Football

Football
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1890s

1892 First football game played

The first official football game was played against Raleigh Academy, a local prep school, in what was later known as Pullen Park. A&M won 12-6.

1892, 1896–97 Perrin Busbee, football head coach
1893–1895 Bart Gatling, football head coach
1898–1899 W. C. Riddick, football head coach

1900s

1900-1901 John McKee, football head coach
1902 O.M. Gardner was team captain

O.M. Gardner was team captain of the A&M football team. He later became governor of North Carolina.

1902–1903 Arthur Devlin, football head coach
1904 Willis Kienholz, football head coach
1905 George S. Whitney, football head coach
1906 Willie Heston, football head coach
1907 First football game on campus played

The first on-campus football game was played at the new athletic field that would later become Riddick Stadium. The game ended with a 20-0 victory over Randolph-Macon College and secured the Southern Intercollegiate Association Championship for A&M.

A and M College Football Team, 1907, South Atlantic ChampionsA and M College Football Team, 1907, South Atlantic Champions
1907–1908 Mickey Whitehurst, football head coach
1909–1913 Edward L. Greene, football head coach

1910s

1910-1919 Bulldog mascot established for sports team

The football, basketball, and baseball teams had bulldog mascots named "Togo" and "Tige."

North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts baseball team with mascot, TogoNorth Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts baseball team with mascot, Togo
1912 Riddick Field named

Riddick Field (formerly A&M Athletics Field and later Riddick Stadium) was named for Wallace Carl Riddick, a former president of the college and dean of the School of Engineering. The field originally hosted football and baseball games.

Riddick FieldRiddick Field
1914-1915 Jack Hegarty, football head coach
1916 Britt Patterson, football head coach
1917 Harry Hartsell hired as Athletics General Manager

Harry Hartsell was hired as General Manager of Athletics and oversaw coaching of the basketball, football, track, and baseball teams.

The Agromeck 1918The Agromeck 1918
1918 First All-American athlete named

Football player John Ripple became the first All-American athlete at State College.

A & M College football player John H. RippleA & M College football player John H. Ripple
Tal Stafford, football head coach
1919-1920 Bill Fetzer, football head coach

1920s

1921 Wolfpack nickname used

The nickname "Wolfpack" was first used for an NC State athletic team. An alumnus wrote a letter published in the Feb. 1921 Alumni News suggesting the name "Wolf Pack" for NC State's football team. (Another legend indicates an unidentified newspaper published a letter in which someone complained that the football team was "unruly as a pack of wolves," but that story had not been substantiated.)

1924 Buck Shaw, football head coach
1925–1929 Gus Tebell, football head coach
1927-1928 Jack McDowall named "Top Athlete"

McDowall played on the football, men's basketball, baseball, and track & field teams earning 11 varsity letters in the four sports. In 1927 and 1928, he won the Norris Athletic Trophy as NC State's top athlete. He held the school record for the longest punt return at 95 yards. He was considered NC State's top athlete of the first half-century of the college's athletics program. He was named to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1965, the ... More

Alumni News, Vol. 9 No. 5 and 6, February and March 1926Alumni News, Vol. 9 No. 5 and 6, February and March 1926

1930s

1930 First evening football game played

The first evening football game was played on campus with a 37-0 victory over High Point.

1930 Multi-Sport Athlete Sam Gurneau

Sam Gurneau (part Ojibwe) was a star athlete in football, basketball, track, and wrestling. He intercepted and ran 65 yards for a touchdown versus Carolina in November 1930.

Program, Football, North Carolina State versus University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 31 October 1931Program, Football, North Carolina State versus University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 31 October 1931
1930 John Van Liew, football head coach
1931-1933 Clipper Smith, football head coach
1934–1936 Hunk Anderson, football head coach
1937–1943 Doc Newton, football head coach
10/20/1938 Free Homecoming tickets released

The Raleigh Junior Chamber of Commerce distributed free tickets to NC State's Homecoming football game against Furman by releasing balloons with instructions for the finders on how to claim their free tickets.

