American Football Database
American Football Database

The 2015 NCAA Division I FCS football season, part of college football in the United States, was organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. The season began on August 29, 2015, and concluded with the 2016 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game played on January 9, 2016, at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

Conference changes and new programs

One team left the FCS to transition to FBS while two schools added football at the FCS level, all moves officially taking effect on July 1, 2015.

School 2014 conference 2015 conference
Charlotte Independent C–USA (FBS)
East Tennessee State No program Independent
Kennesaw State No program Big South

Updated stadiums

No FCS schools opened new stadiums for the 2015 season, however two new programs debuted in the season:

  • East Tennessee State plays at Kermit Tipton Stadium located on the campus of Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tennessee.[1]
  • Kennesaw State plays on campus at Fifth Third Bank Stadium, which has a capacity of 8,318. There are plans to expand the capacity to over 10,000.

FCS team wins over FBS teams

(FCS rankings from the STATS poll)

  • September 4:
  • September 5:
    • North Dakota 24, Wyoming 13
    • Portland State 24, Washington St 17
    • #16 South Dakota State 41, Kansas 38
  • September 19:
    • Furman 16, UCF 15
  • September 26:
    • #9 James Madison 48, SMU 45
  • October 3:
    • #18 Liberty 41, Georgia State 33
  • October 10:
    • #25 Portland State 66, North Texas 7
      • This game saw the largest victory margin ever by an FCS team over an FBS team, surpassing Lehigh's 58–0 win over Harvard in 1981, the year before Harvard and the rest of the Ivy League moved from FBS to FCS (then Divisions I-A and I-AA respectively). Portland State also became the first FCS team to defeat two FBS teams in the same season since North Dakota State in 2007.[2] North Texas' head coach, Dan McCarney, was fired later in the day.
  • November 21:
    • #25 The Citadel 23, South Carolina 22

Conference standings

Template:2015 Big Sky Conference football standings Template:2015 Big South Conference football standings Template:2015 Colonial Athletic Association football standings
Template:2015 Ivy League football standings Template:2015 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football standings Template:2015 Missouri Valley Football Conference standings
Template:2015 Northeast Conference football standings Template:2015 Ohio Valley Conference football standings Template:2015 Patriot League football standings
Template:2015 Pioneer Football League standings Template:2015 Southern Conference football standings Template:2015 Southland Conference football standings
Template:2015 Southwestern Athletic Conference football standings Template:2015 NCAA Division I FCS independents football standings

Conference summaries

Championship games

Conference Champion Runner-up Score Offensive Player of the Year Defensive Player of the Year Coach of the Year
SWAC Alcorn State Grambling State 49–21 Johnathan Williams
Kourtney Berry
(Alabama State)
Broderick Fobbs

Other conference winners

Note: Records are regular-season only, and do not include playoff games.

Conference Champion Record Offensive Player of the Year Defensive Player of the Year Coach of the Year
Big Sky Southern Utah 8–3 (7–1) Cooper Kupp
(Eastern Washington)
James Cowser
(Southern Utah)
Bruce Barnum
(Portland State)
Big South Charleston Southern 9–2 (6–0) De'Angelo Henderson
(Coastal Carolina)
Chima Uzowihe
Jamey Chadwell
(Charleston Southern)
CAA James Madison
William & Mary
9–2 (6–2)
8–3 (6–2)
8–3 (6–2)
Vad Lee
(James Madison)
DeAndre Houston-Carson
(William & Mary)
Victor Ochi
(Stony Brook)
Danny Rocco
Ivy Dartmouth
9–1 (6–1)
9–1 (6–1)
7–3 (6–1)
Scott Hosch
Tyler Drake
Ray Priore
MEAC Bethune-Cookman
North Carolina A&T
North Carolina Central
9–2 (7–1)
9–2 (7–1)
8–3 (7–1)
Tarik Cohen
(North Carolina A&T)
Javon Hargrave
(South Carolina State)
Terry Sims
MVFC Illinois State
North Dakota State
9–2 (7–1)
9–2 (7–1)
Marshaun Coprich
(Illinois State)
Deiondre' Hall
(Northern Iowa)
Bob Nielson
(Western Illinois)
NEC Duquesne 8–3 (5–1) Ricardo McCray
Christian Kuntz
Chris Villarrial
(Saint Francis)
OVC Jacksonville State 10–1 (8–0) Eli Jenkins
(Jacksonville State)
Dino Fanti
(Eastern Illinois)
Noah Spence
(Eastern Kentucky)
John Grass
(Jacksonville State)
Patriot Colgate 7–4 (6–0) Chase Edmonds
Clayton Ewell
Dan Hunt
Pioneer Dayton
San Diego
10–1 (7–1)
9–2 (7–1)
Austin Gahafer
(Morehead State)
Donald Payne
Rick Chamberlin
Southern Chattanooga
The Citadel
8–3 (6–1)
8–3 (6–1)
Jacob Huesman
Mitchell Jeter
(The Citadel)
Mike Houston
(The Citadel)
Southland McNeese State 10–0 (9–0) Kade Harrington
Wallace Scott
(McNeese State)
Matt Viator
(McNeese State)

