Syracuse Orange football
2024 Syracuse Orange football team
First season1889; 135 years ago (1889)
Athletic directorJohn Wildhack
Head coachFran Brown
1st season, 0–0 (–)
StadiumJMA Wireless Dome
(capacity: 49,250)
Year built1980
Field surfaceFieldTurf[1]
LocationSyracuse, New York
ConferenceACC (2013–present)
DivisionAtlantic (2013–present)
Past conferencesBig East
All-time record743–577–49 [2] (.561)
Bowl record16–11–1 (.589)
Claimed national titles1 (1959)
Conference titles5 (1996, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2012)
RivalriesBoston College (rivalry)
Pittsburgh (rivalry)
West Virginia (rivalry)
Penn State (rivalry)
Colgate (rivalry)
Heisman winnersErnie Davis – 1961
Consensus All-Americans20[3]
Current uniform
Fight songDown the Field
MascotOtto the Orange
Marching bandSyracuse University Marching Band
WebsiteCuse football

The Syracuse Orange football team represents Syracuse University in the sport of American football. The Orange compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Syracuse is the only Division I FBS school in New York to compete in one of the Power Five conferences.

The Orange play their home games in the JMA Wireless Dome, referred to as the JMA Dome on the university's campus in Syracuse, New York.[5] The stadium is also known as "The Loud House."

Formed in 1889, the program has amassed over 740 wins and has achieved one consensus national championship in 1959, defeating the Texas Longhorns in that season's Cotton Bowl. Syracuse has had 2 undefeated seasons, 5 conference championships since 1991, and has produced a Heisman Trophy winner, over 60 first team All-Americans, 18 Academic All-Americans and over 240 NFL players.[6] Syracuse has had 18 members inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, 2nd-most in the ACC, including former players Ernie Davis, Tim Green, Don McPherson, Art Monk and former coaches Vic Hanson, Ben Schwartzwalder, and Dick MacPherson.[7] The Orange boast 8 inductees in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, tied for the 4th-most of any school, including Jim Brown, Marvin Harrison, Larry Csonka, and Floyd Little.[8]

The Orange have 28 bowl appearances, 10 of which are among the New Year's Six Bowls. Syracuse has finished in the Final Top 25 rankings 21 times in the national polls, and finished in either the AP or Coaches Polls a combined 35 times since 1952. Syracuse has appeared in over 200 AP Polls including 7 weeks at AP number one.


See also: List of Syracuse Orange football seasons

Early history (1889–1948)

Syracuse played its first football game on November 23, 1889,[9][10] and achieved its first success in the 1890s and 1900s. With the construction of "state-of-the-art" Archbold Stadium in 1907, Syracuse rose to national prominence under College Football Hall of Fame coach Frank "Buck" O'Neill. The 1915 squad garnered a Rose Bowl invitation that the school declined, having already played on the West Coast that season. In 1918, John Barsha (born Abraham Barshofsky) was co‐captain of the 1918 Walter Camp All‐America football team.[11]

Syracuse football player with Hall of Languages behind him (c.1903).

The 1920s had continued success with teams featuring two-time All American Doc Alexander and star end Vic Hanson. Vic Hanson was an American football player and coach, basketball player, and baseball player. A three-sport college athlete, he played football, basketball, and baseball at Syracuse in the 1920s, serving as team captain in all three sports. The Watertown, New York native was named a Basketball All-American three times—in 1925, 1926, and 1927—was named the Helms Foundation College Basketball Player of the Year and was a consensus selection to both 1925 and 1926 College Football All-America Teams. Hanson is one of only two individuals who are members (Amos Alonzo Stagg being the other) of both the Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame and the only one inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, the College Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. He later coached the team from 1930 to 1936.

