Louisiana Tech Bulldogs football

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Louisiana Tech Bulldogs football
2017 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs football team
Louisiana Tech Athletics wordmark.svg
First season 1901
Athletic director Tommy McClelland
Head coach Skip Holtz
5th season, 34–25 (.576)
Other staff Todd Fitch (OC)
Blake Baker (DC)
Stadium Joe Aillet Stadium
(Capacity: 28,019)
Year built 1968
Field surface FieldTurf
Location Ruston, Louisiana
NCAA division Division I FBS
Conference Conference USA
Division West
Past conferences LIAA (1915–1925)
SIAA (1925–1941)
LIC (1939–1947)
Gulf States (1948–1970)
Southland (1971–1986)
Big West (1993–1995)
WAC (2001–2012)
All-time record 604–451–39 (.570)
Bowl record 5–3–1 (.611)
Claimed nat'l titles 3 (Division II) (1972, 1973, 1974)
Conference titles 25
Division titles 2
Rivalries Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Consensus All-Americans 3
Current uniform
WAC-Uniform-Louisiana Tech.png
Colors Blue and Red[1]
         
Fight song Tech Fight
Mascot Tech (live)
Champ (costumed)
Marching band Band of Pride
Outfitter Adidas
Website LaTechSports.com

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs football program represents Louisiana Tech University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) level. After 12 seasons in the Western Athletic Conference, Louisiana Tech began competing as a member of Conference USA in 2013. Since 2013, the Bulldogs have been coached by Skip Holtz. Since 1968, the Bulldogs have played their home games at Joe Aillet Stadium. Since the Bulldogs first season in 1901, Louisiana Tech has compiled an all-time record of 604 wins, 451 losses, and 39 ties. In 111 football seasons, the Bulldogs have won 3 Division II national championships, won 25 conference championships, and played in 24 postseason games including 9 major college bowl games. Louisiana Tech has defeated at least one team from each of the current 10 FBS conferences, and Louisiana Tech is the only team from a non-AQ conference to defeat an SEC champion in the BCS era as the Bulldogs defeated Alabama in 1999.

Contents

History

Early history (1901–1939)

Louisiana Tech University first fielded a football team in 1901.[2] The team's head coach was Edwin Barber and the team played three games, losing to LSU and Arkansas and defeating Shreveport High School. Percy Prince became the head football coach at Louisiana Tech in 1909 and coached the Bulldog football team through the 1915 season[3] in which Louisiana Tech won the Louisiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship.[4] The 1915 season the first season Louisiana Tech ever competed in a football conference, and therefore, Louisiana Tech's first ever conference championship.[4] George Bohler served as the head football coach at Louisiana Tech from 1930–1933, compiling a 15–17 record.[5] Bohler's 1931 team finished an undefeated 7–0, but other than that, Bohler's Bulldogs were unable to win more than four games in a single season.[5] Eddie McLane left Samford and replaced Bohler in 1934.[6] He led the team through the 1938 season, compiling a 27–19 record, which included three consecutive winning seasons from 1935–1937.[7]

Joe Aillet era (1940–1966)

Northwestern State quarterbacks coach Joe Aillet took over the Bulldogs football program in 1940, leading the team through the 1966 season.[8] Aillet led the Bulldogs to 21 winning seasons in his 27 as head coach[9] (Tech didn't field a football team in 1943 due to World War II).[10] Ailett led the Bulldogs to three 9–1 seasons in 1955, 1959 and 1964.[9] Aillet's namesake is Louisiana Tech's home stadium, Joe Ailett Stadium. Ailett retired as Tech's head football coach following the 1966 season,[10] and is the winningest head coach in Tech football history at 151–86–8.[10]

Maxie Lambright era (1967–1978)

Terry Bradshaw in 1967 during his playing days at Louisiana Tech

Southern Miss assistant coach Maxie Lambright took over the Bulldogs football program after Aillet's retirement.[11] Under Lambright, the Bulldogs were able to enjoy even greater success, winning three consecutive national championships from 1972–1974, along with seven conference championships.[11]

