Tulane Green Wave football

Tulane Green Wave football

The Tulane Green Wave football program is an NCAA Division I FBS football team that represents Tulane University in New Orleans. Established in 1893, the team is a member of Conference USA and is coached by Bob Toledo. It currently plays its home games off-campus in the Louisiana Superdome, although the annual homecoming game is sometimes played at Tad Gormley Stadium, a 26,500-seat, multipurpose, open-air facility in City Park.

History

The Beginning

Tulane's earliest athletic traditions are tied to its football team, which began playing in 1893 and hit its stride in 1900 with a perfect 5-0 season, beating the Southern Athletic Club, Alabama, Millsaps, LSU, and Ole Miss. In a 1912 game against Southwestern Louisiana, Tulane set records of 15 rushing touchdowns and 95 points that still stand. In 1925 the Green Wave again went undefeated, with only a tie against Missouri to blemish its record. The administration declined a Rose Bowl invitation, however, in order to keep the students in class.

Tulane Stadium

1926 saw the completion of a new stadium on campus, Tulane Stadium. Tulane's third and fourth perfect regular seasons came in 1929 and 1931, with a single loss to Northwestern in Chicago, Illinois marring the 1930 campaign. The 1931 team did go to the Rose Bowl, losing 21-12 to USC, and Gerald “Jerry” Dalrymple became the only unanimous All-American selection that year. In 1932 Tulane joined the Southeastern Conference as a charter member. In 1935 Tulane began hosting the Sugar Bowl in Tulane Stadium, an annual contest that eventually lent its name to the stadium itself. In 1939 the team completed its fifth unbeaten season, losing a close 14-13 battle to Texas A&M in the Sugar Bowl. Tulane left the SEC in 1966 amid a long series of disappointing campaigns. They had some success in the 1970s with three bowl invitations in the decade, including a memorable 17-3 victory in the 1970 Liberty Bowl over the heavily favored Colorado Buffaloes.

The Louisiana Superdome

A seminal moment in the history of Tulane football occurred following the 1974 season, when the Green Wave moved all of its home games to the new Louisiana Superdome in downtown New Orleans. Tulane Stadium was subsequently demolished in 1980. While Tulane has had the benefit of playing in a first class facility under a controlled environment in the Superdome, many are critical of the 'Dome's sterile atmosphere, arguing it is not conducive to a real college football environment.

The 1980s and most of the 1990s were mainly down seasons for Tulane, with the lone highlight season coming in 1987, when the Green Wave finished 6-6 under then head coach Mack Brown, and lost to Washington 24-12 in the Independence Bowl. The Green Wave that season were led by dynamic quarterback Terrence Jones and wide receiver Marc Zeno. Brown subsequently left Tulane for the head coaching post at the University of North Carolina. He was succeeded at Tulane by his offensive coordinator Greg Davis. Davis failed to garner a winning season at Tulane and was fired in 1991 following a 1-10 campaign. Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens was hired to turn the program around, but he too failed to muster a winning season during his tenure at Tulane and was fired following the 1996 season. In 1995, Tulane left the ranks of the independents and joined a new all-sports league called Conference USA, formed by the merger of the Metro Conference, the non-football conference it belonged to at the time, and the Great Midwest Conference.

Tommy Bowden

Tulane's football program started fresh with a new coach Tommy Bowden in 1997. Using players recruited during the Teevens era, Bowden's first season produced a 7-4 season, its first winning regular season since 1987; however, the Wave did not participate in a bowl game that year. The dramatic turnaround was only a preview of what was to come in Bowden's second year as coach, as Tulane went undefeated for the first time since 1931. Quarterback Shaun King led the wave to a 12-0 record, a Conference USA championship and a final No. 7 national ranking. Despite a perfect regular season, the Green Wave was not invited to a BCS bowl game — an event which contributed to questions about how college football championships and revenues are managed. All the more remarkable about this season was that King played with a cast on his left wrist, which was broken in the third game of the 1998 season. That year, King set the all-time NCAA passing efficiency record for quarterbacks, a record which, at 183.3, still stands.

Tommy Bowden left Tulane to become head coach at Clemson University. He was replaced by Georgia assistant and South Louisiana native Chris Scelfo, who was chosen in favor of popular Tulane offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez. Rodriguez was the architect of the devastating spread offense that averaged 45 points per game during the 1998 season. Rodriguez took over after Bowden left as interim head coach for the Green Wave in the 1998 Liberty Bowl, a 41-27 victory over the BYU Cougars which completed the perfect 12-0 season. Rodriguez then remained at Tulane, expecting to be named head coach, until the athletic department named Scelfo the new head coach, after which Rodriguez followed Bowden to Clemson to serve as offensive coordinator. He subsequently was hired in 2001 as the head coach of West Virginia University, his alma mater, until he took the head coaching position at the University of Michigan in December, 2007.

