Harvard Crimson football
First season 1873
Head coach Tim Murphy
Home stadium Harvard Stadium
Stadium capacity 30,323
Stadium surface FieldTurf
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Conference Ivy League
All-time record 810–379–50
Postseason bowl record 1–0–0
Claimed national titles 12
Conference titles 13
Heisman winners 0
Colors Crimson and Black            
Fight song Ten Thousand Men of Harvard
Mascot John Harvard
Rivals Princeton Tigers
Yale Bulldogs
Penn Quakers

The Harvard Crimson football program represents Harvard University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). Harvard's football program is one of the oldest in the world, having begun competing in the sport in 1873. The Crimson has a legacy that includes 12 national championships and 20 College Football Hall of Fame inductees, including the first African-American college football player William H. Lewis, Huntington "Tack" Hardwick, Barry Wood, Percy Haughton, and Eddie Mahan. Harvard is the eighth winningest team in NCAA Division I football history.[1][2]


Early historyEdit

The Harvard Crimson was one of the dominant forces in the early days of intercollegiate football, winning 12 college football national championships between 1875 and 1920.[3] The school also won the 1920 Rose Bowl, defeating Oregon 7 to 6. In the forty-year period from 1889 to 1928, Harvard had more than 80 first-team All-American selections.[4] Under head coach Percy Haughton, Harvard had three consecutive undefeated seasons from 1912 to 1914, including two perfect seasons in 1912 and 1913.[5]

Harvard's national championships are as follows:

Year Selectors Coach Record
1874 Parke H. Davis (PD)[3] -- 2-1-1
1875 PD, National Championship Foundation (NCF)[3] -- 4-0
1890 PD, NCF, Billingsley Report (BR), Helms Athletic Foundation (HAF), Houlgate System (HS)[3] George Adams, George Stewart 11-0
1898 BR, HAF, HS, NCF[3] William Forbes 11-0
1899 HAF, HS, NCF[3] Benjamin Dibblee 10-0-1
1901 BR[3] Bill Reid 12-0-0
1908 BR[3] Percy Haughton 9-0-1
1910 BR, HAF, HS, NCF[3] Percy Haughton 8-0-1
1912 BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD[3] Percy Haughton 9-0-0
1913 HAF, HS, NCF, PD[3] Percy Haughton 9-0-0
1919 College Football Researchers Association (CFRA), HAF, HS, NCF, PD[3] Bob Fisher 9-0-1
1920 Boand System (BS)[3] Bob Fisher 8-0-1

NCAA Division I subdivision splitEdit

The NCAA decided to split Division I into two subdivisions in 1978, then called I-A for larger schools, and I-AA for the smaller ones. The NCAA had devised the split, in part, with the Ivy League in mind, but the conference did not move down for four seasons despite the fact that there were many indications that the ancient eight were on the wrong side of an increasing disparity between the big and small schools. In 1982, the NCAA created a rule that stated a program's average attendance must be at least 15,000 to qualify for I-A membership. This forced the conference's hand, as only some of the member schools met the attendance qualification. Choosing to stay together rather than stand their ground separately in the increasingly competitive I-A subdivision, the Ivy League moved down into I-AA starting with the 1982 season.[6]

Recent historyEdit

File:Tim Murphy FB coach.jpg

Since the formation of the Ivy League, Harvard has won 13 Ivy League championships in 1961 (6-3-0), 1966 (8-1-0), 1968 (8-0-1), 1974 (7-2-0), 1975 (7-2-0), 1982 (7-3-0), 1983 (6-2-2), 1987 (8-2-0), 1997 (9-1-0), 2001 (9-0-0), 2004 (10-0-0), 2007 (8-2-0), 2008 (9-1-0).[7]