Lambright also coached quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Initially, Bradshaw was second on the depth chart at quarterback behind Phil Robertson, who would later become famous as the inventor of the Duck Commander duck call and television personality on the A&E program Duck Dynasty.[12][13] Bradshaw caused a media frenzy on account of his reputation of being a football sensation from nearby Shreveport.[14][15] Robertson was a year ahead of Bradshaw, and was the starter for two seasons in 1966 and 1967, and chose not to play in 1968.[16] As Robertson put it: "I'm going for the ducks, you [Terry] can go for the bucks."[17] In 1969, Bradshaw was considered by most professional scouts to be the most outstanding college football player in the nation. As a junior, he amassed 2,890 total yards, ranking No. 1 in the NCAA, and led his team to a 9–2 record and a 33–13 win over Akron in the Rice Bowl. In his senior season, he gained 2,314 yards, ranking third in the NCAA, and led his team to an 8–2 record. His decrease in production was mainly because his team played only 10 games that year, and he was taken out of several games in the second half because his team had built up a huge lead. Bradshaw graduated owning virtually all Louisiana Tech passing records at the time and would go on to enjoy a Hall of Fame professional football career quarterbacking the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers.[18] In 1984, Bradshaw was inducted into the inaugural class of the Louisiana Tech sports hall of fame.[19] Four years later, he was inducted into the state of Louisiana's sports hall of fame.[20] Lambright retired as Louisiana Tech's head football coach following the 1978 season, leaving with a 95–36–2 record.[21]

Larry Beightol era (1979)

Arkansas offensive line coach Larry Beightol succeeded Lambright.[22] Tech suffered one of its worst seasons in school history under Beightol, finishing with a 2–8 record in 1979.[23] Beightol was fired after a 1-8 start to the 1979 season, and endured mass defections from players who had previously competed in the last two Independence Bowls.

Billy Brewer era (1980–1982)

Southeastern Louisiana head coach Billy Brewer replaced Beightol and was head coach at Louisiana Tech from 1980 through 1982, posting a record of 19 wins, 15 losses and a tie.[24] His last season at Tech (1982) saw his Bulldogs win the Southland Conference title with a 10–3 record.[25] They lost to Delaware 17–0 in the first round of the Division I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision) playoffs.[26] Brewer's success with the Bulldogs led to interest from many I-A (now FBS) schools for their head football coaching positions. Brewer accepted an offer from Ole Miss after the 1982 season.[25]

A. L. Williams era (1983–1986)

Coach A. L. Williams came to Louisiana Tech from Northwestern State and compiled a 28–19–1 record in four seasons.[27] Tech's best season during this era came in 1985, when the team finished 10–5 and won the Southland Conference championship. After a 6–4–1 record in 1986, Williams stepped down as Louisiana Tech's head football coach.

Carl Torbush era (1987)

Ole Miss defensive coordinator Carl Torbush was hired as Williams' replacement in 1987.[28] Torbush only coached the Bulldogs for one season, leading the team to a 3–8 record.[28] Torbush elected to leave Tech for the defensive coordinator position at North Carolina under head coach Mack Brown after the 1987 season.[28]

Joe Raymond Peace era (1988–1995)

Coach Peace

Louisiana Tech promoted assistant coach Joe Raymond Peace to head coach following Torbush's departure.[29] Under Peace, the Bulldogs compiled a 40–44–4 record[30] that included back-to-back eight-win campaigns in 1990 and 1991.[31][32] The Bulldogs moved to the now-defunct Big West Conference in 1993.[33] Peace was fired following back to back 3–8 campaigns in 1993 and 1994 and a 5–6 season in 1995.[34]

Gary Crowton era (1996–1998)

Tech promoted offensive coordinator Gary Crowton to head coach after Peace's firing.[35] Under Crowton, the Bulldogs went 21–13.[36] The Bulldogs' best season during this era came in 1997, when the Bulldogs finished 9–2.[37] Crowton left Louisiana Tech following the 1998 season to accept the position of offensive coordinator with the NFL's Chicago Bears.[38]