Chris Scelfo

The Scelfo era was highlighted by a 6-5 record in 2000 and a 2002 Hawaii victory over the University of Hawaii, which completed an 8-5 overall season for the Green Wave. Unfortunately for Scelfo and Tulane fans, the 2002 season was the final winning season under Scelfo. Scelfo and his staff showed great resolve and courage in guiding Tulane football through an extraordinary 2005 season in which the Green Wave was displaced from New Orleans due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina and forced to play 11 games in 11 stadiums; the team finished the season at 2-9. After returning to a normal 2006 home schedule in the Superdome, Scelfo was fired by the University following a 4-8 season, his sixth losing season in eight years as head coach. Scelfo finished his career at Tulane with a 37-57 overall record.

Two quarterbacks developed by Scelfo and his staff, Patrick Ramsey and JP Losman, were selected in the first round of the 2002 and 2004 NFL Drafts by the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills, respectively. A third quarterback, Lester Ricard, was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2007 and was on their practice squad the entire season. Mewelde Moore, a lightly recruited running back out of Belaire High School in Baton Rouge, LA, was signed by Scelfo in 2000 and ultimately finished his four year career as Tulane's all-time leading rusher, surpassing the legendary Eddie Price. Moore was selected in the 4th round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, where Moore is primarily used as a kick and punt returner.

Bob Toledo

On December 11, 2006, former UCLA Bruins head coach and current University of New Mexico offensive coordinator Bob Toledo was selected as the 37th head coach in Tulane football history. Toledo, age 60, compiled a 49-32 overall record while at UCLA from 1996-2002, which included a Pac-10 title in 1998 and a 20-game winning streak between the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Ironically, Toledo became head coach at a school whom he lost a prized recruit to; JP Losman signed with UCLA in 1999 but transferred following UCLA's Spring practice to play for Scelfo at Tulane. It has been thought that Losman's transfer was one of the events that ultimately led to the demise of Toledo's tenure at UCLA.

Prior to his time as Bruins head coach, Toledo served as offensive coordinator at UCLA (1994-95), Texas A&M (1989-93) and Oregon (1983-89). He also had stints as head coach at the University of Pacific and UC Riverside. The Green Wave finished 4-8 in Toledo's inaugural season, highlighted by the individual performance of running back Matt Forté, who shattered several Green Wave records on his way to rushing for 2,127 yards and 23 touchdowns. In 2007, Forté broke the 200-yard rushing barrier five times and the 300-yard barrier twice, which included a Green Wave and Conference USA single game record 342 rushing yards against SMU on October 20, 2007.

Rivals

LSU Tigers

Tulane's biggest and oldest rival is LSU. It began in 1893 with a 34-0 Green Wave victory over the Tigers. Since then the teams have met nearly every year in the Battle for the Rag. After Tulane left the SEC, the rivalry became less competitive, reflecting Tulane's increased emphasis on academics. In 1973, Tulane broke a 25-game losing streak with a 14-0 victory in front of a Tulane Stadium record crowd of 86,598 in the final installment of the long-time rivalry played on Tulane's campus. Between 1979 and 1982, Tulane won three out of four games against the Tigers; the 1982 win was the last win to date.

Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Known as the Battle for the Bell, Tulane's rivalry with Southern Miss is mainly a product of Conference USA. The teams played each other annually until 2006, when the league was split into two divisions.

