Southeastern Louisiana Lions
2024 Southeastern Louisiana Lions football team
First season1930
Athletic directorJay Artigues
Head coachFrank Scelfo
5th season, 34–23 (.596)
StadiumStrawberry Stadium
(capacity: 7,408)
Field surfaceArtificial
LocationHammond, Louisiana
NCAA divisionDivision I FCS
ConferenceSouthland Conference
All-time record342–303–17 (.529)
Conference titles10
RivalriesNicholls (rivalry)
Northwestern State (rivalry)
Louisiana (rivalry)
ColorsGreen and gold[1]
   
Marching bandSpirit Of The Southland
WebsiteLionSports.net

The Southeastern Louisiana Lions football program is the intercollegiate American football team for Southeastern Louisiana University located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Southland Conference. Southeastern Louisiana's first football team was fielded in 1930. The team plays its home games at the 7,408 seat Strawberry Stadium in Hammond, Louisiana. The Lions are coached by Frank Scelfo.[2]

History

See also: List of Southeastern Louisiana Lions football seasons

When the program was restarted again in 2003, after an 18-year hiatus, Hal Mumme, formerly the head coach at the University of Kentucky, was hired as head coach. Mumme became the 12th head coach in program history and he hired Woody Widenhofer as his defensive coordinator. Upon its return, SLU decided to compete at the NCAA Division I-AA level. The team finished with a 5–7 record, the sixth-best record among start-up Division I programs since 1980. Forty-six school and/or national records were broken with freshman quarterback Martin Hankins setting 21 new standards. Before a packed house on a rainy night, Southeastern opened its first season in 18 years rallying to defeat Arkansas-Monticello, 22–17, as Hankins hit Choni Francis on a 22-yard scoring pass with 6:49 remaining in the game. Scoring the first touchdown after 18 years cemented Lions football once again. The team finished its first season 5–7 and posted a 7–4 mark in 2004. The program had a big 51–17 win over #6 McNeese State and entered the Top 25 in the national I-AA rankings. Southeastern Louisiana ranked first among NCAA Division I-AA teams in total offense per game (537.1 yards) and passing offense per game (408 yards) in 2003.

After receiving an invitation from the Southland Conference for the football program to join, the conference where the rest of SLU's sports competed, it began conference play in 2005 - where it remains a current member today.

In 2012, Ron Roberts took over as head coach for the Lions and led them to a 5–6 record. The Lions finished the season with a 5–2 record in conference play, which was the best conference record the Lions had posted in the Southland since joining in 2005. The following year, the Lions posted an 11–3 overall record. The Lions were led at quarterback by Oregon transfer Bryan Bennett. They finished with a perfect 7–0 record in conference play and earned their first-ever trip to the NCAA Division 1 playoffs. They earned a first-round bye. In the second round, the SLU faced Sam Houston State in a rematch of the regular-season game played between the two in which Southeastern won 34–21. Quarterback Bryan Bennett led a late game-winning drive to give the Lions a 30–29 thrilling victory. The Lions lost to the New Hampshire Wildcats in the quarterfinals 20–17. Bennett was first-team all-Conference in 2013. Placekicker Seth Sebastian and kickoff returner Xavier Roberson won 2013 FCS Awards from College Football Performance Awards for the top positional performances.[3]

The Lions playing at Tiger Stadium in 2018

After posting a 7–4 regular-season record in 2019 the lions earned the program's third playoff berth, hosting 10th ranked Villanova in the first round. After trailing 31–14 at halftime, Southeastern came back to upset the wildcats 45–44, led by quarterback Chason Virgil's 474 yards passing.[4]

Conference affiliations

Championships

Conference championships

Southeastern Louisiana has won 10 conference championships.[citation needed]

Year Conference Coach Overall record Conference record
1946 Louisiana Intercollegiate Conference Ned McGehee 9–0‡ 4–0
1952† Gulf States Conference Stan Galloway 6–1–2 3–0–2
1953 6–3 5–1
1954 9–0 6–0
1956 6–3 4–1
1960† 9–1 4–1
1961† 9–1 4–1
2013 Southland Conference Ron Roberts 11–3 7–0
2014 9–4 7–1
2022 Frank Scelfo 8–3 5–1

† Co-championship

‡ Includes victory in 1946 Burley Bowl.[5]

Playoff appearances

NCAA Division I-AA/FCS

Southeastern Louisiana has a 4–5 record in five appearances in the I-AA/FCS playoffs since 1978.

Year Round Opponent Result
2013 Second Round
Quarterfinals
Sam Houston State
New Hampshire
W 30–29
L 17–20
2014 First Round Sam Houston State L 17–21
2019 First Round
Second Round
Villanova
Montana
W 45–44
L 28–73
2021 First Round
Second Round
Florida A&M
James Madison
W 38–14
L 20–59
2022 First Round
Second Round
Idaho
Samford
W 45–42
L 42–48 OT

Rivalries

Nicholls

Main article: River Bell Classic

Southeastern Louisiana leads the series with Nicholls 17–16 through the 2022 season.

Northwestern State

Main article: Northwestern State–Southeastern Louisiana football rivalry

Southeastern Louisiana leads the series with Northwestern State 38–29 through the 2022 season.

Louisiana

Main article: Cypress Mug

The Cypress Mug is the turned, polished mahogany mug awarded to the winner of the Louisiana–Southeastern football game.[6] Louisiana leads the series 21–17–3 with the last game played in 2022.

Notable former players

Notable alumni include:

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of November 8, 2023.[7]

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028
at Mississippi State at Tulane at Louisiana Tech at South Alabama at South Dakota State at Oklahoma State
at South Alabama at Southern Mississippi at Murray State North Alabama
at Eastern Washington Eastern Washington at Louisiana–Monroe
Tarleton State South Dakota State
at Tarleton State

See also

References

  1. ^ "SLU Athletics Branding". July 27, 2021. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  2. ^ "Southeastern Louisiana Historical Data". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  3. ^ "Sebastian, Roberson Earn CFPA National Honors".
  4. ^ "Villanova vs. SE Louisiana - Game Recap - November 30, 2019 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2019-12-02.
  5. ^ "Southeastern Wins Burley Bowl Tilt". The Town Talk. Alexandria, Louisiana. Associated Press. November 29, 1946. Retrieved March 27, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Athletic Network".
  7. ^ "Southeastern Louisiana Lions Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved November 8, 2023.