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Football

The game of football began at Virginia Tech as rugby football when a few students chose sides and played their first game in a field behind Number One Barracks (Lane Hall) in the fall 1891. They liked the game so much that they decided to field a team the following year. A call was issued for players in September 1892, and two teams were organized. Professor W. E. Anderson was elected the first captain. Dean Ellison A. Smyth Jr. was elected first coach and manager. Smyth had a difficult time keeping enough players on the squad since most of those assigned to the second team felt that they had been insulted and refused to return to practice on the following day. Possibly because of this feeling, each team had a chance to play in just one of the two games scheduled the first year. Both games were played against St. Albans Lutheran Boys School of Radford. VAMC won the first game, played at Blacksburg on October 21, 1892, by a 14-10 score. St. Albans won the second game, which was never completed, at Radford 10-0 on October 29. Practice sessions and games for the first two years were played in a wheat field laid off with a plow and “about as level as a side of Brush Mountain.” Team members arose at 6:00 a.m. and took a cross-country run before breakfast to keep in shape. In 1894 President McBryde assigned part of the horticultural farm (near the present Memorial Chapel) to the athletic and military departments; since that time, athletic facilities have been improved constantly.

The first game with VMI was played in Staunton in 1894 with VMI winning 10-6. The first game with the University of Virginia was played in Charlottesville in 1896 with Virginia winning 44-0. Also in 1896, the first game to be played between VPI and VMI in Roanoke was on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, with VPI winning 24-0. The The Roanoke Daily Times had a number of write-ups leading up to and following the game.

The 1905 football team produced a 9-1-0 record, the most wins for a Virginia Tech team for many years to come. The team was coached by C. P. “Sally” Miles and lost only to Navy, 12-6. It also recorded the first ever Tech win over Virginia, 11-0, which made the Cavaliers so angry that they refused to play Tech again until 1923. Playing on the 1905 team, which was recognized as “Champion of the South,” was Hunter Carpenter, Tech’s first player to be elected to the National Football Hall of Fame. In those days before strict eligibility rules, Carpenter played fullback on the 1899 and 1900 teams and halfback on the 1901, 1902, 1903, and 1905 teams. He was captain in 1902.

The football team reached its zenith in 1999. That team, quarterbacked by Michael Vick, went undefeated during the regular season and was ranked second in the nation, the highest ranking ever achieved by a Virginia Teach football team. The team played Florida State University at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans for the national championship. After leading at the end of the third quarter, the Hokies lost the game 29-46.

Homecoming and Governor’s DayAn official Homecoming Day for alumni was designated in September 1928, with the first homecoming football game played on October 23, 1926, against the University of Virginia at the dedication of Miles Stadium.  Virginia Tech won the game 6-0. The first Governor’s Day game was played on October 23, 1965, against Virginia at the dedication of Lane Stadium. Virginia Tech won the game 22-14.

Bowl Games-Virginia Tech’s 1946 team became the first football team from the Commonwealth of Virginia to play in a post-season bowl game. Bowl games include the following:

Jan. 1, 1947: Sun Bowl (El Paso, Tex.), losing to Cincinnati 6-18
Dec. 10, 1966: Liberty Bowl (Memphis, Tenn.), losing to Miami (Fla.) 7-14
Dec. 14, 1968: Liberty Bowl (Memphis, Tenn.), losing to Mississippi 17-34
Jan. 2, 1981: Peach Bowl (Atlanta, Ga.), losing to Miami (Fla.) 10-20
Dec. 15, 1984: Independence Bowl (Shreveport, La.), losing to Air Force Academy 7-23
Dec. 31, 1986: Peach Bowl (Atlanta, Ga.), beating North Carolina State 25-24
Dec. 31, 1993: Independence Bowl (Shreveport, La.), beating Indiana 45-20
Dec. 30, 1994: Gator Bowl (Gainesville, Fla.), losing to Tennessee 23-45
Dec. 31, 1995: Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, La.), beating Texas 28-10
Dec. 31, 1996: Orange Bowl (Miami, Fla.), losing to Nebraska 21-41
Jan. 1, 1998: Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, Fla.), losing to North Carolina 3-42
Dec. 29, 1998: Music City Bowl (Nashville, Tenn.), beating Alabama 38-7
Jan. 4, 2000: Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, La.), losing to Florida State 29-46
Jan. 1, 2001: Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, Fla.), beating Clemson 41-20
Jan. 1, 2002: Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, Fla.), losing to Florida State 17-30
Dec. 31, 2002: San Francisco Bowl (San Francisco, Calif.), beating Air Force 20-13
Dec. 26, 2003: Insight Bowl (Phoenix, Ariz.), losing to California 49-52
Jan. 3, 2005: Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, La.), losing to Auburn 13-16
Jan. 2, 2006: Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, Fla.), beating Louisville 35-24
Dec. 30, 2006: Chick-fil-A Bowl (Atlanta, Ga.), losing to Georgia 24-31
Jan. 3, 2008: Orange Bowl (Miami Gardens, Fla.), losing to Kansas 21-24
Jan. 1, 2009: Orange Bowl (Miami Gardens, Fla.), beating Cincinatti 20-7
Dec. 31, 2009: Chic-fil-A Bowl (Atlanta, Ga.), beating Tennessee 37-14

National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame: Hunter Carpenter, Carroll Dale, Frank Loria, Andy Gustafson (coach), Jerry Claiborne (coach)

Victories by Teams- The numbers of victories by teams from 1892-2007 are listed below. No teams were fielded in 1943 and 1944 during World War II because so many male juniors and seniors were enlisted in the military services.

No. of Wins Team
0 1893, 1948, 1950,1969
1 1892, 1949
2 1945, 1951, 1973, 1987, 1992
3 1898, 1900, 1902, 1931, 1938, 1946, 1977, 1988
4 1894, 1895, 1899, 1915, 1920, 1924, 1933, 1935, 1939, 1947, 1957, 1961, 1969, 1971, 1974, 1978
5 1896, 1897, 1903, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1912, 1919, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1930, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1940, 1952, 1953, 1958, 1962, 1970, 1979, 1991
6 1901, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1914, 1917, 1923, 1941, 1955, 1959, 1960, 1964, 1972, 1976, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1993
7 1907, 1913, 1916, 1918, 1921, 1928, 1942, 1956, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1981, 1982, 1997
8 1922, 1932, 1954, 1963, 1966, 1975, 1980, 1984, 1994, 2001, 2003
9 1905, 1983, 1993, 1998
10 1986, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009
11 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007

No-loss Regular Season Records: 7-0-0, 1918; 8-0-1, 1954; 11-0, 1999

Head Coaches and Records-Virginia Tech’s football coaches and their regular season records, by years, are as follows:

1892-1893 E. A. Smyth 1892 (1-1-0); 1893 (0-2-0); overall (1-3-0)
1894 J. A. Massie (4-1-0)
1895-1896 A. C. Jones 1895 (4-2-0); 1896 (5-2-1); overall (9-4-1)
1897 C. Frith (5-2-0)
1898 J. L. Ingles (3-2-0)
1899 James Morrison (4-1-0)
1900 Dr. Davis (3-3-1)
1901 A. B. Morrison (6-1-0)
1902 R. R. Brown (3-2-1)
1903 C. A. Lueder (5-1-0)
1904 J. C. O’Connor (5-3-0)
1905-1906 C. P. Miles 1905 (9-1-0); 1906 (5-2-2); overall (14-3-2)
1907 C. R. Williams (7-2-0)
1908 R. M. Brown (5-4-0)
1909-1910 B. B. Bocock 1909 (6-1-0); 1910 (6-2-0)
1911 L. W. Reiss (6-1-2).
1912-1915 B. B. Bocock 1912 (5-4-0); 1913 (7-1-1); 1914 (6-2-1); 1915 (4-4-0); overall (34-14-2)
1916 J. E. Ingersoll (7-2-0)
1917-1919 C. A. Bernier 1917 (6-2-1); 1918 (7-0-0); 1919 (5-4-0); overall (18-6-1)
1920 S. B. Sutton (4-6-0)
1921-1925 B. C. Cubbage 1921 (7-3-0); 1922 (8-1-1); 1923 (6-3-0); 1924 (4-2-3); 1925 (5-3-2); overall (22-13-1)
1926-1929 Andy F. Gustafson 1926 (5-3-1); 1927 (5-4-0); 1928 (7-2-0); 1929 (5-4-0); overall (22-13-1)
1930-1931  O. E. Neale 1930 (5-3-1); 1931 (3-4-2); overall (8-7-3)
1932-1940 H. B. Redd 1932 (8-1-0); 1933 (4-3-3); 1934 (5-5-0); 1935(4-3-2); 1936 (5-5-0); 1937 (5-5-0); 1938 (3-5-2); 1939 (4-5-1); 1940 (5-5-0); overall (43-37-8)
1941 J. R. Kitts (6-4-0)
1942 H. M. McEver (7-2-1)
1943-1944 Discontinued because of World War II
1945 H. M. McEver (2-6-0); overall (9-8-1)
1946-1947  J. R. Kitts 1946 (3-3-0); 1947 (4-5-0); overall (13-12-3)
1948-1950 R. C. McNeish 1948 (0-8-1); 1949 (1-7-2); 1950 (0-10-0); overall (1-25-3)
1951-1960  Frank O. Moseley 1951 (2-8-0); 1952 (5-6-0); 1953 (5-5-0); 1954 (8-0-1); 1955 (6-3-1); 1956 (7-2-1); 1957 (4-6-0); 1958 (5-4-1); 1959 (6-4-0); 1960 (6-4-0); overall (54-42-4)
1961-1970  Jerry D. Claiborne 1961 (4-5-0); 1962 (5-5-0); 1963 (8-2-0); 1964 (6-4-0); 1965 (7-3-0); 1966 (8-1-1); 1967 (7-3-0); 1968 (7-3-0); 1969 (4-5-1); 1970 (5-6-0); overall (61-37-2)
1971-1973  C. E. Coffey 1971 (4-7-0); 1972 (6-4-1); 1973 (2-9-0); overall (12-20-1)
1974-1977  Jimmy Sharpe 1974 (4-7-0); 1975 (8-3-0); 1976 (6-5-0); 1977 (3-7-1); overall (21-22-1)
1978-1986  Bill Dooley 1978 (4-7-0); 1979 (5-6-0); 1980 (8-4-0); 1981 (7-4-0); 1982 (7-4-0); 1983 (9-2-0); 1984 (8-4-0); 1985 (6-5-0); 1986 (10-1-1—includes a forfeit by Temple); overall (64-37-1)
1987-present Frank Beamer 1987 (2-9-0); 1988 (3-8-0); 1989 (6-4-1); 1990 (6-5-0); 1991 (5-6); 1992 (2-8-1); 1993 (9-3); 1994 (8-4); 1995 (10-2); 1996 (10-2); 1997 (7-5); 1998 (9-3); 1999 (11-1); 2000 (11-1); 2001 (8-4); 2002 (10-4); 2003 (8-5); 2004 (10-3); 2005 (11-2); 2006 (10-3); 2007 (11-3); 2008 (10-4); 2009 (10-3) overall (187-92-2)—1999, AP Coach of the Year, Walter Camp Foundation/Street & Smith Coach of the Year; 2004, ACC Coach of the Year; 2005, ACC Coach of the Year; 2007, Sports Unlimited Southeast Coach of the Year

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