UMass Minutemen football
|Head coach||Mark Whipple
9th year, 56–47 (.544)
Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium
|NCAA division||Division I FBS|
|Division||NCAA Division I-A independent schools|
|All-time record||561–557–51 (.502)|
|Bowl record||1–1 (.500)|
|Claimed nat'l titles||1 (FCS)|
|Conference titles||22 (non-FBS)|
|Colors||Maroon and White
|Fight song||Fight Mass|
|Mascot||Sam the Minuteman|
|Marching band||UMass Marching Band|
|Rivals||New Hampshire Wildcats (FCS)
Maine Black Bears (FCS)
Rhode Island Rams (FCS)
Boston College Eagles
The UMass Minutemen football team is a collegiate football team representing the University of Massachusetts in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The Minutemen currently compete as an Independent.
UMass began play in 1879 and have since appeared in three FCS National Championship games, winning the title in 1998. The Minutemen began a two-year Football Bowl Subdivision transition period in 2011, becoming bowl eligible in 2013. In March 2014, the MAC and UMass announced an agreement for the Minutemen to leave the conference after the 2015 season due to UMass declining an offer to become a full member of the conference. In the agreement between the MAC and the university, there was a contractual clause that had UMass playing in the MAC as a football-only member for two more seasons if UMass declined a full membership offer. UMass announced that it would look for a "more suitable conference" for the team. Possibilities included going independent or joining the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, or the Sun Belt Conference. In September 2014, UMass announced that they will be going independent in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Mark Whipple is the head football coach.
- 1 Team history
- 2 Postseason appearances
- 3 Conference championships
- 4 Facilities
- 5 Coaching history
- 6 Notable alumni
- 7 Individual awards
- 8 Future opponents
- 9 References
- 10 External links
UMass began playing football in 1879 when the school was known as Massachusetts Agricultural College, and the team was known as the "Aggies." They were first organized the previous fall by Francis Codman, but did not play their first game until November 22, 1879, defeating the Amherst College freshman team 4–0. As this was their only game that year, 1879 is noted as their first undefeated season, matched only by the 1889 season (2–0) and the 1963 season (8–0–1). Massachusetts later teamed up with Storrs Agricultural College (now the University of Connecticut) and Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now the University of Rhode Island) to form the Athletic League of New England State Colleges for the purpose of scheduling football matchups between the schools. The first meeting between the Aggies and each of the other schools resulted in a shutout win for Massachusetts, as they defeated Connecticut, 36–0, in 1897 and Rhode Island, 46–0, in 1903. Massachusetts won their 100th game on October 2, 1920, topping rival Connecticut in a 28–0 shutout. The team played their 1000th game on November 11, 2000, losing to conference foe Delaware, 19-31.
The team's nickname has endured several changes throughout the years. Though the official nickname remained "Aggies," "Statesmen" was also used interchangeably beginning when the school was renamed to Massachusetts State College in 1931. The nickname was officially changed to the "Redmen" when the name of the college became the University of Massachusetts in 1947. In a response to changing attitudes regarding the use of Native American-themed mascots, they changed their mascot in 1972 to the Minuteman, based on the historical "minuteman" relationship with Massachusetts; women's teams and athletes are known as Minutewomen.
UMass has enjoyed various levels of success over the years. As a founding member of the Yankee Conference, Massachusetts won 17 Yankee Conference Championships, appearing in one National Championship game during that timespan. They fell to Florida A&M in this inaugural Division 1-AA Championship, 35–28. UMass' success continued as they began competition in the Atlantic 10 Conference in 1997. They went on to win four more conference titles while playing in the A-10 and make two more appearances in the National Championship game, winning it all in 1998. In 2006 the Minutemen took home the last A-10 title (the A-10 handed off management of their football league to the Colonial Athletic Association after the season) and made their most recent Championship game appearance. Their most recent conference championship came in 2007, the inaugural season under the CAA name.
Transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision
On April 20, 2011, after decades of studies and speculation, the UMass Minutemen formally announced they elevated their football program to the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and became a member of the Mid-American Conference beginning with the 2012 season. The announcement was made at Gillette Stadium, where the Minutemen currently play their home games. In 2011, UMass completed their last season in the Colonial Athletic Association, and were not eligible for NCAA postseason play. UMass plays a full FBS and MAC schedule in 2013 and became eligible for the MAC championship and bowl participation.
