Memphis Tigers football: Wikis


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Memphis Tigers
Current season Current season
MemphisTigers.png MFB Helmet Logo.gif
First season 1912
Athletic director R.C. Johnson
Head coach Larry Porter
1st year, 0–0–0  (–)
Home stadium Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Year built 1965
Stadium capacity 62,380
Stadium surface Field Turf
Location Memphis, Tennessee
Conference C-USA
Division Eastern
Past conferences Independent (1912-1927, 1942-1967, 1974-1995)
Mississippi Valley (1928-1934)
SIAA (1935-1941)
Missouri Valley (1968-1973)
All-time record 432–449–33 (.491)
Postseason bowl record 4–3–0
Claimed national titles 0
Conference titles 6
Division titles 0
Heisman winners 0
Colors Blue and Gray              
Fight song Go Tigers Go
Mascot Pouncer
TOM III (Live tiger mascot)
Marching band The Mighty Sound of the South
Website - Football

The Memphis Tigers football team represents the University of Memphis in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) level. The Tigers compete in Conference USA. They play home games at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.




Live Tiger Mascot

For the last 37 years The Memphis Tigers have had a faithful Bengal Tiger on the sidelines of all the homes games named TOM (Tigers of Memphis).

TOM arrived in Memphis on November 9, 1972, and was first introduced in a ceremony at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on November 11, 1972 during a football game against the University of Cincinnati. Memphis won the game 29-24. TOM faithfully served the Memphis Tigers football team for 20 years until passing away in February 1992. As TOM grew older, the decision was made by the Highland Hundred to keep the Tiger Tradition alive by securing a new tiger to be raised as TOM II.

In 1991, the Highland Hundred received TOM II as a gift from Tom and Carolyn Atchison. TOM II was born July 17, 1991, and just as TOM had been; TOM II was presented to the University of Memphis in a ceremony at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on November 16, 1991 during a football game against the University of Alabama. Memphis lost the game 10-7.

During an annual medical examination in 2008 TOM II was diagnosed with cancer. He died on October 15 of that year at the age of 17. In keeping with the tradition established with the death of TOM I in 1992, TOM II was cremated, and the U of M Athletic Department has already made arrangements for a permanent exhibit to honor all previous and future TOMs in the new Athletics Hall of Fame, to be constructed at the corner of Southern and Normal. TOM II was honored in a moving memorial ceremony before the October 25, 2008 football game against Southern Miss. Memphis won that game 36-30.

On October 23, 2008 TOM III arrived in Memphis, and was presented to the University of Memphis during at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on November 22, 2008 during a football game against the University of Central Florida. Memphis lost the game 28-21. With a father weighing in at nearly 650 pounds, TOM III is expected to grow to a magnificent size worthy of the University he symbolizes. Under the care of the Tiger Guard, who is licensed and regularly scrutinized by State and Federal regulatory agencies, Tiger fans can take pride in the fact that TOM III receives a level of care unsurpassed by any private facility in the nation. [1]


When the University of Memphis first fielded a football team in the fall of 1912, no one had selected a nickname for the squad.

Early references to the football team tabbed them only as the Blue and Gray Warriors of West Tennessee Normal School.

After the final game of the 1914 season, there was a student parade. During this event, several Normal students shouted, "We fight like Tigers." The nickname was born.

More and more the nickname "Tigers" was used, particularly in campus publications. But it did not catch on with the newspapers downtown. They continued to use "Normals" or the "Blue and Gray" when referring to the University.

Under Coach Lester Barnard in 1922, Normal's football team gave a ring of truth to that old student yell about Tigers. The team adopted a motto - "Every Man a Tiger" - and went on to score 174 points while allowing its opponents just 29 points.

In the late 1920s, student publications and downtown newspapers began referring to the football team as the "Teachers" or "Tutors." The Tiger nickname would return, but not until 1939 was it finally adopted as the official nickname for the University of Memphis.[2]

School Colors

The University of Memphis' official school colors of Blue and Gray were selected in the early 1900s. The colors were chosen in an effort to show unity in a nation that was still recovering from the effects of the Civil War. The student body thought that by picking the colors of the North and the South, the school would show a togetherness among all students.[3]


Memphis home games have been played at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium[4] since 1965. Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium is located in The Fairgrounds,bordering Orange Mound[5], one of the nation's largest African-American neighborhoods and most culturally homogeneous and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in the Memphis metropolitan area. The stadium has a capacity of 62,380. There is an ongoing dispute over handicapped seating but there seems to be enough for the needs of the public.


Retired Jerseys

Retired Jerseys
Player Number Position
Charles Greenhill 8 DB
DeAngelo Williams 20 RB
Dave Cainelli 30 RB
Isaac Bruce 83 WR



The Tigers have several rivals that have developed throughout the years in conference play. The most notable of the rivals are the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, UAB Blazers, Louisville Cardinals, and the Cincinnati Bearcats. The rivalries with the Cardinals and the Bearcats have cooled since their move to the Big East Conference. The Tigers also have minor rivalries with the Ole Miss Rebels, the Tennessee Volunteers, and the Arkansas State Red Wolves, but depending on who you ask the view of Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Arkansas State as "rivals" might vary from fan to fan.

Name of Rivalry Rival First Meeting Last Meeting Overall Record
Black and Blue Bowl Southern Miss Golden Eagles 1935 2008 Southern Miss Leads 37-21-1
Battle for the Bones UAB Blazers 1997 2008 UAB Leads 7-4-0
No Name Cincinnati Bearcats 1966 2004 Memphis Leads 18-12-0
No Name Louisville Cardinals 1948 2008 Louisville Leads 22-19-0
No Name Ole Miss Rebels 1921 2008 Ole Miss Leads 46-10-2
No Name Arkansas State Red Wolves 1914 2008 Memphis Leads 28-22-5


Bowl Games

The Memphis Tigers currently hold a record of 4-3 in bowl games through its history. The Tigers have also played 5 bowl games in the past 6 seasons.

Bowl Game History
Date Bowl Opponent Result Score
November 22, 1956 Burley Bowl East Tennessee State W 32-12
December 18, 1971 Pasadena Bowl San Jose State W 28-9
December 16, 2003 New Orleans Bowl North Texas W 27-17
December 22, 2004 GMAC Bowl Bowling Green L 52-35
December 26, 2005 Motor City Bowl Akron W 38-31
December 21, 2007 New Orleans Bowl Florida Atlantic L 44-27
December 20, 2008 St. Petersburg Bowl South Florida L 41-14



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