1940s

11/7/1941 NC State defeated UNC in football for the first time in 14 seasons
N. C. State vs UNC football gameN. C. State vs UNC football game
1944–1951 Beattie Feathers, football head coach
1946 Mechanical Wolfpack mascot created

Mechanical engineering student Ira Helms Jr. created a robot-like Wolfpack mascot costume worn to football games during the 1946 season. One student wore the costume while another walked behind with a "remote control" that appeared to control the robot's movements.

Technician, Vol. 27 No. 4, October 18, 1946Technician, Vol. 27 No. 4, October 18, 1946
9/28/1946 NC State beat Duke football team

NC State beat Duke in football for the first time since 1932 with a final score of 13-6. The wife of right end and co-captain Al Phillips gives birth to a baby boy only hours after the contest.

Aerial view of Riddick Stadium during North Carolina State College football game against Duke, September 28, 1946Aerial view of Riddick Stadium during North Carolina State College football game against Duke, September 28, 1946
9/28/1946 Marching band returned

A football game against Duke was the first appearance of the marching band following the conclusion of World War II.

"State's best""State's best"
10/18/1946 Students took train to Wake Forest football game

State College secured a "victory train" to take 6,000 students to the football game against Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. The train tickets were $0.65 and tickets to the game were $1.00.

1/1/1947 Football team made first bowl appearance

The NC State football team made their first bowl game appearance against the University of Oklahoma in the Gator Bowl.

North Carolina State College's 1946 Gator Bowl team.North Carolina State College's 1946 Gator Bowl team.
1947 Live wolf mascot made appearance

Students brought a live timber wolf to football games to roam the sidelines. UPI called the animal a "sniping and snarling bundle of fur." It was eventually sold to a traveling animal show.

1947 Wolfpack name became official

All NC State athletics teams adopted Wolfpack as the official name. Previously, only the football team was called the Wolfpack, and other sports teams were called the Red Terrors and a variety of other names.

1950s

10/21/1950 First football game televised

A State College football game against the University of Maryland was televised for the first time.

Horace Hendrickson, football head coach
1953 Atlantic Coast Conference formed

NC State athletics teams withdrew from the Southern Conference and joined the newly formed Atlantic Coast Conference.

1954–1970 Earle Edwards, football head coach

Earle Edwards was the football head coach from 1954 to 1970. Edwards stepped down as head football coach after leading the Wolfpack for 17 seasons, making him the university's longest serving football coach. During his tenure, the football team won 5 ACC championships and played its first games in Carter-Finley Stadium. In the 1967 season, Edwards coached NC State to its first bowl victory at the Liberty Bowl and its highest ever football ranking as No. 2. He ... More

11/25/1957 Football team won ACC championship

The football team defeated the University of South Carolina to win their first ACC championship.

1957-1958 Dick Christy named ACC's "Athlete of the Year"

Dick Christy was the 1957 ACC "Player of the Year" in football and 1958 ACC "Athlete of the Year." His jersey number was retired after his time at NC State. In 1958, he was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Portrait of Dick ChristyPortrait of Dick Christy

1960s

12/1/1960 Roman Gabriel honored

Football team quarterback Roman Gabriel was selected as a second-team All-American. He was selected for his second All-American a year later. After leaving NC State, he joined the NFL and played 16 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles. He was named the NFL Most Valuable Player of 1969. In 2012, he was inducted into the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Roman GabrielRoman Gabriel
10/12/1963 Football game broadcast in Reynolds Coliseum

For the first time ever, an NC State football game was shown in Reynolds Coliseum on a closed-circuit television.

Reynolds ColiseumReynolds Coliseum
11/13/1965 Final game played at Riddick Stadium

The last football game was played in Riddick Stadium. Members of the football team mobbed Harold Deters after he kicked the winning field goal against Florida State which resulted in a final score of 3-0.

Harold Deters is mobbed after kicking winning field goal verses Florida State in final game at Riddick Stadium.Harold Deters is mobbed after kicking winning field goal verses Florida State in final game at Riddick Stadium.
10/8/1966 First game played in Carter Stadium

Carter Stadium, as it was originally known, opened as the football team took on South Carolina. Carter Stadium and the A.E. Finley Fieldhouse were dedicated during a halftime ceremony.