Jack Bicknell era (1999–2006)

Coach Jack Bicknell left New Hampshire in 1997 to serve as the offensive line coach for Louisiana Tech. When head coach Gary Crowton left to become the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator in 1999, Bicknell was promoted to replace him. In his first season as head coach, he led the Bulldogs to an 8–3 record,[39] the school's first AP Top 25 ranking, and a 29–28 upset win over eventual SEC champion Alabama.[40] In 2001, Louisiana Tech won the Western Athletic Conference championship during its first year of membership, earning Bicknell conference Coach of the Year honors.[41] Louisiana Tech played Clemson in the Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl, the program's first postseason appearance since 1990.[42] Tech's star player that year was quarterback Luke McCown.[43] During his tenure at Louisiana Tech, Bicknell's teams defeated national powers Alabama, Michigan State and Oklahoma State. 22 of his players were either drafted by or signed free agent contracts with National Football League teams. Bicknell was fired on December 4, 2006 after a 3–10 season.[44] Bicknell was fired by Louisiana Tech following a 3–10 campaign in 2006.[45]

Derek Dooley era (2007–2009)

Miami Dolphins tight ends coach Derek Dooley, son of coaching legend Vince Dooley,[46] was hired as Bicknell's replacement in 2007.[47][48] Tech enjoyed a mediocre run during Dooley's tenure starting out at 5–7 in 2007.[49] In 2008, the Bulldogs improved to 8–5 with a win in the Independence Bowl to cap the year.[50][51] In 2009, the Bulldogs slipped to 4–8.[52] Dooley, who was also serving as Tech's athletics director, left Louisiana Tech after the 2009 season to accept the head coaching position at Tennessee.[53]

Sonny Dykes era (2010–2012)

Coach Dykes

On January 20, 2010, Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes was hired to replace Dooley as the head football coach at Louisiana Tech.[54][55] Dykes brought with him an exciting, up-tempo, pass-oriented offense known as the Air Raid.[56]

In Dykes' first season, LA Tech's record improved to 5–7 overall and 4–4 in the WAC.[57] Despite coaching his team to a losing record, LA Tech's offense improved in several areas of the NCAA statistical ranks including passing offense (91st in 2009 to 62nd in 2010) and total offense (66th to 52nd) while the team's average offensive national rank improved from 65th in 2009 to 54th in 2010. Despite a 1–4 start in 2011, Louisiana Tech rallied to win seven consecutive games to cap off the regular season with the program's first WAC football title since 2001 and an appearance the Poinsettia Bowl to cap the 8–5 season..[58][59] As a result of LA Tech's success, Dykes was honored as the 2011 WAC Coach of the Year.[60] At the conclusion of the 2011 season, Dykes signed a contract extension to increase his base salary to at least $700,000.[61][62] Dykes resigned as Louisiana Tech head football coach following the 2012 season to accept the same position at California.[63]

In 2012, Louisiana Tech joined Conference USA.[64] That season, they finished with a 9–3 record, the program's best since 1997, but was not invited to a bowl game.[65] Dykes guided the Bulldogs to a 22–15 record over his 3 seasons as head coach.[66]

Skip Holtz era (2013–present)

On December 13, 2012, former UConn, East Carolina and South Florida head coach Skip Holtz, son of legendary coach Lou Holtz,[67] accepted an offer to become the head coach for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.[68]

Holtz's first season, the 2013 campaign, was a rebuilding year as the Bulldogs finished 4–8.[69] However, 2014 would see a big turnaround. Holtz's Bulldogs went on to finish first in C-USA West at 9–5[70] with a 35–18 win over Illinois in the Heart Of Dallas Bowl.[71] In 2015, the Bulldogs continued their success finishing 9–4[72] and winning the New Orleans Bowl over Arkansas State, 47–28.[73] In 2016, Holtz's Bulldogs finished 9–5.[74] They won the C-USA West Division title and lost in the conference championship game against East Division champion Western Kentucky.[75] Tech then accomplished their third consecutive bowl victory by defeating Navy in the Armed Forces Bowl after kicking a late field goal to win 48–45.[76]

