North Texas Mean Green football
|North Texas Mean Green football|
|Athletic director||Wren Baker|
|Head coach||Seth Littrell
1st year, 0–0 (–)
|Field surface||Field Turf|
|NCAA division||Division I FBS|
|All-time record||493–489–33 (.502)|
|Bowl record||2–5 (.286)|
|Conference titles||Lone Star: 8
Gulf Coast: 5
Missouri Valley: 6
Sun Belt: 4
|Colors||Green and White
|Fight song||UNT Fight Song|
|Marching band||Green Brigade Marching Band|
The North Texas Mean Green football team represents the University of North Texas in the sport of American football. The Mean Green compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). After competing in the Sun Belt Conference between 2001 and 2012, the Mean Green joined Conference USA on July 1, 2013. The team has attained several conference championships, including four consecutive Sun Belt Conference championships. Since Hall of Fame Coach Hayden Fry left after the 1978 season, the team's winning percentage has trended downward. From 2005 to 2010, the team went 13–58, an 18% winning percentage. After hiring Dan McCarney as head coach for the 2011 season, the team went 22–32, with its most recent postseason victory against the UNLV Rebels in the 2014 Heart of Dallas Bowl following a 9–4 season. McCarney was fired halfway through the 2015 season and replaced by Interim head coach Mike Canales. Prior to the final game of the season, athletic director Rick Villarreal announced Canales would not return to the team in 2016. On December 5, 2015, North Texas hired Seth Littrell, a former offensive coordinator at the University of North Carolina, to be the next head football coach.
- 1 Modern history
- 2 Home field
- 3 Rivalries
- 4 Achievements
- 5 All-time record vs. CUSA teams
- 6 Players
- 7 Head coaches
- 8 Future non-conference opponents
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Though coach Hayden Fry left the school in 1978 with a 9–3 season, he also left it with a mounting athletics debt, and the team was subsequently demoted to Division I-AA status by the NCAA. In 1982, the university recognized that the athletics program had a deficit of $1.6 million and voted to join the Southland Conference. The program experienced little success in subsequent years, but in 1995, a coordinated campaign by donors to purchase large blocks of seats at Fouts Field spiked the average attendance enough for the school to enter Division I-A once again in 1995.
After the school joined the Sun Belt Conference in 2001, Darrell Dickey briefly revived fortunes in Denton, winning four straight conference championships. The Mean Green played in the 2001 New Orleans Bowl despite a regular-season finish at 5–6 after winning the Sun Belt title with a 5–1 conference record. After going 2–9 and 3–9 in his eighth and ninth seasons, the athletic department fired Dickey on November 8, 2006.
The school then hired Todd Dodge, who had been offensive coordinator at UNT from 1991 to 1992, on December 12, 2006. Dodge had been one of the nation's most successful high school football coaches, amassing a 98–11 record overall at Carroll High School in Southlake, Texas, including a 79-1 record over his last five years. His teams at UNT struggled to win, however, compiling a 6-37 record overall and a 3–23 record in conference play. After a 1–6 start to the 2010 season, the school fired Dodge. He was replaced by offensive coordinator Mike Canales as interim head coach. In 2011, the university hired Dan McCarney as head coach. McCarney was the head coach at Iowa State from 1995 through 2006; he then served as defensive line coach for both the University of South Florida and the University of Florida just prior to his hiring at North Texas.
On May 4, 2012, the school held a press conference announcing that it had accepted an invitation to join Conference USA beginning with the 2013–2014 season. Florida International University, Louisiana Tech University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the University of Texas at San Antonio will begin play in Conference USA in 2013 as well,[needs update] bringing the conference to 13 members. The Mean Green finished 9-4 in their first season in Conference USA. They competed in the 2014 Heart of Dallas Bowl against the UNLV Rebels in which they won, 36-14. It was their first bowl game since 2004 and first win since 2002.
