Ohio Bobcats football

Last updated
Ohio Bobcats football
AmericanFootball current event.svg 2021 Ohio Bobcats football team
Ohio Bobcats wordmark.svg
First season 1894
Athletic directorJulie Cromer
Head coach Tim Albin
1st season, 0–0 (–)
Stadium Peden Stadium
(capacity: 24,000)
Field surface Field Turf
Location Athens, Ohio
NCAA division Division I FBS
Conference Mid-American Conference
DivisionEast
All-time record58156747 (.506)
Bowl record58 (.385)
Claimed national titles1 (1960, College Division)
Conference titles11
Division titles4
Rivalries Miami (rivalry)
Marshall (rivalry)
Current uniform
Ohio bobcats football unif.png
ColorsHunter green and white [1]
         
Fight song"Stand Up and Cheer"
Mascot Rufus the Bobcat
Marching band The Ohio University Marching 110
Outfitter Adidas
Website OhioBobcats.com

The Ohio Bobcats football team is a major intercollegiate varsity sports program of Ohio University. The team represents the university as the senior member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), playing at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level. The Bobcats have played their home games in Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio since 1929. Ohio University is also the first team to produce a shut out during an MAC Bowl game. The Ohio Bobcats football's first game is reported [2] in 1894, an 8–0 loss to Marietta College. [3] Since then, the Bobcats have posted an over 500 wins over their 125-year existence and over 200 wins in their 72 years in MAC games. The Bobcats have won five MAC championships, in 1953, 1960, 1963, 1967, and 1968, and four MAC East Division championships, in 2006, 2009, 2011, and 2016. Prior to joining the MAC, the Bobcats won six Buckeye Athletic Association championships, in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1935, 1936, and 1938. In 1960, the Bobcats were crowned National Small College Champions after compiling a 10–0 record under Bill Hess. The Bobcats have appeared in twelve bowl games, losing 15–14 to West Texas State in the 1962 Sun Bowl, losing 49–42 to Richmond in the 1968 Tangerine Bowl, falling 28–7 to Southern Mississippi in the 2007 GMAC Bowl, losing 21–17 to Marshall in the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, and a defeat at the hands of Troy in the 2010 New Orleans Bowl. Ohio won their first bowl game on December 17, 2011 with a 24–23 victory over the Utah State Aggies in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Ohio followed up that bowl win with another in 2012 over Louisiana–Monroe in the 2012 Independence Bowl, by the score 45–14. In 2013, Ohio played in their fifth consecutive bowl game, losing to East Carolina in the 2013 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. Ohio lost in the 2015 Camellia Bowl and the 2016 Dollar General Bowl, before defeating UAB in the 2017 Bahamas Bowl and San Diego State in the 2018 Frisco Bowl.

Contents

History

Early history (1892–1923)

In 1892, Ohio University became a member of a four-school conference—the Athletic League of Ohio Colleges—which included Otterbein College, Wittenberg University, and Marietta College. [4] A football schedule never materialized, however, and the league dissolved before even a single game was played, though a baseball championship was held in the spring of 1892, with Wittenberg claiming the pennant. [5] In preparation, though, a team was formed on Ohio's campus and H.R. Higley was elected captain. He soon began coaching the team, according to the student newspaper, the Panorama. For the first time, the football team was given space in the Athena yearbook in 1892. The entire team was listed by position and name. [6] The local newspaper reports that a team was organized and had the "expectation" to compete against other colleges in the "not distant future." [7] In 1893, coaches are reported to have watched a game in Gambier. [8] The first intercollegiate football game involving an Ohio University team was played in Athens in 1894 against Marietta College. It was the only contest played that year by Ohio, with Marietta winning by a score of 8–0. The next year the Bobcats faced a five-game schedule, under the leadership of coach Harvey Deme. The 1895 squad was 2–3, with wins against Parkersburg High School [abbreviated Parker H.S. in some early records] and Lancaster High School, and losses against Ohio Wesleyan and Marietta College (twice).

From 1896 to 1905, the football program was in a state of flux, with a new coach taking over the reins every year. Injuries and the untimely death of the Ohio University quarterback, on the field, in December 1898, was a sombering event, with severe injuries often taking place in early collegiate football as uniforms of the era provided little physical protection. The coaches during this time period included Frank Remsberg, Warwick Ford, Peter McLaren, Fred Sullivan, Karl Core, Art Jones, Henry Hart, Joseph Railsback, and Harold Monosmith, with Sullivan being coach in both 1899 and 1903. The best records of this time period were forged in 1897 and 1901 under Warwick Ford and Art Jones, respectively. The 'Cats were 7–2 in their 1897 campaign, and posted a 6–1–2 record in 1901.

