American Football Database
Southern Utah Thunderbirds football
File:Southern Utah Thunderbirds.gif
First season 1963
Athletic director Ken Beazer
Head coach Ed Lamb
Home stadium Eccles Coliseum
Year built 1967
Stadium capacity 8,500
Stadium surface Natural Grass
Location Cedar City, Utah
Conference Big Sky
Past conferences Independent (1963–1968)
Rocky Mountain (1969–1985)
Western (1986–1992)
American West (1993–1995)
I-AA Independent (1996–2003)
Great West (2004–2011)
Big Sky (2012–)
All-time record 236–298–10
Postseason bowl record 0–0–0
Conference titles 1
Colors Scarlet and White            

The Southern Utah Thunderbirds football (also referred to as the SUU Thunderbirds) program is a college football team that represents Southern Utah University (SUU). With a history dating back to 1963, SUU currently competes in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision[1] as a member of the Big Sky Conference. The Thunderbirds currently play their home games at Eccles Coliseum, located on the campus in Cedar City, Utah. Since December 2007, Ed Lamb has served as the Thunderbirds' head coach.[2]


Southern Utah fielded their inaugural team as part of the 1963 college football season and Bruce Osborne served as head coach.[3] Southern remained as an independent through the 1968 season when they became a charter member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC).[4] The Thunderbirds competed as a member of the RMAC from 1969 to 1985 and had an overall record of 86–73–3 (.540) during that time.[3] Following the 1985 season, Southern Utah made the move from the RMAC of the NAIA to the NCAA Division II Western Football Conference (WFC) for the 1986 season.[5] As part of the WFC from 1986 to 1992, the Thunderbirds had an overall record of 41–34–1 (.546) during that time.[3]

For the 1993 season, Southern Utah joined the American West Conference (AWC) as a charter member.[6] The move to the AWC also marked the move from Division II to NCAA Division I-AA for the program.[6] The AWC folded following the 1995 season with the Thunderbirds compiling an overall record of 9–23–1 (.288), and starting their tenure as an I-AA Independent for the 1996 season.[7] After competing eight years as an Independent, Southern Utah once again became a charter conference member, this time with the Great West Conference (GWC), beginning with the 2004 season.[8]

In November 2010, Southern Utah announced they will be joining the Big Sky Conference effective for the 2012 season[9]

Football classifications

Conference affiliations

Coaching history

Name Seasons Overall Overall %
Osborne, BruceBruce Osborne 1963–1964 9–6–1 .594
Reeske, BillBill Reeske 1965–1966 8–8 .500
Kingsford, TomTom Kingsford 1967–1977 49–53 .480
Bishop, JackJack Bishop 1978–1982 30–17–2 .633
Conrad, DonDon Conrad 1983–1985 14–14–1 .500
Bishop, JackJack Bishop 1986–1995 50–57–2 .468
Ellerson, RichRich Ellerson 1996 4–7 .364
Gregory, C. RayC. Ray Gregory 1997–2002 28–38 .424
Andersen, GaryGary Andersen 2003 4–7 .364
Meier, WesWes Meier 2004–2007 10–33 .233
Lamb, EdEd Lamb 2008–present 21–23 .477


  1. "NCAA Sports Sponsorship: Southern Utah University". NCAA. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  2. "S. Utah has new football coach". Associated Press. December 20, 2007. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Southern Utah Football Yearly Results" (PDF). University of Southern Utah. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  4. "New conference formed". The Spokesman-Review. Associated Press: p. 2. December 17, 1967. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  5. Blackwell, Dave (September 7, 1985). "WSU should handle SUSC". The Deseret News: p. 2B.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Southern Utah now part of American West". The Deseret News: p. D1. July 16, 1993. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  7. Hamilton, Linda (August 15, 1996). "SUU likes what it sees in Mid-Con". The Deseret News: p. D3. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  8. "Great West football conference announces formation". SUU Athletics. October 5, 2011.
  9. "Big Sky Conference expands". Associated Press. November 1, 2010. Retrieved October 4, 2011.

External links

Template:Southern Utah Thunderbirds football navbox