Thomas Alfred Maddox is a former football quarterback in the National Football League, the XFL, the Arena Football League. He is one of three players to have won both Super XFL championships. Maddox was born in Shreveport and raised in Hurst, Texas, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. At UCLA, Maddox played collegiately for two seasons and led UCLA to the John Hancock Bowl in 1991; the Denver Broncos drafted Maddox in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft. Thought to be the successor to Broncos star quarterback John Elway, Maddox had an unimpressive record in his rookie year and saw limited playing time in his early NFL career. Before the 1994 season, the Broncos traded Maddox to the Los Angeles Rams, Maddox would join the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons. Maddox played under coach Dan Reeves with the Broncos and Falcons. After being released by the Atlanta Falcons in 1997, Maddox became an insurance agent before making a comeback in professional football with the New Jersey Red Dogs of the Arena Football League in 2000.
Maddox became starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Xtreme of the XFL, a league that folded after one season. With the Xtreme, Maddox led the team to the Million Dollar Game championship and became league MVP for the season; that year, Maddox signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. As backup to Kordell Stewart, Maddox became the Steelers' starting quarterback in 2002 and led the Steelers to a 10–5-1 record and a postseason run. For his achievements in 2002, the NFL named Maddox Comeback Player of the Year. After a 6–10 season in 2003, an injury in week 2 against the Ravens in the 2004 season, Maddox again became a backup quarterback to Steelers first-round draft pick Ben Roethlisberger. In this backup role, Maddox earned a Super Bowl ring when Pittsburgh won Super Bowl XL after the 2005 season, beating the Seattle Seahawks; the 2005 season was his final season as a professional football player. After retiring from football, Maddox became a youth baseball coach in his native Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Born in Shreveport, Maddox graduated from L. D. Bell High School at Hurst, Texas in 1990. At L. D. Bell, Maddox lettered in football and baseball; as a senior, he was team captain, was named the Southwest Texas Offensive Player of the Year, District Most Valuable Player, the Area Most Valuable Player. Maddox played two seasons of college football as quarterback at UCLA. In 1990, Maddox completed 182 of 327 of his passes for 2,682 yards, 17 touchdowns, 14 interceptions. UCLA went 5–6 in 1990; the following season, Maddox led UCLA to a 9–3 record and the John Hancock Bowl title with a 209-for-343 completion rate for 2,681 yards, 16 touchdowns, 16 interceptions. In his two years with UCLA, Maddox became the first Pac-10 player to pass 5,000 yards by sophomore year and won first-team All-American honors in 1991. In a Friday night news conference on January 31, 1992, Maddox announced his intention to declare for the 1992 NFL Draft, reading from a prepared statement: "While I understand that another year or two at UCLA would be enjoyable and beneficial to my development, I feel that it is time for me to stand on my feet as a man and take on the opportunities offered by the NFL."
Maddox announced his upcoming marriage and further explained: "Playing in the NFL has been a dream of mine since childhood, it's a gut feeling that the time is now right." Maddox was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft. Covering the draft for television, Joe Theismann commented that Maddox should have stayed at UCLA for another year, his selection by the Broncos did not sit well with Elway since the Broncos had greater needs at several other positions, which Elway felt should have been addressed with their first pick instead of using it on Maddox. However, Elway understood that Maddox had no control over the Broncos selection and was always professional in dealing with him, doing what he could to incorporate Maddox into the Broncos system. Maddox was expected to succeed John Elway as starting quarterback; as a rookie, Maddox served under coach Dan Reeves. Maddox took his first snaps during the Week 6 game against the Washington Redskins, completing 2-of-8 passes for 10 yards and one interception in the 34–3 loss.
In that game, Maddox became the youngest NFL quarterback to complete a pass since Elmer Angsman in 1946. Maddox took over the week 11 game after starting quarterback John Elway left with a shoulder injury, he led the Broncos to a 27–13 victory over the New York Giants. Maddox would start the following four games from all losses. In his debut start in the week 12 24–0 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders, Maddox went 18-of-26 for 207 yards and two interceptions, was sacked four times, committed three fumbles. Maddox only learned; the Los Angeles Times account of the game reported: "Every time Denver moved the ball, Maddox would be pressured, sacked or dropped the ball."The following week, in a 16–13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Maddox threw his first touchdown pass professionally, connecting with wide receiver Mark Jackson. Under coach Wade Phillips, Maddox played all games in 1993 as the placekicker's holder. On Week 14, in a 13–10 loss to the San Diego Chargers, Maddox completed one pass for one yard to linebacker Dave Wyman in a fake field goal attempt.
