SOU Fooball Timeline
1895 ' Southern Oregon State Normal School opens on an 11-acre campus above Beswick Way.
1896 ' SOSNS plays its first football game on Feb. 24. The Normals defeat Ashland Athletic Club, 18-0.
1899 ' Southern Oregon plays the University of Oregon in Grants Pass. The Ducks win easily, 35-0.
1901 ' W.C. Scott is hired as the first football coach.
1905 ' Future school president Clyde Payne takes over as coach of the Normals.
1909 ' SOSNS is closed down after the Oregon legislature refuses to fund the state's normal schools.
1925 ' George Washington Dunn, a state senator from Ashland, spearheads a bill through the legislature to reestablish a normal school in Ashland.
1926 ' The new school is reopened during the summer. Julius A. Churchill is named president.
1927 ' Roy McNeal creates a football program in a little over three months. McNeal schedules three games and the Normals win all three.
1928 ' Max Newsom, a prominent freshman from Milton-Freewater, collapses on the field after making a vicious tackle in the season-opener against the Oregon State junior varsity. He dies later that night due to a cerebral hemorrhage.
1931 ' McNeal steps down as football coach and athletic director.
1932 ' Churchill resigns as president and is succeeded by Walter Redford. McNeal is named head of the geography department. Howard Hobson, 25, is named athletic director and coach.
1935 ' Hobson resigns as AD and coach to take over the basketball team at the University of Oregon. Jean Eberhart is named new AD and coach. 1938 ' The football program is suspended indefinitely after back-to-back winless seasons.
1940 ' The football program is dropped after World War II drains the school of its male enrollment.
1945 ' Elmo Stevenson is named president.
1946 ' After a substantial increase in enrollment, the school brings back the football program. Stevenson hires athletic director Hal Bishop, and both hire alumnus Al Simpson as football coach. The team, composed of World War II veterans, goes 8-0 and wins the inaugural Pear Bowl in Ashland. Halfback Charles DeAutremont receives honorable mention as a UPI All-American. The team earns the nickname Red Raiders, coined by history professor Arthur Kreisman. Talks of constructing an on-campus football facility are in the works.
1947 ' The Red Raiders have the nation's longest winning streak (15 games) west of the Mississippi after starting the season 7-0.
1950 ' Al Simpson steps down as coach.
1951 ' The school tabs Bill Abbey, 24 and a former Oregon quarterback, as football coach. He lasts just one year before being drafted into the Korean War.
1952 ' Because of a budget crunch, professor Alex Petersen volunteers to be the football coach. Talk of cutting football is in the winds. Only 13 players show up for the first day of practice.
1955 ' Former Washington and Washington State and NFL fullback Al Akins is named head coach. Bringing a superior passing offense to Southern Oregon, Akins helps the Red Raiders to a share of the Oregon Collegiate Conference title. Fuller Field, the school's first on-campus stadium, is constructed before the start of the season.
1957 ' With the help of the Maurer brothers, running backs Ron and Larry, the Red Raiders win their second OCC crown in two years. Next to Fuller Field, a new gymnasium is built.
1961 ' The Red Raiders win the OCC title, despite losing their first four games. Doug Olsen becomes the first quarterback in school history to eclipse 1,000 yards passing.
1962 ' Paced by Olsen, running backs Doyle Bransom and Al Barnes and receiver Howard Hartman, the Red Raiders cruise to the OCC title with an 8-1 record.
1964 ' Record-setting freshman quarterback Danny Miles breaks onto the scene and, with the help of receiver Spike Gordon, leads the Red Raiders to their third OCC title in four years.
1965 ' Miles finishes second nationally and establishes school and conference marks by passing for 2,319 yards. The Red Raiders win their second straight OCC title. Gordon becomes the school's first All-American.
1967 ' Miles concludes his career at Southern Oregon with 6,889 yards and 52 TD passes, both school records that still stand. Miles also holds school records in completions (609), completion percentage (66.0) and total offense (6,786).
1968 ' Quarterback Dave Barger becomes the second quarterback to pass for more than 2,000 yards (2,050).
1969 ' Akins steps down as coach. In 15 years, Akins wins seven OCC titles and remains the school's winningest coach (71-62-3).
1970 ' Former Nebraska All-American Larry Kramer is named coach. He changes the school colors to the scarlet and cream of his alma mater.
1972 ' Former assistant coach Scott Johnson is promoted to head coach. Thirty-two-year-old quarterback Mike Sparlin grabs national headlines when he becomes the oldest starting college football player in the nation at the time. Sports Illustrated comes to Ashland, but the night its representatives are in the stands, Sparlin breaks a finger and is out for the rest of the year. He still makes the magazine's Faces in the Crowd.
