The Citadel Bulldogs football

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The Citadel Bulldogs
2016 The Citadel Bulldogs football team
Citadel Bulldogs wordmark.png
First season 1905 (111 years ago) (1905)
Athletic director Jim Senter
Head coach Brent Thompson
1st year, 6–0 (1.000)
Stadium Johnson Hagood Stadium
Field Sansom Field
Year built 1948
Seating capacity 21,000
Field surface Natural Grass
Location Charleston, South Carolina
Conference Southern Conference
All-time record 487–546–32 (.472)
Bowl record 1–0 (1.000)
Playoff appearances 4
Playoff record 2–4
Conference titles 3 (1961, 1992, 2015)
Colors Citadel Blue and White[1]
Fight song "The Fighting Light Brigade"
Mascot Bulldog
Marching band The Regimental Band and Pipes

The Citadel Bulldogs Football represent The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina in the NCAA Division I FCS. The Bulldogs play in the Southern Conference, as they have since 1936. The Bulldogs are coached by Brent Thompson, who was hired on January 19, 2016 to replace Mike Houston, who departed on January 18, 2016 for James Madison.[2][3][4]


The Bulldogs first recorded stadium was College Park, located in the northeast corner of Hampton Park in Charleston, South Carolina. This field predated the current College Park at the same site, which is used as a practice facility for The Citadel Bulldogs baseball. Due to increasing attendance and the poor state of the stadium, the Bulldogs moved to the original Johnson Hagood Stadium in 1927. This stadium was replaced with the current Johnson Hagood Stadium in 1948.

Home stadium[edit]

The Bulldogs play their home games in Johnson Hagood Stadium, which lies just to the south of The Citadel's gates in Charleston. Johnson Hagood is a 21,000 seat stadium, in which The Citadel routinely ranks in the top 25 in attendance at the FCS level. In 2001, the Altman Athletic Center opened in the south end zone, complete with new home and visitor's locker rooms, official's locker rooms, and an upstairs hospitality area for donors. In 2008, The Citadel completed a re-construction of the west stands and West Side Tower. The stands contain reserved premium seats and bleacher seats, while the tower, shared with the South Carolina National Guard, contains twelve suites, a club level, and state of the art press box. During preparation for construction, workers discovered the remains of sailors from failed test runs of the H.L. Hunley. These remains were reinterred in Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston.

Beginning in 2012, The Citadel implemented a points system for parking and seat selection in Johnson Hagood Stadium, joining many large programs who use similar systems. The program is designed to reward long-time and large donors to The Citadel athletics by giving them preference in selecting seat and parking locations.[5]

Practice and on-campus facilities[edit]

Practices are held at the Maybank Triplets Practice Facility, an artificial turf field at the north edge of campus. The Bulldogs utilize Seignious Hall, located across from McAlister Field House for weightlifting, locker rooms, team meeting and video space, and academic tutoring. The Citadel Sports Medicine Department also utilizes Seignious Hall. [6]

Coaches and staff[edit]

Coaches from The Citadel have often been targeted for larger programs. Notable former head and assistant coaches at The Citadel include Bobby Ross, Charlie Taaffe, Ellis Johnson, Frank Beamer, Al Davis, and Ralph Friedgen.[7]

Head Coaches[8]

Name First Year Final Year No. Seasons
Syd Smith 1905 1905 1
Ralph Foster 1906 1908 3
Sam Costen 1909 1910 2
Louis LeTellier 1911 1912 2
George Rogers 1913 1919 4
Harvey O'Brien 1916 1921 5
Carl Prause 1922 1929 8
Johnny Floyd 1930 1931 2
Tatum Gressette 1932 1939 8
Bo Rowland 1940 1942 3
J. Quinn Decker 1946 1952 7
John D. McMillan 1953 1954 2
John Sauer 1955 1956 2
Eddie Teague 1957 1965 9
Red Parker 1966 1972 7
Bobby Ross 1973 1977 5
Art Baker 1978 1982 5
Tom Moore 1983 1986 4
Charlie Taaffe 1987 1995 9
Don Powers 1996 2000 5
Ellis Johnson 2001 2003 3
John Zernhelt 2004 2004 1
Kevin Higgins 2005 2013 9
Mike Houston 2014 2015 2
Brent Thompson 2016 1

Current Staff[edit]

The current coaching staff at the Citadel is:[9]

Brian Rucker Wide Receivers -

Name Position
Brent Thompson Head Coach
Lou Conte Quarterbacks and B Backs/Offensive Coordinator
Blake Harrell Inside Linebackers/Defensive Coordinator
Joel Taylor Safeties/Pass Defense Coordinator
J. P. Gunter Special Teams Coordinator/Slot Backs
Ron Boyd Offensive Line
Orlando Mitjans Cornerbacks
Roy Tesh Defensive Line
Scott Yielding Recruiting Coordinator/Defensive Line

Seasons and results[edit]

Conference championships[edit]

The Citadel has claimed three conference championships in the Southern Conference. The 2015 title was the first co-championship in school history.

Postseason appearances[edit]

Following the 1960 season, the Bulldogs played in the 1960 Tangerine Bowl defeating Tennessee Tech 27-0. Conference champion VMI did not participate in bowl games. The Bulldogs declined a bid to play in the 1961 Tangerine Bowl.

