Since 1954, the club's stadium has been the Schwarzwald-Stadion. Volker Finke, who was the club's manager between 1991 and 2007, was the longest-serving manager in the history of professional football in Germany. Joachim Löw, current manager of the German national team, is the club's all-time leading goal scorer with 81 goals in 252 games during his three spells at SCF.
The club traces its origins to a pair of clubs founded in 1904: Freiburger Fußballverein 04 was organised in March of that year; FC Schwalbe Freiburg just two months later. Both clubs underwent name changes, with Schwalbe becoming FC Mars in 1905, Mars becoming Union Freiburg in 1906, and FV 04 Freiburg becoming Sportverein Freiburg 04 in 1909. Three years later, SV and Union formed Sportclub Freiburg, at the same time incorporating the griffin head.
In 1918, after the devastation of World War I, SC Freiburg entered a temporary arrangement with Freiburger FC to be able to field a full side called KSG Freiburg. The next year, SC Freiburg associated themselves with FT 1844 Freiburg as that club's football department, until 1928 when they left to enter into a stadium-sharing arrangement with PSV (Polizeisportvereins) Freiburg 1924 that lasted until 1930 and the failure of PSV. SC Freiburg then picked up again with FT 1844 Freiburg in 1938. The club managed to play on highest level from 1928, first in the Bezirksliga Baden, then in the Gauliga Baden, from which they were relegated in 1934.
At the end of World War II, Allied occupation authorities disbanded most existing organizations in Germany, including football and sports clubs. The clubs were permitted to reconstitute themselves after about a year, but were required to take on new names in an attempt to disassociate them from the so-recent Nazi past. SC Freiburg was therefore briefly known as VfL Freiburg. By 1950, French-occupation authorities had let up enough to allow the clubs to reclaim their old identities. Finally, in 1952, SC Freiburg left FT Freiburg behind again.
To this point, the history of the club had been characterised by only modest success. Through the 1930s, SC Freiburg played in the Bezirkliga (II), with the occasional turn in the Gauliga Baden (I), and captured a handful of local titles. After World War II, they picked up where they left off, playing in the Amateurliga Südbaden (III).
While only a small club, SC Freiburg became known for the fight and team spirit in their play. This led them to the 2.Bundesliga in 1978–79 where they played for a decade-and-a-half before making the breakthrough to the Bundesliga in 1993–94 under the management of Volker Finke. In their first Bundesliga season Freiburg narrowly avoided relegation. They made an exciting run in their second season at the top level, finishing third, just three points behind champions Borussia Dortmund. It was at this time that they were first nicknamed Breisgau-Brasilianer (literally Breisgau-Brazilians) due to their attractive style of play.
The club's greatest success was reaching the UEFA Cup in 1995 and 2001.
SC Freiburg's first Bundesliga relegation was in 1997, after they finished in 17th position. While they have been relegated three times since first making the Bundesliga, they have twice managed to win immediate promotion back to the top league – but failed to do that in the most recent season, 2005–06. It was the first time since 1992 that Freiburg was playing in the 2. Bundesliga for two consecutive seasons.
Freiburg finished the 2006–07 season in fourth place in the 2nd Bundesliga, missing out on the third automatic-promotion spot on goal difference to MSV Duisburg. They won twelve of their last sixteen league games. They were knocked out of the German Cup in the second round by VfL Wolfsburg on 24 October 2006.
On 20 May 2007, Volker Finke resigned as the club's coach after sixteen years in the job. He was succeeded by Robin Dutt who himself left the club for Bayer Leverkusen in 2011.
On 10 May 2009, SC Freiburg managed to secure promotion into the Bundesliga once again, beating TuS Koblenz in an away game 5–2. In the 2011–12 season Freiburg appeared to be unable to avoid another relegation for the most part of the season but a coaching change turned the sides fortunes around and the club eventually finished 12th and survived.
The club's reserve team, formerly the SC Freiburg Amateure, now SC Freiburg II, has, for the most part of its history played in the lower amateur leagues. It made a three season appearance in the tier four Verbandsliga Südbaden from 1983 to 1986, but then took until 1994 to return to this league. In 1998 the team won promotion to the Oberliga Baden-Württemberg after a league championship in the Verbandsliga. SC Freiburg II spent the next ten seasons at this level as an upper table side before another league championship took the team to the Regionalliga Süd. After four seasons at this league the team became part of the new Regionalliga Südwest in 2012. After a seventh place in its first season in the league the team finished runner-up in 2013–14.
SC Freiburg plays its home games at the Dreisamstadion, named after the Dreisam River which flows through Freiburg. Because of sponsorship agreements, the stadium is currently known as the Mage Solar Stadion. The stadium has an approximate capacity of 24,000 spectators and was built in 1953. Forty years later, then manager Volker Finke began an initiative to transform the Dreisamstadion into Germany's first solar powered football stadium. There are solar modules on the north, south, and main tribunes. These panels generate 250,000 kWh of energy per year.
Currently, the city of Freiburg and the club have been in discussions to determine whether a new stadium should be constructed for the club or if the current stadium should be renovated.
This list of former players includes those who received international caps while playing for the team, made significant contributions to the team in terms of appearances or goals while playing for the team, or who made significant contributions to the sport either before they played for the team, or after they left. It is not complete or all inclusive, and additions and refinements will continue to be made over time.
With the introduction of the Regionalligas in 1994 and the 3. Liga in 2008 as the new third tier, below the 2. Bundesliga, all leagues below dropped one tier. In 2012, the number of Regionalligas was increased from three to five with all Regionalliga Süd clubs except the Bavarian ones entering the new Regionalliga Südwest.