Southern Utah Thunderbirds football
|Southern Utah Thunderbirds football|
|Athletic director||Jason Butikofer|
|Head coach||Demario Warren
1st year, 6–5 (.545)
|Location||Cedar City, Utah|
|Past conferences||Independent (1963–1968)
Rocky Mountain (1969–1985)
American West (1993–1995)
I-AA Independent (1996–2003)
Great West (2004–2011)
|All-time record||236–298–10 (.443)|
|Colors||Scarlet and White
The Southern Utah Thunderbirds football (also referred to as the SUU Thunderbirds) program is a college football team that represents Southern Utah University (SUU). With a history dating back to 1963, SUU currently competes in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision as a member of the Big Sky Conference. The Thunderbirds currently play their home games at Eccles Coliseum, located on the campus in Cedar City, Utah. Since 2016, Demario Warren has served as the Thunderbirds' head coach.
Southern Utah fielded their inaugural team as part of the 1963 college football season and Bruce Osborne served as head coach. Southern remained as an independent through the 1968 season when they became a charter member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). The Thunderbirds competed as a member of the RMAC from 1969 to 1985 and had an overall record of 86–73–3 (.540) during that time. Following the 1985 season, Southern Utah made the move from the RMAC of the NAIA to the NCAA Division II Western Football Conference (WFC) for the 1986 season. As part of the WFC from 1986 to 1992, the Thunderbirds had an overall record of 41–34–1 (.546) during that time.
For the 1993 season, Southern Utah joined the American West Conference (AWC) as a charter member. The move to the AWC also marked the move from Division II to NCAA Division I-AA for the program. The AWC folded following the 1995 season with the Thunderbirds compiling an overall record of 9–23–1 (.288), and starting their tenure as an I-AA Independent for the 1996 season. After competing eight years as an Independent, Southern Utah once again became a charter conference member, this time with the Great West Conference (GWC), beginning with the 2004 season.
Southern Utah boasted their best season in 2015, winning the outright Big Sky Conference championship, by beating Northern Arizona University 49-41 in Cedar City, UT. they had an 8-3 regular season, with losses to Utah State, South Dakota State, and Portland State, winning their other games by mostly massive deficits. With the victory and success, head coach Ed Lamb joined the Brigham Young University coaching staff and was replaced by Defensive Coordinator Demario Warren.
- 1963–1985: National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
- 1986–1992: NCAA Division II
- 1993–present: NCAA Division I-AA/FCS
- 1963–1968: Independent
- 1969–1985: Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
- 1986–1992: Western Football Conference
- 1993–1995: American West Conference
- 1996–2003: I-AA Independent
- 2004–2011: Great West Conference
- 2012–present: Big Sky Conference
FCS Playoffs results
The Thunderbirds have appeared in the FCS playoffs two times with an overall record of 0–2.
|2013||First Round||Sam Houston State||L 20–51|
|2015||First Round||Sam Houston State||L 39–42|
|Osborne, BruceBruce Osborne||1963–1964||9–6–1||.594|
|Reeske, BillBill Reeske||1965–1966||8–8||.500|
|Kingsford, TomTom Kingsford||1967–1977||49–53||.480|
|Bishop, JackJack Bishop||1978–1982||30–17–2||.633|
|Conrad, DonDon Conrad||1983–1985||14–14–1||.500|
|Bishop, JackJack Bishop||1986–1995||50–57–2||.468|
|Ellerson, RichRich Ellerson||1996||4–7||.364|
|Gregory, C. RayC. Ray Gregory||1997–2002||28–38||.424|
|Andersen, GaryGary Andersen||2003||4–7||.364|
|Meier, WesWes Meier||2004–2007||10–33||.233|
|Lamb, EdEd Lamb||2008–2015||45–47||.489|
- "Academic Style Guide". Retrieved 2016-03-29.
- "NCAA Sports Sponsorship: Southern Utah University". NCAA. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "S. Utah has new football coach". ESPN.com. Associated Press. December 20, 2007. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "Southern Utah Football Yearly Results" (PDF). University of Southern Utah. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "New conference formed". The Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. December 17, 1967. p. 2. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- Blackwell, Dave (September 7, 1985). "WSU should handle SUSC". The Deseret News. p. 2B.
- "Southern Utah now part of American West". The Deseret News. July 16, 1993. p. D1. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- Hamilton, Linda (August 15, 1996). "SUU likes what it sees in Mid-Con". The Deseret News. p. D3. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "Great West football conference announces formation". SUU Athletics. February 25, 2004. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
- "Big Sky Conference expands". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 1, 2010. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "SUU football: T-Birds earn program's first Big Sky championship". Retrieved 2016-08-26.