1899 VMI Keydets football
1899 record1–0
Head coachSam Boyle (2nd season)
← 1898
1900 →

The 1899 VMI Keydets football team represented the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in their ninth season of organized football. Sam Boyle coached his second season for the Keydets, which featured only one game—a 39–0 win over Washington and Lee.[1][2] Although the team only played one game in mid-October, the squad was assembled for practice in early September.[3]

The 1899 football season at VMI was cut short by an outbreak of typhoid fever on the campus. As reported by one account: "VMI had time to crush only Washington and Lee 39–0 before the 1899 season was abruptly ended by an outbreak of typhoid fever which closed the Institute for six weeks."[4] On October 16, 1899, all 250 cadets were sent to their homes on account of the outbreak.[5][6] At least one cadet died in the outbreak,[7] and the school was not re-opened until November 28, 1899—after the football season had ended.[8][9]

VMI's sole opponent for the year, Washington and Lee, finished the season with a record of 0–4–1. The "Keydets" of VMI handed their one opponent the biggest defeat (by score) of the season.[10]

In the lone game of the season, W. B. "Bruce" Montgomery Jr., the captain and quarterback for VMI, scored a touchdown on an 80-yard carry.[3][11][12] Montgomery would go on to the next season to be team captain and assist with coaching duties.[13]

One of the individuals who played for the VMI football team in 1899 and 1900 was George C. Marshall, who went on to be Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense.[4][14]


October 11Washington and LeeW 39–0


  1. DeLassus, David. "Coaching records game-by-Game: S.A. Boyle (1899)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
  2. "2010 VMI Football". Virginia Military Institute. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD: Lexington Cadet's Eleven". Baltimore Sun. September 5, 1899. p. 6. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "George C. Marshall and the Virginia Military Institute". George C. Marshall Foundation. pp. 11–12.
  5. "Typhoid at Virginia Institute". The Free Lance. October 19, 1899.,3566460&dq=virginia-military+typhoid&hl=en.
  6. "MILITARY INSTITUTE CLOSED: Cadets Furloughed For Thirty Days Because Typhoid Fever". The Sun, Baltimore, Md.. October 17, 1899.
  7. "DEATH OF CADET LEMOINE". The Sun, Baltimore, Md.. October 19, 1899.
  8. "Typhoid Fever at College: Report of the State Board of Health on Outlook at the Virginia Military Institute". The News and Courier. November 17, 1899.,4800848&dq=virginia-military+typhoid&hl=en.
  9. "MILITARY INSTITUTE: Report Of The State Board Of Health ON THE FEVER OUTBREAK The Disease Was Imported To The Premises -- Remedies Suggested - School To Open November 28". The Sun, Baltimore, Md.. November 17, 1899.
  10. "Washington & Lee University (VA) - 1899". College Football Reference. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  11. "A Game at Lexington". Baltimore American. October 12, 1899.,3575520&dq=virginia+military+institute&hl=en. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
  12. Bomb. Virginia Military Institute. 1900. pp. 76–77.
  13. "Training for Football". The Washington Evening Times. September 11, 1900. p. 6.;words=footbal+Bruce+football+Virginia+Montgomery+Military. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  14. The Bomb (VMI yearbook). VMI. 1900. p. 76.
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