|New Hampshire Wildcats|
|Athletic director||Marty Scarano|
|Head coach||Ricky Santos (interim, due to Sean McDonnell on leave) |
1st season, 6-5 (.545)
|Location||Durham, New Hampshire|
|NCAA division||Division I FCS|
|Conference||Colonial Athletic Association|
|Colors||Blue, Gray, and White|
|Mascot||Wild E. Cat|
The New Hampshire Wildcats football program is the intercollegiate American football team for the University of New Hampshire located in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The Wildcats compete in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Colonial Athletic Association. The team plays its home games at the 11,000 seat Wildcat Stadium in Durham, New Hampshire, and are currently coached by Ricky Santos on an interim basis while longtime head coach Sean McDonnell is taking a leave of absence for health-related reasons.
The school has fielded a varsity football team annually since 1893, with the exception of one year during World War I and two years during World War II. Bill Bowes, who served as head coach from 1972 to 1998, is an inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame.
The Wildcats have played their home football games at several venues in Durham. Prior to the current stadium, which has been in use since 1936, the team played its home games on Memorial Field from 1921 through 1935. Memorial Field remains in use by the women's field hockey team. Memorial Field was constructed to "honor the memory of those New Hampshire men who gave their lives for their country during the great World War." Funded by donations from alumni, it was built on the site of the prior athletic field, which had been referred to as the College Oval.
Notable team captains during the program's early years include:
Alumni who are notable for other achievements, outside of playing professional football, include:
The below table lists the win-loss record for head coaches throughout program history. The team had its first formal head coach, John Scannell, during the 1902 season. Some opponents in early years were high school teams; for example, the 1895 team did not face any college teams in its six-game schedule. Other opponents into the 1920s were military teams (different than service academy programs, such as Army); an example being the 1926 team facing the Quantico Marines.
The school was not a member of any conference prior to the 1923 season. Since 1973, the team has played in NCAA classifications with postseason tournaments (playoffs).
|2||G. B. Ward||1904||7||2||5||0||.286||0|
|7||Ray B. Thomas||1910-1911||13||3||8||2||.308||0|
|9||T. D. Sheppard||1914||9||1||6||2||.222||0|
The 1944 schedule was limited to four games, with players restricted to 17-year-olds and returning veterans.
McDonnell began a medical leave at the start of the 2019 season, with Santos named interim head coach.
The team has appeared in one bowl game during its history:
The team made the postseason twice during the time it competed in Division II (1973-1977), compiling an overall record of 1-2:
The Wildcats have appeared in the Division I-AA/FCS Playoffs 16 times, playing 30 postseason games. Their overall record is 14-16.
|1991||First Round||Samford||L 13-29|
|1994||First Round||Appalachian State||L 10-17|
|2007||First Round||Northern Iowa||L 35-38|
|2011||Second Round||Montana State||L 25-26|
|2012||Second Round||Wofford||L 7-23|
North Dakota State
|2015||First Round||Colgate||L 20-27|
South Dakota State
The football programs of New Hampshire and the Maine Black Bears first met in 1903, and have met annually since 1922, except for two years during World War II when New Hampshire did not field a team. Since 1948, the winning team gets possession of an antique musket until the next season's game. The teams met for the 100th time in 2010.
The football programs of New Hampshire and the UMass Minutemen first met in 1897, and most recently met in 2011. Since 1986, the most outstanding player of the matchup has been awarded the Bill Knight Trophy. However, the future of the rivalry is in question, as the two programs are now in different NCAA football classifications. The teams met for the 70th time in 2007.
The football programs of New Hampshire and the Dartmouth Big Green first met in 1901, and most recently met in 2016. The next meeting between the teams is scheduled for the 2021 season. The teams met for the 35th time in 2007.
A longtime UNH librarian, Robert Morin, died in 2015 and left $4 million to the University; $1 million of that money was spent on a new video scoreboard for the football stadium, and the decision to spend so much of the donation on a scoreboard became a controversial topic. University officials explained that there was no instruction on how to spend the money, other than $100,000 for the library. It was also noted that Morin started watching and became particularly interested in football towards the end of his life.