Rivalries

Active rivalries

Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Louisiana Tech and Southern Miss first played in 1935 and played each season from 1946 until 1972. Tech and USM were conference foes in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association from 1935 to 1941. In addition, Tech and USM were both founding members of the Gulf States Conference which began play in 1948. The Bulldogs and Golden Eagles have played 11 times between 1975 and 1992. In 2008, Louisiana Tech AD-HC Derek Dooley and USM AD Richard Giannini signed a four-game contract to renew the rivalry with the first game being played in Ruston on September 25, 2010. On a rainy Saturday night on September 3, 2011, the Golden Eagles took on the Bulldogs for both teams' season opener on national television. The close matchup ended in Southern Miss' favor, 19–17, due to a late field goal by Southern Miss' Danny Hrapmann. With Tech joining Conference USA, the Dawgs and Eagles continued the series as conference rivals in 2013, with Tech beating Southern Miss 36–13 on November 9.

Louisiana Tech–Southern Miss: All-time record
Games played First meeting Last meeting LaTech wins LaTech losses Ties Win %
47 November 28, 1935 (won 27–0) November 2, 2015 (lost 58–24) 15 32 0 31.9%

Former rivalries

Fresno State Bulldogs

Fresno State–Louisiana Tech pregame clash in 2004

From 2001 to 2011, the teams played annually as members of the Western Athletic Conference, and Fresno State holds a 7–4 series lead in games played as WAC foes. The rivalry is nicknamed the Battle for the Bone, a term coined because both universities are nicknamed the Bulldogs. Prior to the conference rivalry, the two Bulldog football teams played twice in Fresno with Fresno State defeating Louisiana Tech in 1986 and 1992. Fresno State moved to the Mountain West Conference in 2012 and Louisiana Tech moved to Conference USA in 2013, bringing an end to the rivalry.

Notable games include:

  • In 2004, No. 17 Fresno State entered the game undefeated as the first ever ranked opponent to enter Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston. Prior to the opening kickoff, a sideline clearing altercation occurred on the field with the coaches and security having to separate the two teams. Led by Ryan Moats who rushed for 236 yards and 4 touchdowns, Louisiana Tech went on to notch their first ever victory over Fresno State 28–21. At the conclusion of the game, the Tech fans rushed the field and brought down the goalposts.
  • In 2005, Louisiana Tech jumped out to a 26–3 halftime lead to shock No. 23 Fresno State at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno. Tech went on to win 40–28 and denied Fresno State their first WAC Championship since 1999.
Louisiana Tech–Fresno State: All-Time Record
Games played First meeting Last meeting LaTech wins LaTech losses Ties Win %
13 September 27, 1986 (lost 10–34) November 5, 2011 (won 41–21) 4 9 0 30.8%

Northwestern State Demons

Louisiana Tech and Northwestern State first played in 1907 and competed annually from 1926 to 1987. The Dawgs and Demons played in the annual Louisiana State Fair Game in Shreveport's Independence Stadium (formerly State Fair Stadium) from 1946 to 1987. Before each game, an all-day pregame party called "Rally in the Alley" took place in Shreve Square near the Texas Street Bridge. After each game, fans enjoyed the rides and games at the State Fair of Louisiana. In the last 18 meetings of the series, Louisiana Tech has amassed a record of 16–1–1 against Northwestern State. In 1988, the longstanding rivalry came to an end when Louisiana Tech transitioned into Division I-A leaving Northwestern State behind in Division I-AA. After a 20-year hiatus, Louisiana Tech hosted the Northwestern State Demons at Joe Aillet Stadium on September 20, 2014.