The 1897 season, which produced the best record of any of the 19th Century campaigns, started with two straight losses—to Marietta College and Cincinnati. The team then reeled off seven straight with victories over Muskingum College, Dennison College, Ohio Medical University, West Virginia University, Otterbein College, and Marietta College. The home victory over WVU inspired a poem that appeared in The Athens Messenger and Herald newspaper. [9]

And they came and they were conquer'd

With swift dispatch and ease,
And they felt that twinging sorrow which
In vain they could appease
Thought not that woe awaited them
Across Ohio's stream.
And like the poet found that things
Aren't ever what they seem.

And they came from fair Virginia
The place of Morgantown.
Where swift Monogahela flows
Past mountains looking down:
Proud and boasting came they hither
To wrestle for the goals
Which they found almost as quickly
As disembodied souls.

Badly battered left they homeward
In vain could they conceal
The awful havoc of their bucks
'Gainst O.U.'s pointed steel:
And they left here sad but wiser
Of many manly tricks,
For the gridiron here is hot

As Athens politics.

Beginning in 1906, the Bobcats began to assert themselves as a more permanent entity on campus with the hiring of Arthur McFarland as head coach. The 1906 squad exploded for a 7–1 record, with wins over respected programs such as West Virginia University and the University of Cincinnati. The program tailed off considerably in 1907, however, and would not post a .500 record until 1911 under coach Arthur Hinaman. The 1911 squad outscored all opponents 88–44, but only managed to post a 3–3–2 record.

Arguably the greatest Ohio team of the early era was Mark Bank's 1915 squad. This storied club posted an 8–1 record and outscored all opponents by a combined 175–33. Beating such teams as the University of Cincinnati, Marshall University, and Transylvania University, the Bobcats' only loss was a 13–6 affair versus archrival Miami University. Following the explosion of the 1915 team, the Bobcats experienced a period of success during the late 1910s. The 1916 team posted a record of 5–2–1, and the 1918 squad went an undefeated 4–0–1, with wins over the Ohio State freshman team and Denison University. In 1920, Russ Finsterwald was hired to lead the 'Cats into a new decade. His tenure, however, was marked by relative mediocrity, with records of 4–3, 4–4–1, and 5–3 in his three years at the helm. F.B. Heldt was named coach in 1923, and posted a record of 3–5–1. His lack of success against challenging opponents lead to a quick dismissal, and ultimately forced the hiring of Bobcat legend Don Peden.

Don Peden era (1924–1946)

Through its football history, Ohio University has had 28 head coaches. Of these, Don Peden has the longest tenure, 21 seasons. Over that period, he compiled a record of 121 wins, 46 losses and 11 ties. To this day, his .711 winning percentage is by far the best of any Bobcats coach with more than twenty games of competition. As part of Peden's legacy, the Bobcats' present-day stadium (known as Ohio Stadium in Peden's time) now dons the name Peden Stadium.

Peden's tenure began rather unceremoniously in 1924, with a 4–4 record. The next year, however, Peden led the 'Cats to a 6–2 season, and wins over the Cincinnati and Toledo. From 1926 to 1928, the Bobcats posted winning records every season, with the 1928 team forging a 6–3 season and a marquee 66–6 victory over the Cincinnati.

Peden oversaw one of the Bobcats' best-ever spans—seven seasons from 1929 through 1935—in which Ohio compiled a cumulative record of 49–9–3. In that period, Peden's squads won four Buckeye Athletic Association championships and enjoyed three undefeated seasons. In 1929, the Bobcats moved into brand new Ohio Stadium, and celebrated with a 9–0 record, while giving up just 7 points all season (a lone touchdown to Ohio Wesleyan). The 1935 team upset the University of Illinois in the season opener, 6–0, on its way to a perfect 8–0 season. That year, the Bobcats were led by All-American Art Lewis, a sturdy tackle who became a first-round selection of the New York Giants in the first-ever National Football League draft in 1936. Lewis would go on to become a very successful college coach himself at West Virginia.

Peden continued his legacy of success following the graduation of Lewis and the other seniors of the 1935 team. He won a Buckeye Athletic Association title in 1936 and another in 1938, with the 1938 team being one of the best under Peden. That team upset Illinois yet again, and also earned victories over Xavier, Marshall, and arch-rival Miami.

