|Harvard Crimson football|
|Head coach||Tim Murphy |
25th season, 178-81 (.687)
|Bowl record||1–0 (1.000)|
|Claimed national titles||7|
|Unclaimed national titles||6|
|Colors||Crimson, White, and Black|
|Fight song||Ten Thousand Men of Harvard|
The Harvard Crimson football program represents Harvard University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). Harvard's football program is one of the oldest in the world, having begun competing in the sport in 1873. The Crimson has a legacy that includes 13 national championships and 20 College Football Hall of Fame inductees, including the first African-American college football player William H. Lewis, Huntington "Tack" Hardwick, Barry Wood, Percy Haughton, and Eddie Mahan. Harvard is the eighth winningest team in NCAA Division I football history.
Old "Football Fightum" had been resurrected at Harvard in 1872, when Harvard resumed playing football. Harvard, however, had adopted a version of football which allowed carrying, albeit only when the player carrying the ball was being pursued. As a result of this, Harvard refused to attend the rules conference organized by the other schools and continued to play under its own code. While Harvard's voluntary absence from the meeting made it hard for them to schedule games against other American universities, it agreed to a challenge to play McGill University, from Montreal, in a two-game series. Inasmuch as rugby football had been transplanted to Canada from England, the McGill team played under a set of rules which allowed a player to pick up the ball and run with it whenever he wished. Another rule, unique to McGill, was to count tries (the act of grounding the football past the opposing team's goal line; it is important to note that there was no end zone during this time), as well as goals, in the scoring. In the Rugby rules of the time, a touchdown only provided the chance to kick a free goal from the field. If the kick was missed, the touchdown did not count.
The McGill team traveled to Cambridge to meet Harvard. On May 14, 1874, the first game, played under Harvard's rules, was won by Harvard with a score of 3-0. The next day, the two teams played under "McGill" rugby rules to a scoreless tie. The games featured a round ball instead of a rugby-style oblong ball. This series of games represents an important milestone in the development of the modern game of American football. In October 1874, the Harvard team once again traveled to Montreal to play McGill in rugby, where they won by three tries.
The Harvard Crimson was one of the dominant forces in the early days of intercollegiate football, winning 9 college football national championships between 1890 and 1919. In both 1919 and 1920, headed by All-American brothers Arnold Horween and Ralph Horween (who also attended Harvard Law School), Harvard was undefeated (9-0-1, as they outscored their competition 229-19, and 8-0-1, respectively). The team won the 1920 Rose Bowl against the University of Oregon, 7-6. It was the only bowl appearance in Harvard history.
In the forty-year period from 1889 to 1928, Harvard had more than 80 first-team All-American selections. Under head coach Percy Haughton, Harvard had three consecutive undefeated seasons from 1912 to 1914, including two perfect seasons in 1912 and 1913.
The NCAA decided to split Division I into two subdivisions in 1978, then called I-A for larger schools, and I-AA for the smaller ones. The NCAA had devised the split, in part, with the Ivy League in mind, but the conference did not move down for four seasons despite the fact that there were many indications that the ancient eight were on the wrong side of an increasing disparity between the big and small schools. In 1982, the NCAA created a rule that stated a program's average attendance must be at least 15,000 to qualify for I-A membership. This forced the conference's hand, as only some of the member schools met the attendance qualification. Choosing to stay together rather than stand their ground separately in the increasingly competitive I-A subdivision, the Ivy League, along with several other conferences and independent programs moved down into I-AA starting with the 1982 season (a number of these teams have since returned to I-A/FBS).
Since the formation of the Ivy League in 1956, Harvard has won outright or shared 17 Ivy League championships (8 outright; 9 shared), 1961 (6-3), 1966 (8-1), 1968 (8-0-1), 1974 (7-2), 1975 (7-2), 1982 (7-3), 1983 (6-2-2), 1987 (8-2), 1997 (9-1), 2001 (9-0), 2004 (10-0), 2007 (8-2), 2008 (9-1), 2011 (9-1), 2013 (9-1), 2014 (10-0) and 2015 (9-1). The Crimson are behind Penn and Dartmouth's 18 Ivy League Football Championships.