In the 1930s, Syracuse and nearby Cornell University were among the first collegiate football teams to include African-American players as starting backfield players. Wilmeth Sidat-Singh was an African-American basketball star player for DeWitt Clinton High School. He received an offer of a basketball scholarship from Syracuse University and enrolled in 1935. While playing an intramural football game, an assistant football coach noticed his talent and asked him to join the football team. Sidat-Singh starred for Syracuse, playing a position equivalent to modern-day quarterback. In that era, when games were played in Southern segregation states, African-American players from Northern schools were banned from the field. Because of his light complexion and name, Sidat-Singh was sometimes assumed to be a "Hindu" (as people from India were often called by Americans during this time). However. shortly before a game against Maryland, a black sportswriter, Sam Lacy wrote an article in the Baltimore Afro-American, revealing Sidat-Singh's true racial identity. Wilmeth Sidat-Singh was held out of the game and Syracuse lost that game 0–13. Olympic track athlete Marty Glickman, who played football for Syracuse, believed athletic director Lew Andreas was a bigot who occasionally used a disparaging term for Blacks; the 18-year-old Glickman thought Andreas should have stood up for Sidat-Singh (Glickman also faulted himself for not standing up for Sidat-Singh).[12] In a rematch the following year at Syracuse, Sidat-Singh led the Orange to a lopsided victory (53–0) over Maryland. In 2005, Syracuse University honored Wilmeth Sidat-Singh by retiring his basketball jersey number.[13] On Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, the University of Maryland publicly apologized to surviving relatives from the Webb family at a ceremony during a football game with Syracuse University.[14]

Ossie Solem coached at Syracuse from 1937 to 1945. During his tenure at Syracuse, he tutored a young assistant coach named Bud Wilkinson, who went on to lead the Oklahoma Sooners to win three national championships.

Ben Schwartzwalder era (1949–1973)

Ben Schwartzwalder and QB Dick Easterly, December 5, 1959 at UCLA.

The late 1930s and 1940s had a decline in fortunes that began to reverse when Ben Schwartzwalder took over as head coach in 1949.[15] Syracuse made its first bowl appearance in the 1953 Orange Bowl,[16] followed by appearances in the 1957 Cotton Bowl[17] and the 1959 Orange Bowl.[18]

Jim Brown (a high school standout from Manhasset, New York),[19][20] considered to be one of the greatest running backs of all time, as well as one of the greatest players in NFL history,[21] was a consensus first-team All-American in 1956, finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting and set school records for highest season rush average (6.2) and most rushing touchdowns in a single game (6). In the Cotton Bowl, he rushed for 132 yards, scored three touchdowns, and kicked three extra points, but a blocked extra point after Syracuse's third touchdown was the difference as TCU won 28–27.[22]

In 1959, Syracuse earned its first consensus national championship (finishing No. 1 in both the AP and Coaches' Polls) following an undefeated season (11–0) and Cotton Bowl Classic victory over Texas. The team featured sophomore running back Ernie Davis of Elmira, New York, who went on to become the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy in 1961,[23] and All-American tackle Ron Luciano, who eventually become a prominent Major League Baseball umpire. Davis was slated to play for the Cleveland Browns in the same backfield as Jim Brown, but died of leukemia before being able to play professionally. Syracuse remained competitive through the 1960s with a series of All-American running backs, including Floyd Little and Larry Csonka (both inductees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame).[24][25]

Schwartzwalder produced 22 straight years of non-losing football, took the Orange to seven bowls, won the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy (to recognize the Eastern champion in Division I FBS) four times: 1952, 1956, 1959, 1966; and won the national championship in 1959. He developed some of the most impressive running backs the game has ever seen - Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance, Floyd Little and Larry Csonka. Orange teams outrushed opponents by more than 22,000 yards under Schwartzwalder. He retired as Syracuse's head coach after the 1973 season, which was Syracuse's third consecutive losing season.[26] Schwartzwalder left Syracuse with a 153–91–3 record.[27]

In 1969, a group of nine African American student-athletes boycotted Syracuse University's football program to demand change and promote racial equality. Popularized erroneously in 1970 by the media as the “Syracuse 8,” the nine students behind the boycott were Gregory Allen, Richard Bulls, Dana Harrell, John Godbolt, John Lobon, Clarence “Bucky” McGill, A. Alif Muhammad (then known as Al Newton), Duane Walker, and Ron Womack.[28] The student athletes drafted a list of four demands, three of which were advocating for the betterment for all student athletes at the university, were access to the same academic tutoring as their white teammates; better medical care for all team members; starting assignments based on merit; and racially integrating the coaching staff, which had been all white since 1898.[29]