On August 27, 1994, the Los Angeles Rams traded a fourth-round 1995 NFL Draft pick to the Broncos and acquired Maddox, as the salary cap forced the Broncos to trade him. Maddox
A running back is an American and Canadian football position, a member of the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, to block. There are one or two running backs on the field for a given play, depending on the offensive formation. A running back may be a wingback or a fullback. A running back will sometimes be called a "feature back"; the halfback or tailback position is responsible for carrying the ball on the majority of running plays, may be used as a receiver on short passing plays. In the modern game, an effective halfback must have a blend of both quickness and agility as a runner, as well as sure hands and good vision up-field as a receiver. Quarterbacks depend on halfbacks as a safety valve receiver when primary targets downfield are covered or when they are under pressure. Halfbacks line up as additional wide receivers; when not serving either of these functions, the primary responsibility of a halfback is to aid the offensive linemen in blocking, either to protect the quarterback or another player carrying the football.
If a team uses a Wildcat formation the halfback is the one who receives the snap directly instead of the quarterback. As a trick play, running backs are used to pass the ball on a halfback option play or halfback pass; the difference between halfback and tailback is the position of the player in the team's offensive formation. In historical formations, the halfback lined up halfway between the line of scrimmage and the fullback; because the halfback is the team's main ball carrier, modern offensive formations have positioned the halfback behind the fullback, to take advantage of the fullback's blocking abilities. As a result, some systems or playbooks will call for a tailback as opposed to a halfback. In Canadian football, the term tailback is used interchangeably with running back, while the use of the term halfback is exclusively reserved for the defensive halfback, which refers to the defensive back halfway between the linebackers and the cornerbacks. In most modern college and professional football schemes, fullbacks carry the ball infrequently, instead using their stronger physiques as primary "lead blockers."
On most running plays, the fullback leads the halfback, attempting to block potential tacklers before they reach the ball carrier. When fullbacks are called upon to carry the ball, the situation calls for gaining a short amount of yardage, as the fullback can use his bulkiness to avoid being tackled early. Fullbacks are sometimes receivers for passing plays, although most plays call for the fullback to block any defensive players that make it past the offensive line, a skill referred to as "blitz pickup". Fullbacks are technically running backs, but today the term "running back" is used in referring to the halfback or tailback. Although modern fullbacks are used as ball carriers, in previous offensive schemes fullbacks would be the designated ball carriers. In high school football, where player sizes vary fullbacks are still used as ball carriers. In high school and college offenses, the triple option scheme uses the fullback as a primary ball carrier; the fullback plays a unique role by establishing an inside running threat on every play.
College teams such as Georgia Tech and Air Force have employed the triple option scheme. While in years past the fullback lined up on the field for every offensive play, teams opt to replace the fullback with an additional wide receiver or a tight end in modern football. Fullbacks in the National Football League today carry or catch the ball since they are used exclusively as blockers. Fullbacks are still used as rushers on plays when a short gain is needed for a first-down or touchdown or to surprise the defense since they are not expecting a full back to run or catch the ball. Pro Football Hall of Fame members Jim Brown, Marion Motley, Franco Harris, John Riggins, Larry Csonka were fullbacks. There is a diversity in those. At one extreme are smaller, shiftier players; these quick and elusive running backs are called "scat backs" because their low center of gravity and maneuverability allow them to dodge tacklers. Running backs known for their elusiveness include Red Grange, Hugh McElhenny, Gale Sayers, Barry Sanders.
