Thursday, September 25, 2014

Play it again, Samford: the 1984 Return of Football to Campus

Samford team members celebrate a score against Arkansas Monticello in 1984.

In 1973, the football program was dissolved on Samford’s campus. Football returned as a varsity sport in 1984.

Georgia Southwestern team vs. the Samford Bulldogs in their 1984 season.
Though not a scholarship sport (that wouldn’t happen until 1988), the 1984 season was crucial in establishing administrative and student support for a robust football program. 

Alpha Phi Omega members show off "SU," a live mascot they donated to the Athletics Association.

The return season record was not particularly impressive, but the campus rallied to support the program. 

Cheerleaders hold up a sign for the team to run through at the 1984 Homecoming game.

During the 11 years that Samford University did not have an official football team, homecoming was celebrated during a basketball game. The return of football meant, among other things, the return of football games at homecoming. 

Arkansas defender stops Samford tailback Greg Switzer in the 1984 season.

Football became a scholarship sport in 1988, and in 1989, Siebert Stadium opened. With two NCAA playoff appearances in the 1990s, football continues to be an important part of campus life.

Thanks to Rachel Cohen, of the Special Collection, for text and photographs.

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