The NCAA made a formal announcement of UMass' admission to FBS in the summer of 2013 after the program met specified benchmarks over its two transitioning years. The primary criteria centered around average attendance, an increase in scholarships from 63 to 85, and specific scheduling requirements. The NCAA did announce that the team must meet attendance requirements or face a 10 year probationary period. Along with joining the Mid-American Conference the men's and women's basketball teams will play four non conference games against MAC teams. In March 2014, the MAC and UMass announced an agreement for the Minutemen to leave the conference after the 2015 season due to UMass declining an offer to become a full member of the conference. In the agreement between the MAC and the university, there was a contractual clause that had UMass playing in the MAC as a football-only member for two more seasons if UMass declined a full membership offer. UMass announced that it would look for a "more suitable conference" for the team.
Division II playoffs
|1977||November 26||Quarterfinal||Lehigh||L 23–30||Amherst, MA|
Division I-AA playoffs
|1978||December 9||Semifinal||Nevada||W 44–21||Reno, NV|
|December 16||Championship||Florida A&M||L 28–35||Wichita Falls, TX|
|1988||November 26||First Round||Eastern Kentucky||L 17–28||Richmond, KY|
|1990||November 24||First Round||William & Mary||L 0–38||Williamsburg, VA|
|1998||November 28||First Round||McNeese State||W 21–19||Lake Charles, LA|
|December 5||Quarterfinal||Lehigh||W 27–21||Amherst, MA|
|December 12||Semifinal||Northwestern State||W 41–31||Natchitoches, LA|
|December 19||Championship||Georgia Southern||W 55–43||Chattanooga, TN|
|1999||November 27||First Round||Furman||W 30–23 OT||Greenville, SC|
|December 4||Quarterfinal||Georgia Southern||L 21–38||Statesboro, GA|
|2003||November 29||First Round||Colgate||L 7–19||Hamilton, NY|
|2006||November 25||First Round||Lafayette||W 35–14||Amherst, MA|
|December 2||Quarterfinal||New Hampshire||W 24–17||Amherst, MA|
|December 12||Semifinal||Montana||W 19–17||Missoula, MT|
|December 15||Championship||Appalachian State||L 17–28||Chattanooga, TN|
|2007||November 24||First Round||Fordham||W 49–35||Amherst, MA|
|December 1||Quarterfinal||Southern Illinois||L 27–34||Carbondale, IL|
|1964||December 12||Tangerine Bowl||East Carolina||L 13–14||Orlando, FL|
|1972||December 9||Boardwalk Bowl||UC Davis||W 35–14||Atlantic City, NJ|
UMass has won a total of 22 conference championships. Following is a list of the years, affiliations, and records for those Championship seasons.
- 1879–1896, 1923–1946, 2016–present: Independent
- 1897–1922: Athletic League of New England State Colleges
- 1947–1996: Yankee Conference
- 1997–2006: Atlantic 10 Conference
- 2007–2011: Colonial Athletic Association
- 2012–2015: Mid-American Conference
|Season||Conference||Overall Record||Conference Record|
|1998*||Atlantic 10 Conference||12–3||6–2|
|1999*||Atlantic 10 Conference||9–4||7–1|
|2003*||Atlantic 10 Conference||10–3||8–1|
|2006||Atlantic 10 Conference||13–2||8–0|
|2007*||Colonial Athletic Association||10–3||7–1|
|* Denotes co-champions|
The first field that the Minutemen played at was called Alumni Field, and was situated on the south end of campus. This field was replaced in 1915 by a new venue, also called Alumni Field. It was replaced in 1965 by Alumni Stadium, and later became the location of the Whitmore Administration Building.
McGuirk Alumni Stadium
The Minutemen played their last home football game for three years at McGuirk Alumni Stadium, a 17,000 seat stadium on the UMass Amherst campus in 2011. The stadium itself sits just over the town line in neighboring Hadley, Massachusetts. The inaugural game took place on September 25, 1965 when UMass defeated the AIC Yellow Jackets, 41–0. Since the opening, UMass has enjoyed a decided home field advantage, posting a 182–79–2 record when playing at McGuirk. The attendance record at McGuirk was set during a UMass football game against Boston College on November 25, 1972; 20,000 fans were in attendance. McGuirk was partially renovated McGuirk for a return of UMass football. The expansion included a new performance center with new locker rooms and training facilities, and a new press box. In the 2012 and 2013 seasons UMass played all their home games at Gillette Stadium, but they returned to McGuirk beginning with three games in 2014. Both venues will be used for home games moving forward.