At the other extreme are "power backs:" bigger, stronger players who can break through tackles using brute strength and raw power. They are slower runners compared to other backs, run straight ahead rather than dodging to the outside edges of the playing field. Hall of Famers Earl Campbell, Bronko Nagurski, John Riggins, Larry Csonka, as well as NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith, were considered power running backs. Over the years, NFL running backs have been used as receivers out of the backfield. On passing plays, a running back will run a "safe route," such as a hook or a flat route, that gives a quarterback a target when all other receivers are covered or when the quarterback feels pressured. Hall of Famer Lenny Moore was a halfback who played as a pass receiver; some teams have a specialist "third down back,", skilled at catching passes or better at pass blocking and "picking up the blitz," and thus is
The Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League. From the merger with the rival American Football League in 1970 up through 2013 and since 2017, it is called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference against those in the National Football Conference. From 2014 through 2016, the NFL experimented with an unconferenced format, where the teams were selected by two honorary team captains, instead of selecting players from each conference; the players were picked in a televised "schoolyard pick" prior to the game. Unlike most major sports leagues, which hold their all-star games midway through their regular seasons, the Pro Bowl is played around the end of the NFL season; the first official Pro Bowl was played in January 1951, three weeks after the 1950 NFL Championship Game. Between 1970 and 2009, the Pro Bowl was held the weekend after the Super Bowl. Since 2010, it has been played the weekend before the Super Bowl. Players from the two teams competing in the Super Bowl do not participate.
For years, the game has suffered from lack of interest due to perceived low quality, with observers and commentators expressing their disfavor with it in its current state. It draws lower TV ratings than regular season NFL games, although the game draws similar ratings to other major all-star games, such as the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. However, the biggest concern of teams is to avoid injuries to the star players; the Associated Press wrote that players in the 2012 game were "hitting each other as though they were having a pillow fight". Between 1980 and 2016, the game was played at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii except for two years. On June 1, 2016, the NFL announced that they reached a multi-year deal to move the game to Orlando, Florida as part of the league's ongoing efforts to make the game more relevant; the first "Pro All-Star Game", featuring the all-stars of the 1938 season, was played on January 15, 1939 at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. The NFL All-Star Game was played again in Los Angeles in 1940 and in New York and Philadelphia in 1941 and 1942 respectively.
Although planned as an annual contest, the all-star game was discontinued after 1942 because of travel restrictions put in place during World War II. During the first five all-star games, an all-star team would face that year's league champion; the league champion won the first four games before the all-stars were victorious in the final game of this early series. The concept of an all-star game was not revived until June 1950, when the newly christened "Pro Bowl" was approved; the game was sponsored by the Los Angeles Publishers Association. It was decided that the game would feature all-star teams from each of the league's two conferences rather than the league champion versus all-star format, used previously; this was done to avoid confusion with the Chicago College All-Star Game, an annual game which featured the league champion against a collegiate all-star team. The teams would be led by the coach of each of the conference champions. Prior to the Pro Bowl, following the 1949 season, the All-America Football Conference, which contributed three teams to the NFL in a partial merger in 1950, held its own all-star game, the Shamrock Bowl.
The first 21 games of the series were played in Los Angeles. The site of the game was changed annually for each of the next seven years before the game was moved to Aloha Stadium in Halawa, Hawaii for 30 straight seasons from 1980 through 2009; the 2010 Pro Bowl was played at Sun Life Stadium, the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins and host site of Super Bowl XLIV, on January 31, the first time that the Pro Bowl was held before the championship game. With the new rule being that the conference teams do not include players from the teams that will be playing in the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl returned to Hawaii in 2011 but was again held during the week before the Super Bowl, where it remained for three more years; the 2012 game was met with criticism from fans and sports writers for the lack of quality play by the players. On October 24, 2012, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had second thoughts about the Pro Bowl, telling a Sirius XM show that if the players did not play more competitively, he was "not inclined to play it anymore".
During the ensuing off-season, the NFL Players Association lobbied to keep the Pro Bowl, negotiated several rule changes to be implemented for the 2014 game. Among them, the teams will no longer be AFC vs. NFC, instead be selected by captains in a fantasy draft. For the 2014 game, Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders were chosen as alumni captains, while their captains were Drew Brees and Robert Quinn, along with Jamaal Charles and J. J. Watt. On April 9, 2014, the NFL announced that the 2015 Pro Bowl would be played the week before the Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on January 25, 2015; the game returned to Hawaii in 2016, the "unconferenced" format was its last. For 2017, the league considered hosting the game at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, which if approved would be the first time the game had been hosted outside the United States; the NFL is considering future Pro Bowls in Mexico and Germany. The NFL hopes that by leveraging international markets with the star power of Pro Bowls, international pop
Michigan Wolverines football
The Michigan Wolverines football program represents the University of Michigan in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level. Michigan has the most all-time wins in college football history; the team is known for its distinctive winged helmet, its fight song, its record-breaking attendance figures at Michigan Stadium, its many rivalries its annual, regular-season-ending game against Ohio State, once voted as ESPN's best sports rivalry. Michigan began competing in intercollegiate football in 1879; the Wolverines joined the Big Ten Conference at its inception in 1896, other than a hiatus from 1907 to 1916, have been members since. Michigan has won or shared 42 league titles, since the inception of the AP Poll in 1936, has finished in the top 10 a total of 38 times; the Wolverines claim 11 national championships, most that of the 1997 squad voted atop the final AP Poll. From 1900 to 1989, Michigan was led by a series of nine head coaches, each of whom has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame either as a player or as a coach.
