Toledo Rockets football
|Toledo Rockets football|
|Head coach||Jason Candle
1st year, 10–4 (.714)
|Field surface||Field Turf|
|NCAA division||Division I FBS|
|Past conferences||Independent (1948-1950)
Ohio Athletic Conference (1932–1947)
Northwestern Ohio Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1921–1930)
|All-time record||502–413–24 (.547)|
|Bowl record||10–6 (.625)|
|Colors||Midnight Blue and Gold
|Fight song||U of Toledo|
|Rivals||Bowling Green Falcons|
The Toledo Rockets football team is a college football program in Division I FBS, representing the University of Toledo. The Rockets compete in the Mid-American Conference. Toledo began playing football in 1917, although it did not field teams in 1931, and 1943-1945. Since the inception of the AP Poll in 1936 Toledo has finished in the Top 25 four times. Its highest finish came in 1970 when it ranked #12 after finishing 12–0–0. The University of Toledo has a 10-6 record in bowl games. The Rockets were the 2015 Boca Roton Bowl champions over #24 ranked Temple. The team's current head coach is Jason Candle.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early History (1917-1962)
- 1.2 Frank Lauterbur era (1963-1970)
- 1.3 John Murphy era (1971-1976)
- 1.4 Chuck Stobart era (1977-1981)
- 1.5 Dan Simrell era (1982-1989)
- 1.6 Nick Saban era (1990)
- 1.7 Gary Pinkel era (1991-2000)
- 1.8 Tom Amstutz era (2001-2008)
- 1.9 Tim Beckman era (2009-2011)
- 1.10 Matt Campbell era (2012-2015)
- 1.11 Jason Candle era (2016-present)
- 2 Rivalries
- 3 Head coaches
- 4 Facilities
- 5 Bowl history
- 6 Conference championships
- 7 Future non-conference opponents
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early History (1917-1962)
Toledo first fielded a football team in 1917, under the leadership of John Brandeberry. According to Toledo Rockets lore, the team began when a group of students purchased uniforms from a sporting goods store, then arranged a game against the University of Detroit in order to settle the debt. Brandeberry stepped in to coach the team, which promptly lost the game 145–0 (but settled the debt).
For the first few years Toledo played without a nickname, but was dubbed the "Rockets" after two long touchdown runs in a 1923 loss to Carnegie Tech. That season also saw Toledo win its first conference title.
Clarence Spears served as the Rocket's head coach and athletics director for seven seasons, from 1936-1942. Under his tutelage, the Rockets compiled a record of 38-26-2. which included five consecutive winning seasons.
Frank Lauterbur era (1963-1970)
From 1969 through 1971, Toledo won 35 consecutive games, which currently ranks as the fifth-longest winning streak in major college football. Under head coach Frank Lauterbur, the Rockets won 3 Mid-American Conference Championships and won each of their 3 appearances in the Tangerine Bowl during those years. Mel Long, a member of the team for all three years, was named to The AP All-America First Team after the 1971 season. Charles "Chuck" Ealey led the Rockets to all 35 victories as starting quarterback.
John Murphy era (1971-1976)
John Murphy came to Toledo from NCAA Division III Heidelberg and led the Rockets to an undefeated 12-0 record, a Tangerine Bowl win, and a #14 ranking in the year's final AP poll. From there, the Rockets posted yearly records of 6-5, 3-8, 6-5, 5-6 and 3-8, a steady decline from the success to which the Rockets were accustomed. Murphy was not retained past the 1976 season.
Chuck Stobart era (1977-1981)
Michigan assistant coach and Bo Schembechler disciple Chuck Stobart took over for Murphy as the Rockets head coach in 1977. Under Stobart, the Rockets posted records of 2-9, 2-9, 8-2-1, 4-7 and 9-3 for a total of 25-30-1. The 1981 season culminated in California Bowl win. Stobart's success led to Utah offering Stobart their head coaching position, which he accepted.
Dan Simrell era (1982-1989)
Rockets alum Dan Simrell was hired to take over the Rockets football program after Stobart's departure. Simrell had the same mediocre, up ad down success of his predecessors, compiling a total record of 49-38-2 in his tenure at his alma mater. The 1984 Rockets reached the California Bowl, which they lost. Simrell posted four winning seasons in eight as the team's head coach. He resigned after the 1989 season.
