Toledo Rockets football

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Toledo Rockets football
2016 Toledo Rockets football team
Toledo script.png
First season 1916
Head coach Jason Candle
1st year, 4–0 (1.000)
Stadium Glass Bowl
Year built 1936
Seating capacity 26,248
Field surface Field Turf
Location Toledo, Ohio
NCAA division Division I FBS
Conference Mid-American
Division West
Past conferences
All-time record 502–412–24 (.548)
Bowl record 10–5 (.667)
Conference titles 13
Division titles 6
Consensus All-Americans 2
Colors Midnight Blue and Gold[1]
Fight song U of Toledo
Website Toledo Rockets

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 team's current head coach is Jason Candle.


Gary Pinkel, who coached Toledo from 1991-2000

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).[2]

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.[2]

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.

In 2008, The Rockets upset Michigan 13-10 in Ann Arbor. The Rockets are the first and only MAC Team to beat Michigan.

In 2015, the Rockets upset #18 Arkansas in Little Rock, Toledo's first win vs an SEC team.

They have defeated 5 of 6 Top 25 Teams they have faced at the Glass Bowl, the most recent being a 29-23 victory over #21 Cincinnati on October 20, 2012.

Bowling Green rivalry (The Battle Of I-75)[edit]

Toledo and Bowling Green State University have a rivalry 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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[2]

Head coaches[edit]


  • Glass Bowl
  • Fetterman Indoor Training Center
  • Larimer Athletic Complex

Bowl history[edit]

Toledo has appeared in 15 post-season bowl games since 1969, and has a 10–5 record overall.[4][5] From 1946-1949, the Rockets played a posteseason game named the Glass Bowl that was played at their stadium. They were 3-1, losing the last game to the Cincinnati Bearcats.

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
Total 15 bowl games 10-5 record

Conference championships[edit]

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.

Year Conference Coach Overall record
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[edit]

Announced schedules as of July 21, 2016

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
at Arkansas State vs Elon vs VMI at Kentucky at Tulsa at Notre Dame
vs Maine at Nevada vs Miami (FL) at Colorado State vs Colorado State
vs Fresno State vs Tulsa vs Nevada vs BYU
at BYU at Miami (FL) at Fresno State



  1. ^ The University of Toledo Logo Graphic Standards Manual (PDF). Retrieved 2016-03-29. 
  2. ^ a b c d Rothman, Seymour (November 10, 1991). "An intimate, informal, and irreverent look at the early days of UT football". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  3. ^ Rothman, Seymour (February 19, 1950). "TU-Bowling Green Rivalry Overheating Rapidly". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2010-01-10. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Toledo In the Polls". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  5. ^ "Toledo Composite Championship Listing". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  6. ^ "Toledo Rockets Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved 2016-09-19. 

External links[edit]