Frank Maloney era (1974–1980)

Michigan assistant coach Frank Maloney was hired as Schwartzwalder's replacement.[30] Maloney's tenure at Syracuse was marked by inconsistency.[31] The fan base turned on him as the Orange failed to achieve the national status they had enjoyed under Schwartzwalder. Maloney's program was also limited by archaic facilities.[32] Archbold Stadium, Syracuse's home field since 1907, was in need of replacement.[32] Nonetheless, Maloney did recruit a number of future NFL stars such as Joe Morris and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Art Monk.[33]

Maloney was the subject of criticism, not only from the fans and alumni, but also from the 1959 national championship team, members of which started a campaign calling for his ouster.[34] Ironically enough, this call from program alumni came during the 1979 season, Maloney's best at Syracuse, when the Orangemen qualified for the Independence Bowl, beating McNeese State. After coaching the Orangemen for seven seasons and presiding over the opening of a new stadium, the Carrier Dome (renamed in 2022 the JMA Wireless Dome), in 1980, Maloney resigned.[35]

Old Archbold Stadium in 1970s

Dick MacPherson era (1981–1990)

Dick MacPherson was hired as the head coach in 1981[36] and after several mediocre seasons, fans wanted MacPherson fired, coining the phrase, "Sack Mac".[37]

However, the fans' opinion of Coach MacPherson changed when the program returned suddenly to national prominence in 1987 with an undefeated 11–0 regular season record.[38] The team featured Maxwell Award-winning quarterback Don McPherson and fullback Daryl Johnston.[39] The team missed an opportunity to play for the NCAA Division I-A national football championship, because both Oklahoma and Miami also finished undefeated that year and finished higher in the polls.[40] Instead, the team faced Southeastern Conference champion Auburn University in the Sugar Bowl.[41] The game ended in a 16–16 tie when Auburn kicked a late field goal rather than trying for a game-winning touchdown.[42] MacPherson left Syracuse after the 1990 season to accept the position of head coach for the NFL's New England Patriots.[43]

McPherson is credited with building a strong recruiting pipeline in the northeast area.[44]

Paul Pasqualoni era (1991–2004)

Syracuse continued to experience success under MacPherson's successor, Paul Pasqualoni, previously the team's linebackers coach,[45] appearing in 11 bowl games (including three major bowls) and winning 9.[46] The team also captured or shared three Big East football championships during this period.

Prominent players of the period included Donovan McNabb, Marvin Harrison, Dwight Freeney, Keith Bulluck, Rob Moore, Donovin Darius, Qadry Ismail, Kevin Johnson, Rob Konrad, Tebucky Jones, and Marvin Graves.[47][48] Rivalries shifted in the early 1990s as Penn State ended its series with Syracuse and joined the Big Ten.[49] Syracuse, meanwhile, joined the newly formed Big East football conference with traditional rival West Virginia University, and national power Miami.[50] In 2004, Miami and Virginia Tech left the Big East to join the Atlantic Coast Conference,[51] followed by Boston College in 2005,[52] threatening the stature of the Big East. Syracuse was originally invited to leave the Big East and join the ACC, but under pressure from the Governor of Virginia, the ACC decided to invite Virginia Tech to join the conference, instead.[53] Thus, Syracuse remained in the Big East. Syracuse's streak of winning seasons ended in 2002 when they went 4–8.[54] This was followed by consecutive 6–6 seasons.[55][56] Although they won a share of the Big East title in 2004 and competed in the Champs Sports Bowl,[57] the teams from 2002 to 2004 were considered mediocre by Syracuse standards. This prompted new athletic director Dr. Daryl Gross to fire Pasqualoni after 14 years at the helm.[58]

Greg Robinson era (2005–2008)

Syracuse playing Buffalo in September 2005

In 2005, the university hired Greg Robinson, defensive coordinator for Texas, as head coach.[59] Robinson installed a new West Coast offense scheme, replacing the option run style of offense previously run by Pasqualoni, and new defensive schemes.[60]