The Bobcats would never win another Buckeye Athletic Association title under Peden, though he still led the team through many winning seasons and thrilling victories. His storied 1941 team posted a record of 5–2–1 while outscoring all opponents 108–42. Bobcat football was interrupted by World War II, with Ohio not fielding a team in either the 1943 or 1944 seasons. The 1945 team was 3–4 while struggling to recruit new members after the war and facing a challenging schedule. In his final year as head coach, 1946, Peden steered the Bobcats into the Mid-American Conference as a charter member. Today, the Bobcats are the only team still in the conference from the original 5 team league that included Butler, Cincinnati, Wayne State, and Case Western. The 1946 squad was 6–3, and posted impressive wins over Western Michigan and Murray State.

Wise and Widdoes era (1947–1957)

With the retirement of legendary coach Don Peden in 1946, the Ohio athletics administration knew that it would be challenging to find a worthy successor. The man chosen was Harold Wise, who lasted only two seasons and posted 3–5–1 and 3–6 records. His teams were competitive, but struggled to face the challenging schedule presented by membership in the MAC. His 1948 team, though only 3–6, is best known for its 37–7 demolishing of Case Western Reserve.

In 1949, Carroll Widdoes became the new coach of the Bobcats following a successful two-year tenure at Ohio State. Widdoes led the team to a 4–4–1 record in his first year, and made noise with an opening day upset of West Virginia. Widdoes' 1950, 1951, and 1952 teams all posted winning records, and were led by All-American linebacker Vince Costello. Costello would go on to a highly decorated professional career with the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants.

The 1953 squad won Ohio's first ever Mid-American Conference title, while posting an impressive 6–2–1 record (5–0–1 MAC). The 1954 squad failed to disappoint as well, posting a 6–3 mark against a challenging gauntlet that featured perennial power Harvard. The 1955 Bobcats were 5–4, but in 1956 and 1957 Ohio was 2–7 and 2–6–1, respectively. With two losing seasons in a row, Widdoes resigned as coach and became Ohio's athletics director. Widdoes handpicked a successor in Bill Hess, who had spent seven seasons as an assistant to Woody Hayes and brought a similar philosophy back to Athens.

Bill Hess era (1958–1977)

If one Bobcat coach can rival the success of Don Peden, it is certainly Bill Hess. In his 19 seasons at the helm, Hess had a 108–91–4 record. His winning percentage is .542, and he is responsible for bringing 4 MAC titles and one National Championship to Athens. He also took the Bobcats to two bowl games, and oversaw countless winning seasons and exciting victories along the way.

The 1958 season under Hess ushered in a new level of Bobcat success. Against a grueling schedule, Ohio was 5–4, and amassed a thrilling 23–6 upset of Louisville. That team outscored all opponents by a combined 159–102, but was only a precursor of the impending prominence. In Hess's second season in 1959, Ohio went 7–2, finishing as runners-up to an undefeated Bowling Green squad. The following year, 1960, the Green and White enjoyed what many argue was their best season ever. Behind the powerful running of Robert Brooks and the blocking and tackling of two-way standout Dick Grecni, the Bobcats went a perfect 10–0. In the process, they claimed the National College Division championship. Grecni earned All-America honors and was one of five standouts on that team who eventually played professionally.

Two years later in 1962, Hess led Ohio to its first-ever bowl game, a matchup with West Texas State in the 1962 Sun Bowl. Jim McKee kicked a 52-yard field goal to put the Bobcats ahead early but they trailed at the half 7–3. In the third quarter, three time all-MAC performer Skip Hoovler intercepted a pass and ran it back 91 yards for a touchdown. Ohio led 14–7 late in the game before West Texas scored on a 32-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion to win 15–14. Hoovler was named Lineman of the Game, and his 91-yard interception still stands as a Sun Bowl record. Ironically, the Bobcats did not win the MAC in that 1962 season but did go to a bowl. The following season, Ohio won the league championship but was not invited to a bowl game.

From 1964 to 1966, Hess's teams struggled, with the low point being a 0–10 season in 1965. The 'Cats were far from a disaster, however, and in 1967, Hess would claim his third MAC championship (shared with the Toledo). That team also raised eyebrows with a 30–15 win over Kansas, runners-up in the Big Eight conference that season. It was a performance that hinted at even greater things to come.

In 1968, the most explosive Bobcat offense ever stormed its way to a 10–0 regular season, a MAC championship, and an invitation to the 1968 Tangerine Bowl. Along the way, they racked up 418 points in 11 games. That average of 37.6 points per game stood as the MAC record until 1997. The amazing pass-and-catch combination of Cleve Bryant and Todd Snyder, coupled with the sturdy running of Dave LeVeck and Bob Houmard, proved to be nearly unstoppable. The 1968 season also marked Ohio's first-ever appearance in the Top 20. On the heels of a 28–27 victory over the Bowling Green in which the Bobcats scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes, Bryant led the way to a 60–48 win against the Cincinnati. Sports Illustrated called it an "insane circus" and it helped to land the 'Cats at 18th in the United Press International coaches' poll and 20th in the Associated Press writers' poll. Ohio would cap off the season at the Tangerine Bowl against the Richmond and to no one's surprise the contest was another shootout. Bryant threw four touchdown passes and Snyder caught 11 passes for 214 yards. But it wasn't enough, however, as Richmond prevailed for a 49–42 win.