Louisiana Tech–Northwestern State: All-Time Record
Games played First meeting Last meeting LaTech wins LaTech losses Ties Win %
78 1907 (won 43–4) September 2, 2017 (won 52–24) 54 20 5 73.0%

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

Louisiana Tech and the ULM Warhawks (formerly the Northeast Louisiana Indians) first played in 1953 and competed annually until 1991, and then from 1997–2000. The two teams were conference foes in the Gulf States Conference from 1953 until 1970, when Tech joined the Southland Conference and ULM became an independent. ULM would later join the Southland in 1982, making the annual match-up once again a conference game until Louisiana Tech left the Southland in 1987. The two teams' close proximity (37 miles) made the rivalry stick quickly, with the two teams often playing each other in the last week of the regular season (often known as rivalry week). In fact, 37 of their 42 games took place in the month of November. The current game attendance record for Joe Aillet Stadium (28,714) was set in 1997 against the then-Indians. In 2001, Louisiana Tech joined the Western Athletic Conference and ULM joined the Sun Belt Conference. The two teams have not played since.

Louisiana Tech–Louisiana-Monroe: All-Time Record
Games played First meeting Last meeting LaTech wins LaTech losses Ties Win %
42 September 26, 1953 (won 61–6) November 11, 2000 (won 42–19) 29 13 0 67.4%

Conference affiliations

Championships

National championships

Louisiana Tech claims three football national titles. From 1964 to 1972, four regional bowl games were played that led up to a wire service poll to determine the final champion of Division II's predecessor, the NCAA College Division. In 1972, Louisiana Tech beat Tennessee Tech 35–0 in the Grantland Rice Bowl to win the Mideast Regional Championship. The Bulldogs finished the 1972 season undefeated at 12–0 and were subsequently named 1972 College Division National Champions by the National Football Foundation. Despite not playing in a regional championship, Delaware was named 1972 NCAA College Division National Champions by the Associated Press and United Press International. A playoff series was started in 1973 to determine the Division II champion. In the inaugural Division II football playoffs, Louisiana Tech beat Western Illinois in the quarterfinals and Boise State in the Pioneer Bowl semifinals. Tech advanced to the championship game to beat Western Kentucky 34–0 and finished the season with a 12–1 record as 1973 NCAA Division II National Champions. In 1974, the UPI did not recognize the winner of the playoffs, Central Michigan, as national champions. Instead, the UPI presented the 1974 Division II national title to Louisiana Tech, who finished with an 11–1 record.

1973 National Champions license plate
Year Overall record Conference record Coach Selector
1972 12–0–0 5–0–0 Maxie Lambright National Football Foundation College Division
1973 12–1–0 NCAA Division II
1974 11–1–0 United Press International College Division

Regional championships

Louisiana Tech won three regional football championships. From 1964 to 1972, four regional bowl games were played that led up to a wire service poll to determine the final champion of Division II's predecessor, the NCAA College Division. In 1968, Louisiana Tech beat Akron 33–13 in the Grantland Rice Bowl to become Mideast Regional Champions. In 1971, Louisiana Tech defeated Eastern Michigan 14–3 in the Pioneer Bowl to become Midwest Regional Champions. In 1972, Louisiana Tech beat Tennessee Tech 35–0 in the Grantland Rice Bowl to win the Mideast Regional Championship.

Year Overall record Conference record Coach Region
1968 9–2–0 3–2–0 Maxie Lambright Mideast
1971 9–2–0 4–1–0
1972 12–0–0 5–0–0

Conference championships

Louisiana Tech has won 25 conference championships despite competing in 24 seasons as an independent. The Bulldogs have won 2 Louisiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships, 3 Louisiana Intercollegiate championships, 10 Gulf States championships, 8 Southland championships, and 2 WAC championships. It is of note that Tech finished with a 9–2 record in 1997, the best record of the 9 Division I-A Independents. In 1999 Tech finished with an 8–3 record, the only one of the 7 Division I-A Independents with a winning record.