The 2005 season started on a high note as Syracuse nearly upset eventual Big East and Sugar Bowl champion West Virginia, forcing five turnovers in the 15–7 loss.[61] They followed it up with a 31–0 thrashing of Buffalo[62] and another near-upset, this time against #25 Virginia, falling 27–24 on a last-second field goal.[63] The squad lost its final eight games of the season. Syracuse finished the year 1–10, the worst on-field season in school history and won only 10 games with Robinson running the program.[64] Robinson's Orange improved to 4–8 in 2006[65] but fell to 2–10 in 2007.[66] The 2007 season included a road upset of number-18 Louisville.[67] When the struggles continued in 2008, Syracuse fired Robinson[68] following a 3–9 season[69] where the high point was a 24–23 upset of Notre Dame.[70] At the other end of the spectrum, in a game that exemplified the Robinson era, the Orange lost 55–13 to Penn State.[71] Robinson's .213 winning percentage on the field is the worst for a non-interim coach in school history. He has been criticized for abandoning the traditional northeast recruiting pipeline.[44]

In 2015, Syracuse vacated all of its wins from 2005 and 2006 due to ineligible players, dropping Robinson's "official" winning percentage to .119.

Doug Marrone era (2009–2012)

Coach Doug Marrone and Hall of Fame RB Floyd Little during training camp at Fort Drum, located in Jefferson County, New York

On December 12, 2008, Doug Marrone, a Bronx, New York native and former Orange player, was announced as the replacement for Robinson as head coach.[72][73][74] Marrone was the first Syracuse alumnus to serve as head football coach since Reaves H. Baysinger in 1948.[75] Reportedly, alumni such as Tim Green and Floyd Little wanted Marrone from the moment the previous coach Greg Robinson was fired, and when interviewed by Green, Marrone was found to have kept a folder of current high-school players in the Syracuse area to get a head start in recruiting.[76][77][78]

Improvement throughout the program was noticed immediately, as the Orange, despite only a marginal improvement in their win–loss record, going 4–8 under Marrone for his first year,[79] played many much more closely, including a 28–7 loss at number-seven Penn State.[80] In 2010, the Orange finished the regular season with a winning record for the first time since the 2001 season at 7–5, including road wins against number-19 West Virginia and two-time defending conference champion Cincinnati.[81] The team earned its first bowl bid since 2004 and along with second-ranked Oregon and 10th-ranked Boise State, the five road wins were the best in 2010 of all FBS teams.[82] December 30, 2010, Syracuse defeated Kansas State in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. The game was televised live on ESPN.[83] Two years later, the Orange defeated West Virginia in the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl.[84] On January 7, 2013, Marrone left Syracuse, accepting the head-coaching position of the NFL's Buffalo Bills.[85]

Scott Shafer era (2013–2015)

The day after Marrone's departure, Syracuse promoted defensive coordinator Scott Shafer to head coach.[86] Coach Shafer's first season was marked by inconsistency from the team in spite of the bowl eligibility for the third time in four years. Syracuse capped off the season with a 21–17 victory over Minnesota in the 2013 Texas Bowl to finish the year 7–6.[87][88] The first season for the Orange in the ACC was 2013.[89] The 2014 season brought about a noticeable drop in quality. Syracuse finished the season a disappointing 3–9.[90] In 2015, after they started the season 3–0, the Orange collapsed, losing 8 of their final 9 games to finish the season 4–8,[91] and on November 23, 2015, it was announced that Shafer would be fired after the last game of the 2015 campaign.[92]

Dino Babers era (2016–2023)

JMA Dome crowd in 2022

After an extensive coaching search, Syracuse announced the hiring of Bowling Green head coach Dino Babers as the new Orange head football coach.[93] Babers is the first African-American head coach in school history.[94] Babers brought with him an exciting, up-tempo offense he employed both as a head coach and as an assistant coach.[95]