Nick Saban era (1990)
A young, energetic, ambitious coach named Nick Saban was hired as head coach of the Toledo Rockets on December 22, 1989. The Rockets found quick success under Nick Saban, going 9–2 in his only season. The two games the Rockets lost that season were by narrow margins: one point to Central Michigan, and four points to Navy. While at the helm of the Rockets, Saban turned down an application of Urban Meyer, who was looking for a job on his staff as an assistant coach. With the 9–2 season, Toledo was co-champion of the MAC. Saban resigned as Toledo's head coach the following February to become defensive coordinator of the NFL's Cleveland Browns under Bill Belichick. Saban would go on to unprecedented success and cement his legacy as one of college football's greatest coaches as a head football coach on the big stage, winning one national championship at LSU and four at Alabama.
Gary Pinkel era (1991-2000)
Coach Gary Pinkel, a friend and former college teammate of Nick Saban, came to Toledo from his post as offensive coordinator at Washington. The Rockets posted a record of 73-37-3 (.659) in Pinkel's 10 seasons at Toledo, including a 53-23-3 (.690) record in conference. Toledo compiled three West Division titles and the conference championship in 1995.
In the 1995 season, Pinkel's Rockets finished 11-0-1, won the Las Vegas Bowl and finished ranked in the Top 25 (AP Poll). They were one of only three teams in the nation to finish the regular season undefeated. The others were Nebraska and Florida, who played for the national championship.
In 2000, Toledo went to State College to face Penn State and defeated the Nittany Lions 24-6. Pinkel guided Toledo to a 10-1 record that season, 6-1 in conference play. Pinkel left Toledo after the 2000 season to accept the head football coach position at Missouri.
Tom Amstutz era (2001-2008)
Known as "Toledo Tom", Tom Amstutz was promoted from defensive coordinator, a post he held under Saban and Pinkel, to the Rockets head coach upon Pinkel's departure. Amstutz played for the Rockets from 1974-1976 and was a popular choice among many of the Rockets athletics administration.
Amstutz's tenure started with a bang, with the Rockets winning at least eight games in each of Amstutz's first five seasons. The Rockets made the Motor City Bowl in Amstutz's first two seasons, winning the first then losing the second. The 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons were different, though, as the rockets slid to records of 5-7, 5-7 and 3-9 in those years. However, in 2008, The Rockets upset Michigan in Ann Arbor by a score of 13-10. The Rockets are the first and only MAC Team to beat Michigan.
Tim Beckman era (2009-2011)
On December 4, 2008, Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Tim Beckman was hired as the head coach at Toledo.  Beckman's teams at Toledo saw consistent improvement. In 2009, his first year as a head coach, his team finished 5–7. The following year, Toledo finished 8–5, earning a berth to the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl, which they lost 34–32 to FIU. In 2011, Toledo finished 9–4 to be MAC West Division co-champions with Northern Illinois. This team earned a berth to the 2011 Military Bowl. Beckman left after three seasons to become the head coach for Illinois. Beckman's record at Toledo is 21-16.
Matt Campbell era (2012-2015)
Toledo made offensive coordinator Matt Campbell the Rockets head coach when Beckman departed for Illinois. He was 32 years old and the youngest head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision at the time.
Jason Candle era (2016-present)
Bowling Green Falcons
Toledo and Bowling Green State University have a rivalry, nicknamed "The Battle of I-75", dating back to 1924, when BGSU challenged the participation of Toledo's captain, Gilbert Stick, after it was discovered that Stick also played for a local team in Genoa, Ohio. Conference rules did not prohibit such play, and BGSU's protest was overruled. In 1950, Toledo's athletic director charged BGSU students a higher price for tickets at a basketball game than the general public, while rumors spread of a dog-napping attempt by BGSU against Toledo's mascot. Another incident came in 1951, when a fight broke out after a hard hit by a BGSU player on fullback Mel Triplett. Don Greenwood, then Toledo's coach, participated, and resigned after the university failed to back him up. In Greenwood's view, the officials should have called a penalty for excessive roughness, and he had a duty to protect his players.