The Bulldogs appeared in the FCS Playoffs in 1988, 1990, 1992, and 2015, posting a 2–4 record. They lost in the first round twice to Georgia Southern and in the Quarterfinals to Youngstown State in 1992 after defeating North Carolina A&T in the first round. They defeated Coastal Carolina in the first round of the 2015 playoffs, and fell to Charleston Southern in the second round.


The Citadel's primary rivals are the VMI Keydets football and Furman Paladins football. The game with VMI is known as the Military Classic of the South. The Citadel and Furman have been heated, annual rivals since both joined the Southern Conference in 1936. The Citadel is 150-183-9 all-time against in-state opponents.

Opponent Wins Losses Ties First meeting Last Citadel win Last Opponent win
VMI 39 30 2 1920 2015 2003
Furman 35 58 3 1913 2016 2013

Record vs. Current SoCon opponents

Excludes Furman and VMI, listed above.
East Tennessee State returns to the SoCon in 2016.
Opponent Wins Losses Ties First meeting Last Citadel win Last Opponent win
Chattanooga 17 29 2 1926 2011 2015
East Tennessee State[a] 9 15 0 1966 2002 2003
Mercer[b] 8 4 1 1906 2015 1931
Samford 5 4 0 1989 2015 2014
Western Carolina 23 16 1 1972 2015 2014
Wofford 42 27 1 1916 2016 2014
  1. ^ East Tennessee State did not sponsor football from 2004–2014
  2. ^ Mercer did not sponsor football from 1941–2012

Record vs instate opponents

Division 1, non-SoCon only
Opponent Wins Losses Ties First meeting Last Citadel win Last Opponent win
Charleston Southern 5 5 2002 2012 2015[a]
Clemson 5 31 1 1909 1931 2013
Coastal Carolina 1 1 2014 2015[b] 2014
Presbyterian 50 11 1 1915 2010 1979
South Carolina 8 40 3 1905 2015 2011
South Carolina State 4 0 0 1989 2001 none
  1. ^ The Bulldogs lost a 2015 matchup in the second round of the FCS Playoffs.
  2. ^ The Bulldogs won a 2015 matchup in the first round of the FCS Playoffs.

Bulldogs in the Pros[edit]

Many Citadel alumni have played in various professional leagues, including the National Football League, Canadian Football League and Arena Football League. Sixteen players have been drafted in the NFL Draft and AFL Draft, and other players have signed as undrafted free agents. Likely the most famous Citadel alumni in professional football are Running back Stump Mitchell and broadcaster Paul Maguire. Currently, Andre Roberts is a member of the Detroit Lions and Cortez Allen recently played with the Pittsburgh Steelers for 5 seasons.[10]

Individual honors[edit]

This list includes selected First Team All-Americans at The Citadel[11]

Year Name AFCA AP Walter Camp Sports Network/STATS Football Gazette
1976 Brian Ruff
Green tickY
1985 Jim Gabrish
Green tickY
1986 Scott Thompson
Green tickY
1988 Carlos Avalos
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
1990 J. J. Davis
Green tickY
1991 Lester Smith
Green tickY
Green tickY
1992 Lester Smith
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Carey Cash
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Terrence Forney
Green tickY
Lance Hansen
Green tickY
Green tickY
1994 Levi Davis
Green tickY
1995 Brad Keeney
Green tickY
1997 Carlos Frank
Green tickY
2008 Andre Roberts
Green tickY
Green tickY
2012 Mike Sellers
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
2015 Tyler Renew
Green tickY
Dee Delaney
Green tickY

Retired Jerseys

14 - Jack Douglas
15 - Lester Smith
35 - Stump Mitchell
51 - Brian Ruff
59 - Marc Buoniconti
66 - John Small

Future schedules[edit]

This represents the most recent verified future non-conference games. The current season schedule can be found at 2016 The Citadel Bulldogs football team.


Date Opponent Location
Nov. 18 Clemson Clemson, SC


Date Opponent Location
Nov. 17 Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
TBA Charleston Southern Charleston, SC


Date Opponent Location
Aug. 31 Georgia Tech Atlanta, GA
TBA Charleston Southern Charleston, SC


Date Opponent Location
TBA Charleston Southern Charleston, SC


Date Opponent Location
TBA Charleston Southern Charleston, SC


  1. ^ "Brand Toolbox: Colors - The Citadel - Charleston, SC". Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  2. ^ Jeff Hartsell (January 9, 2014). "The Citadel introduces new football coach Mike Houston". Post and Courier. Charleston, SC. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ Kevin Bilodeau (January 18, 2016). "Mike Houston leaves The Citadel for James Madison". WCSC-TV. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  4. ^ Kevin Bilodeau (January 19, 2016). "The Citadel names Brent Thompson as new head coach". WCSC-TV. Retrieved January 19, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Priority Points System". The Citadel. Retrieved 2012-05-12. 
  6. ^ 2011 Citadel Football Media Guide. p. 7. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  7. ^ 2011 Citadel Football Media Guide. pp. 10–11. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  8. ^ 2011 Citadel Football Media Guide. p. 142. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  9. ^ Jeff Hartsell (January 17, 2014). "Citadel football welcomes back Maurice Drayton as defensive coordinator". Post and Courier. Charleston, SC. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ 2011 Citadel Football Media Guide. p. 12. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  11. ^ 2011 Citadel Football Media Guide. p. 133. Retrieved 2012-08-14.