Fielding H. Yost became Michigan's head coach in 1901 and guided his "Point-a-Minute" squads to a streak of 56 games without a defeat, spanning from his arrival until the season finale in 1905, including a victory in the 1902 Rose Bowl, the first college football bowl game played. Fritz Crisler brought his winged helmet from Princeton University in 1938 and led the 1947 Wolverines to a national title and Michigan's second Rose Bowl win. Bo Schembechler coached the team for 21 seasons in which he won 13 Big Ten titles and 194 games, a program record; the first decade of his tenure was underscored by a fierce competition with his former mentor, Woody Hayes, whose Ohio State Buckeyes squared off against Schembechler's Wolverines in a stretch of the Michigan–Ohio State rivalry dubbed the "Ten-Year War". Following Schembechler's retirement, the program was coached by two of his former assistants, Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr, who maintained the program's overall success over the next 18 years. However, the program's fortunes declined under the next two coaches, Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke, who were both fired after short tenures.
Following Hoke's dismissal, Michigan hired Jim Harbaugh on December 30, 2014. Harbaugh is a former quarterback of the team, having played for Michigan between 1982 and 1986 under Schembechler; the Michigan Wolverines have featured 82 players that have garnered consensus selection to the College Football All-America Team. Three Wolverines have won the Heisman Trophy: Tom Harmon in 1940, Desmond Howard in 1991, Charles Woodson in 1997. Gerald Ford, who became the 38th President of the United States, started at center and was voted most valuable player by his teammates on the 1934 team. On May 30, 1879, Michigan played its first intercollegiate football game against Racine College at White Stocking Park in Chicago; the Chicago Tribune called it "the first rugby-football game to be played west of the Alleghenies." Midway through "the first'inning'," Irving Kane Pond scored the first touchdown for Michigan. According to Will Perry's history of Michigan football, the crowd responded to Pond's plays with cheers of "Pond Forever."
In 1881, Michigan played against Harvard in Boston. The game that marked the birth of inter-sectional football. On their way to a game in Chicago in 1887, Michigan players stopped in South Bend and introduced football to students at the University of Notre Dame. A November 23 contest marked the inception of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football program and the beginning of the Michigan–Notre Dame rivalry. In 1894, Michigan defeated Cornell, the "first time in collegiate football history that a western school defeated an established power from the east."In 1896, the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives—then known as the Western Conference and as the Big Ten Conference—was formed by the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University, Purdue University. The first Western Conference football season was played in 1896, with Michigan going 9–1, but losing out on the inaugural Western Conference title with a loss to the Chicago Maroons to end the season.
By 1898 Amos Alonzo Stagg was fast at work at turning the University of Chicago football program into a powerhouse. Before the final game of the 1898 season, Chicago was 9–1–1 and Michigan was 9–0. Michigan won, 12–11, capturing the program's first conference championship in a game that inspired "The Victors", which became the school's fight song. Michigan went 8–2 and 7–2–1 in 1899 and 1900, results that were considered unsatisfactory relative to the 10–0 season of 1898. After the 1900 season, Charles A. Baird, Michigan's first athletic director, wrote to Fielding H. Yost, "Our people are roused up over the defeats of the past two years", gave Yost an offer to come to Michigan to coach the football team. Upon arriving at Michigan, Yost famously ran up State Street and proclaimed to a reporter, "Michigan isn't going to lose a game." Yost delivered, with the 1901 Michigan team demolishing its opponents. In the first season under head coach Yost, a lopsided victory over Buffalo drew national attention and marked the arrival of Yost's "Point-a-Minute" teams.
