Tribe Football Historical Timeline
Updated: Friday 01/01/1999 (ET)
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Students begin asking for a football team, editorial appears in a literary magazine in favor of its adoption.

Intramural football grows into a faculty-approved team and first game is played against Norfolk YMCA in Norfolk. The first victory was recorded against the Old Dominion Club.

First intercollegiate game played, a 28-0 loss to Hampden-Sydney College.

No football played because of lack of student interest.

First athletic rules adopted, including college regulations for football.

Tribe plays first game vs. Richmond (a 15-0 loss) starting the longest football rivalry in the South. The College also records first intercollegiate win, a 10-0 win vs. Randolph-Macon.

W&M becomes a member of the Eastern Division of the Virginia Collegiate Athletic Association and records its first victory over Richmond, 15-6, which was the College's first-ever conference win.

During this academic year, the first Cary Field was built thanks to a donation by T. Archibald Cary of Richmond. The facility included bleachers and was located just west of the original football field along Richmond Road, where the Bryan Complex now stands.

Dr. William J. Young becomes the first full-time head coach at W&M.

World War I interrupts athletics program, and only one game is played. Until this point, only state teams and teams from the immediate area appeared on the schedule.

Legendary coach Knute Rockne gives a two-week coaching clinic on campus. The following year, Rockne gives only two clinics, one at Notre Dame and one at W&M.

On Oct. 23, the Alumni Association stages the first Homecoming Day in the College's 233 years of existence. The team loses only to northern foes to post a 7-3 overall record. William and Mary wins the Southern title and beats Chattanooga in its first bowl bid.

The first night football game in the East is played on Sept. 24, as W&M drops a 12-0 decision to Catholic under the lights set up on Cary Field.

Cary Field Stadium, which would become Zable Stadium, is completed to seat 10,000, with a quarter-mile track and practice field included. The first game played in the stadium is a scoreless tie against the University of Virginia.

Carl Voyles, Wallace Wade's assistant at Duke, is appointed head coach and athletics director, and R.N. ?Rube? McCray is made his assistant. ?Fabulous Freshman? team, which Voyles and McCray brought in, gains national recognition.

VMI ties William and Mary, but no state team defeats the Indians. From 1940 through 1948, no state team beats or ties W&M.

William and Mary wins the Southern Conference championship, losing only to the star-studded North Carolina Pre-Flight Eleven. The Tribe defeats Oklahoma in postseason play. Guard Garrard "Buster" Ramsey becomes William and Mary's first AP First Team All-America player.

Varsity football discontinued for second time because of war.

Voyles leaves William and Mary for Auburn, McCray becomes head coach and athletics director.

Pre-war stars return from service, and William and Mary finishes second in the Southern Conference.

William and Mary wins second conference championship. McCray is named Coach of the Year in the league, and fullback Jack Cloud is named captain of the All-Southern team and appears on several All-America teams. The Indians receive a bid to the Dixie Bowl in Birmingham, Jan. 1, 1948, but lose to Arkansas, 21-19.

W&M football team gains second consecutive bowl bid, defeating Oklahoma A&M, 20-0, in the Delta Bowl in Memphis. Jack Cloud leads the Tribe to one of the nation's biggest upsets, a 7-7 tie with North Carolina. The Tribe also tops N.C. State and Virginia Tech and gains sweet revenge over Arkansas, 9-0.

Marvin Bass directs the Tribe to a 7-3 mark in his only year as a head coach.

With only 24 members on the squad, Head Coach John T. "Jackie" Freeman (Class of 1944) guides the "Iron Indians" to a 5-4-1 record. That depleted squad upsets Wake Forest in the season opener, ties Navy and defeats N.C. State, VPI, George Washington and Richmond.

Marv Levy takes over a program that hasn't posted a winning record in 10 years.

W&M appears on network television for the first time, as ABC-TV broadcasts the Indians' game against Boston College to a large Northeast and Mid-Atlantic audience.

En route to their third consecutive winning season, the Indians score three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to stun Navy 27-16. Navy, ranked No. 1 in the East, falls to W&M for the first time in 25 years (See below).

Freshman defensive back Warren Winston of Richmond becomes the first African-American to receive a football scholarship at W&M.

With a losing record (5-6), Head Coach Lou Holtz directs the Indians to the Tangerine Bowl after two scrappy, end-of-the-season comebacks. Toledo wins the postseason game, 40-12.

Head Coach Jim Root guides the Indians to seven wins for the first time since 1951.

Jimmye Laycock returns to his alma mater to take over the reins of the program.

The College, along with 44 other programs, moves from Division I-A to I-AA. Freshman Mark Kelso earns all-state honors and would later go on to gain Academic All-America status on two occasions, before a standout professional career with the Buffalo Bills.

W&M earns a bid to the NCAA playoffs after posting a 9-2 record. Michael Clemons rushes for 1,118 yards and 10 touchdowns to earn Kodak First Team All-America honors.

Steve Christie is named ECAC Place-kicker of the Year. Christie went on to set school records for career points, field goals, extra points and longest field goal (53 yards).