Carter-Finley StadiumCarter-Finley Stadium
10/8/1966 Live wolf mascot at Carter-Finley

Student government sold 25-cent shares to purchase a timber wolf, which was shown during the first game played at what became Carter-Finley Stadium. The animal howled, making it popular, but it was later discovered to be a coyote.

Mascot at Carter Stadium dedicationMascot at Carter Stadium dedication
1966-1967 Dennis Byrd named "All American"

As a football defensive player, Dennis Byrd became a two-time All American in 1966 and 1967. He was a member of the "White Shoes" defense that helped the Wolfpack achieve the rank of No. 3 in the 1967 season and win the Liberty Bowl. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2007, the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010, and the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.

N. C. State football player Dennis Byrd (Tackle)N. C. State football player Dennis Byrd (Tackle)
1967 Football team had stellar 1967 season

The football team had 8 wins, 3 losses, and 1 tie in 1967. During the season, the team became known for its "White Shoes Defense," holding opponents to less than nine points per game.

North Carolina State University fullback Stan Fritts, fullback Charley Young, running back Roland Hooks, and running back Willie BurdenNorth Carolina State University fullback Stan Fritts, fullback Charley Young, running back Roland Hooks, and running back Willie Burden
1967 First African American football player

Marcus Martin was the first African American player to join the football team.

Marcus Martin, North Carolina State defensive back, 1967-1969Marcus Martin, North Carolina State defensive back, 1967-1969
10/30/1967 Perfect football season completed

The 1967 Freshman Football team finishes the season with a perfect 5-0 record.

1967 undefeated North Carolina State freshman football team1967 undefeated North Carolina State freshman football team
1/1/1968 Liberty Bowl victory

The NC State football team defeated the University of Georgia in the Liberty Bowl, 14-7. This was NC State's first bowl game win.

Liberty Bowl trophyLiberty Bowl trophy
1969 First African American football scholarship recipient

Clyde Chesney was the first African American to receive a football scholarship.

North Carolina State University defensive linemen Clyde Chesney (88) and George Smith (66)North Carolina State University defensive linemen Clyde Chesney (88) and George Smith (66)

1970s

1970 First African American students received full football scholarships

Willie Burden and Charley Young became the first African American students to receive full football scholarships as incoming freshmen.

Willie Burden, North Carolina State running back, 1971-1973Willie Burden, North Carolina State running back, 1971-1973
1971 Al Michaels, football head coach
1972–1975 Lou Holtz, football head coach
N. C. State football coach Lou HoltzN. C. State football coach Lou Holtz
1972 Successful football season completed

The NC State football team record during the 1972 season was 8 wins, 3 losses, 1 tie, and a victory at the Peach Bowl.

10/14/1972 Bruce Shaw set new football record

NC State quarterback Bruce Shaw passed for 294 yards against Wake Forest and broke the team's previous record for single-game passing yardage.

N. C. State football player Bruce ShawN. C. State football player Bruce Shaw
12/29/1972 Football team won Peach Bowl

The NC State football team beat West Virginia in the Peach Bowl, 49-13.

N. C. State at the Peach BowlN. C. State at the Peach Bowl
1976–1979 Bo Rein, football head coach

Bo Rein was the football head coach from 1976 to 1979. He led the Wolfpack to back-to-back bowl victories in 1977 and 1978 and the 1979 ACC championship.

Coach Robert "Bo" Rein profileCoach Robert "Bo" Rein profile
1978 First African American football All-American

Ted Brown became the first African American named an All-American in football. In 2012, he was inducted into the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame.

N. C. State football player Ted Brown running with footballN. C. State football player Ted Brown running with football
1979 Football team won ACC championship
1979 Jim Richter won Outland Trophy

Football player Jim Richter won the Outland Trophy, which was presented each year to the nation's premier college offensive lineman. That same year, he also helped NC State capture the ACC championship. After leaving NC State, he played 16 seasons for the Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons. He was inducted into the NC State Hall of Fame in 2012.