Before the start of the 2020 season, the Ivy League announced that no sports would be played until January 1, 2021, at the earliest, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has not yet been determined whether the football season will take place in the spring 2021 or not at all.
Harvard has won 12 national championships (1874, 1875, 1890, 1898, 1899, 1901, 1908, 1910, 1912, 1913, 1919, 1920) from NCAA-designated major selectors.:110-111 Harvard claims seven of these college football national championships.
|1874||Parke Davis||Arthur B. Ellis||1-1|
|1875||National Championship Foundation, Parke Davis||William A. Whiting||4-0|
|1890||PD, NCF, Billingsley Report (BR), Helms Athletic Foundation (HAF), Houlgate System (HS)||George A. Stewart, George C. Adams||11-0|
|1898||BR, HAF, HS, NCF||William Forbes||11-0|
|1899||HAF, HS, NCF||Benjamin Dibblee||10-0-1|
|1910||BR, HAF, HS, NCF||Percy Haughton||8-0-1|
|1912||BR, HAF, HS, NCF, PD||Percy Haughton||9-0-0|
|1913||HAF, HS, NCF, PD||Percy Haughton||9-0-0|
|1919||College Football Researchers Association (CFRA), HAF, HS, NCF, PD||Bob Fisher||9-0-1|
Bold indicates claimed championship
Harvard has won 17 conference championships, all of which occurring during their tenure in the Ivy League, which they joined in 1956, with eight of them being outright and nine being shared. They are second in total Ivy League football titles, behind Dartmouth and Penn.
|Year||Conference||Coach||Overall record||Conference record|
|1961+||Ivy League||John Yovicsin||6-3||6-1|
|Frank A. Mason||1886||12-2||.857|
|George A. Stewart & George C. Adams||1890-1892||34-2||.944|
|George A. Stewart & Everett J. Lake||1893||12-1||.923|
|William A. Brooks||1894||11-2||.846|
|William Cameron Forbes||1897-1898||21-1-1||.935|
|Bill Reid||1901, 1905-1906||30-3- 1||.897|
|John Wells Farley||1902||11-1||.917|
|William F. Donovan||1918||2-1||.667|
|Dick Harlow||1935-1942; 1945-1947||45-39-7||.533|
Harvard and Yale have been competing against each other in football since 1875. The annual rivalry game between the two schools, known as "The Game", is played in November at the end of the football season. As of 2015, Yale led the series 65-59-8. The Game is the second oldest continuing rivalry and also the third most-played rivalry game in college football history, after the Lehigh-Lafayette Rivalry (1884) and the Princeton-Yale game (1873). Sports Illustrated On Campus rated the Harvard-Yale rivalry the sixth-best in college athletics in 2003. Ted Kennedy played football for Harvard and caught a touchdown pass in the 1955 Harvard/Yale game. In 2006, Yale ended a five-game losing streak against Harvard, winning 34-13. That Harvard winning streak was third longest in the history of the series, after Yale's 1902-1907 six-game winning streak and Yale's 1880-1889 eight-game winning streak. Harvard has since beaten Yale in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The Game is significant for historical reasons as the rules of The Game soon were adopted by other schools. Football's rules, conventions, and equipment, as well as elements of "atmosphere" such as the mascot and fight song, include many elements pioneered or nurtured at Harvard and Yale.
The series with Dartmouth dates to 1882.
The series with Penn dates to 1881.
The series with Princeton dates to 1877.