The Buffalo team beat Ivy League power Columbia earlier in the year and was favored over a Michigan team the Buffalo newspapers had dubbed "Woolly Westerners." Michigan scored 22 touchdowns in 38 minutes of play, averaging a touchdown every one minute and 43 seconds. Buffalo quit 15 minutes before the game
The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns compete in the National Football League as a member club of the American Football Conference North division; the Browns play their home games at FirstEnergy Stadium, which opened in 1999, with administrative offices and training facilities in Berea, Ohio. The Browns' official colors are brown and white, they are unique among the 32 member franchises of the NFL in that they do not have a logo on their helmets. The franchise was founded in 1945 by businessman Arthur B. McBride and coach Paul Brown as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference; the Browns dominated the AAFC, compiling a 47–4–3 record in the league's four seasons and winning its championship in each. When the AAFC folded after the 1949 season, the Browns joined the National Football League along with the San Francisco 49ers and the original Baltimore Colts; the Browns won a championship in their inaugural NFL season, as well as in the 1954, 1955, 1964 seasons, in a feat unequaled in any of the North American major professional sports, played in their league championship game in each of the Browns' first ten years of existence.
From 1965 to 1995, they made the playoffs 14 times, but did not win another championship or appear in the Super Bowl during that period. In 1995, owner Art Modell, who had purchased the Browns in 1961, announced plans to move the team to Baltimore. After threats of legal action from the city of Cleveland and fans, a compromise was reached in early 1996 that allowed Modell to establish the Baltimore Ravens as a new franchise while retaining the contracts of all Browns personnel; the Browns' intellectual property, including team name, training facility, history, were kept in trust and the franchise was regarded by the NFL as suspended, with a new team to be established by 1999 either by expansion or relocation. The Browns were announced as an expansion team in 1998 and resumed play in 1999. Since resuming operations in 1999, the Browns have struggled to find success, they have had only two winning seasons, one playoff appearance, no playoff wins. The franchise has been noted for a lack of stability with quarterbacks, having started 30 players in the position since 1999.
Through the end of the 2018 season, the Browns' win–loss record since returning to the NFL in 1999 is 95–224–1. In 2017, the Browns became only the second team in league history to finish a season 0–16, joining the 2008 Detroit Lions. Through the 2018 season, the Browns hold the longest active playoff drought in the NFL, at 16 seasons; the history of the Cleveland Browns American football team began in 1944 when taxi-cab magnate Arthur B. "Mickey" McBride secured a Cleveland franchise in the newly formed All-America Football Conference. Paul Brown was the team's namesake and first coach; the Browns began play in 1946 in the AAFC. The Browns won each of the league's four championship games before the league dissolved in 1949; the team moved to the more established National Football League, where it continued to dominate. Between 1950 and 1955, Cleveland reached the NFL championship game every year. McBride and his partners sold the team to a group of Cleveland businessmen in 1953 for a then-unheard-of $600,000.
Eight years the team was sold again, this time to a group led by New York advertising executive Art Modell. Modell fired Brown before the 1963 season, but the team continued to win behind running back Jim Brown; the Browns won the championship in 1964 and reached the title game the following season, losing to the Green Bay Packers. When the AFL and NFL merged before the 1970 season, Cleveland became part of the new American Football Conference. While the Browns made it back to the playoffs in 1971 and 1972, they fell into mediocrity through the mid-1970s. A revival of sorts took place in 1979 and 1980, when quarterback Brian Sipe engineered a series of last-minute wins and the Browns came to be called the "Kardiac Kids". Under Sipe, the Browns did not make it past the first round of the playoffs. Quarterback Bernie Kosar, who the Browns drafted in 1985, led the team to three AFC Championship games in the late 1980s but lost each time to the Denver Broncos. In 1995, Modell announced he was relocating the Browns to Baltimore, sowing a mix of outrage and bitterness among Cleveland's dedicated fan base.
Negotiations and legal battles led to an agreement where Modell was allowed to move the team, but Cleveland kept the Browns' name and history. After three years of suspension while Cleveland Stadium was demolished and FirstEnergy Stadium built on its site, the Browns started play again in 1999 under new owner Al Lerner; the Browns struggled throughout the 2000s and 2010s, posting a record of 95–224–1 since their 1999 return. The Browns have only posted two winning seasons and one playoff appearance since returning to the NFL; the team's struggles have been magnified since 2012, when the Lerner family sold the team to businessman Jimmy Haslam. In six seasons under the Haslam ownership, the Browns went through four head coaches and four general managers, none of whom had found success. In 2016 and 2017 under head coach Hue Jackson, the Browns went 1–31, the worst two-year stretch in NFL history, received the number one overall draft pick in both of those years; the Browns are the only National Football League team without a helmet logo.