Twentieth Anniversary Kodak All America TeamTwentieth Anniversary Kodak All America Team

1980s

1980-1982 Monte Kiffin, football head coach
N. C. State football coach Monte KiffinN. C. State football coach Monte Kiffin
9/5/1980 Pep rally arrival by helicopter

First-year head football coach Monte Kiffin arrived at the first pep rally of the season in a helicopter.

1983-1985 Tom Reed, football head coach
N. C. State football coach Tom ReedN. C. State football coach Tom Reed
1986 Danny Peebles honored

Peebles was named ACC track and field "Most Outstanding Performer" in 1985 and 1986. He was a nine-time track and field All-American and nine-time ACC champion. He was one of the winners of the 1985 NCAA championship in the 4 x 100m relay. He was a member of track and field teams that won ACC Outdoor Championships (1985-1988) and Indoor Championships (1988). Peebles was also a member of the football team, and he played in the 1988 Peach Bowl ... More

N. C. State and University of Maryland football gameN. C. State and University of Maryland football game
1986-1992 Dick Sheridan, football head coach
Coach Dick Sherridan and football players during practiceCoach Dick Sherridan and football players during practice

1990s

1995-1998 Torry Holt was football team wide receiver

Torry Holt played as wide receiver with the football team from 1995 to 1998. He holds numerous school records, and his No. 81 jersey was retired in 1999. He joined the Saint Louis Rams and became a 2000 Super Bowl champion.

Technician midseason Preview, October 20, 1997 10 20Technician midseason Preview, October 20, 1997 10 20

2000s

9/21/2000 Students led football victory celebration

After an overtime football victory over Georgia Tech at Carter-Finley Stadium, NC State students tore down a goalpost and carried it down Hillsborough Street towards campus. The goalpost cost $5,000 to replace.

2003 Wendell H. Murphy Football Center opened

The Wendell H. Murphy Football Center was opened and named after alumnus Wendell Murphy. Murphy graduated with a BS in Agricultural Education in 1960. He later served in the North Carolina House of Representatives and the NC Senate. He was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by the NC governor. In 1999, he received the Watauga Medal, NC State University's highest honor. He was a Wolfpack Club member for more than 50 years, and he served as president of its ... More

Murphy Football CenterMurphy Football Center
2004-2005 Mario Williams named All-American in football

Mario Williams was on the All-ACC team in 2004 and 2005. He was named the 2004 Freshman All-American, 2005 Sports Illustrated 1st team All-American, 2005 Walter Camp 2nd team All-American, and 2005 Team MVP. He was the first ACC player ever selected as the first pick in the NFL draft and was drafted by the Houston Texans in 2006.

2004 Philip Rivers named ACC's "Male Athlete of the Year"

Football quarterback Philip Rivers was chosen as ACC's "Male Athlete of the Year." He was rookie of the year in 2000 and a four-time bowl MVP for two Tangerine Bowls, the Gator Bowl, and the Senior Bowl. His jersey was retired in 2003, and he joined the NFL as quarterback of the San Diego Chargers in 2004.

Carter Finley Stadium, Pillar RiversCarter Finley Stadium, Pillar Rivers
2008 Russell Wilson earned ACC honors

Russell Wilson was the first quarterback in league history to earn first-team All-ACC honors as a freshman.

2010s

2010 Tuffy became new live mascot

A Tamaskan dog named Tuffy became the new live mascot for football games. This breed of dog resembled the wolf-like Siberian husky.

2017 Bradley Chubb named ACC's "Defensive Player of the Year"

Bradley Chubb was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Chubb was later drafted to the Denver Broncos as NC State’s first player taken in the first round of the NFL draft since 2006.

Technician, November, 27, 2017Technician, November, 27, 2017
2018 Ryan Finley named scholar-athlete

Ryan Finley became NC State’s first player to be named to the prestigious National Football Foundation’s National Scholar-Athlete Team.

Technician, August, 30, 2018Technician, August, 30, 2018

2020s

2021 NC State football player Bill Cowher honored

NC State linebacker Bill Cowher became the first Wolfpack player to be honored at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.