East Tennessee State Buccaneers football
|East Tennessee State Buccaneers|
|Athletic director||Richard Sander|
|Head coach||Carl Torbush
1st year, 2–9 (.182)
|Stadium||Kermit Tipton Stadium|
|Field surface||Field Turf|
|Location||Johnson City, Tennessee|
|NCAA division||NCAA Division I FCS|
|All-time record||335–406–27 (.454)|
|Bowl record||4–2 (.667)|
Navy Blue and Gold
- For information on all East Tennessee State University sports, see East Tennessee State Buccaneers
The East Tennessee State Buccaneers football program is the intercollegiate American football team for East Tennessee State University (ETSU) located in Johnson City, Tennessee. The team has been dormant since the end of the 2003 season, but is in the process of being reinstated, with the first season of the revived team set for 2015. They will play their home games in 2015 and 2016 at Kermit Tipton Stadium until their new stadium is built in 2017. Before ETSU dropped football, it competed in NCAA Division I as a Southern Conference (SoCon) football program. The revived program will first compete as an independent in 2015, before returning to the SoCon in 2016. The school's first football team was fielded in 1920, and last fielded in 2003 with a revival coming in 2015.
East Tennessee State Normal School fielded its first football team in 1920. Navy blue and old gold, chosen in 1911, were the school colors. The team only played five games that year including two against local high school teams. W.R. Windes was the head coach for the first two seasons. In 1925, the school's name was changed to East Tennessee State Teachers College. The athletic teams were named "The Teachers". John Robinson was the head coach for the next 5 years.
In 1930, the school's name changed again to State Teachers College, Johnson City. In 1932, Gene McMurray was named the head coach. He coached for 10 straight seasons until the school stopped playing due to World War II. He came back to coach the team in 1946. His winning percentage during his 11 seasons was the highest in the history of Buc football. During his tenure, the team won the Smoky Mountain Conference Championship (1938) and the team's name changed to the "Buccaneers" (1935).
In 1943, the school's name changed to East Tennessee State College. In 1952, Star Wood became head coach. He led the team for 13 seasons from 1952-1953 and 1955-1965. Coach Wood tops the list of total wins with 64. East Tennessee State College joined the Ohio Valley Conference in 1957.
In 1963, the college gained university status to become East Tennessee State University. Coach John Robert Bell led the team to a 10-0-1 record in 1969. They won the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and defeated Louisiana Tech, led by quarterback Terry Bradshaw, in the Grantland Rice Bowl. The Memorial Center opened in 1977 and was nicknamed the "Mini-Dome". The football team played their homes games indoors until the program was discontinued. In 1978, ETSU joined the Southern Conference.
In 1996, the ETSU football team led by Coach Mike Cavan had a record of 10-3 and participated for the first time in the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs, defeating Villanova in a first round game.
In 2003, ETSU decided to discontinue the football team due to financial reasons. The last game was played at home on Nov. 22, 2003 against The Citadel. ETSU won the game 16-13 with a last second field goal. The school further left the Southern Conference. 
On January 29, 2013, the Student Government Association voted 22-5 to a $125 per semester fee increase that would fund the re-instatement of the football program. University President Dr. Brian Noland, who was in attendance for the vote, said that fee would be sufficient to support football and Title IX requirements that support additional women’s athletics. Noland crafted a football proposal to submit to the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR). The Regents passed it in March 2013.
On March 29, 2013, the TBR approved a $125 fee increase to reinstate football at ETSU. It has also become widely known across the campus that the Mini-Dome will not be the host of the home games. ETSU will build a brand new football stadium to play host to all of its home games. On May 30, 2013, ETSU accepted an invitation to re-join the Southern Conference in 2014 and will re-instate football, with operations beginning shortly thereafter and the first class signed in 2014 in preparation for the first game in time for the 2015 season.