Jimmye Laycock becomes winningest coach in W&M football history. The Tribe plays in its sixth postseason game, the first one ever to be played by an American team in Japan against a Japanese all-star squad. The Epson Ivy Bowl is an awesome success with a 73-3 victory.

Tribe gains a bid to the NCAA playoffs after posting an 8-2-1 record. W&M loses to Furman, 24-10. W&M ends the season ranked 10th.

Cary Field Stadium is renamed after Walter J. Zable during the homecoming game. The Tribe finishes with a school-record 10 victories and advances to the quarterfinals of the NCAA playoffs. William and Mary defeats Richmond in the 100th meeting between the two teams. The College led the nation in total offense by averaging almost 500 yards per game and claimed the Lambert Cup for I-AA supremacy in the East.

William and Mary finishes with a 9-2 record, becoming only the fifth team in school history to achieve nine victories. The Tribe travels to Tokyo and defeats Nihon University, 35-19, in the fifth Epson Ivy Bowl. The game was the first-ever match-up between a major U.S. college team and a Japanese university squad.

Celebrating its 100th year of football, and its first year of Yankee Conference play, the Tribe posts a 9-2 record and finishes second in the league (7-1). W&M advances to the NCAA playoffs where it loses to third-seeded McNeese St., 34-28, in Lake Charles, La. Quarterback Shawn Knight sets a NCAA Division I-AA record for pass efficiency (204.6) while defensive tackle Craig Staub becomes the most decorated player in Tribe history by being named to four All-America teams, while also being honored as the league's defensive player of the year. Staub was also named to the GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America squad.

Tribe finishes with 8-3 record, capping the best three-year stretch in school history (26-8).

Jimmye Laycock becomes only the 13th Division I-AA head coach to reach the 100-win plateau with a 39-0 win at defending conference champion New Hampshire. The College finishes the season with a 7-4 mark and places 13 athletes on the all-conference squad, including senior LB Jason Miller, who was also named the Yankee Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

The College wins its first Yankee Conference title in the league's last season of competition. On its way to the league title, the College finishes with a school-record No. 5 final national ranking, ties the school record for wins (10) and makes a quarterfinal showing in the NCAA Div. I-AA playoffs. The team also takes home the Lambert Cup and ECAC Team of the Year trophies. OG Josh Beyer and safety Darren Sharper earn multiple first team All-America honors, while Sharper becomes the third Tribe player to be named as the Yankee Conference's Defensive Player of the Year. As a second-round selection of the Green Bay Packers, Sharper also becomes the highest NFL draft pick in school history.

W&M reaches an all-time high national ranking of No. 2 in the coaches poll in the season's third week and finished with a 7-4 mark. W&M has 10 players named to All-Atlantic 10 honors, marking the third-straight season with double-digit honorees.

The Tribe ends the year with a 7-4 record and a No. 17 final national ranking. The squad produces three players who earned All-America honors: QB Mike Cook, DT Raheem Walker and P/TE Mike Leach.

Laycock and his staff guide the squad to its eighth consecutive winning season with a 6-5 mark. Place-kicker Brett Sterba ties the A10 record for field goals in a season with 18 and WR Dave Conklin graduates as the school's all-time leader in receptions (190), receiving yards (3,269) and TD catches (27). Sophomore Komlan Lonergan sets the school single-season kickoff return yardage mark with 743 yards.

W&M posts an 8-4 mark, winning a share of the Atlantic 10 Conference crown and making its first NCAA Playoff appearance since 1996. Senior tailback Komlan Lonergan sets the career kickoff return yardage record (1,464), junior quarterback Dave Corley establishes the College's career mark for total offense (8,173) and sophomore receiver Rich Musinski breaks the school's single season receiving yardage mark by posting 1,393 yards on 59 catches. Eleven student-athletes earn all-conference honors and Musinski and OT Dwight Beard earn All-American honors.

Tribe senior quarterback Dave Corley, Jr. breaks the school's all-time passing yardage record in W&M's 6-5 season, the 17th winning ledger in the past 20 years. Corley ends up as the holder of 16 school records. His main target, wide out Rich Musinski, becomes the Tribe's all-time receiving yards leader in the season finale against Richmond.

Standout wide receiver Rich Musinski breaks the A-10 10 record for career receiving yards with 4,168 yards and is named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. He also finished his career as the College's all-time leader in receptions (223) and touchdowns (31). He is only the third player in NCAA history to collect more than 4,000 receiving yards.

Tribe senior quarterback Lang Campbell wins the Walter Payton Award, given annually to I-AA's top offensive player, after leading the College to its first 11-win season and first appearance in the national semifinals, a Friday night contest against state-rival JMU broadcast to a national television audience from Zable Stadium. Campbell sets single-season records for passing yards (3,988), completions (298) and touchdown passes (30), among others, and was a consensus First Team All-American and the Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year, W&M's first to earn the award. Junior place-kicker Greg Kuehn takes the A10 Special Teams Player of the Year and All-America honors after leading the nation with 19 field goals. Campbell's main receiving threat, senior Dominique Thompson, shatters the school's single-season record for receiving yards with 1,585 and set a new season standard with 79 receptions en route to All-America status. Junior defensive end Adam O'Connor also earned All-America honors after piling up eight sacks.