After the Heart of Dallas Bowl victory, the team saw two declining years; finishing 4–8 in 2014, and a 1–11 record in 2015, which included a 66–7 loss to Portland State, the worst loss by an FBS school to an FCS program. After that loss, Dan McCarney was fired. Near the end of the season, North Texas hired the previous offensive coordinator at the University of North Carolina, Seth Littrell, to take over the reins in 2016.
Since 2011, the Mean Green have played at Apogee Stadium, formerly named Mean Green Stadium. The stadium seats 30,850. The team boasts a 17-11 record at the stadium and went 5-1 there in 2013. The average attendance was 21,030 at the stadium in 2013, the highest at the stadium and in the team's history. It is named after ResNet provider Apogee, who paid for the naming rights. The highest ever attended game at the stadium occurred on September 9, 2011 for the inaugural game versus the Houston Cougars in which 28,075 saw the Mean Green fall to the Cougars. The stadium has never been sold out, but is expandable to 50,000 if ever necessary. The stadium is widely viewed as one of the best smaller college football stadiums. It is part of the Mean Green Village, an athletic complex situated at the intersection of Interstate 35 east and west. The stadium is recognizable by its trademark eagle wing in the endzone, facing the freeway. It is the first stadium to be LEED certified, powered by three electric windmills.
From 1952 to 2010, the team played its home games at Fouts Field. The first game was a 55–0 win over the North Dakota Fighting Sioux in 1952. The final Mean Green game was a 41–49 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats in 2010. The Mean Green posted a final record at Fouts Field of 155–100–7. From 1971 through 2001, the Mean Green played 21 home games at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, 32 miles away from the university's campus in Denton. The team posted a 9-12 record while playing selected home games in Irving. Only one season, 1972, saw the Mean Green play more games at Texas Stadium (4) than on their home field (1) in Denton.
SMU and North Texas share the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex as their home. The two teams have played 35 times dating back to 1922, with two significant hiatuses from 1992-2006, and from 2007-2014. The most recent meetings between the two teams occurred in 2015, when the Mustangs defeated the Mean Green 31-13. After the Mean Green defeated the Mustangs 43-6 in 2014, SMU's head coach June Jones resigned and sent the Mustangs into what seemed like a spiral to rock-bottom. That same year the Mustangs finished 1-11 for the season. The next season, however, the Mustangs bounced back to defeat the Mean Green at home. SMU leads the all-time series 29-5-1 and the series is even at 3 to 3 in the last quarter century. After SMU moved to The American Athletic Conference, North Texas was invited to Conference USA.
The game is often referred to as the Safeway Bowl which derives its name from a challenge from then North Texas head coach Matt Simon issued in 1994 after a two-year break in the series, stating "I'd like to play because I think we could beat them, and my players feel the same way. If they'd like to play on a Safeway parking lot ... just give us a date and time."
SMU and North Texas will play each other every year from 2014 to 2025 for a scheduled twelve game series, with alternating home teams for each season.
North Texas and UTSA are separated by a roughly 300 mile stretch along Interstate 35. A young and somewhat unexpected rivalry, the Roadrunners and Mean Green first met in 2013, when UNT moved into Conference USA from the Sun Belt and UTSA made the jump from the WAC. What was just an average conference game grew a bit more personal when the underdog Roadrunners beat the Mean Green 21-13 in the second to last week of the season in Denton, knocking North Texas down to second in the C-USA West standings and preventing them from hosting and playing in the 2013 Conference USA championship game. UTSA won the second matchup between the schools 34-27 at the Alamodome in 2014. North Texas would get their first win in the series in 2015, a 30-23 win that would end up being the Mean Green's only win of the season.