The logoless helmet serves as the Browns' official logo. The organization has used several promotional logos throughout the years.
Florida State Seminoles football
The Florida State Seminoles football team represents Florida State University in the sport of American football. The Seminoles compete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference; the team is known for its storied history, distinctive helmet, fight song and colors as well as the many traditions associated with the school. Florida State has won three national championships, eighteen conference titles and six division titles along with a playoff appearance; the Seminoles have achieved three undefeated seasons, finished ranked in the top four of the AP Poll for 14 straight years from 1987 through 2000 and completed 41 straight winning seasons from 1977 through 2017. The 1999 team received votes from ESPN as one of the top teams in college football history; the team has produced three Heisman Trophy winners: quarterbacks Charlie Ward in 1993, Chris Weinke in 2000 and Jameis Winston in 2013.
The Biletnikoff Award, presented annually to the top receiver in college football, is named for Florida State hall of famer Fred Biletnikoff. Other awards won by Florida State players include the Walter Camp Award, the Maxwell Award, the Davey O'Brien Award, the Lombardi Award, the Dick Butkus Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Lou Groza Award, the Dave Rimington Trophy and the Bobby Bowden Award. Florida State coaches have been honored with the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, the Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award, the Home Depot Coach of the Year Award, the Broyles Award, the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award. Many former Seminoles have gone on to have successful careers in the NFL; the program has produced 250 professional players. Florida State has had six members inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, two members inducted into the College Football Coaches Hall of Fame and four members inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame; the Seminoles have the tenth-highest winning percentage among all college football programs in Division I FBS history with over 500 victories.
Florida State has appeared in forty-eight postseason bowl games and rank ninth nationally for bowl winning percentage and fourth for bowl wins. The Seminoles' archrivals are Florida, whom they meet annually in the last game of the regular season, Miami. A rivalry with Clemson has developed and grown due to both teams competing yearly for the ACC Atlantic division; the team is coached by Willie Taggart and plays its home games at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium the 18th largest stadium in college football and the 2nd largest in the ACC, located on-campus in Tallahassee, Florida. As early as the 1890s, Florida State had a football team. Florida State University traces the start of its athletic program to 1902, when Florida State College played the first of its three seasons. From 1902 to 1904, the institution known as Florida State College fielded a varsity football team called "The Eleven" that played other teams; the Florida State players wore gold uniforms with a large purple F on the front.
Their pants were padded, but their upper bodies were unprotected. Leather helmets with ear guards covered their heads, shoehorn-shaped metal nose guards were strapped across their faces. In 1905, the state reorganized its secondary education under the Buckman Act and the football team moved to the University of Florida. In 1947, Florida's university system faced a heavy influx of returning soldiers taking advantage of the G. I. Bill. To accommodate the demand, on May 15, 1947, the Governor signed an act of the Legislature returning Florida State College for Women to coeducational status and naming it The Florida State University; this is recognized as the beginning of Florida State University's current American football program. In 1902 Florida State College students, supported by president Albert A. Murphree, organized the school's first official football club to play against other schools and teams; the team was known as the "Florida State College Eleven" and W. W. Hughes, professor of Latin and the head of men's sports at the school, served as the first coach.
They played their first game against the Bainbridge Giants, a city team from Bainbridge, defeating them 5–0. The team played back-to-back matches against Florida Agricultural College one week apart, winning the first 6–0 and losing the second 0–6; the following season student enthusiasm grew more, the Eleven arranged a full schedule of six games. They competed against teams such as the University of Florida in Lake City, Georgia Tech, the East Florida Seminary, finished the season by competing against Stetson College in Jacksonville for The Florida Times-Union's Championship Cup; the following year Jack Forsythe the first head coach of the Florida Gators, replaced Hughes as coach, the Eleven won the unofficial "state championship" by defeating Stetson in Tallahassee. Jock Hanvey assisted Forsythe; this would be The Eleven's last season, however, as the Florida State Legislature passed the Buckman Act, which reorganized Florida's six colleges into three institutions segregated by gender and race: a school for white males, a school for white females, a school for African Americans.
