100 years of Elon football

Pam Richter – Class of 2011
Sept. 15, 2009

The 2009 Elon football team marks the 100th year in school history for the sport. Elon’s first intercollegiate football team was in 1909 and was coached by Reddie Rowe.

Leon Edgar Smith, Elon’s former president from 1931-1957, played on the 1909 team while he was a student. Smith graduated from Elon in 1910.

The 1909 Elon college football team pictured under the Senior Oak in front of West Dormitory.

The 1909 Elon college football team pictured under the Senior Oak in front of West Dormitory.

Other notable members of the first team include: J.W. Barney, C.C. Fonville and Russell A. Campbell.

Elon’s first practice game that season was against Greensboro High School, where Elon was defeated 60-0. This game was played on the lawn outside of West Dormitory. In its first regular season game Elon defeated Bingham Military 11-6. The 1909 team finished the season with a 4-1 record.

After the 1909 season, intercollegiate football was abolished at Elon College for 10 years. The faculty said players were missing too many classes.

Intercollegiate football resumed in 1919 and was played every year until 1941. Elon College abolished all intercollegiate sports until after WWII. Football resumed at the school in 1946 under head coach Hap Perry.

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