Playoff qualifiers

Automatic berths for conference champions

Conference Team Appearance Last bid Result
Big Sky Conference Southern Utah 2nd 2013 First Round (L – Sam Houston State)
Big South Conference Charleston Southern 1st
Colonial Athletic Association Richmond 10th 2014 Second Round (L – Coastal Carolina)
Missouri Valley Football Conference North Dakota State 6th 2014 National Champions (W – Illinois State)
Northeast Conference Duquesne 1st
Ohio Valley Conference Jacksonville State 6th 2014 Second Round (L – Sam Houston State)
Patriot League Colgate 10th 2012 First Round (L – Wagner)
Pioneer Football League Dayton 1st
Southern Conference Chattanooga 3rd 2014 Quarterfinals (L – New Hampshire)
Southland Conference McNeese State 16th 2013 Second Round (L – Jacksonville State)

At large qualifiers

Conference Team Appearance Last bid Result
Big Sky Conference Montana 24th 2014 Second Round (L – Eastern Washington)
Portland State 2nd 2000 First Round (L – Delaware)
Big South Conference Coastal Carolina 6th 2014 Quarterfinals (L – North Dakota State)
Colonial Athletic Association James Madison 11th 2014 First Round (L – Liberty)
New Hampshire 14th 2014 Semifinals (L – Illinois State)
William & Mary 10th 2010 Second Round (L – Georgia Southern)
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference None
Missouri Valley Football Conference Illinois State 6th 2014 Championship Game (L – North Dakota State)
Northern Iowa 18th 2014 Second Round (L – Illinois State)
South Dakota State 5th 2014 Second Round (L – North Dakota State)
Western Illinois 10th 2010 Second Round (L – Appalachian State)
Northeast Conference None
Ohio Valley Conference Eastern Illinois 16th 2013 Quarterfinals (L – Towson)
Patriot League Fordham 5th 2014 Second Round (L – New Hampshire)
Pioneer Football League None
Southern Conference The Citadel 4th 1992 Quarterfinals (L – Youngstown State)
Southland Conference Sam Houston State 9th 2014 Semifinals (L – North Dakota State)
Southwestern Athletic Conference None



NCAA FCS Playoff bracket

Template:24TeamBracket-Byes2Home team   
 † Overtime   

Bowl Games

Game Date/TV Location Winning Team Losing Team Score Offensive MVP Defensive MVP
Celebration Bowl December 19
Georgia Dome
Atlanta, Georgia
North Carolina A&T
10–2 (7–1)
Alcorn State Braves
9–4 (7–2)
41–34 Tarik Cohen
(RB, North Carolina A&T)
Denzel Jones
(LB, North Carolina A&T)

Coaching changes

Preseason and in-season

This is restricted to coaching changes that took place on or after May 1, 2015. For coaching changes that occurred earlier in 2015, see 2014 NCAA Division I FCS end-of-season coaching changes.

School Outgoing coach Date Reason Replacement
Jackson State Harold Jackson October 7 Fired Derrick McCall (interim)[1]
Tony Hughes[2]

