The Louisiana–Monroe Warhawks football (also referred to as the ULM Warhawks, formerly as the Northeast Louisiana Indians) program is a college football team that represents the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM). With a history dating back to 1931, ULM currently competes in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision as a member of the Sun Belt Conference (Sun Belt). The Warhawks currently play their home games at Malone Stadium, located on the campus in Monroe, Louisiana. Since December 2009, Todd Berry has served as the Warhawks' head coach. After a shocking 34–31 overtime upset of #8 Arkansas on September 8, 2012, the Razorbacks became the second highest ranked team to drop from the polls completely the next week. The upset ranks 1st in the Warhawks' history, closely followed by the program's 2007 21–14 win over Alabama in which they were underdogs by 25 points. The Warhawks played in their first ever FBS bowl game on Dec. 28, 2012 in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, losing 45–14 to the Ohio Bobcats.
What is now Louisiana–Monroe originally competed as a junior college from 1931 through 1950. In 1951 the Indians completed their first season in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as Northeast Louisiana State College. Northeast competed as part of the NAIA through the 1974 season and compiled a record of 87 wins, 138 losses and four ties. From 1974 through 1993, NLU competed at the I-AA division winning four conference championships and the 1987 National Championship before moving up to I-A in 1994.
After competing as an Independent from 1994 though 2000, the Warhawks joined the Sun Belt Conference for the 2001 season. In 2007, the Warhawks upset the Alabama Crimson Tide in Bryant–Denny Stadium 21–14, despite being 25-point underdogs and expected to lose by as much as 38. It has since been called "one of the most important wins in school history", later followed by the 2012 victory over Arkansas. In another thrilling and important win for the Warhawks, on September 8, 2012, ULM beat #8 Arkansas 34–31 in overtime, Louisiana-Monroe's first win over a ranked opponent in 16 tries.
The 2012 ULM football team was led by head coach Todd Berry. The Warhawks first defeated #8 Arkansas 34–31 in Overtime. The next week, ULM went to Auburn, but lost in overtime 31–28. If they would have won, they would have been the 2nd team in NCAA history to beat SEC teams back-to-back(Tulane). The next week, Baylor came to Malone Stadium in the first meeting between the two teams. On the nationally broadcast game on ESPN Primetime on Friday Night at a sold out and record croud, Malone Stadium, with over 31,000 people, but ULM lost to Baylor 48–41. ULM went on to win their next 5 games, but then lost back to back to Arkansas State and Louisiana-Lafayette. ULM then defeated FIU in overtime to go 8–4. This was the first season that Louisiana-Monroe History had a winning record in FBS since joining. Later in December, the 2012 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl vs. the Ohio Bobcats was the first bowl appearance for the Warhawks. The Warhawks later lost to Ohio 45–14 in Shreveport to finish off the 2012 season 8–5, led by Quarterback Kolton Browning.
Both schools were nicknamed the Indians until the NCAA banned the American Indian nickname. ULM changed their nickname to the Warhawks in 2006; ASU changed their nickname to the Red Wolves in 2008. Arkansas State leads the overall series against ULM (19–14). ASU won the first meeting in Jonesboro in 1959, 15–0. ASU and ULM have been conference foes in the Southland and the Sun Belt conferences. The rivals shared the Sun Belt title in 2005; the series alternates every year between Jonesboro and Monroe.
In the 1992 edition of the rivalry game, the teams' mascots Vic the Demon and Chief Brave Spirit got involved in a fight that distracted television cameras to the point that the entire altercation is caught on video. In the scuffle, Vic the Demon's head was ripped off as the two crashed to the ground behind one of the end zones, which according to the video clip, breaks a "cardinal rule", i.e. a tradition, of being a mascot. The melee was broken up by college police without further incident.
Louisiana–Monroe/Northwestern State: All-Time Record