Rutgers Scarlet Knights football: Wikis


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Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Rutgers athletics logo.png
First season 1869
Athletic director Tim Pernetti
Head coach Greg Schiano
8th year, 46–51  (.474)
Home stadium Rutgers Stadium
Stadium capacity 52,454
Stadium surface Field Turf
Location Piscataway, New Jersey
Conference Big East
All-time record 596–589–42 (.503)
Postseason bowl record 4–2–0
Claimed national titles 1 (Shared 1869)
Conference titles 7
Heisman winners 0
Current uniform
Colors Scarlet              
Fight song The Bells Must Ring
Mascot Scarlet Knight
Marching band Marching Scarlet Knights
Website Rutgers Scarlet Knights

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team represents Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) play. Since the 1991 season, Rutgers has competed within the Big East Conference, having finally abandoned the status of an Independent team.

The Rutgers football program is one of the most historic in the nation. In 1869, the original Rutgers football team defeated Princeton University in the first intercollegiate game ever played.[1] Rutgers won the game by a score of 6 to 4.

Today, Rutgers is coached by Greg Schiano who has overseen a revival of the program. Schiano's teams struggled for the first four years of his tenure, until 2005, when Rutgers achieved its first winning record in more than a decade. Since then, the Scarlet Knights have compiled a 34–17 record.



Drawing from the first football game played between Rutgers and Princeton.

In 1869, when Rutgers and Princeton met for the inaugural intercollegiate football game, they were the only two teams playing. Rutgers won the first game with a score of six "runs" to Princeton's four, on November 6, 1869.[2] However, Princeton was victorious in the next game, played the following week, with a score of eight to zero.[2] A planned third game, scheduled November 29, 1869, did not occur as the faculties of both schools presumably thought that the game would interfere with the studies of the respective school's student bodies.[3] Other sources claim that it may have been cancelled due to disagreement over what set of rules to play under.[4] While some might consider the awarding of a championship in the 1869 "season" to be disingenuous—as there were only two teams playing "football" at the time, both showing 1–1 records—Princeton and Rutgers have been regarded as having shared the 1869 national championship.[5]

The Rutgers College football team in 1882.

From 1946 to 1951, Rutgers was a member of the Middle Three Conference, winning that conference's championship in the first four years as a member, in 1946, 1947, 1948 and 1949. Rutgers became an independent team again in 1952. Rutgers was a member of the Middle Atlantic Conference from 1958 to 1961. The college won the conference championship in three of those four years (1958, 1960, and 1961). The 1961 season was particularly remarkable as it was the Scarlet Knights' first undefeated season (9–0)—with Alabama, one of only two undefeated teams in the nation—and the team was captained by future college football hall-of-famer Alex Kroll.[6] In 1961, Rutgers was considered a contender for the Rose Bowl, but was not selected because university president Mason Welch Gross did not express interest with the Rose Bowl's organizers.[7][8] The following year, Rutgers once again went independent, and remained so until it joined the Big East Conference in 1991. In 1976, Rutgers declined an invitation to play an unranked McNeese State University at the Independence Bowl, feeling snubbed by more prestigious bowls despite its undefeated 11–0 season.[9] On September 12, 1996 Rutgers played their first nationally televised game on ESPN's Thursday night football against the University of Miami. The game was played at Rutgers in the old stadium. Miami won the contest 33-0.

Greg Schiano took over as head coach for the 2001 season. His first four years resulted in losing seasons, however, in 2005, the team achieved its first winning season since 1992. In 2006, the Scarlet Knights achieved a record of 11–2, including a first-ever postseason victory. In the following year, Rutgers received its first ever preseason rank. Since that break-out year in 2005, Rutgers under Schiano has achieved a winning season each year.[10] The Scarlet Knights have only had one player drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. In 2009, Kenny Britt was chosen No. 30th overall by the Tennessee Titans in the NFL draft. Britt, an Associated Press All-America selection, is the first player in Rutgers history to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Britt becomes the sixth Scarlet Knight drafted in the last three years. It also marked the third consecutive year that a Scarlet Knight has been taken on the draft’s first day after Brian Leonard (2007) and Ray Rice (2008) were both second round draft selections.

Logos and uniforms

Rutger's 2009 uniform combinations

Note: Black jerseys and pants were worn only in the 2007 season, and are not part of the team's 2009 uniform combinations.