|1932||Lone Star||Jack Sisco|
|1935||Lone Star||Jack Sisco|
|1936||Lone Star||Jack Sisco|
|1939||Lone Star||Jack Sisco|
|1940||Lone Star||Jack Sisco|
|1941||Lone Star||Jack Sisco|
|1946||Lone Star||Odus Mitchell|
|1947||Lone Star||Odus Mitchell|
|1950||Gulf Coast||Odus Mitchell|
|1951||Gulf Coast||Odus Mitchell|
|1952||Gulf Coast||Odus Mitchell|
|1955||Gulf Coast||Odus Mitchell|
|1956||Gulf Coast||Odus Mitchell|
|1958||Missouri Valley||Odus Mitchell|
|1959||Missouri Valley||Odus Mitchell|
|1966||Missouri Valley||Odus Mitchell|
|1967||Missouri Valley||Rod Rust|
|1971||Missouri Valley||Rod Rust|
|1973||Missouri Valley||Hayden Fry|
|2001||Sun Belt||Darrell Dickey|
|2002||Sun Belt||Darrell Dickey|
|2003||Sun Belt||Darrell Dickey|
|2004||Sun Belt||Darrell Dickey|
College Division/Other Bowl Games
|December 21, 1946||Optimist||W||Pacific||14||13|
Division I-AA Playoffs
|1987||First Round||Northeast Louisiana||L||9||30|
|1994||First Round||Boise State||L||20||24|
|January 1, 1948||Salad||L||Nevada||6||13|
|December 31, 1959||Sun||L||New Mexico State||8||28|
|December 18, 2001||New Orleans||L||Colorado State||20||45|
|December 17, 2002||New Orleans||W||Cincinnati||24||19|
|December 16, 2003||New Orleans||L||Memphis||17||27|
|December 14, 2004||New Orleans||L||Southern Miss||10||31|
|January 1, 2014||Heart of Dallas||W||UNLV||36||14|
All-time record vs. CUSA teams
Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current CUSA opponents during the 2015 season:
- 15 - Jerry McFadden (1988-1992)
- 28 - Abner Haynes (1957–59)
- 33 - Ray Renfro (1949–50)
- 55 - Richard Gill (1968–69)
- 75 - "Mean" Joe Greene (1966–69)
College Football Hall of Famers
Pro Football Hall of Famers
Current NFL players
- Lance Dunbar, Running back, Dallas Cowboys
- Jamize Olawale, Running back, Oakland Raiders
- Craig Robertson, Linebacker, Cleveland Browns
- Zach Orr, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens
- Jamal Marshall, cornerback, Seattle Seahawks
|1913-14||J. W. Pender||2||3||4||0||.429||0||0||0||.000||0||0-0|
|1915-19||J. W. St. Clair||5||20||10||2||.656||0||0||0||.000||0||0-0|
CW=Conference Wins, CL=Conference Losses, CT=Conference Ties, CC=Conference Championships
*Canales coached the final five games of 2010, completing Dodge's fourth season as coach.
Canales will coach the final seven games of 2015, completing McCarney's fifth season as coach.
Future non-conference opponents
Announced schedules as of October 28, 2015
|vs SMU||vs Army||at Army||vs Army||at Army||vs Army||vs SMU||at SMU||vs SMU||at SMU|
|at Florida||at Iowa||vs SMU||at SMU||vs SMU||at SMU|
|at Army||at SMU||vs Incarnate Word||at Wisconsin||at Texas A&M|
|vs Bethune-Cookman||vs Lamar||at Arkansas||vs Abilene Christian|
- "Conference USA Announces Football Divisions for 2013 Season". USAToday.com. USA Today. January 23, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
- "UNT Colors". Retrieved 2016-03-24.
- "North Texas Championships". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2007-08-20.
- Henry, John (2015-10-11). "Offensive coordinator Mike Canales named interim North Texas coach". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- Rogers 2002, p. 482.
- Rogers 2002, p. 617.
- Rogers 2002, p. 618.
- Derek Thompson sparks North Texas to first bowl win since 2002
- Portland State vs. North Texas - Game Recap - October 10, 2015 - ESPN
- North Texas Mean Green Football Media Guide. Denton, Texas: University of North Texas. 2010. p. 93.
- "North Texas Mean Green Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
- Rogers, James (2002). The story of North Texas. University of North Texas: University of North Texas Press. ISBN 978-1-57441-128-7. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
- MacCambridge, Michael (2005). ESPN College Football Encyclopedia. New York, NY: ESPN Books. ISBN 1-4013-3703-1.