Record-breaking place-kicker Greg Kuehn ends his career as one of the program's most decorated athletes. An All-American and former conference special teams player of the year, Kuehn shattered the Atlantic 10 record for career field goals and also set the school standard with 59 field goals, a mark that ranks eighth in NCAA I-AA history. Kuehn also stands as the College's career scoring leader at 343 points, which also ranks third in NCAA history for kickers. Additionally, Kuehn became the first A-10 kicker to earn all-conference honors in each of his four seasons. Also in 2005, permanent lights are installed at Zable Stadium and the Tribe hosts JMU, once again in front of a sellout crowd, in the first regular season night game at Zable.

The Jimmye Laycock Football Center is officially dedicated during the annual Football Alumni Reunion Weekend on June 21. In addition to the scores of former players and coaches who returned for the weekend's festivities, the special guest speakers included Lanny Wadkins, Marv Levy, Mike Tomlin, Jim Copeland, Frank Beamer and Ralph Friedgen. Located at the northwest corner of Zable Stadium, the impressive $11 million, 30,000-square foot structure was funded exclusively through private gifts. The center features a state-of-the-art home for meeting rooms, coaches offices, team and coaches lockers, an athletic training room, equipment storage areas, and administrative support areas. As part of the Laycock Center project, the Joseph Montgomery Practice Complex was also redone with new natural grass Bermuda sod.

The Tribe advances to the NCAA Semifinals for the second time in a six-year span, equals a school record with 11 wins and ranks as high as No. 3 in the final national rankings. Among the Tribe's notable victories was the season-opening 26-14 win at Virginia. Led by one of greatest defensive units in the program's history, W&M leads the nation in rushing defense and ranks second in total defense and scoring defense, while it is also among the country's top 10 in sacks and tackles for a loss. All-America defensive linemen Adrian Tracy and Sean Lissemore highlight a list of 12 Tribe players who earned a school-record 15 all-conference accolades. Both Tracy and Lissemore are selected in the NFL Draft, as Tracy is a sixth-round choice by the New York Giants while Lissemore is taken in the seventh round by the Dallas Cowboys.

W&M earns its second-consecutive NCAA playoff berth, as it garners the nation's No. 2 seed. En route to doing so, the Tribe claims the Colonial Athletic Association title and earns the program's first No. 1 national ranking midway through the season. Although W&M falls to Georgia Southern in the second round of the playoffs, it still secures a season-ending top-10 national ranking for the second-straight year. Three Tribe players earn All-America honors, while the program equals a school record with 12 players garnering 15 all-conference honors. Head Coach Jimmye Laycock is recognized for the team's success by being selected as the AFCA FCS Region 1 Coach of the Year.

Running back Jonathan Grimes become the most decorated player in Colonial Athletic Association history, as he earns three all-conference honors and increases his career total to 11. Additionally, Grimes earns four All-America honors and finishes fourth in the final voting for the Walter Payton Award, which honors the nation's top player. In addition to leading the nation in all-purpose yards per game (228.18), he wraps up his remarkable collegiate career as W&M's all-time record holder in rushing yards (4,541), all-purpose yards (7,955), kickoff return yards (2,289) and rushing attempts (936). Grimes (Houston Texans), All-American tight end Alex Gottlieb (Detroit Lions) and two-time all-conference defensive end Marcus Hyde (Washington Redskins) all sign free agent deals with NFL teams in the spring, while standout linebacker Jake Trantin is invited to the Cincinnati Bengals rookie mini camp.

All-America cornerback B.W. Webb becomes the fourth Tribe player in the NFL Draft since 2009 when he is selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the 114th overall pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. In doing so, he becomes the eighth former Tribe player on an active NFL roster. Webb participated in the Senior Bowl and NFL Draft Combine earlier in the spring after wrapping up his collegiate career as one of the most-decorated players in CAA history with nine postseason all-conference honors. Webb finished his career with a school-record 48 starts and ranked among W&M's all-time top-10 in interceptions (11) and punt return yards (603).

Led by free safety Jerome Couplin III, four Tribe standouts were honored as All-Americans after posting outstanding seasons. Couplin, a finalist for the Buchanan Award, earned first-team All-America distinction by the Associated Press, The Sports Network, Walter Camp Football Foundation, College Sporting News and Phil Steele, while offensive lineman Matt Crisafi and defensive end Mike Reilly also both garnered national accolades from multiple organizations. Wide receiver Tre McBride was honored as an All-American by College Sporting News. Following the season, Couplin signed a free agent contract with the Detroit Lions, as he became the 32nd Tribe player during the Jimmye Laycock era to ink an NFL deal.

Standout wide receiver Tre McBride became the fifth Tribe player selected in the NFL Draft since 2009 when he was chosen by the Tennessee Titans in the seventh round. The impressive total ranked second among all FCS programs during the six-year span. Defensive end Mike Reilly also earned a rookie mini-camp invitation by the Cleveland Browns after being selected as the CAA Defensive Player of the Year and garnering All-America honors by the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association and The Sports Network. In addition to the success on the field, a program-record 18 players earned CAA Academic All-Conference honors.


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