Bowl game results

Rutgers has gone to six bowl games in its 140-year history in college football of which it has won four. This includes consecutive bowls for the last five years, and consecutive wins for the last four.[2]

Date Bowl Opponent Result Score
December 16, 1978 Garden State Bowl Arizona State Loss 34 – 18
December 27, 2005 Insight Bowl Arizona State Loss 45 – 40
December 28, 2006 Texas Bowl Kansas State Win 37 – 10
January 5, 2008 International Bowl Ball State Win 52 – 30
December 29, 2008 Bowl North Carolina State Win 29 – 23
December 19, 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl University of Central Florida Win 45 – 28


Head coaches

Twenty-five men have served as head coach of the Rutgers football team since 1891, when the first coach was hired. From 1869 to 1890, and 1892 to 1894, there was no coach.

1869 - 1909
Coach Tenure Record (%)
No Coach 1869–1890 34-59-8 (.376)
William A. Reynolds 1891 8-6-0 (.571)
No Coach 1892–1894 7-15-1 (.326)
H. W. Ambruster 1895 3-4-0 (.429)
John C. B. Pendleton 1896–1897 8-12-0 (.400)
William V. B. Van Dyke, Jr. 1898–1899 3-15-1 (.184)
Michael F. Daly 1900 4-4-0 (.500)
Arthur P. Robinson 1901 0-7-0 (.000)
Harry W. Van Hovenberg 1902 3-7-0 (.300)
Oliver D. Mann 1903, 1905 7-10-1 (.417)
A. Ellet Hitchner 1904 1-6-2 (.222)
Frank H. Gorton 1906–1907 8-7-3 (.528)
Joseph Smith 1908 3-5-1 (.389)
Herman Pritchard 1909 3-5-1 (.389)
1910 - present
Coach Tenure Record (%)
Howard Gargan 1910–1912 12-10-4 (.538)
George Foster Sanford 1913–1923 56-32-5 (.629)
John H. Wallace 1924–1926 12-14-1 (.463)
Harry J. Rockafeller 1927–1930, 1942–1945 33-26-1 (.560)
J. Wilder Tasker 1931–1937 31-27-5 (.532)
Harvey Harman 1938–1941, 1946–1955 74-44-2 (.625)
John R. Steigman 1956–1959 22-15-0 (.595)
John F. Bateman 1960–1972 73-51-0 (.589)
Frank R. Burns 1973–1983 78-43-1 (.643)
Dick Anderson 1984–1989 27-34-4 (.446)
Doug Graber 1990–1995 29-36-1 (.447)
Terry Shea 1996–2000 11-44-0 (.200)
Greg Schiano 2001–present 54-54-0 (.500)
TOTAL 599-590-42 (.504)


  1. ^ Rutgers Football History Capsule, published by Rutgers Athletic Communications, accessed 8 June 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Howell, James (Januaey 9, 2009). "Rutgers Historical Scores". Division I-A Historical Scores. James Howell.  
  3. ^ Rutgers - The Birthplace of College Football: The First Intercollegiate Game - November 6, 1869 at, published by the Rutgers University Athletic Department, accessed 12 January 2007.
  4. ^ NO CHRISTIAN END! The Beginnings of Football in America published by the Professional Football Research Association (no further authorship information available), accessed 12 January 2007.
  5. ^ Football historian Parke H. Davis asserts that Rutgers shares the 1869 championship with Princeton at College Football Past National Championships at the National Collegiate Athletic Association website, accessed 29 December 2006.
  6. ^ "Doing for Dear Old Rutgers" in Time Magazine (1 December 1961) (No further authorship information available). Accessed 12 January 2007.
  7. ^ "Army, Navy May Hold Key to Rose Bowl" in The Washington Post (2 December 1961). Page A16. Only authorship information given "by a staff reporter".
  8. ^ "Son of former Rutgers coach sees Schiano as reincarnation of dad" by Rick Malwitz in The Home News Tribune (30 November 2006). Accessed 12 January 2007.
  9. ^ "Rutgers Votes to Skip Independence Bowl" in The Washington Post (23 November 1976). Page D6. (No further authorship information available).
  10. ^ Rutgers Historical Scores, Stassen College Football Information, retrieved 18 January 2009.

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