The 1969 season saw the Bobcats begin to tail off a bit, with the team only posting a record of 5–4–1. That team did score several impressive victories, though, with a 46–6 win over the Cincinnati and a 35–35 tie against Minnesota. Hess's squads would not enjoy a .500 record again until 1973, when the 'Cats were 5–5 with a 14–12 upset of the Northwestern. The 1974 and 1975 teams were 6–5 and 5–5–1, respectively, and built up to the successful 1976 season. In Hess's second to last year, Ohio managed a 7–4 mark, including a 6–2 record against MAC foes. Hess would also coach the 1977 team while fighting a battle with cancer, leading the team to a 1–10 record that included numerous close losses to challenging opponents.

Brian Burke era (1979–1984)

The darkest era in Bobcat football history followed the passing of legend Bill Hess. Hess's successor was Bob Kappes, who lasted only one year and posted a 3–8 record. Kappes was replaced by Brian Burke, who brought the program back to a reasonable level of respectability. The 1979 and 1980 teams were both 6–5, with the Bobcats managing to beat Miami both years. The 1982 squad also managed a 6–5 mark, with a key 20–0 win Miami and a 17–14 upset of Toledo.

Cleve Bryant era (1985–1989)

Following a 1984 season that saw the 'Cats go 4–6–1, Burke was replaced by Cleve Bryant, an Ohio legend who was responsible for quarterbacking the 1967 and 1968 MAC championship teams. Bryant proved less successful as a coach, however, and led the team to a 2–9 record in his first year. He followed that up with 1–10 campaigns in 1986 and 1987, leading to his best year in 1988. That year, the 'Cats were 4–6–1, and beat Miami for the first time in 4 years. Bryant's team fell to 1–9–1 in 1989, though, and Bryant was subsequently relieved of his duties as coach of the 'Cats.

Tom Lichtenberg era (1990–1994)

The 1990 season saw the arrival of Tom Lichtenberg to coach the Bobcats, though the results on the field were similar to those seen under Bryant. The 1990 squad was 1–9–1, and that was followed up with a 2–8–1 performance in 1991. Lichtenberg's best year was 1993, in which he led the Bobcats to a 4–7 mark and a win over Miami for the first time since 1988. However, the 1994 Bobcats were winless, going 0–11 and leading to the dismissal of Lichtenberg and his staff.

Jim Grobe era (1995–2000)

In 1995, Jim Grobe took over an Ohio program that was in great need of an overhaul. He brought with him a unique offensive and defensive philosophy learned as a long-time assistant coach at the United States Air Force Academy. While most of the college football world was moving towards a high-octane passing attack, Grobe took the Bobcats back to the basics of the triple option, with wildly successful results. Ohio scored over 300 points in both 1996 and 1997, going 8–3 in 1997. It was the Green and White's first winning season in 15 years. Grobe's squads were prolific offensive teams, in spite of the media's ill-conceived notion of an "antique" offense. Kareem Wilson, the Bobcats' fireplug of a quarterback, was voted the MAC's Offensive Player of the Year following a 1996 season in which he rushed for 1,072 yards and a school-record 14 touchdowns. Meanwhile, fullback Steveland Hookfin was piling up 3,972 rushing yards during the same era to become Ohio's all-time rushing leader. Wilson's total of 3,597 yards still stands as the fifth-most ever by an NCAA quarterback. His 875 career carries are the most by a signal caller in college football history.

Following the success of the 1996 and 1997 campaigns, Grobe teams fell to 5–6 in both 1998 and 1999. In 2000, however, the 'Cats went 7–4 and upset Minnesota for their first win over a Big Ten Conference team in 27 years. Ohio finished that season with a win over Marshall, giving the 'Cats two wins over bowl teams for the first time since the 1970s. The 2000 team also set a new school record for total offense, piling up 4,599 yards. The total broke the previous mark held by the legendary 1968 squad.

Brian Knorr era (2001–2004)

After the 2000 season, however, Grobe left the 'Cats to become head coach of Wake Forest. His appointed successor was Brian Knorr, who had been an assistant with Grobe while at Air Force and was Grobe's defensive coordinator at Ohio. Knorr proved inept as a head coach, however, and posted a 1–10 mark in 2001 despite retaining many players from the 7–4 2000 squad. Knorr was 4–8 in 2002, and regressed to 2–10 in 2003. In 2004 a slight improvement was seen with a 4–7 record and a marquee win over the Kentucky Wildcats, but it was too little too late for Knorr. He was fired after the 2004 season.

