American Football Database
Harvard Crimson football
File:Harvard Crimson.svg
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 history

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 split

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 history

File:Tim Murphy FB coach.jpg

Current Harvard head coach Tim Murphy on board the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in May 2010

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 rivalry

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 Stadium

Harvard Stadium, November 2008

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 history

Name Years Wins Losses Ties Pct.[14]
No coach 1873–1889 72 19 4 .779
Lucius Littauer 1881 5 1 2 .750
Frank A. Mason 1886 12 2 0 .857
George A. Stewart & George C. Adams 1890-1892 34 2 0 .944
George A. Stewart & Everett J. Lake 1893 12 1 0 .923
William A. Brooks 1894 11 2 0 .846
Robert W. Emmons 1895 8 2 1 .773
Bert Waters 1896 7 4 0 .636
William Cameron Forbes 1897-1898 21 1 1 .935
Benjamin Dibblee 1899-1900 20 1 1 .932
John Farley 1902 11 1 0 .917
John Cranston 1903 9 3 0 .750
Edgar Wrightington 1904 7 2 1 .750
Bill Reid 1901-1906 30 3 1 .897
Joshua Crane 1907 7 3 0 .700
Percy Haughton 1908-1916 72 7 5 .887
Wingate Rollins 1917 3 1 3 .643
Pooch Donovan 1918 2 1 0 .667
Bob Fisher 1919-1925 43 14 5 .734
Arnold Horween 1926-1930 20 17 3 .537
Eddie Casey 1931-1934 20 11 1 .641
Dick Harlow 1935-1947 45 39 7 .533
Henry Lamar 1943-1944 7 3 1 .682
Arthur Valpey 1948-1949 5 12 0 .294
Lloyd Jordan 1950-1956 24 31 3 .440
John Yovicsin 1957-1970 78 42 5 0.644
Joe Restic 1971-1993 117 97 6 0.545
Tim Murphy 1994-2010 108 57 0 .654

College Football Hall of Fame inductees

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

William H. Lewis was the first African-American college football player and the first African-American All-American

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

Name Position Years Inducted
Charley Brewer Fullback 1892-1895 1971
Dave Campbell End 1899-1901 1958
Eddie Casey Halfback 1916, 1919 1968
Charles Dudley Daly Quarterback 1898-1902 1951
Hamilton Fish III Tackle 1907-1909 1954
Bob Fisher Guard 1909-1911 1973
Huntington Hardwick End, Halfback 1912-1914 1954
Dick Harlow Coach 1915-1947 1954
Percy Haughton Coach 1899-1924 1951
Lloyd Jordan Coach 1932-1956 1978
William H. Lewis Center 1888-1893 2009
Eddie Mahan Fullback 1913-1915 1951
Marshall Newell Tackle 1890-1893 1957
George Owen Halfback 1920-1922 1983
Endicott Peabody Guard 1939-1941 1973
Stan Pennock Guard 1912-1914 1954
Bill Reid Fullback 1897-1899 1970
Ben Ticknor Center 1928-1930 1954
Percy Wendell Halfback 1910-1912 1972
Barry Wood Quarterback 1929-1931 1980

Harvard players in the NFL

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

Name Position Years Teams
Joe Azelby Linebacker 1984 Buffalo Bills
Matt Birk Center 1998-2010 Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens
Desmond Bryant Defensive tackle 2009-2010 Oakland Raiders
Stanley Burnham TB-BB 1925 Frankford Yellow Jackets
Roger Caron Tackle 1985-1986 Indianapolis Colts
Eddie Casey Halfback 1920 Buffalo All-Americans
Charlie Clark Guard 1924 Chicago Cardinals
Bill Craven Defensive back 1976 Cleveland Browns
Harrie Dadmun Guard, tackle 1920-1921 Canton Bulldogs, New York Brickley Giants
Clifton Dawson Running back 2007-2008 Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts
John Dockery Defensive back 1968-1973 New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers
Chris Eitzmann Tight end 2000 New England Patriots
Carl Etelman B 1926 Providence Steam Roller
Earl Evans Tackle, guard 1925-1929 Chicago Cardinals, Chicago Bears
Ryan Fitzpatrick Quarterback 2005-2010 St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills
Herman Gundlach Guard 1935 Boston Redskins
Arnold Horween B 1921-1924 Racine Cardinals, Chicago Cardinals
Ralph Horween B 1921-1923 Chicago Cardinals
Dan Jiggetts Tackle, guard 1976-1982 Chicago Bears
Isaiah Kacyvenski Linebacker 2000-2006 Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams
Dick King Fullback, halfback 1917-1923 Pine Village, Hammond Pros, Milwaukee Badgers, Rochester Jeffersons, St. Louis All-Stars
Bobby Leo Running back, wide receiver 1967-1968 Boston Patriots
Joe McGlone BB 1926 Providence Steam Roller
Pat McInally Wide receiver, punter 1976-1985 Cincinnati Bengals
Al Miller Fullback, halfback 1929 Boston Bulldogs
Joe Murphy Guard 1920-1921 Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians
Joe Pellegrini Guard, center 1982-1986 New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons
Red Steele End 1921 Canton Bulldogs
Rich Szaro Kicker 1975-1979 New Orleans Saints, New York Jets


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

File:Hamilton Fish III.jpg

Two-time All-American Hamilton Fish III served 25 years in Congress where he investigated the ACLU for ties to the Communist Party.

File:Huntington Hardwick.jpg

Huntington "Tack" Hardwick was called "a big, fine-looking aristocrat from blue-blood stock" who "loved combat – body contact at crushing force – a fight to the finish."[17]

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 also


  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 links