Louisiana Tech 2001 WAC Champions billboard
Year Overall record Conference record Coach Conference
1915 3–1–2 2–0–1 Percy S. Prince Louisiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1921 6–0–0 3–0–0 R. Foster Clark
1941 5–4–1 4–0–0 Joe Aillet Louisiana Intercollegiate Conference
1945 6–4–0 3–1–0
1947 5–4–0 4–0–0
1949 7–2–0 5–0–0 Gulf States Conference
1952 6–1–2 3–0–2
1953 6–3–0 5–1–0
1955 9–1–0 6–0–0
1957 6–4–0 4–1–0
1958 7–3–0 4–1–0
1959 9–1–0 5–0–0
1960 8–2–0 4–1–0
1964 9–1–0 5–0–0
1969 8–2–0 5–0–0 Maxie Lambright
1971 9–2–0 4–1–0 Southland Conference
1972 12–0–0 5–0–0
1973 12–1–0 5–0–0
1974 11–1–0 5–0–0
1977 9–1–2 4–0–1
1978 6–5–0 4–1–0
1982 10–3–0 5–0–0 Billy Brewer
1984 10–5–0 5–1–0 A.L. Williams
2001 7–5 7–1 Jack Bicknell III Western Athletic Conference
2011 8–5 6–1 Sonny Dykes
† Denotes co-champions

Division championships

In 2013, Louisiana Tech first joined a conference with football divisions, Conference USA, and since then the Bulldogs have won C-USA West twice.

Year Overall record Conference record Coach Division
2014 9–5 7–1 Skip Holtz Conference USA West
2016 9–5 6–2 Conference USA West

Conference championship games

Louisiana Tech has appeared in 2 Conference USA Championship Games, compiling a record of 0–2 in those games.

Date Location W/L Opponent PF PA
December 6, 2014 Joan C. Edwards Stadium L Marshall 23 26
December 3, 2016 Houchens Industries–L. T. Smith Stadium L Western Kentucky 44 58

Postseason history

Louisiana Tech has produced an all-time postseason record of 16 wins, 7 losses, and 1 tie in 24 total appearances.

Division II postseason history

Louisiana Tech has played in 9 Division II postseason games and accumulated a record of 7 wins and 2 losses.

Date Game W/L Opponent PF PA
December 13, 1968 Grantland Rice Bowl W Akron 33 13
December 13, 1969 Grantland Rice Bowl L East Tennessee State 14 34
December 11, 1971 Pioneer Bowl W Eastern Michigan 14 3
December 10, 1972 Grantland Rice Bowl W Tennessee Tech 35 0
December 1, 1973 Quarterfinal W Western Illinois 18 13
December 8, 1973 Pioneer Bowl W Boise State 38 34
December 15, 1973 Camellia Bowl W Western Kentucky 34 0
November 30, 1974 Quarterfinal W Western Carolina 10 7
December 7, 1974 Pioneer Bowl L Central Michigan 14 35

Division I-AA playoff history

Louisiana Tech has played in 6 Division I-AA playoff games and accumulated a record of 4 wins and 2 losses.

Date Game W/L Opponent PF PA
December 4, 1982 Quarterfinal W South Carolina State 38 3
December 11, 1982 Semifinal L Delaware 0 17
November 24, 1984 First Round W Mississippi Valley State 66 19
December 1, 1984 Quarterfinal W Alcorn State 44 21
December 8, 1984 Semifinal W Middle Tennessee 21 13
December 15, 1984 Championship L Montana State 6 19

Division I FBS bowl history

2008 Independence Bowl

Louisiana Tech has played in 9 Division I FBS bowl games and accumulated a record of 5 wins, 3 losses, and 1 tie.

Date Bowl W/L Opponent PF PA
December 17, 1977 Independence Bowl W Louisville 24 14
December 16, 1978 Independence Bowl L East Carolina 13 35
December 15, 1990 Independence Bowl T Maryland 34 34
December 31, 2001 Humanitarian Bowl L Clemson 24 49
December 28, 2008 Independence Bowl W Northern Illinois 17 10
December 21, 2011 Poinsettia Bowl L TCU 24 31
December 26, 2014 Heart of Dallas Bowl W Illinois 35 18
December 19, 2015 New Orleans Bowl W Arkansas State 47 28
December 23, 2016 Armed Forces Bowl W Navy 48 45
December 20, 2017 Frisco Bowl SMU

All-time record vs. C-USA teams

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current C-USA opponents:

Opponent Won Lost Tied Percentage Streak First Last
Charlotte 0 0 0
Florida Atlantic 0 1 0 .000 Lost 1 2017 2017
FIU 3 0 0 1.000 Won 3 2013 2016
Marshall 1 1 0 .500 Lost 1 1942 2014
Middle Tennessee 4 2 0 .667 Lost 1 1984 2016
North Texas 9 7 0 .563 Lost 1 1976 2017
Old Dominion 0 1 0 .000 Lost 1 2014 2014
Rice 7 4 0 .636 Won 4 1965 2017
Southern Miss 15 34 0 .306 Lost 3 1935 2017
UAB 5 1 0 .833 Lost 1 1996 2017
UTEP 11 2 1 .821 Won 5 1939 2017
UTSA 5 1 0 .833 Won 4 2012 2017
WKU 5 3 0 .625 Won 1 1939 2017
Totals 65 57 1 .533

Home stadiums

Joe Aillet Stadium (1968–present)

Joe Aillet Stadium

Louisiana Tech plays home games at Joe Aillet Stadium, which has garnered the nickname The Joe. The stadium is located on the campus of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. Led by quarterback Terry Bradshaw, the Bulldogs christened Louisiana Tech Stadium with a 35–7 victory over East Carolina on September 28, 1968. The stadium was given its current namesake in 1972 to honor Hall of Fame coach Joe Aillet. The stadium opened with a capacity of 23,000, and additional seating was added to increase capacity to 30,600 in 1989. The stadium was upgraded in 1985 with the addition of the luxury sky box. In 1997 the stadium's attendance record of 28,714 was set against Northeast Louisiana. A new lighting system was installed in 2006. After playing the first 38 seasons in Aillet Stadium on natural grass, FieldTurf was installed in 2006. The FieldTurf was subsequently replaced in 2008 and again in 2015. In 2009 Louisiana Tech installed the largest high definition video board in the WAC covering 1,485 digital square feet behind the north end zone of the stadium at a cost of $2 million. In 2014 capacity was reduced to 27,717 while the area behind the south end zone of Joe Aillet Stadium was under construction. The $22 million 70,000 square foot Davison Athletics Complex was completed the following year increasing capacity to 28,019 for the 2015 season. In 2017 the stadium added 202 Eaton Ephesus LED fixtures provided and installed by Geo-Surfaces, a sports lighting company based in Baton Rouge, LA.

Independence Stadium (alternate, 1928–present)

2008 Independence Bowl – Louisiana Tech 17, Northern Illinois 10

Louisiana Tech occasionally hosts games at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Bulldogs have played 71 games in Independence Stadium including 4 trips to the Independence Bowl and have produced an all-time record of 45–23–3 at Independence Stadium. Tech has hosted many teams in Independence Stadium during the regular season including Southern Miss, North Texas, Tulsa, Houston, Baylor, California, Texas A&M, SMU, Oklahoma State, Miami, UTEP, and Grambling State. Louisiana Tech's regular season home attendance record of 43,279 was set in 2003 against the Miami Hurricanes in a nationally televised game on ESPN. The 1990 Independence Bowl featuring Tech and Maryland drew 48,325 fans, the record attendance for a Louisiana Tech game in Independence Stadium. The stadium's capacity is 50,459. During the 2012 season, No. 23 Louisiana Tech hosted No. 22 Texas A&M in Independence Stadium on ESPNU in an epic battle in which the Aggies led by Johnny Manziel prevailed, 59–57. This game was ranked by ESPN as the No. 8 game of the 2012 season.[77]

Traditions

Band of Pride

The Band of Pride is the official marching band of Louisiana Tech University. Since its inception in 1906, the band has grown to approximately 200 members. The Band of Pride performs at all home football games, select road games, pep rallies, and various university events throughout the year.

