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Memphis Tigers football

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Title: Memphis Tigers football  
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Subject: Larry Porter, American Athletic Conference football individual awards, Kippy Brown, New Orleans Bowl, Minnesota Vikings draft history
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Memphis Tigers football

Memphis Tigers
2014 Memphis Tigers football team
First season 1912
Athletic director Tom Bowen
Head coach Justin Fuente
3rd year, 16–20 (.444)
Home stadium Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Year built 1965
Stadium capacity 62,380
Stadium surface Field Turf
Location Memphis, Tennessee
Conference The American
Past conferences Mississippi Valley
Missouri Valley
All-time record 432–449–33 (.491)
Postseason bowl record 3–3–0 (.500)
Claimed national titles 0
Conference titles 5 (1 SIAA, 3 MVC, 1 AAC)
Division titles 0
Heisman winners 0

Blue and Gray

Fight song Go Tigers Go
Mascot Pouncer
TOM III (Live tiger)
Marching band Mighty Sound of the South
Rivals UAB Blazers
Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Louisville Cardinals
Ole Miss Rebels

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 currently play in the American Athletic Conference as an all-sports member.[1] They play home games at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Justin Fuente is currently the head coach, as he was formally introduced on December 8, 2011.[2]


Early History (1912–1957)

West Tennessee State Teacher's College (now the University of Memphis) first fielded a football team in 1912.[3] The team was coached by Clyde Wilson.[4]

In 1922, Lester Barnard was the Tigers head coach.[4] His team compiled a 5–2–2 record.[4]

From 1937 to 1938, Allyn McKeen coached the Tigers, compiling a 13–6 record.[4] His 1938 team went undefeated at 10–0.[4] McKeen departed the Tigers after two seasons to accept the head football coach position at Mississippi State and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1991.[5][6]

West Tennessee State Teacher's College changed its name to Memphis State College in 1941.[7]

The Tigers did not field a football team from 1943–1945 due to the events surrounding World War II.

Billy Murphy era (1958–1971)

Billy Murphy served as head football coach for the Tigers for fourteen seasons, compiling a record of 91–44–1.[8][9] Murphy's 1963 team was the school's first undefeated team in twenty-five years, and Murphy was named national coach of the year for the team's successes.[8][9] Murphy retired after the 1971 season.[10]

Fred Pancoast era (1972–1974)

[11] In three seasons, he led the Tigers to a 20–12–1 record.[11] Pancoast left the Tigers after the 1974 season to accept the head football coach position at Vanderbilt.[12]

Richard Williamson era (1975−1980)

Richard Williamson, previously offensive coordinator at Arkansas, was hired to take over the Tigers after Pancoast's departure.[13] Williamson's teams finished 7–4 (1975, 1976), 6–5 (1977), 4–7 (1978), 5–6 (1979), and 2–9 (1980).[14][15] Williamson was honored with the Southern Independent Conference Coach of the Year award twice,[13][15] but was fired as head coach of the Tigers after six seasons due to the team's declining performance.

Rex Dockery era (1981–1983)

Coach Dockery

Rex Dockery was hired away from Texas Tech as the Tigers new head coach after Williamson's firing.[16] He had an 8–24–1 record at Memphis State, starting his tenure with back-to-back 1–10 seasons and going 6–4–1 in his final season.[17]

Dockery was killed in a plane crash on December 12, 1983, in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, en route to an appearance before the Quarterback Club there.[16] Also killed in the crash were Memphis State freshman Charles Greenhill, offensive coordinator Chris Faros, and booster Glenn Jones.[16][17][18]

In December 1983, the playing surface at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium was named Rex Dockery Field.[16]

Rey Dempsey era (1984–1985)

After the tragedy, Rey Dempsey was hired away from Southern Illinois as Memphis State's new head football coach.[19] His teams struggled to find success on the football field, posting a record of 7–12–3 in two seasons[20] before Dempsey was fired.

Charlie Bailey era (1986–1988)

Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Bailey was hired as the new head football coach at Memphis State after Dempsey's firing.[21] He put together a 12–20–1 record in three seasons.[22]

He resigned from Memphis State in 1989 after allegations that two of his athletes lied about contacts with school boosters.[23]

Chuck Stobart era (1990–1994)

USC offensive coordinator Chuck Stobart, a former head coach at Toledo and Utah, was hired the head coach after Bailey's resignation.[24] His teams compiled a 29–36–1 record in his five seasons.[25][26] In his final three seasons, Stobart led the Tigers to winning seasons (three straight 6–5 records).[27] Stobart resigned after five seasons.