Frank Solich era (2005–2020)

Frank Solich was named the 28th football coach of the Bobcats on December 16, 2004. Prior to coming to Ohio, Solich spent many years as a part of the University of Nebraska football program, as a player, an assistant coach, and later as the head coach. Solich was head coach of the Cornhuskers from 1998 to 2003 where he directed Nebraska to 6 consecutive bowl games, including the national championship game in the 2002 Rose Bowl. Solich's impact on the Ohio program was immediate, as plans were put in place to renovate Ohio's football facilities and increase financial support for the football program. Also, Ohio was selected to appear on national television 6 times for the 2005 football season, a record for the program. Frank Solich's first home game as coach of Ohio was a memorable one, as Peden Stadium brought in its largest crowd ever at the time to watch the Bobcats defeat Pittsburgh 16–10 in overtime.

Under the guidance of Frank Solich, the Ohio football program enjoyed a return to national prominence in 2006. On November 16, 2006 the Bobcats secured their first ever Mid-American Conference East Division title and their first football championship of any sort since 1968 with a victory over Akron. The Bobcats advanced to the 2006 MAC Championship Game, where they were defeated by Central Michigan 31–10. Still, the Bobcats were invited to the 2007 GMAC Bowl on January 7, 2007; only the third bowl game in school history and their first since 1968. In that game, the Bobcats were defeated by Southern Mississippi 28–7.

The Bobcats followed up the impressive 2006 campaign with a 6–6 record in 2007, and was one of 6 bowl eligible programs that was not invited to post-season play. The Bobcats returned to the post-season in 2009, posting a 9-3 regular season record and another MAC East Championship. Ohio played in the 2009 MAC Championship Game, where they fell to Central Michigan 20–10. On December 26, 2009, the Bobcats fell 21-17 to Marshall in the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. The following season, the Bobcats won their home opener against Wofford before dropping their next three straight. The Bobcats went on to win their next seven before playing at Kent State for a chance to play in the MAC Championship game. The Bobcats were blown out at the hands of Troy on December 18, 2010 in the 2010 New Orleans Bowl 48–21.

After the loss in the New Orleans, Solich sent top offensive assistants Tim Albin and Gerry Gdowski to Troy, Alabama to learn the spread offense. The season prior, he had sent assistants to Nevada to learn the pistol offense. Solich planned to use the pistol and the spread, scrapping the fullback dive for the zone-read run. [10] Needing a quarterback that was both able to throw the ball down field effectively and command the no-huddle offense a battle commenced for the starting quarterback position. Tyler Tettleton emerged as the starting quarterback over the likes of Kyle Snyder and Phil Bates, who switched his position to wide receiver.

Ohio's new spread offense proved to be explosive in the early part of the season, averaging just under 40 points per game in their first 3 contests, all of which were convincing wins. [11] The Bobcats would go on to finish 10–4 on the season, including a 20-point, 2nd half collapse in the 2011 MAC Championship Game against Northern Illinois. [12] Despite the crushing loss, Ohio rebounded to defeat Utah State 24-23 in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The win was the first bowl victory in the program's history. [13]

Ohio kicked off their 2012 season with a prime time nationally televised win on ESPN over Penn State and won their next six contests, starting the season 7–0 for the first time in 1968. [14] The team's enhanced national reputation prompted the President of the United States, during a visit to campus in October, 2012, to exclaim "I hear you Bobcats have quite an exciting football team and they are fun to watch...undefeated this year!" Following that win the Bobcats were ranked No. 25 in the Associated Press poll. [15] The following week moved up to No. 23 in the AP Poll and No. 25 in the BCS standings, but were defeated 23-20 by the Miami University Redhawks on October 27 and dropped out of the top 25 in both the AP and BCS rankings. [16] The Bobcats were consequently invited to the 2012 Independence Bowl and won their second straight bowl game, 45–14 over the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.

In 2013, the Bobcats started 6–2, but went 1–4 the rest of the season, including a loss in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl to East Carolina.

During the 2018 season, Solich won his 109th game with the Bobcats, vaulting him past Hess to become the second-winningest coach in school history, behind only Peden.

Ohio won back-to-back bowl games in the 2017 Bahamas Bowl and the 2018 Frisco Bowl. Ohio has been bowl eligible for 10 consecutive years dating back to 2009.