Spirit of '88

The Spirit of '88 Bulldog

Inside the Davison Athletics Complex at the south end of Joe Aillet Stadium stands a bronze Bulldog statue named the Spirit of '88. The statue commemorates the 1988 Bulldog football team which blazed the path into Division I-A football for Louisiana Tech. The 1988 team had to endure one of the most difficult schedules in school history while playing with only 65 scholarships – the allotted amount for Division I-AA teams. In what was the nation's 11th toughest schedule that year, the Bulldogs faced five I-A bowl teams including Houston, Florida State and Texas A&M. The results were as expected: losses like 60–0, 56–17 and 66–3. Those experiences likely played a key role in Tech finishing 4–6 the following year, its first in Division I-A, and then 8–3–1 in 1990 and an Independence Bowl berth. The statue, which every Bulldog player touches before jogging onto the field for every home game, has also brought good fortune to the Bulldogs at Joe Aillet Stadium. On October 14, 1989, when it was unveiled, Tech proceeded to pummel a highly respected Northern Illinois team by the score of 42–21. The Bulldogs eventually reeled off 18 consecutive home victories, tying the all-time stadium record set by head coach Maxie Lambright's great teams of the early 1970s.

Fire Bell

Fire Bell and Tech XX

In 1879, the Fire Bell was cast by L.M. Rumsey & Co. in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1897, the Ruston Fire Department was called to fires by ringing the Fire Bell that hung in a wooden tower behind Perkins Drug Store located at 116 N. Trenton Street. The Fire Bell was used for many years in Ruston to alert the town of burning fires. After Joe Aillet Stadium was built in 1968, the old Fire Bell was transported to the stadium and placed behind the end zone. The Fire Bell is rung before every football game to commemorate the bravery of the bulldog that perished saving the lives of the two Tech students in the burning house in 1899, and the Fire Bell calls the Bulldogs to battle before every home football game.

Tech

Tech is the name of the fawn and white lineage of English bulldogs which have served as Louisiana Tech's live mascot since 1930. In 1930, a rescued bullpup named Tech I was donated to serve as Louisiana Tech's first live mascot by the family of two football players, Henry and Thomas Matthews. Tech is owned by the Louisiana Tech Student Government Association and resides with either a faculty member or local alumnus selected by the SGA. The current live mascot is Tech XXI.

Players

Heisman Trophy voting history

Year Player Place Votes
1999 Tim Rattay 10th 29

NFL champions

Terry Bradshaw

Fifteen former Bulldogs have won 23 NFL championship rings.

NFL Draft

Louisiana Tech has had 73 players drafted into the National Football League (NFL) since the league began holding drafts in 1936. Five Bulldogs have been selected in the first round including Terry Bradshaw, Roger Carr, Willie Roaf, Troy Edwards, and Vernon Butler. Bradshaw was the overall number one pick in 1970. Tech had three players selected in the most recent NFL Draft, WR Carlos Henderson, WR Trent Taylor, and S Xavier Woods.

Current NFL players

Former players

Head coaches

On December 5, 2012, Louisiana Tech head football coach Sonny Dykes was hired to replace Jeff Tedford as the next California Golden Bears head football coach. On December 14, 2012, Louisiana Tech hired former South Florida Bulls head coach Skip Holtz to succeed Dykes as the 33rd head football coach in Louisiana Tech history.

College Football Hall of Fame

Notes

Future schedules

Announced schedules as of October 13, 2016

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 Delayed
9/1 at South Alabama 8/31 at Texas 9/5 at UNLV 9/4 at Mississippi State 9/3 at Baylor TBA vs. BYU
9/8 vs. Southern 9/7 vs. Grambling State 9/12 at Baylor 9/11 vs. Baylor 9/24 at Clemson TBA at BYU
9/22 at LSU 9/14 at Bowling Green TBA 9/18 vs. Bowling Green TBA
11/3 at Mississippi State 10/12 vs. UMass TBA TBA TBA

Sources:[78][79][80]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Official University Colors - Louisiana Tech University". Retrieved October 22, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Louisiana Tech Athletics - Athletics". Latechsports.com. Retrieved 2017-04-28. 
  3. ^ "Alabama High School Football Coaches". AHSFHS.org. Retrieved 2017-04-28. 
  4. ^ a b http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/latc/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/FB-172-194.pdf
  5. ^ a b "All-Time Coaching Records by Year". www.cfbdatawarehouse.com. 
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External links

  • Official website
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