Howard Bison football
2023 Howard Bison football team
First season1893
Head coachLarry Scott
4th Season season, 14–22 (.389)
StadiumWilliam H. Greene Stadium
(capacity: 10,000)
Field surfaceField Turf
LocationWashington, D.C.
NCAA divisionDivision I FCS
All-time record521–497–40 (.511)
Bowl record1–3 (.250)
Playoff appearances1
Playoff record0–1
Claimed national titles0 (FCS/I-AA)
5 (Black College):1920, 1925, 1926, 1993, 1996
Unclaimed national titles2 (Black College): 1923, 1987
Conference titlesCIAA: 1912, 1914
MEAC:1993, 2022, 2023
Morgan State
ColorsNavy blue and white[1]
Marching band"Showtime"

The Howard Bison football team represents Howard University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level as a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).


See also: List of Howard Bison football seasons

First FBS Victory

On September 2, 2017, Howard football reached a milestone by defeating their first FBS opponent in program history. The Bison defeated the UNLV Rebels 43–40 in Sam Boyd Stadium. As of September 2017, Howard's victory against UNLV is the biggest point-spread upset in college football history, with UNLV being a 45.5 point favorite.[2][3]


Conference memberships


National championships

Year Coach Record Championship
1920 Edward Morrison 7–0 Black College National champions
1925 Louis L. Watson 6–0–1 Black College National Champions
1926 Louis L. Watson 7–0 Black College National Champions
1993 Steve Wilson 11–1 Black College National Champions
1996 Steve Wilson 10–2 Black College National Champions
Total national championships 5

Conference championships

Year Coach Conference Conference record
1912 Ernest Marshall Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association 2–0
1914 Ernest Marshall Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association 1–0
1993 Steve Wilson Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference 6–0
2022 Larry Scott Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference 4–1
2023 Larry Scott Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference 4–1
Total conference championships 5

See Note A

Bowl games

The Bison have appeared in four bowl games, with a current record of 1–3.

Season Bowl Location Opponent Result
1933 Orange Blossom Classic Jacksonville, FL Florida A&M L 6–9
1974 Orange Blossom Classic Miami, FL Florida A&M L 13–17
1996 Heritage Bowl Atlanta, GA Southern W 27–24
2023 Celebration Bowl Atlanta, GA Florida A&M L 26–30

Division I-AA/FCS playoffs results

The Bison have appeared in the I-AA/FCS playoffs one time with an overall record of 0–1.

Season Bowl Opponent Result
1993 First Round Marshall L 14–28

College Football Hall of Fame members

Alumni in the NFL

Over 20 Howard alumni have played in the NFL,[4] including:


Howard's top rival is Hampton University. The two schools call their intense rivalry Battle of "The Real HU".[5][6][7][8][9]

Howard also has a strong rivalry with Morgan State University in the Howard–Morgan State football rivalry.[10][11][12]

Another of Howard's historic rivals is Morehouse College, more popularly known as the Howard/"Spel-House" rivalry due to Morehouse's close association with the all-women's HBCU Spelman College. This rivalry is not often played because Morehouse is a Division II athletic program, while Howard is Division I.[13][14][15]

A new rivalry has developed between Howard and Georgetown University. The two schools compete in a contest called The DC Cup. Currently, Georgetown holds a 2–1 series lead in the contest.[16]

See also


A.^ Howard went 9–1 and won the MEAC championship in 1987,[17] however a later investigation by Howard University and MEAC found that coach Willie Jeffries used ineligible players.[18] All wins from the 1987 season were vacated and the MEAC Championship was transferred to Delaware State, who had been the runner-up.
B.^ Rayford Petty was an assistant coach under Gary Harrell in 2011 and 2012. Gary Harrell stepped away from coaching Howard for the 2013 season for personal reasons, but remained under contract as the head coach to return in 2014. Rayford Petty was promoted to head coach for the 2013 season only, in a temporary role.


  1. ^ Howard Bison Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Identity Guide (PDF). December 13, 2018. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  2. ^ Kirshner, Alex (September 3, 2017). "Cam Newton's little brother just led the biggest Vegas upset in college football history". SB Nation. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  3. ^ Bromberg, Nick (September 3, 2017). "Howard's win over UNLV is biggest upset vs. spread in college football history". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "Howard Players/Alumni".
  5. ^ Webb, Brittany (September 15, 2016). "Column: Historically, Who's the Real HU". The Hilltop. Washington. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  6. ^ Wang, Gene (September 17, 2015). "Howard and Hampton reprise the battle for the 'real HU'". The Washington Post. Washington. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  7. ^ Freeman, Dennis (September 22, 2016). "Howard-Hampton: the real 'HU' rivalry continues". News4usonline. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  8. ^ Clarke, Chad (September 16, 2016). "HU VS HU: Nation's Classic To Highlight The Greatest HBCU Rivalry". The Hilltop. Washington. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  9. ^ Cuddihy, Madeline (September 14, 2016). "Who is the real HU? 100 year old football rivalry kicks off". WUSA 9. Washington. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  10. ^ Wilbon, Michael (November 21, 1980). "Howard-Morgan State: The Game". The Washington Post. Washington. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  11. ^ Freeman, Rasheim (October 2, 2005). "Rivalry And Revelry". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  12. ^ "Howard & Morgan Take Rivalry North to a Big Stage in the Big Apple". The Afro (Baltimore). September 25, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  13. ^ Yates, Clinton (September 12, 2014). "With rivalry renewed, Morehouse and Howard wrap up four-year series at RFK Stadium". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  14. ^ Crockett Jr., Stephen (September 13, 2014). "Howard vs. Morehouse: A Rivalry for the Ages". The Root. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  15. ^ Seymore Jr., Add. "Morehouse and Howard Renew Rivalry in the 2011 Nation's Football Classic in Washington, D.C." Morehouse College. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  16. ^ Kilgore, Adam (September 8, 2017). "Why was Howard playing at UNLV anyway? It wasn't just college football business as usual". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  17. ^ "Howard Bison, 1987 Schedule". Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  18. ^ "MEAC strips Howard of Division I-AA title". Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. September 26, 1989. p. 2C. Retrieved February 13, 2019 – via