Tim Albin era (2021–present)

On July 14, 2021, following Solich's retirement, longtime Bobcat offensive coordinator Tim Albin was named the 29th head coach of the program. [17]

Conference affiliations

Ohio has been both an independent and conference-affiliated.

Championships

National championships

Ohio was the 1960 NCAA College Division national champion, as selected by both Associated Press and UPI in the 1960 NCAA College Division football rankings. The team outscored its opponents 269–34. [24]

YearCoachSelectorsRecordConference Record
1960 Bill Hess AP, UPI10–06–0

Conference championships

YearConferenceCoachRecordConference Record
1929 Buckeye Athletic Association Don Peden 9–05–0
1930 Buckeye Athletic AssociationDon Peden8–0–14–0
1931 Buckeye Athletic AssociationDon Peden7–14–0
1935 Buckeye Athletic AssociationDon Peden8–05–0
1936Buckeye Athletic AssociationDon Peden5–2–13–1–1
1938 Buckeye Athletic AssociationDon Peden7–23–1
1953 Mid-American Conference Carroll Widdoes 6–2–15–0–1
1960 Mid-American Conference Bill Hess 10–06–0
1963 Mid-American ConferenceBill Hess6–45–1
1967 Mid-American ConferenceBill Hess6–45–1
1968 Mid-American ConferenceBill Hess10–16–0

† Co-champions

Division championships

YearDivisionCoachOverall RecordConference RecordOpponentCG Result
2006 MAC East Frank Solich 9–57–1 Central Michigan L 10–31
2009 MAC EastFrank Solich9–57–1 Central Michigan L 10–20
2011 MAC EastFrank Solich10–46–2 Northern Illinois L 20–23
2016MAC EastFrank Solich8–66–2 Western Michigan L 23–29

† Co-champions

Bowl games

The Bobcats have a 5–8 bowl record.

SeasonBowlOpponentResult
1962 Sun Bowl West Texas State L 14–15
1968 Tangerine Bowl Richmond L 42–49
2006 GMAC Bowl Southern Mississippi L 7–28
2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Marshall L 17–21
2010 New Orleans Bowl Troy L 21–48
2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Utah State W 24–23
2012 Independence Bowl Louisiana–Monroe W 45–14
2013 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl East Carolina L 20–37
2015 Camellia Bowl Appalachian State L 29–31
2016 Dollar General Bowl Troy L 23–28
2017 Bahamas Bowl UAB W 41–6
2018 Frisco Bowl San Diego State W 27–0
2019 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Nevada W 30–21

Head coaches

Updated 7/14/2021

CoachTenureRecordPct.Bowl games
Harvey Derne 18952–3.400
Frank Remsburg 18964–2–1.643
Warwick Ford 18977–2.778
Peter McLaren 18981–2–1.375
Fred Sullivan 1899, 19034–6.400
Karl Core 19002–4–1.357
Arlie C. Jones 19016–1–2.778
Harold Monosmith 19020–5–1.083
Henry Hart 19042–4–1.357
Joseph Railsbeck 19052–5–2.333
Arthur McFarland 1906–190813–10–1.563
Robert Woods 1909–19102–10–3.233
Arthur Hinaman 1911–19124–10–3.324
M. B. Banks 1913–191722–17–2.561
Frank Gullum 1918–19197–5–1.577
Russ Finsterwald 1920–192213–10–1.563
John C. Heldt 19233–5–1.389
Don Peden 1924–1946 121–46–11 .711
Harold Wise 1947–19486–11–1.361
Carroll Widdoes 1949–195742–36–5.536
Bill Hess 1958–1977108–91–4.5420–2
Bob Kappes 19783–8.273
Brian Burke 1979–198431–34–1.477
Cleve Bryant 1985–19899–44–2.182
Tom Lichtenberg 1990–19948–45–2.164
Jim Grobe 1995–200033–33–1.500
Brian Knorr 2001–200411–35.239
Frank Solich 2005–2020115–82.5845–6
Tim Albin 2021–present0–0

[25]

Rivalries

Miami

Ohio's archrival is Miami. "The Battle of the Bricks" is an annual all-sports rivalry competition between the Ohio Bobcats and the Miami RedHawks athletic programs. The name "Battle of the Bricks" evolved from each school's reputation of having a campus of red brick roads. Each varsity athletic competition in which the Bobcats and RedHawks meet including tournament play is counted as part of the years series record. At the conclusion of each academic year, the school with the most varsity wins takes the trophy back to their campus for the following year.

Marshall

Ohio's regional rival is Marshall. The annual football game between Ohio and Marshall is called the Battle for the Bell, with a traveling bell trophy as the prize for the victor. The two schools met in the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit, with Marshall winning 21–17. Although Marshall had won each of the last six meetings between the schools up until the 2011 Ohio win of 44–7, Ohio leads the all-time series over the Thundering Herd with a record of 33–21–6. The most recent matchup was on September 14, 2019.