The Carl Torbush Era
Veteran coach Carl Torbush was chosen to helm the building of the program, and signed the first class in 2014 in preparation for the 2015 season debut in the Southern Conference. In 2015 and at least 2016, the Bucs will play at Kermit Tipton Stadium/Steve Spurrier Field located on the campus of Science Hill High School in Johnson City. It was announced on February 6, 2015 that ETSU would play Tennessee at Neyland Stadium on September 8, 2018, the first meeting between the two schools. ETSU will receive a $500,000 payment for the game. The Carl Torbush Era will begin on September 3, 2015 as the Bucs take on the Kennesaw State Owls. On July 15, 2015, it was announced that the first game against Kennesaw State and the homecoming game against Emory & Henry had sold out, and that standing-only tickets were then available. Torbush and the fledgling Bucs finished the 2015 season with a 2-9 record, including two wins over Warner and Kentucky Wesleyan.
- 1952–1956: NAIA
- 1957–1972: NCAA College Division
- 1973–1976: NCAA Division II
- 1978–2003: NCAA Division I–AA/FCS
- 2004–2014: No team
- 2015–present: NCAA Division I–AA/FCS
- 1920–1929: Independent
- 1930–1951: Smoky Mountain Conference
- 1949–1957: Volunteer State Athletic Conference
- 1957–1978: Ohio Valley Conference
- 1979–2003: Southern Conference
- 2004–2014: No team
- 2015–present: Southern Conference
Division I-AA/FCS Playoffs results
The Buccaneers have appeared in the I-AA/FCS playoffs one time with an overall record of 1–1.
Notable former players
Notable alumni include:
- Donnie Abraham
- Sam Streiter
- Jorge Cimadevilla
- Earl Ferrell
- Thane Gash
- Maurice Kelly
- Steve Parker
- Gerald Sensabaugh
- Mike Smith
|1932||J. Gene McMurray||3||3||1||.500||74||56||18|
|1933||J. Gene McMurray||6||1||2||.778||131||45||86|
|1934||J. Gene McMurray||4||3||1||.562||56||47||9|
|1935||J. Gene McMurray||5||3||0||.625||80||68||12|
|1936||J. Gene McMurray||5||3||0||.625||82||32||50|
|1937||J. Gene McMurray||5||5||0||.500||77||107||-30|
|1938||J. Gene McMurray||6||2||0||.750||112||75||37|
|1939||J. Gene McMurray||5||3||0||.625||61||83||-22|
|1940||J. Gene McMurray||4||4||0||.500||65||61||4|
|1941||J. Gene McMurray||2||5||0||.285||21||85||-64|
|1946||J. Gene McMurray||7||1||0||.875||125||56||69|
|1947||Lloyd T. Roberts||5||4||0||.555||148||130||18|
|1948||Lloyd T. Roberts||6||2||1||.722||98||73||25|
|1949||Lloyd T. Roberts||5||4||0||.555||125||135||-10|
|1950||Lloyd T. Roberts||3||5||1||.389||126||125||1|
|1951||Lloyd T. Roberts||4||5||0||.444||115||148||-33|
|1966||John Robert Bell||3||6||0||.333||112||119||-7|
|1967||John Robert Bell||3||6||1||.350||133||145||-12|
|1968||John Robert Bell||5||5||0||.500||151||170||-19|
|1969||John Robert Bell||10||0||1||.954||219||114||105|
|1970||John Robert Bell||7||1||2||.800||161||81||80|
|1971||John Robert Bell||0||9||1||.050||108||242||-134|
|1972||John Robert Bell||3||7||0||.300||203||221||-18|
|1983||George "Buddy" Sasser||3||8||0||.272||173||178||-5|
|1984||George "Buddy" Sasser||6||5||0||.545||144||167||-23|
Future non-conference opponents
|at Kennesaw State||at Tennessee|
|West Virginia Wesleyan|
- "Identity ETSU". East Tennessee State University. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "College Football Data Warehouse". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2012-06-20.