to the 2009 season, the University of Delaware had not scheduled a regular season game versus Delaware State University, the state's other Football Championship Subdivision team. A 2007 guest editorial at's Page 2 claimed that this has to do with the fact that Delaware State is a Historically Black College.[18] However, Delaware has scheduled and played regular season games against several other Historically Black Colleges and Universities such as Morgan State University and North Carolina A&T.

On February 25, 2009, coach K.C. Keeler joined Delaware State University coach Al Lavan along with school officials and state politicians in Dover, Delaware, to announce that their schools had signed on to play the first regular season game in their history. Additionally, a three-game series was scheduled for September 2012, 2013, and 2014. All games in the series were held at Delaware Stadium in Newark, because its seating capacity of 22,000 is much larger than that of Delaware State's Alumni Stadium. The schools had been engaged in talks to play a game as early as 2009, but Furman University, which had previously signed a contract to play a home-and-away series with UD, backed out of game two which was scheduled to be played at UD in order to play University of Missouri and garner a larger payday. This left the University of Delaware with an open date to fill with only a few months before the season started and the two sides quickly completed the deal.

The first game was played on September 19, 2009, at Delaware Stadium, with the winning Blue Hens receiving the new traveling trophy, the First State Cup, following a 27–17 victory. Delaware has been victorious in each of their six subsequent match-ups (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017).

James Madison[edit]

William & Mary[edit]

Blue Hens in the pros[edit]



Draft picks[edit]

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

2019‡ 2020†
@ Pittsburgh (8/31) @ NC State (9/5)
Delaware State (9/7) Delaware State (9/12)
North Dakota State (9/14)

† – 11 Game FCS Regular Season
‡ – 12 Game FCS Regular Season
[19][20] [21]

College Football Hall of Fame inductees[edit]

Name Inducted
Bill Murray 1974
David Nelson 1987
Tubby Raymond 2003


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  2. ^ Huber, Bill (May 16, 2012). "Getting to Know: Shea Allard". Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  3. ^ Feldman, Bruce (May 4, 2011). "A new measurement for physical play". Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ Hansen, Eric (December 14, 2011). "Notre Dame Football notebook: Weis returns, visits Crist and Dieter". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium". University of Delaware Athletics. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Blue Hen Helmet Design" (PDF). 2010 Football Media Guide. University of Delaware: 127. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 12, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Purdum, David (September 2004). "His Own Man". American Football Monthly. Retrieved December 28, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium". University of Delaware Athletics. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  9. ^ Crossman, Matt (October 4, 2011). "Best Sports Cities: The list from 1 to 271". Sporting News. Retrieved June 12, 2012. 
  10. ^ "End zone a foreign land for Delaware". The News Journal. October 19, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  11. ^ Tresolini, Kevin (January 7, 2013). "UD fires football coach K.C. Keeler". The News Journal. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  12. ^ McMurphy, Brett (January 18, 2013). "Delaware names Dave Brock coach". Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ Associated Press (October 16, 2013). "University of Delaware fires football coach Dave Brock". Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Delaware hires Danny Rocco as its new football coach". USA Today. December 13, 2016. Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  15. ^ "2017 Coaching Staff". UD Athletics. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  16. ^ "Delaware Football Selects Erik Campbell as Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach". UD Athletics. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  17. ^ "Delaware Football History" (PDF). University of Delaware Athletics. p. 130. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 2, 2012. Retrieved July 8, 2012. 
  18. ^ Pearlman, Jeff (September 24, 2007). "Is race the reason Delaware won't play Delaware State?". Page 2. Retrieved September 17, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Lafayette 2014 Media Guide" (PDF). Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  20. ^ "University of Delaware Football Finalizes Agreements to Play Five Atlantic Coast Conference Opponents Through 2020 Season". Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Delaware, Delaware State to Resume Football Series for Four Games in 2016-2020". UD Athletics. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 

External links[edit]