Bobcat football traditions

Ohio football is rich in traditions, and Coach Solich has since his hiring made upholding tradition a cornerstone of his program. Some Ohio football traditions include: [26]

All-time MAC records

Updated through November 28, 2020. Only includes current MAC teams. [27]

OpponentW-L-T record
Akron 23–13–1
Ball State 11–15
Bowling Green 30–40–2
Buffalo 16–10
Central Michigan 5–26–2
Eastern Michigan 19–12–1
Kent State 45–25–2
Miami (OH) 40–54–2
Northern Illinois 10–13
Toledo 21–31–1
Western Michigan 29–34–1
Total 249–243–12

NFL Players and Individual awards and achievements

Ohio's All-time players in the NFL

[28] [29]

All players in bold are current NFL players.

Ohio's All-Americans

[30]

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of September 23, 2019. [31]

20202021202220232024202520262027
North Carolina Central Syracuse Florida Atlantic LIU at Syracuse at Illinois Cincinnati Marshall
at Boston College Gardner–Webb at Penn State at Florida Atlantic South Alabama at Marshall at South Alabama
Marshall at Louisiana at Iowa State Iowa State Morgan State
at Texas State at Northwestern Fordham at Rutgers at Kentucky

Related Research Articles

Frank Thomas Solich is a former American football coach and former player. He is the former head coach at Ohio University, a position he he held from 2005 until 2021. From 1998 to 2003, Solich served as the head coach at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he also played fullback under Bob Devaney in the mid-1960s.

Ohio Bobcats College sport team in Ohio

The Ohio Bobcats are the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Intercollegiate athletic teams that represent Ohio University, located in Athens, Ohio, United States. Ohio University is a charter member (1946) of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), is currently in the East Division of that conference, and sponsors teams in six men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports. The football team competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest level for college football.

William R. Hess was an American football coach. He served as the head football coach at Ohio University from 1958 to 1977. In his tenure as head coach for the Ohio Bobcats football team, Hess compiled a 108–91–4 record. He ranked second on Ohio's all-time victories list behind Hall of Famer Don Peden at the time of his retirement, though he has since been passed by current coach Frank Solich. Hess's teams won four Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships and won a National Small College Championship in 1960 after having an undefeated season. Hess also led the Bobcats to two bowl games, losing 15–14 to West Texas State in the 1962 Sun Bowl and losing 49–42 to Richmond in the 1968 Tangerine Bowl. His 1968 team is the only team in school history to finish ranked in the major polls. Hess was a native of Columbus, Ohio. He coached high school football in Portsmouth and Grandview Heights, Ohio before joining Woody Hayes's staff at Ohio State University in 1951.

Ohio Bobcats mens basketball

The Ohio Bobcats men's basketball team is an intercollegiate varsity sports program of Ohio University. The team is a member of the Mid-American Conference East Division competing in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The Bobcats have played their home games in the Convocation Center since 1968.

2009 Ohio Bobcats football team American college football season

The 2009 Ohio Bobcats football team competed on behalf of Ohio University during the 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Bobcats were led by head coach Frank Solich and played their home games in Peden Stadium located in Athens, Ohio.

The 2010 New Orleans Bowl was the tenth edition of the New Orleans Bowl. The game was played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Saturday, December 18, 2010, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. The contest was televised live on ESPN. The game featured the Ohio Bobcats of the Mid-American Conference versus the Troy Trojans from the Sun Belt Conference. Sponsored by R+L Carriers, the game was officially known as the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

2011 Ohio Bobcats football team American college football season

The 2011 Ohio Bobcats football team represented Ohio University in the 2011 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Bobcats were led by seventh-year head coach Frank Solich and played their home games at Peden Stadium. They were a member of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Ohio finished the season 10–4, 6–2 in MAC play to be champions of the East Division. They represented the division in the MAC Championship Game where they lost to Northern Illinois. They were invited to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl where they defeated Utah State for their first bowl victory in school history.

Rufus the Bobcat

Rufus the Bobcat is the mascot for the Ohio Bobcats. Ohio University revealed the new mascot during a ceremony before the Bobcats' victory over Tennessee-Martin on Saturday, September 2, 2006. At the suggestion of a university alumnus, Michael Massa, Class Of 1982, a University-wide contest to name the bobcat took place in 2006. The unveiling ceremony began with a video of the mascot interacting with the football team and Head Coach Frank Solich culminating with Rufus roaring into Peden Stadium on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. In October 2014, coinciding with a space conference being held on campus, Rufus the Bobcat was the first college mascot's name to venture into deep outer space aboard an unmanned NASA spacecraft, carrying a CD library of names. In 2020, Ohio University launched its first actual space satellite “Bobcat-1” aboard NASA’s Antares rocket, to the international space station.