In Babers' first season in charge, Syracuse started the year at 4–4, with the highlight of the first eight games being a 31–17 upset of number-17 Virginia Tech at home.[96] Syracuse kept the momentum from the upset going and beat rival Boston College on the road, 28–20.[97] However, they were blown out 54–0 in their next game by No. 3 Clemson.[98] In the final game of the season, Syracuse lost to ACC rival Pittsburgh by a score of 76–61.[99] The game was the highest scoring in FBS history with a combined score of 137.[100] Syracuse finished 4–8 for the second consecutive year.[101] In 2017, the Orange started 4–3, including a win over No. 2 Clemson,[102] but they lost their final five games to finish 4–8 for the third straight year.[103] In 2018, Syracuse earned its first bowl bid under Babers, going 10–3 with a bowl victory over West Virginia.[104]

In 2022, Syracuse started 6–0, earning a No. 14 ranking in the AP and Coaches' Polls. However, the team squandered a 21–10 halftime lead to Clemson, falling 27–21. The Orange lost their next four games before finishing the season with a win at Boston College to end the year 7–5.[105] Syracuse earned a trip to the Pinstripe Bowl where it lost to Minnesota, 28–20.[106] After a 4–0 start to the 2023 season, Syracuse lost 6 of the next 7 games, leading to Babers' firing with one game remaining in the 2023 season.[107]

Fran Brown era (2024–present)

On November 28, 2023, Brown was named the 31st head coach in program history.[108] His deep recruiting ties in South Jersey, one of Syracuse's primary recruiting grounds, were cited as a major reason for his hiring.[109] Less than a month later, Fran Brown signed Syracuse's best recruiting class in the "modern era" according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.[110] The class included several high-profile transfers, including five-star recruit Kyle McCord, the starting quarterback from the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Conference affiliations

Syracuse has been independent and affiliated with two conferences.[111]


National championships

Syracuse finished their undefeated 1959 season with a 23–14 victory over the No. 4 Texas Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl, and were named the national champions by all major selectors (including the major wire-service: AP and Coaches' Poll).[112]

Year Coach Selectors Record Bowl Opponent Result Final AP Final Coaches
1959 Ben Schwartzwalder AP, Billingsley, Boand, DeVold, Football News, Football Research, Football Writers, Helms, Litkenhous, NCF, NFF, Poling, Sagarin (ELO-Chess)*, UPI, Williamson 11–0 Cotton Bowl Texas W 23–14 No. 1 No. 1

Eastern and Conference championships

For much of its history, Syracuse played as an independent, as did the majority of what are now labeled as Division I FBS football-playing schools located in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. During this time, Eastern Championships were named by independent third-party selectors and awarded of various trophies. The process of picking an Eastern Champion eventually came to be symbolized by the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy awarded by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority beginning in 1936. As a result, the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy, voted on by a panel of sports writers in New York, became the de facto conference championship for those schools.[113]

In 1991, the majority of football independents in the East (including Syracuse) aligned themselves together in the Big East Football Conference. The Big East first crowned an official champion in 1993. In 2013, Syracuse joined the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

Year Coach Conference Overall record Conference record
1952 Ben Schwartzwalder ECAC (Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy) 7–3
1956 7–2
1959 11–0
1966 8–3
1987 Dick MacPherson 11–0–1
1992 Paul Pasqualoni 10–2
1996 Big East Conference 9–3 6–1
1997 9–4 6–1
1998 8–4 6–1
2004 6–6 4–2
2012 Doug Marrone 8–5 5–2

† Co-champions

Head coaches

Frank "Buck" O'Neill in 1901
Coach Paul Pasqualoni coached the Orange from 1991 to 2004

There have been 31 head coaches at Syracuse.[114] Fran Brown became the most recent head coach in 2024.