End of season

School Outgoing coach Date announced Reason Replacement
South Dakota Glenn, JoeJoe Glenn November 22 Retired[3] Nielson, BobBob Nielson[4]
Austin Peay Cannon, KirbyKirby Cannon November 23 Fired[5] Healy, WillWill Healy[6]
Montana State Ash, RobRob Ash November 23 Fired[7] Choate, JeffJeff Choate[8]
Eastern Kentucky Hood, DeanDean Hood November 23 Fired[9] Elder, MarkMark Elder[10]
Maine Cosgrove, JackJack Cosgrove November 24 Transferred to Senior Associate Director of Athletics for UMaine[11] Harasymiak, JoeJoe Harasymiak[12]
Texas Southern Asberry, DarrellDarrell Asberry November 29 Resigned[13] Haywood, MichaelMichael Haywood[14]
Southern Illinois Lennon, DaleDale Lennon November 30 Fired[15] Hill, NickNick Hill[16]
Tennessee Tech Brown, WatsonWatson Brown December 2 Retired[17] Satterfield, MarcusMarcus Satterfield[18]
Jacksonville Bell, KerwinKerwin Bell December 3 Fired[19] Shields, IanIan Shields[20]
Fordham Moorhead, JoeJoe Moorhead December 12 Hired as offensive coordinator by Penn State[21] Breiner, AndrewAndrew Breiner[22]
McNeese State Viator, MattMatt Viator December 14 Hired as head coach by Louisiana–Monroe[23] Guidry, LanceLance Guidry[24]
Western Illinois Nielson, BobBob Nielson December 16 Hired as head coach by South Dakota[4] Charlie Fisher[25]
Southern Utah Lamb, EdEd Lamb December 26 Hired as assistant head coach by BYU[26] Warren, DemarioDemario Warren
James Madison Withers, EverettEverett Withers January 7 Hired as head coach by Texas State Houston, MikeMike Houston[27]
The Citadel Houston, MikeMike Houston January 18 Hired as head coach by James Madison[27] Thompson, BrentBrent Thompson[28]
Morgan State Lee Hull February 8, 2016 Resigned Fred Farrier (interim)

See also


  1. Ray Coleman (October 7, 2015). "JSU fires Harold Jackson as football coach". WAPT. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  2. Antonio Morales (December 14, 2015). "Jackson State hires Tony Hughes as next coach". The Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  3. Mick Garry (November 22, 2015). "USD's Joe Glenn to retire". Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Brad Pautsch (December 16, 2015). "South Dakota AD Herbster finds new football coach at conference rival". KTIV. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  5. Autumn Allison (November 23, 2015). "Austin Peay football coach Cannon is out". The Leaf Chronicle. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  6. "Will Healy, head football coach". Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  7. Jon Maletz (November 23, 2015). "MSU ousts Ash as head football coach". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  8. "Jeff Choate Joins Montana State University as Bobcat Head Football Coach". Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  9. Mark Cornelison (November 23, 2015). "EKU Relieves Dean Hood As Head Football Coach". Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  10. Josh Moore (December 10, 2015). "‘Humbled’ Mark Elder introduced as new Eastern Kentucky football coach". Lexington Herald Leader. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  11. "Jack Cosgrove to transfer to Senior Associate Director of Athletics for UMaine". November 24, 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  12. Pete Warner (December 16, 2015). "UMaine selects new head football coach". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  13. Mark Berman (November 29, 2015). "Darrell Asberry resigns as head football coach at Texas Southern". KRIV. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  14. "Texas Southern hiring Michael Haywood as football coach". USA Today. AP. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  15. Zach Barnett. "Southern Illinois head coach Dale Lennon will not return". Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  16. "Dale Lennon Fired/Nick Hill hired as SIU's football coach". Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  17. Mike Organ (December 2, 2015). "Watson Brown retires as a college football coach". The Tennessean. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  18. "Satterfield selected Tennessee Tech's new coach". Columbia Daily Herald. January 4, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  19. Gene Frenette (December 3, 2015). "Kerwin Bell out as Jacksonville University football coach". Florida Times Union. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  20. Jeff Elliott (December 8, 2015). "Coach Ian Shields bringing new approach to JU football". Florida Times Union. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  21. "Joe Moorhead to take over Nittany Lions' offense". ESPN. December 12, 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  22. "Andrew Breiner Named Head Football Coach at Fordham". December 17, 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  23. "Matt Viator named head football coach at ULM". December 14, 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  24. "Lance Guidry named McNeese head coach". December 17, 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  25. "Western Illinois tabs Charlie Fisher new football coach". Peoria Journal-Star. January 2, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  26. "SUU football: Ed Lamb accepts position at BYU". The Spectrum (Gannett Company). December 26, 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Scott Eisberg and Sam Tyson. "Citadel head football coach Houston leaving for James Madison". WCIV. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  28. Jeff Hartsell (January 18, 2016). "Citadel names Brent Thompson new head football coach". The Post and Courier. Retrieved May 13, 2018.