Records and Results

Season Records

Year Record Win % Head Coach Cnf Place Bowl
1893 1-2 .333 T.L. Bayne --
1894 0-4 .000 Fred Sweet --
1895 3-2 .600 T.L. Bayne --
1896 3-2 .600 Harry Baum --
1897 No Varsity Team
1898 1-1 .500 John Lombard --
1899 0-6-1 .000 H.H. Collier --
1900 5-0 1.000 H.T. Summersgill --
1901 5-1 .833 H.T. Summersgill --
1902 1-4-2 .143 V. Dabney
C. Green
--
1903 2-2-1 .400 C. Eshleman
R. Wood
--
1904 5-2 .714 T. Berry
J. Janvier
--
1905 0-1 .000 T. Robin
H. Ludlow
--
1906 0-4-1 .000 John Russ --
1907 3-2 .600 Joe Curtis --
1908 7-1 .875 Joe Curtis --
1909 4-3-2 .444 Buster Brown --
1910 0-7 .000 A.A. Mason --
1911 5-3-1 .556 A.A. Mason --
1912 5-3 .625 A.A. Mason --
1913 3-5 .375 A.C. Hoffman --
1914 3-3-1 .429 E.R. Sweetland --
1915 4-4 .500 Clark Shaughnessy --
1916 4-3-1 .500 Clark Shaughnessy --
1917 5-3 .625 Clark Shaughnessy --
1918 4-1-1 .667 Clark Shaughnessy --
1919 6-2-1 .667 Clark Shaughnessy --
1920 6-2-1 .667 Clark Shaughnessy --
1921 4-6 .400 Myron Fuller --
1922 4-4 .500 Clark Shaughnessy --
1923 6-3-1 .600 Clark Shaughnessy --
1924 8-1 .889 Clark Shaughnessy --
1925 9-0-1 .900 Clark Shaughnessy --
1926 3-5-1 .333 Clark Shaughnessy --
1927 2-5-1 .250 Bernie Bierman --
1928 6-3-1 .600 Bernie Bierman --
1929 9-0 1.000 Bernie Bierman -- Invited to the Rose Bowl, but declined in order to
keep students in class
1930 8-1 .889 Bernie Bierman --
1931 11-1 .917 Bernie Bierman -- Lost to USC 12-21 in the Rose Bowl
1932 6-2-1 .667 Ted Cox --
1933 6-3-1 .600 Ted Cox 5th SEC
1934 10-1 .909 Ted Cox T1st SEC Beat Temple 20-14 in the Sugar Bowl
1935 6-4 .600 Ted Cox T6th SEC
1936 6-3-1 .600 Lowell Dawson 8th SEC
1937 5-4-1 .500 Lowell Dawson 9th SEC
1938 7-2-1 .700 Lowell Dawson T2nd SEC
1939 8-1-1 .800 Lowell Dawson T1st SEC Lost to Texas A&M 13-14 in the Sugar Bowl
1940 5-5 .500 Lowell Dawson 10th SEC
1941 5-4 .556 Lowell Dawson 8th SEC
1942 4-5 .444 Claude Simons 10th SEC
1943 3-3 .500 Claude Simons T2nd SEC
1944 4-3 .571 Claude Simons 8th SEC
1945 2-6-1 .222 Claude Simons 10th SEC
1946 3-7 .300 Henry E. Frnka 9th SEC
1947 2-5-2 .222 Henry E. Frnka 7th SEC
1948 9-1 .900 Henry E. Frnka 3rd SEC
1949 7-2-1 .700 Henry E. Frnka 1st SEC
1950 6-2-1 .667 Henry E. Frnka 4th SEC
1951 4-6 .400 Henry E. Frnka 12th SEC
1952 5-5 .500 Raymond Wolf 8th SEC
1953 1-8-1 .100 Raymond Wolf 12th SEC
1954 1-6-3 .100 Andy Pilney 10th SEC
1955 5-4-1 .500 Andy Pilney T6th SEC
1956 6-4 .600 Andy Pilney T6th SEC
1957 2-8 .200 Andy Pilney 10th SEC
1958 3-7 .300 Andy Pilney 11th SEC
1959 3-6-1 .300 Andy Pilney 11th SEC
1960 3-6-1 .300 Andy Pilney 10th SEC
1961 2-8 .200 Andy Pilney T10th SEC
1962 0-10 .000 Tommy O'Boyle 12th SEC
1963 1-8-1 .100 Tommy O'Boyle 12th SEC
1964 3-7 .300 Tommy O'Boyle 11th SEC
1965 2-8 .200 Tommy O'Boyle T9th SEC
1966 5-4-1 .500 Jim Pittman --
1967 3-7 .300 Jim Pittman --
1968 2-8 .200 Jim Pittman --
1969 3-7 .300 Jim Pittman --
1970 8-4 .667 Jim Pittman -- Beat Colorado 17-3 in the Liberty Bowl
1971 3-8 .273 Bennie Ellender --
1972 6-5 .545 Bennie Ellender --
1973 9-3 .750 Bennie Ellender -- Lost to Houston 7-47 in the Bluebonnet Bowl
1974 5-6 .455 Bennie Ellender --
1975 4-7 .364 Bennie Ellender --
1976 2-9 .182 Larry Smith --
1977 3-8 .273 Larry Smith --
1978 4-7 .364 Larry Smith --
1979 9-3 .750 Larry Smith -- Lost to Penn State 3-6 in the Liberty Bowl
1980 7-5 .583 Vince Gibson -- Lost to Arkansas 15-34 in the Hall of Fame Classic
1981 6-5 .545 Vince Gibson --
1982 4-7 .364 Vince Gibson --
1983 2-9 .182 Wally English --
1984 3-8 .273 Wally English --
1985 1-10 .091 Mack Brown --
1986 4-7 .364 Mack Brown --
1987 6-6 .500 Mack Brown -- Lost to Washington 12-24 in the Independence Bowl
1988 5-6 .455 Greg Davis --
1989 4-8 .333 Greg Davis --
1990 4-7 .364 Greg Davis --
1991 1-10 .091 Greg Davis --
1992 2-9 .182 Buddy Teevens --
1993 4-8 .333 Buddy Teevens --
1994 1-10 .091 Buddy Teevens --
1995 2-9 .182 Buddy Teevens --
1996 2-9 .182 Buddy Teevens 6th C-USA
1997 7-4 .636 Tommy Bowden 2nd C-USA
1998 12-0 1.000 Tommy Bowden
Chris Scelfo
1st C-USA Beat BYU 41-27 in the Liberty Bowl
1999 3-8 .273 Chris Scelfo T6th C-USA
2000 6-5 .545 Chris Scelfo T5th C-USA
2001 3-9 .250 Chris Scelfo 9th C-USA
2002 8-5 .615 Chris Scelfo 5th C-USA Beat Hawaiʻi 36-28 in the Hawaii Bowl
2003 5-7 .417 Chris Scelfo 8th C-USA
2004 5-6 .455 Chris Scelfo --
2005 2-9 .182 Chris Scelfo --
2006 4-8 .333 Chris Scelfo --
2007 4-8 .333 Bob Toledo --
Total 483–554–38 .466

See also

References

External links

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