College Football Hall of Fame inductee
Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1890 Robert Winston 1 7–4 .636
1891 William Galbraith 1 4–6 .400
1892 Jordan C. Wells 1 0–8–1 .056
1894 George H. Bond 1 6–5 .545
1895–1896 George O. Redington 2 11–5–4 .650
1897–1899 Frank E. Wade 3 17–9–2 .643
1900–1902 Edwin R. Sweetland 3 20–5–2 .778
1903 Jason B. Parish & Ancil D. Brown 1 5–4 .556
1904–1905 Charles P. Hutchins 2 14–6 .700



Frank "Buck" O'Neill 8 52–19–6 .714
1908 Howard Jones 1 6–3–1 .650
1909–1910 Tad Jones 2 9–9–2 .500
1911–1912 C. DeForest Cummings 2 9–8–2 .526
1913 Bill Hollenback 1 5–4 .556
1920–1924 Chick Meehan 5 35–8–4 .787
1925–1926 Pete Reynolds 2 15–3–2 .800
1927–1929 Lew Andreas 3 15–10–3 .589
1930–1936 Vic Hanson 7 33–21–5 .602


Ossie Solem 8 30–27–6 .524
1946 Clarence Munn 1 4–5 .444
1947–1948 Reaves Baysinger 2 4–14 .286
1949–1973 Ben Schwartzwalder 25 153–91–3 .626
1974–1980 Frank Maloney 7 32–46 .410
1981–1990 Dick MacPherson 10 66–46–4 .586
1991–2004 Paul Pasqualoni 14 107–59–1 .644
2005–2008 Greg Robinson 4 10–37 .213
2009–2012 Doug Marrone 4 25–25 .500
2013–2015 Scott Shafer 3 14–23 .378
2016–2023 Dino Babers 8 41–55 .427
2024–Present Fran Brown 1 0–0

Traditions and legacy

Legend of 44

The No. 44 at Syracuse is one of the most legendary numbers ever associated with a college football program. Like tailbacks at USC or quarterbacks at Purdue, the running back position at Syracuse has a rich tradition of greatness. Much of that greatness has revolved around one jersey number — 44.

Syracuse University officially retired #44 on Saturday, November 12, 2005. Since 1954, 11 players have worn the number and three of the most famous #44sJim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little — are in the College Football Hall of Fame.

"The Greatest"

Main article: Jim Brown

Jim Brown '57, Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame tailback

Jim Brown played at SU from 1954 to 1956. Brown earned numerous honors as Orange playing college football, basketball, track and field and lacrosse. In his senior year in 1956 Brown was a consensus first-team All-American and led the team to a Cotton Bowl. He finished 5th in the Heisman Trophy voting and set school records for highest season rush average (6.2), most rushing touchdowns in a single game (6), and an NCAA single-game record of 43 points.[115] After his successful college career, Brown went on to become one of the greatest football players of all time.[116]

Jim Brown was an All Pro and a Pro Bowl invitee every season he was in the league, was recognized as the AP NFL Most Valuable Player three times, and won an NFL championship with the Browns in 1964. He led the league in rushing yards in eight out of his nine seasons, and by the time he retired, he had shattered most major rushing records. Brown's memorable professional career led to his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. His football accomplishments at Syracuse garnered him a berth in the College Football Hall of Fame. Jim Brown also earned a spot in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, giving him a rare triple crown of sorts. Today, he is recognized as the greatest football player ever[117] by most professional football writers.[118]

But Brown's legacy goes beyond sports. Brown was one of the NFL's earliest social issues activists along with a group of top African American athletes from different sporting disciplines such as Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. In the 1960s, Brown co-founded the Black Economic Union to support the growth of black-owned businesses. In the 1980s he also started the Amer-I-Can program which mentors youth in both inner cities and prisons.

"The Elmira Express"

Main article: Ernie Davis

Plaque on statue of Ernie Davis, Ernie Davis Academy, Elmira, New York

Ernie Davis, the only Orange player to win the Heisman Trophy, played at Syracuse from 1959 to 1961, and went on to national fame in each of those three seasons, winning first-team All-American honors twice. Davis led the 1959 Syracuse team to a national championship, capping an 11–0 season with a 23–14 win over the Texas Longhorns in the 1960 Cotton Bowl Classic, where Davis was named Most Valuable Player. That same season, Elmira Star-Gazette sports writer Al Mallette coined the nickname for Davis, the "Elmira Express".

During his Cotton Bowl visit to host city Dallas, Texas, Ernie and his black teammates found discrimination prevalent in the American South. Author Jocelyn Selim writes that at the banquet following the 1960 game, Davis was told he could only accept his award and then would be required to leave the segregated facility when the doors were opened to the public for a dance.