Florida State College became Florida Female College until 1909, when it became Florida State College for Women. Four other institutions were merged into the
William Laird Cowher is a former professional American football coach and player in the National Football League. In Cowher's 15 seasons as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team won eight division titles and made 10 playoff appearances. Cowher led the Steelers to the Super Bowl twice, he is the second coach in NFL history to reach the playoffs in each of his first six seasons as head coach, a feat accomplished only by Paul Brown. Cowher resigned as head coach of the Steelers on January 5, 2007, 11 months after winning Super Bowl XL in 2006 over the Seattle Seahawks. Cowher was replaced by current Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Before being hired by the Steelers in 1992, Cowher served as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs under head coach Marty Schottenheimer, he is a studio analyst for The NFL Today. Born in Crafton, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Cowher excelled in football and track for Carlynton High. At North Carolina State University, he was a starting linebacker, team captain, team MVP in his senior year.
He graduated in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in education. Cowher began his NFL career as a linebacker with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1979, but signed with the Cleveland Browns the following year. Cowher played three seasons in Cleveland, making him a member of the Kardiac Kids, before being traded back to the Eagles, where he played two more years, his tenure in Philadelphia included tackling a young Jeff Fisher when playing against the Chicago Bears, causing Fisher to break his leg. The two would be rival head coaches and friends in the AFC Central division, Fisher has credited his injury at the hands of Cowher with having the unintended consequence of propelling him into coaching. Cowher played special teams during his playing career, placed emphasis on special teams during his coaching career. Cowher credits being a "bubble player" during his playing career with influencing his coaching career, feeling that such players work the hardest for a roster spot, thus make better head coaches than those with successful playing careers.
Cowher began his coaching career in 1985 at age 28 under Marty Schottenheimer with the Cleveland Browns. He was the Browns' special teams coach in 1985–86 and secondary coach in 1987–88 before following Schottenheimer to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989 as defensive coordinator, he was a finalist for the Cincinnati Bengals head coaching position in 1991 following the dismissal of Sam Wyche, but was passed over in favor of Dave Shula due to Bengals owner Mike Brown seeing similarities with himself and Shula in the same manner that their respective fathers overshadow them in many aspects. He became the 15th head coach in Steelers history when he succeeded Chuck Noll on January 21, 1992 – but only the second head coach since the NFL merger in 1970, beating out fellow Pittsburgh native and Pitt alumnus Dave Wannstedt. Under Cowher, the Steelers showed an immediate improvement from the disappointing 7–9 season the year before, going 11–5 and earning home field advantage in the AFC after the Steelers had missed the playoffs six times out of the previous seven years.
In 1995, at age 38, he became the youngest coach to lead his team to a Super Bowl. Cowher is only the second coach in NFL history to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first six seasons as head coach, joining Pro Football Hall of Fame member Paul Brown. In Cowher’s 15 seasons, the Steelers captured eight division titles, earned 10 postseason playoff berths, played in 21 playoff games, advanced to six AFC Championship games and made two Super Bowl appearances, he is one of only six coaches in NFL history to claim at least seven division titles. At the conclusion of the 2005 season, the Steelers had the best record of any team in the NFL since Cowher was hired as head coach. On February 5, 2006, Cowher's Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XL by defeating the Seattle Seahawks 21–10, giving Cowher his first Super Bowl ring. Through the Super Bowl, Cowher's team had compiled a record of 108–1–1 in games in which they built a lead of at least 11 points. During the following season, there was talk about Cowher leaving the Steelers, ostensibly to spend more time with his family.
On January 5, 2007, Cowher stepped down after 15 years at the helm of the franchise. The Steelers hired former Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin as Cowher's successor. Cowher's record as a head coach is 149–90–1. On February 15, 2007, he signed on to The NFL Today on CBS as a studio analyst, joining Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe, Boomer Esiason. In 2007, Cowher appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, featuring a dozen celebrities in a stock car racing competition. Cowher matched up against William Shatner. On March 4, 2008, Cowher responded to rumors concerning his coaching future by stating, "I'm not going anywhere." The rumors started after the Cowhers placed their Raleigh, North Carolina home on the market, but their intention was to build a new house two miles away. Putting an end to numerous unfounded rumors of his return to coaching in the NFL in 2009, Cowher stated on The NFL Today that he did not plan to coach again in the immediate future.
In July 2010, Cowher was the keynote speaker for National Agents Alliance at their Leadership Conference. He talked about work ethic, leadership