Harvard–Yale football rivalryEdit

Harvard and Yale have been competing against each other in football since 1875. The annual rivalry game between the two schools, known as "The Game", is played in November at the end of the football season. As of 2009, Yale led the series 65–53–8. The Game is the second oldest continuing rivalry and also the third most-played rivalry game in college football history, after the Lehigh–Lafayette Rivalry (1884) and the Princeton–Yale game (1873). Sports Illustrated On Campus rated the Harvard–Yale rivalry the sixth-best in college athletics in 2003. In 2006, Yale ended a five-game losing streak against Harvard, winning 34–13. That Harvard winning streak was third longest in the history of the series, after Yale's 1902–1907 six-game winning streak and Yale's 1880–1889 eight-game winning streak. Harvard has since beaten Yale in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. The Game is significant for historical reasons as the rules of The Game soon were adopted by other schools. Football's rules, conventions, and equipment, as well as elements of "atmosphere" such as the mascot and fight song, include many elements pioneered or nurtured at Harvard and Yale.[8][9]

Harvard StadiumEdit

File:Harvard Stadium aerial.jpg

Harvard Stadium is a horseshoe-shaped football stadium in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. The stadium is an important historic landmark. Built in 1903 it is the nation's oldest stadium. It was also the world's first massive reinforced-concrete structure, and considered at the time of construction to be the 'finest structure of its kind in the world'. Amazingly, the structure was completed in just six months, mainly by the efforts of Harvard students, and for a budget of $200,000. Thus 'the stadium represents the thought, the money, the ideas, the planning, and the manual labor of Harvard men'.[10] As such, it is one of three athletic arenas distinguished as a National Historic Landmark (the Rose Bowl and the Yale Bowl are the other two).[11] The stadium seats 30,323. Temporary steel stands were added in the stadiums to expand capacity to 57,166 until 1951. Afterward, there were smaller temporary stands until the building of the Murr Center (which is topped by the new scoreboard) in 1998. In 2006, Harvard installed both FieldTurf and lights.[12][13]

Head coaching historyEdit

Name Years Wins Losses Ties Pct.[14]
No coach1873–188972194.779
Lucius Littauer1881512.750
Frank A. Mason18861220.857
George A. Stewart & George C. Adams1890-18923420.944
George A. Stewart & Everett J. Lake18931210.923
William A. Brooks18941120.846
Robert W. Emmons1895821.773
Bert Waters1896740.636
William Cameron Forbes1897-18982111.935
Benjamin Dibblee1899-19002011.932
John Farley19021110.917
John Cranston1903930.750
Edgar Wrightington1904721.750
Bill Reid1901-19063031.897
Joshua Crane1907730.700
Percy Haughton1908-19167275.887
Wingate Rollins1917313.643
Pooch Donovan1918210.667
Bob Fisher1919-192543145.734
Arnold Horween1926-193020173.537
Eddie Casey1931-193420111.641
Dick Harlow1935-194745397.533
Henry Lamar1943-1944731.682
Arthur Valpey1948-19495120.294
Lloyd Jordan1950-195624313.440
John Yovicsin1957-1970784250.644
Joe Restic1971-19931179760.545
Tim Murphy1994-2010108570.654

College Football Hall of Fame inducteesEdit

As of 2010, 20 Harvard Crimson football players and coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.[15] The inductees from Harvard are as follows:

File:William H. Lewis (1892).jpg
Marshall Newell

Tackle Marshall Newell was a four-time All-American from 1890-1893.

Name Position Years Inducted
Charley BrewerFullback1892-18951971
Dave CampbellEnd1899-19011958
Eddie CaseyHalfback1916, 19191968
Charles Dudley DalyQuarterback1898-19021951
Hamilton Fish IIITackle1907-19091954
Bob FisherGuard1909-19111973
Huntington HardwickEnd, Halfback1912-19141954
Dick HarlowCoach1915-19471954
Percy HaughtonCoach1899-19241951
Lloyd JordanCoach1932-19561978
William H. LewisCenter1888-18932009
Eddie MahanFullback1913-19151951
Marshall NewellTackle1890-18931957
George OwenHalfback1920-19221983
Endicott PeabodyGuard1939-19411973
Stan PennockGuard1912-19141954
Bill ReidFullback1897-18991970
Ben TicknorCenter1928-19301954
Percy WendellHalfback1910-19121972
Barry WoodQuarterback1929-19311980