1975 ' Despite finishing third in the grueling Evergreen Conference with a 6-4 record, team is one of most productive in school history. Akins returns to the coaching staff as the offensive coordinator.
1979 ' Coach Scott Johnson and athletic director Burt Merriman announce their resignations.
1980 ' Chuck Mills is hired as both athletic director and football coach. Mills drops the red from both the jerseys and nickname and does away with the Indian mascot.
1982 ' Groundbreaking for Raider Stadium takes place.
1983 ' Raider Stadium is finished at a cost of &
36;3.8 million. The Raiders play their first game on Sept. 26 and finish season 9-2 and as the NAIA District II champions. Chuck Mills is named the coach of the year. The team misses the national playoffs because the athletic department fails to fill out an eligibility form and have it to the NAIA office before Oct. 15. All-American running back Jeff Southern becomes the school's first 1,000-yard rusher.
1984 ' The Raiders are forced to forfeit all six of their victories when it is determined that quarterback Jeff Seay, a transfer from Oregon State, used up all of his eligibility.
1985 ' The Raiders travel to Kobe, Japan to play Kwansei Gakuin University. The Raiders win, 49-24. Southern Oregon becomes a charter member of the Columbia Football Association.
1986 ' Kwansei Gakuin becomes the first Japanese college football team to play football on American soil on Aug. 28. The Raiders win the shootout at Raider Stadium, 21-17.
1987 ' Behind running back Craig Henderson, Southern Oregon makes its first appearance in the national playoffs. The Raiders knock off Central Washington at Raider Stadium before falling to Mesa State in the quarterfinals.
1988 ' Mills steps down as athletic director and coach and accepts the AD job at the Coast Guard Academy.
1989 ' The school tabs 32-year-old Jim Palazzolo as coach.
1990 ' Behind versatile quarterback David Searle, the Raiders win the Mount Hood League title.
1991 ' The Raiders, who start the season 5-0-1 ' including 35-10 over Linfield at Raider Stadium ' lose their last three games to miss out on another MHL title. Searle, who misses the last two games with a separated shoulder, sets single-game marks in passing yards (513) and total offense (548). He concludes three years as one of the most productive quarterbacks in school history with 5,462 passing yards, 42 TDs and 6,411 total offensive yards.
1993 ' Sophomore quarterback Mark Helfrich establishes school records in passing yards (2,712), TD passes (23) and total offense (2,962).
1994 ' Chad Guthrie, who replaces an injured Helfrich, passes for 2,363 yards, ranking him second in school history.
1995 ' Palazzolo resigns as coach.
1996 ' The school names Ashland High coach Jim Nagel as head coach, on the condition he will take over in two years after coaching his son. Longtime assistant Jeff Olson is chosen interim coach. Guthrie concludes a four-year career second all-time in passing yards with 6,099 and in TD passes with 48. Sophomore running back Casey Jackson leads the league in rushing with 1,083 yards.
1997 ' Griff Yates, playing in place of the injured Jackson, rushes for both a school and Northwest small-college record 1,713 yards and 20 TDs. He rushes for more than 200 yards in a game three times. Defensive lineman Jon Chamberlin becomes the first player in SOU history and only the second in the CFA to play in the Hula Bowl all-star game, in which he makes four tackles for the South. Southern Oregon State College becomes Southern Oregon University.
1998 ' Nagel decides before the start of the season that he will stay at Ashland. Olson is named head coach. For the first time in school and CFA history, Southern Oregon boasts two All-Americans in the same backfield. Yates (252 for 1,594, 20 TDs) and Jackson (102 for 571) are both named to the second team. Yates rushes for 348 yards against Pacific Lutheran, which is a Northwest small college record. SOU competes as an NAIA independent, marking the first time since 1946 that the Raiders are not affiliated with a conference.
1999 ' SOU climbs to the No. 5 ranking in the NAIA after winning five straight games but loses its season finale to Western Oregon and falls 11 spots to No. 16. However, in the final poll, SOU is ranked 17th and fails to make the national playoffs by just four poll points. Despite a wrist injury, Yates wraps up his career as the holder of 15 school and 13 regional records. He finishes with 4,559 yards and 57 TDs.
2001 ' Southern Oregon equals the school's best start since 1947 by winning its first five contests and ascends to No. 4 in the NAIA rankings. The team earns SOU's first playoff berth since 1987, then defeats McKendree (Ill.) College, 54-10, in the NAIA Championship Series first round to equal the 1983 team for most wins in a season (9). SOU loses the next week to Carroll College, 16-13, in the snow at Raider Stadium.
SOU Fooball Timeline
SOU Fooball Timeline