2012 Ohio Bobcats football team American college football season

The 2012 Ohio Bobcats football team represented Ohio University in the 2012 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by eighth-year head coach Frank Solich and played their home games at Peden Stadium. They were a member of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). After defeating Akron on October 13 to become 7–0 the Bobcats were ranked #25 in the AP Poll; Ohio had not been ranked nationally since 1968. On October 21, 2012, the Bobcats peaked at #23 in both the Coaches Poll and AP Poll, and #24 in the BCS standings. They finished the season 9–4, 4–4 in MAC play to finish in third place in the East Division. They were invited to the Independence Bowl where they defeated Louisiana–Monroe for their second consecutive bowl victory.

2014 Ohio Bobcats football team American college football season

The 2014 Ohio Bobcats football team represented Ohio University in the 2014 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by tenth year head coach Frank Solich and played their home games at Peden Stadium. They were members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference. They finished the season 6–6, 4–4 in MAC play to finish in second place in the East Division. Despite being bowl eligible, they were not invited to a bowl game.

2015 Ohio Bobcats football team American college football season

The 2015 Ohio Bobcats football team represented Ohio University in the 2015 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by 11th year head coach Frank Solich and played their home games at Peden Stadium. They were members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference. They finished the season 8–5, 5–3 on MAC play to finish in a tie for second place in the East Division. They were invited to the Camellia Bowl where they lost to Appalachian State.

The 1960 Ohio Bobcats football team was an American football team that represented Ohio University during the 1960 NCAA College Division football season. In their third season under head coach Bill Hess, the Bobcats won the Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship, compiled a perfect 10–0 record, shut out five of ten opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 269 to 34.

The 1935 Ohio Bobcats football team was an American football team that represented Ohio University as a member of the Buckeye Athletic Association (BAA) during the 1935 college football season. In their 12th season under head coach Don Peden, the Bobcats compiled a perfect 8–0 record, won the BAA championship, shut out five of eight opponents, and outscored all opponents by a total of 170 to 36.

The 1929 Ohio Bobcats football team was an American football team that represented Ohio University as a member of the Buckeye Athletic Association (BAA) during the 1929 college football season. In their sixth season under head coach Don Peden, the Bobcats compiled a perfect 9–0 record, won the Buckeye Athletic Association championship, shut out seven of nine opponents, and outscored all opponents by a total of 306 to 13.

2016 Ohio Bobcats football team American college football season

The 2016 Ohio Bobcats football team represented Ohio University in the 2016 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by 12th-year head coach Frank Solich and played their home games at Peden Stadium. They were members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference. They finished the season 8–6, 6–2 in MAC play to finish in a two-way tie for the East Division title. They represented the East Division in the MAC Championship Game where they lost to Western Michigan. They were invited to the Dollar General Bowl where they lost to Troy.

2017 Ohio Bobcats football team American college football season

The 2017 Ohio Bobcats football team represented Ohio University in the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by 13th-year head coach Frank Solich and played their home games at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio as members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference. They finished the season 9–4, 5–3 in MAC play to finish in second play in the East Division. They received an invitation to the Bahamas Bowl where they defeated UAB.

2018 Ohio Bobcats football team American college football season

The 2018 Ohio Bobcats football team represented Ohio University in the 2018 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by 14th-year head coach Frank Solich and played their home games at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio as members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference. They finished the season 9–4, 6–2 in MAC play to finish in a tie for second place in the East division. They were invited to the Frisco Bowl where they defeated San Diego State.

2019 Ohio Bobcats football team American college football season

The 2019 Ohio Bobcats football team represented Ohio University in the 2019 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by 15th year head coach Frank Solich and played their home games at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio, as members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference.

2020 Ohio Bobcats football team American college football season

The 2020 Ohio Bobcats football team represented Ohio University in the 2020 NCAA Division I FBS football season. They were led by 16th-year head coach Frank Solich and played their home games at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio, as members of the East Division of the Mid-American Conference.

The 1930 Ohio Bobcats football team was an American football team that represented Ohio University as a member of the Buckeye Athletic Association (BAA) during the 1930 college football season. In their seventh season under head coach Don Peden, the Bobcats compiled an 8–0–1 record, won the BAA championship, and outscored opponents by a total of 227 to 32. The 1930 season was the Bobcats' second consecutive undefeated season.

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