Harvard Stadium is a horseshoe-shaped football stadium in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. The stadium is an important historic landmark. Built in 1903, it is the nation's oldest stadium. Penn's Franklin Field is the oldest site still in use (1895) but its current stadium was built in 1922. It was also the world's first massive reinforced-concrete structure, and considered at the time of construction to be the 'finest structure of its kind in the world'. The structure was completed in just six months, mainly by the efforts of Harvard students, and for a budget of $200,000. Thus 'the stadium represents the thought, the money, the ideas, the planning, and the manual labor of Harvard men'. As such, it is one of four athletic arenas distinguished as a National Historic Landmark (the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Rose Bowl and the Yale Bowl are the other three). The stadium seats 30,323. Temporary steel stands were added in the stadiums to expand capacity to 57,166 until 1951. Afterward, there were smaller temporary stands until the building of the Murr Center (which is topped by the new scoreboard) in 1998. In 2006, Harvard installed both FieldTurf and lights.
|Eddie Casey||Halfback||1916, 1919||1968|||
|Charles Dudley Daly||Quarterback||1898-1902||1951|||
|Hamilton Fish III||Tackle||1907-1909||1954|||
|Huntington Hardwick||End, Halfback||1912-1914||1954|||
|William H. Lewis||Center||1888-1893||2009|||
|Pat McInally||Wide receiver||1972-1974||2016|||
This section needs to be updated.September 2018)(
|Joe Azelby||Linebacker||1984||Buffalo Bills|
|Matt Birk||Center||1998-2013||Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens|
|Cameron Brate||Tight End||2014 - present||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Desmond Bryant||Defensive tackle||2009-2016||Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns|
|Ben Braunecker||TE||2016-2019||Chicago Bears|
|Stanley Burnham||TB-BB||1925||Frankford Yellow Jackets|
|Roger Caron||Tackle||1985-1986||Indianapolis Colts|
|Eddie Casey||Halfback||1920||Buffalo All-Americans|
|Charlie Clark||Guard||1924||Chicago Cardinals|
|Bill Craven||Defensive back||1976||Cleveland Browns|
|Harrie Dadmun||Guard, tackle||1920-1921||Canton Bulldogs, New York Brickley Giants|
|Clifton Dawson||Running back||2007-2008||Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts|
|John Dockery||Defensive back||1968-1973||New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Nick Easton||Center||2015-present||San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings|
|Chris Eitzmann||Tight end||2000||New England Patriots|
|Carl Etelman||B||1926||Providence Steam Roller|
|Earl Evans||Tackle, guard||1925-1929||Chicago Cardinals, Chicago Bears|
|Anthony Firkser||Tight End, H-Back||2017 - present||Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets|
|Ryan Fitzpatrick||Quarterback||2005 - present||St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins|
|Herman Gundlach||Guard||1935||Boston Redskins|
|Arnold Horween||B||1921-1924||Racine Cardinals, Chicago Cardinals|
|Ralph Horween||B||1921-1923||Chicago Cardinals|
|Dan Jiggetts||Tackle, guard||1976-1982||Chicago Bears|
|Kyle Juszczyk||Fullback, Tight End||2013-present||Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers|
|Isaiah Kacyvenski||Linebacker||2000-2006||Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams|
|Dick King||Fullback, halfback||1917-1923||Pine Village, Hammond Pros, Milwaukee Badgers, Rochester Jeffersons, St. Louis All-Stars|
|Bobby Leo||Running back, wide receiver||1967-1968||Boston Patriots|
|Joe McGlone||BB||1926||Providence Steam Roller|
|Pat McInally||Wide receiver, punter||1976-1985||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Al Miller||Fullback, halfback||1929||Boston Bulldogs|
|Joe Murphy||Guard||1920-1921||Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians|
|Kevin Murphy||Offensive Tackle||2012- 2013||Minnesota Vikings|
|Tyler Ott||Long Snapper||2014-present||New England Patriots, St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks|
|Joe Pellegrini||Guard, center||1982-1986||New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons|
|Adam Redmond||Center||2016-present||Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys|
|Jamil Soriano||Guard||2003-2005||New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins|
|Red Steele||End||1921||Canton Bulldogs|
|Rich Szaro||Kicker||1975-1979||New Orleans Saints, New York Jets|
Since the first All-American team was selected by Caspar Whitney in 1889, more than 100 Harvard football players have been selected as first-team All-Americans. Consensus All-Americans are noted below with bold typeface.
Below are any Crimson football players that became notable for reasons other than football. Including is notability, position at Havard, and any accomplishments while playing.