Glory Days

Rollins football team
The 1908 state championship Rollins football team

The 1908 state championship Rollins football team, posed in the old box formation behind Carnegie Hall, which was still under construction

While Rollins has long been known for its strong sports tradition, some might be surprised to learn that the College was once a football powerhouse. The first Rollins football team took the field in 1904 during the administration of President William Fremont Blackman and the Tars quickly became a formidable presence, competing against—and often beating—opponents such as the Florida Gators, the Miami Hurricanes, the Stetson Hatters, the Florida Southern Moccasins, and the Tampa Spartans. The Tars won their first state championship in 1908 and later, during the tenure of legendary coach Jack McDowall (1929-49), became recognized as one of the best small-college football programs in the country. Unfortunately, the sport met its demise in the spring of 1950, when the financially strapped College finally succumbed to internal pressures to drop the football program.

The first Rollins football team, 1904

First Rollins football team, 1904