Despite the racial issues, Davis became the first black athlete to be awarded the Heisman Trophy (the highest individual honor in collegiate football) and he also won the Walter Camp Memorial Trophy following his 1961 season at Syracuse University. President John F. Kennedy had followed Davis' career and requested to meet him while he was in New York to receive the trophy. Later in 1963, when Elmira chose February 3 to celebrate Davis' achievements, Kennedy sent a telegram, reading:

Seldom has an athlete been more deserving of such a tribute. Your high standards of performance on the field and off the field, reflect the finest qualities of competition, sportsmanship and citizenship. The nation has bestowed upon you its highest awards for your athletic achievements. It's a privilege for me to address you tonight as an outstanding American, and as a worthy example of our youth. I salute you.[119]

Davis was the number-one pick in the 1962 NFL Draft. He was bound to go to the Cleveland Browns where he would be teammates with Jim Brown. Davis signed a three-year contract with the Browns in late December 1961.It was the most lucrative contract for an NFL rookie up to that time.[120]

However, Davis' dream of pairing with Jim Brown took a tragic turn when Davis was diagnosed with leukemia. The disease was incurable and Davis died at age 23 at Cleveland Lakeside Hospital on May 18, 1963.[121] Following his death, the Browns retired his number 45 jersey.

A motion picture biography, The Express: The Ernie Davis Story, directed by Gary Fleder and based on the non-fiction book The Elmira Express: the Story of Ernie Davis by Robert C. Gallagher, began production in April 2007[122] and was released on October 10, 2008.

His commemorative statue now stands in front of the school named in his honor, Ernie Davis Academy. Another statue of Davis stands on the campus of Syracuse University, near the steps of Hendricks Chapel and the Shaw Quad where pre-game pep rallies are held. He was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in the fall of 1979.

"The Franchise"

Floyd Little

Main article: Floyd Little

Floyd Little played for Syracuse from 1964 to 1966. He is the only three-time All-American running back to compete for the Syracuse University Orangemen. He finished 5th in Heisman Trophy voting in both 1965 and 1966. Floyd was the leading force behind teams that earned tickets to the Sugar Bowl in 1964 and the Gator Bowl in 1966 (teaming with another great tailback Larry Csonka in the latter). In addition to breaking the running records of Brown and Davis, Little became the greatest kick returner in Orange history. He led the country in all-purpose yardage, averaging 199 yards per game in 1965.[123]

Floyd Little was the first ever first-round draft pick to sign with the American Football League's Denver Broncos. During his rookie year, Little led the NFL in punt returns with a 16.9-yard average. He led the NFL in combined yards in 1967 and 1968 and was the first ever Bronco to win a rushing title, leading the AFC in rushing in 1970 and the following year he became the first Bronco to eclipse 1,000 yards, gaining 1,133 to lead the NFL.[124] Little was Denver Broncos team captain all 9 seasons, including his rookie season and he was known as "The Franchise". Floyd Little retired as the NFL's 7th all-time leading rusher with 6,323 yards. He later was inducted both in the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame. To honor his achievements Denver Broncos retired his #44 jersey.

Statues of Davis (second on campus), Brown and Little are at Syracuse University's Plaza 44, commemorating the number the running backs wore while playing football. No. 44 has become so associated with Syracuse that all university phone numbers begin with 44 and the university's ZIP code, 13244, was requested by university officials to remember those who wore 44 for the Orange. “Number 44 not only has come to represent greatness on the football field, it has become a part of the university's and the community's identity”.[123]

Pride of the Orange

Syracuse band performing at Super Bowl XLVIII.