Memphis State University changed its name to the University of Memphis in 1994.[3][7]

Rip Scherer era (1995–2000)

Rip Scherer, previously head coach at James Madison, took over as the Tigers head football coach in late 1994.[28] He failed to post a winning record as head coach, going 3–8 (1995), 4–7 (1996-1997), 2–9 (1998), 5–6 (1999) and 4–7 (2000).[29] Scherer was fired due to the mediocrity and on-the-field struggles of the football program.[30]

In November 1996 the Tigers beat sixth-ranked and SEC power Tennessee, quarterbacked by Peyton Manning, 21-17 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.[31] It was the first time Memphis had defeated the Vols in fifteen meetings, and the Vols came into the game with a 40-1 record in November since 1985.[32]

Tommy West era (2001–2009)

Tommy West, Memphis' defensive coordinator and a former head coach at Clemson, was dubbed to take over the Tigers in late 2000.[33] West's teams had some success, reaching five bowl games in his nine seasons as head coach.[34] West's 2003 team finished 9–4 and won the 2003 New Orleans Bowl.[35] The next year, West's Tigers finished 8–4 and lost in the 2004 GMAC Bowl.[36] In 2005, West's Tigers made a third consecutive bowl appearance, winning the 2005 Motor City Bowl and finishing the season with a 7–5 record.[37] The 2007 Tigers finished 7–6 and lost in the 2007 New Orleans Bowl[38] and in 2008, Memphis finished 6–7 and lost in the 2008 St. Petersburg Bowl.[39] West was fired after a 2–10 season in 2009.[40] At the press conference announcing his firing, West vented his frustration about lack of financial and fan support and said that if the Memphis athletics department didn't show more commitment to the football program, the program didn't have "a fighting chance".[41]

Running back DeAngelo Williams set numerous school rushing records[42] and would become as successful running back in the NFL.[43]

Larry Porter era (2010–2011)

Larry Porter was named the new head football coach at the University of Memphis on November 29, 2009 replacing Tommy West.[44][45][46] Porter's Tigers struggled tremendously as fan support, attendance and revenue fell.[47] Porter amassed a 3–21 record as head coach at Memphis.[48]

On November 27, 2011, Porter was fired after completing a 2–10 season with only having won three games during his two-year tenure.[48]

Justin Fuente era (2012–present)

On December 7, 2011, sources revealed Justin Fuente would be named as the new head football coach at the University of Memphis.[49][50] He was formally introduced as the Tigers' head coach on December 8, 2011, as the replacement for former head coach Larry Porter.[2] After the Tigers opened the 2012 season with only one win over their first nine games, Fuente led Memphis on a three game winning streak to close the season and finish with an overall record of four wins and eight losses (4–8).[51] In February 2013, Memphis extended the length of Fuente's contract through the 2017 season as a result of the gains he made in his first year as head coach of the Tigers.[52] Fuente's 2013 Tigers team finished the season with a 3–9 record.[53] The 2014 Tigers football program ended the season with a 9–3 record overall (7–1 conference), making them the co-champions the AAC championship.[54]


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. 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.[55]

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.[56]

Current staff

Name Position
Justin Fuente Head Coach
Darrell Dickey Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs Coach
Barry Odom Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Coach
Holman Wiggins Wide Receivers Coach
James Shibest Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach
Vance Vice Offensive Line Coach
Tim Billings Defensive Line Coach
Brad Cornelsen Quarterbacks Coach
Ryan Walters Cornerbacks Coach
Galen Scott Linebackers Coach


Memphis home games have been played at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium[57] since 1965. Prior to that, home games were played at Crump Stadium.

Retired jerseys




Bowl games

The Memphis Tigers currently hold a record of 3–3 in bowl games. The Burley Bowl was not an NCAA sanctioned Division I FBS bowl game.

Future non-conference opponents

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
vs Missouri State vs Bowling Green vs Ole Miss at Missouri vs Missouri
at Bowling Green vs Kansas vs Tennessee
at Kansas at Ole Miss vs UCLA
vs Ole Miss



  1. ^ "Memphis Is Big East Bound". February 8, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Justin Fuente is Memphis' new coach". Associated Press. December 8, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b
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  15. ^ a b
  16. ^ a b c d
  17. ^ a b "The Rex Dockery Award". Bradley Central High School. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  18. ^
  19. ^,9373467
  20. ^
  21. ^,8584417
  22. ^
  23. ^ SPORTS PEOPLE: COLLEGES; Football Coach Resigns - New York Times
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Charles R. "Chuck" Stobart Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  26. ^
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  43. ^
  44. ^ Former Tiger Running Back Larry Porter Named Memphis Football Coach
  45. ^ Porter takes over struggling Memphis program
  46. ^ Porter hired as Memphis' coach
  47. ^
  48. ^ a b "Memphis fires coach Larry Porter". news services. November 27, 2011. 
  49. ^ Stukenborg, Phil (December 7, 2011). "TCU's Justin Fuente named football coach for Memphis Tigers". The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN). Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  50. ^ Schad, Joe (December 7, 2011). "Memphis to hire Justin Fuente". Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  51. ^ Stukenborg, Phil (November 24, 2012). "Memphis Tigers clobber Southern Miss for third straight win". The Commercial Appeal ( Retrieved December 9, 2011. 
  52. ^ "Memphis extends Justin Fuente". Associated Press. February 13, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
  58. ^ a b
  59. ^ "Memphis Tigers Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved 2012-02-22. 

External links

  • Official website
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