Harvard players in the NFLEdit

29 players from Harvard have gone on to play in the National Football League.[16]

Name Position Years Teams
Joe AzelbyLinebacker1984Buffalo Bills
Matt BirkCenter1998-2010Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens
Desmond BryantDefensive tackle2009-2010Oakland Raiders
Stanley BurnhamTB-BB1925Frankford Yellow Jackets
Roger CaronTackle1985-1986Indianapolis Colts
Eddie CaseyHalfback1920Buffalo All-Americans
Charlie ClarkGuard1924Chicago Cardinals
Bill CravenDefensive back1976Cleveland Browns
Harrie DadmunGuard, tackle1920-1921Canton Bulldogs, New York Brickley Giants
Clifton DawsonRunning back2007-2008Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts
John DockeryDefensive back1968-1973New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers
Chris EitzmannTight end2000New England Patriots
Carl EtelmanB1926Providence Steam Roller
Earl EvansTackle, guard1925-1929Chicago Cardinals, Chicago Bears
Ryan FitzpatrickQuarterback2005-2010St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills
Herman GundlachGuard1935Boston Redskins
Arnold HorweenB1921-1924Racine Cardinals, Chicago Cardinals
Ralph HorweenB1921-1923Chicago Cardinals
Dan JiggettsTackle, guard1976-1982Chicago Bears
Isaiah KacyvenskiLinebacker2000-2006Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams
Dick KingFullback, halfback1917-1923Pine Village, Hammond Pros, Milwaukee Badgers, Rochester Jeffersons, St. Louis All-Stars
Bobby LeoRunning back, wide receiver1967-1968Boston Patriots
Joe McGloneBB1926Providence Steam Roller
Pat McInallyWide receiver, punter1976-1985Cincinnati Bengals
Al MillerFullback, halfback1929Boston Bulldogs
Joe MurphyGuard1920-1921Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians
Joe PellegriniGuard, center1982-1986New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons
Red SteeleEnd1921Canton Bulldogs
Rich SzaroKicker1975-1979New Orleans Saints, New York Jets


Eddie Mahan

Three-time All-American Eddie Mahan was named by Jim Thorpe as the greatest football player of all time.

File:Hamilton Fish III.jpg
File:Huntington Hardwick.jpg

Since the first All-American team was selected by Casper Whitney in 1889, more than 100 Harvard football players have been selected as first-team All-Americans.[4] Consensus All-Americans are noted below with bold typeface.

See alsoEdit


  1. "NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records". National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2009. pp. 62–63. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  2. "NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Records". National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2009. p. 172. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Official 2009 NCAA Division I Football Records Book. Indianapolis, IN: National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2009-08. pp. 78–79. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Media Center: Harvard Crimson Football All-American Selections".
  5. "Harvard Yearly Results (1910-1914)". College Football Data Warehouse.
  6. Mark F. Bernstein, Football: The Ivy League Origins of an American Obsession
  7. "Harvard Composite Championship Listing". College Football Data Warehouse.
  8. Thomas G. Bergin (1984). The Game: The Harvard-Yale Football Rivalry, 1875–1983. Yale University Press.
  9. Bernard M. Corbett and Paul Simpson (2004). The Only Game That Matters. Crown. ISBN 1-4000-5068-5.
  10. "Harvard's Great Stadium". New York Times.
  11. "Harvard Stadium History". Harvard Crimson.
  12. "Harvard Stadium: Home of Harvard Football and Lacrosse Harvard Stadium Notes". Harvard University.
  13. "Harvard Stadium Football History". Harvard University.
  14. "Harvard Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse.
  15. "Hall of Fame Inductee Search". College Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 24, 2010.
  16. "Harvard Players/Alumni".
  17. Grantland Rice (1949-07-06). "Hardwick of Harvard". Miami Daily News.,1875078&dq=tack-hardwick+football&hl=en.

External linksEdit

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