- John Brandeberry (1917)
- James Baxter (1918)
- Walt Hobt (1919-1920)
- James Dwyer (1923–1925)
- Boni Petcoff (1926-1929)
- Jim Nicholson (1930-1935)
- Clarence W. "Doc" Spears (1936-1942)
- Bill Orwig (1946-1947)
- J. Neil "Skip" Stahley (1948-1949)
- Robert Snyder (1950)
- Don Greenwood (1951)
- Clair Dunn (1951-1953)
- Forrest W. England (1954-1955)
- Jack Morton (1956)
- Harry Larche (1957-1959)
- Clive H. Rush (1960-1962)
- Frank Lauterbur (1963–1970)
- John Murphy (1971–1976)
- Chuck Stobart (1977–1981)
- Dan Simrell (1982–1989)
- Nick Saban (1990)
- Gary Pinkel (1991–2000)
- Tom Amstutz (2001–2008)
- Tim Beckman (2009– December 2011)
- Matt Campbell (December 2011 – 2015)
- Jason Candle (2015–Present)
- Glass Bowl
- Fetterman Indoor Training Center
- Larimer Athletic Complex
|Season||Date Played||Bowl Game||Opponent||Result|
|1969||December 26, 1969||Tangerine Bowl||Davidson||W 56–33|
|1970||December 28, 1970||Tangerine Bowl||William & Mary||W 40–12|
|1971||December 28, 1971||Tangerine Bowl||Richmond||W 28–3|
|1981||December 19, 1981||California Bowl||San Jose State||W 27–25|
|1984||December 15, 1984||California Bowl||UNLV||L 30–13*|
|1995||December 14, 1995||Las Vegas Bowl||Nevada||W 40–37|
|2001||December 29, 2001||Motor City Bowl||Cincinnati||W 32–16|
|2002||December 26, 2002||Motor City Bowl||Boston College||L 51–25|
|2004||December 27, 2004||Motor City Bowl||Connecticut||L 39–10|
|2005||December 21, 2005||GMAC Bowl||UTEP||W 45–13|
|2010||December 26, 2010||Little Caesars Pizza Bowl||FIU||L 34–32|
|2011||December 28, 2011||Military Bowl||Air Force||W 42–41|
|2012||December 15, 2012||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Utah State||L 41–15|
|2014||January 4, 2015||GoDaddy Bowl||Arkansas State||W 63–44|
|2015||December 22, 2015||Boca Raton Bowl||Temple||W 32–17|
|2016||December 17, 2016||Camellia Bowl||Appalachian State||L 31–28|
|Total||16 bowl games||—||—||10–6 record|
- From 1946 through 1949, the Rockets played a post-season game named the Glass Bowl that was played at their stadium. They were 3–1, losing the last game to the Cincinnati Bearcats. Like some other postseason match-ups of the era, such as the Grape Bowl and the Optimist Bowl, results are listed in NCAA records, but the games were not considered NCAA-sanctioned bowls.
- ^* After the 1984 California Bowl, it was found that UNLV had allegedly used ineligible players during the season. Despite the fact that they were not used in the bowl game, the school forfeited the win, though the NCAA does not recognize the forfeit.
The Rockets have won 13 conference titles, with 10 of them being during their affiliation with the Mid-American Conference. The highest AP Poll Ranking they have ever finished was #12 at the end of the 1970 season.
|1923||Northwestern Ohio Intercollegiate Athletic Association||James Dwyer||6–4–0|
|1927||Northwestern Ohio Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Boni Petcoff||5–2–0|
|1929||Northwestern Ohio Intercollegiate Athletic Association||Boni Petcoff||4–2–1|
|1967||Mid-American Conference||Frank Lauterbur||9–1–0|
|1969||Mid-American Conference||Frank Lauterbur||11–0–0|
|1970||Mid-American Conference||Frank Lauterbur||12–0–0|
|1971||Mid-American Conference||John Murphy||12–0–0|
|1981||Mid-American Conference||Chuck Stobart||9–3–0|
|1984||Mid-American Conference||Dan Simrell||8–3–1|
|1990||Mid-American Conference||Nick Saban||9–2–0|
|1995||Mid-American Conference||Gary Pinkel||11–0–1|
|2001||Mid-American Conference||Tom Amstutz||10–2|
|2004||Mid-American Conference||Tom Amstutz||9–4|
Future non-conference opponents
Announced schedules as of July 21, 2016
|vs Elon||vs VMI||at Kentucky||at Tulsa||at Notre Dame|
|at Nevada||vs Miami (FL)||at Colorado State||vs Colorado State|
|vs Tulsa||vs Nevada||vs BYU|
|at Miami (FL)||at Fresno State|
- The University of Toledo Logo Graphic Standards Manual (PDF). Retrieved 2016-03-29.
- Rothman, Seymour (November 10, 1991). "An intimate, informal, and irreverent look at the early days of UT football". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2010-01-10.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-07. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
- "Toledo hires Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Beckman as coach". Associated Press. December 4, 2008.
- Porter, Todd (December 12, 2011). "Toledo names Perry grad Matt Campbell head coach". The Repository. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
- Rothman, Seymour (February 19, 1950). "TU-Bowling Green Rivalry Overheating Rapidly". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2010-01-10.[dead link]
- "Toledo In the Polls". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-01-10.
- "Toledo Composite Championship Listing". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-01-10.
- "BOWL/ALL STAR GAME RECORDS" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
- "Toledo Rockets Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2016-09-19.