UMass first played at Gillette Stadium in the "Colonial Clash" against the University of New Hampshire on October 23, 2010. This game was renewed for the 2011 season as UMass played New Hampshire there again. Beginning in 2012 Gillette Stadium is the home of the UMass Minutemen football team continuing through at least 2013. After that, UMass will play a minimum of four home games at Gillette Stadium through the 2016 season. Following that five-year agreement, there will be an option for additional home games to be played at Gillette.
|1899–1900||Fred Murphy Brown||20||12||8||0||.600|
|1904, 1907–1908||Matthew Bullock||26||13||8||5||.596|
|1906||George E. O'Hearn||9||1||7||1||.167|
|1909||J. W. Gage||9||1||6||2||.222|
|1941–1942, 1946||Walter Hargesheimer||23||11||11||1||.500|
|1945, 1947–1951||Thomas Eck||44||17||23||4||.432|
NFL All-Pros and Pro Bowlers
|Milt Morin||none||1968, 1971|
Current NFL players
|Rob Blanchflower||Tight End||Free Agent||2013|
|Emil Igwenagu||Tight End||Indianapolis Colts||2011|
|Michael Cox||Running Back||Free Agent||2012|
|Victor Cruz||Wide Receiver||New York Giants||2009|
|Vladimir Ducasse||Offensive Guard||Baltimore Ravens||2009|
|James Ihedigbo||Safety||Free Agent||2006|
|Jeromy Miles||Safety||Free Agent||2009|
|Tajae Sharpe||Wide Receiver||Tennessee Titans||2016|
|Jean Sifrin||Tight End||Free Agent|
|Julian Talley||Wide Receiver||Free Agent||2011|
The following is a list of all Minutemen who were named Player, Coach, or Rookie of the Year for their respective conference.
|1985||Dave Palazzi||QB||Rookie of the Year|
|1988||Tim Bryant||QB||Rookie of the Year|
|1988||John McKeown||LB||Defensive Player of the Year|
|1988||Jim Reid||HC||Coach of the Year|
|1990||Gary Wilkos||QB||Offensive Player of the Year|
|1990||John Johnson||RB||Rookie of the Year|
|1990||Jim Reid||HC||Coach of the Year|
|1992||Rene Ingoglia||RB||Rookie of the Year|
|1994||Brian Corcoran||DL||Defensive Player of the Year|
|1998||Khari Samuel||LB||Defensive Player of the Year|
|1999||Adrian Zullo||WR||Rookie of the Year|
|2002||R.J. Cobbs||RB||Rookie of the Year|
|2003||Mark Whipple||HC||Coach of the Year|
|2004||Shannon James||DB||Defensive Player of the Year|
|2005||Christian Koegel||P||Special Teams Player of the Year|
|2006||Steve Baylark||RB||Offensive Player of the Year|
|2006||Don Brown||HC||Coach of the Year|
College Football Hall of Fame
The following is a list of all Minutemen inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame.
|Year Inducted||Name||Position||Years at UMass|
Announced schedules as of April 20, 2016
|at Coastal Carolina||at Boston College||at Charlotte||at Mississippi State||at Colorado||at Tulane||at Indiana|
|vs Old Dominion||at Georgia Southern||at Army||vs Army||at Army||vs Army|
|at Temple||at Florida International||at Louisiana Tech||at Appalachian State||vs Boston College||at Boston College|
|at Mississippi State||vs Charlotte||vs BYU||at UConn||vs UConn|
|vs Ohio||at Ohio||vs Maine|
|vs Hawaii||vs Troy||at FIU|
|vs Georgia Southern||vs BYU||vs UConn|
|vs Appalachian State||vs USF|
|at Tennessee||at UConn|
|vs Maine||vs Coastal Carolina|
|at USF||at Georgia|
- "Color". UMass Brand Guide. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
- "UMass Football History". University of Massachusetts Amherst. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- UMass football, MAC to part ways following 2015 season
- Sports Briefs: SBC's Benson admits talks with UMass
- "UMass Minutemen Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2015-06-08.