The Syracuse University Marching Band (SUMB), also known as the "Pride of the Orange", is the collegiate marching band of Syracuse University. The SUMB performs at all home football games throughout the season, and also makes several local parades and other performances throughout the year. It is one of the largest student organizations at Syracuse University, consisting of approximately 200 members. Founded in 1901, it is one of the oldest collegiate bands in the nation. Over the course of almost 120 years, the "Pride of the Orange" has played a huge role in university history and has been a constant source of pride for the university.[125]


Boston College

Main article: Boston College–Syracuse football rivalry

The two schools first met on October 18, 1924, a 10–0 win for the Syracuse Orange.[127] The Eagles and the Orange began playing an annual game in 1961. To date, Boston College and Syracuse have played each other 57 times.[128] Aside from Holy Cross, no team has played Boston College more than Syracuse. In 2004, the Eagles' last year in the Big East, the Orange pulled off a surprising upset that kept the Eagles from going to their first BCS game. BC's departure from the Big East put the future of the rivalry in doubt. Syracuse's admission into the ACC in 2013 resurrected the rivalry, with the two teams playing each another annually as members of the ACC's Atlantic Division.

Syracuse leads the series 34–23 through the 2018 season.[129]


Main article: Pittsburgh–Syracuse football rivalry

The rivalry with fellow ACC conference member Pittsburgh began in 1916, and has been played annually since 1955. The Panthers and Orange were both Eastern football independents for most of their history but have shared the same football conference since 1991 when the Big East Football Conference was formed from Eastern football independents. Pitt is tied as the most played opponent for Syracuse and Syracuse is the third most played opponent for Pitt. Sharing membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) since 2013, the Panthers and Orange have played a total of 74 times. Pittsburgh leads the series 43–32–3 through the 2018 season.[130]

West Virginia

Main article: Syracuse–West Virginia football rivalry

Syracuse and West Virginia have played 60 times. Often, these games have had a bearing on which collegiate program was the best in the East. In much of the '80s and '90s, Syracuse and West Virginia made for one of the Big East's best head-to-head match-ups on a yearly basis. West Virginia then left the Big East for the Big 12 Conference in 2012.[131]

The Ben Schwartzwalder Trophy goes to the winner of the West Virginia and Syracuse football game. The trophy was introduced in 1993 and is named after former WVU football player and Syracuse head coach Ben Schwartzwalder, who had died in March of that year.[132] The trophy weighs 55 pounds and was sculpted by Syracuse player Jim Ridlon.

West Virginia won the first trophy game at Syracuse and has gone on to win 11.[133] Syracuse has won the trophy eight times and currently holds it.[134] Syracuse leads the series 34–27 with the last two games played in 2012 Pinstripe Bowl and 2018 Camping World Bowl.[135] Syracuse is currently on the 4 game winning streak.

Penn State

Main article: Penn State–Syracuse football rivalry

The "heyday" of the Syracuse Penn State rivalry took place during the 1950s and 1960s when the teams battled back and forth in a competitive and often controversial string of contests. Syracuse football was led by legendary coach Ben Schwartzwalder, and Penn State by Rip Engle from 1950 to 1966 and Joe Paterno from 1967 to 2011. From 1950 to 1970, Syracuse won 11 to Penn State's 10 games. Unfortunately conference realignment and scheduling disagreements have dampened the intensity of the rivalry between the teams in recent years.

The teams first met on October 28, 1922, at the New York Polo Grounds battling to a scoreless[citation needed] tie kick-starting an East coast rivalry that has seen 71 total match-ups with the teams meeting almost every season from 1922 to 1990. The only exception was during the 1943 season, when Syracuse did not field team in light of World War II.[citation needed] From 1922 to 1940 Syracuse held a 10–4–4 advantage over the Nittany Lions, before Penn State would win 8 straight from 1941 to 1949. In the 1947 match-up, Penn State prevailed 40–0 in State College behind a staunch defense that held the Orange to (-47) total yards which is an NCAA record. (-107 rushing, 60 passing, in 49 plays)[136] From 1956 to 1966 the Orange regained command winning 8 out of 11. Since 1967, the Nittany Lions have dominated winning 24 of 27 match-ups including 16 straight from 1971 to 1986. In 1987, Dick MacPherson coached Syracuse to a 48–21 victory over the Nittany Lions in the JMA Wireless Dome. Syracuse won again the following year at Penn State, but lost the final two games before the suspension of the series in 1991.[137]

Penn State leads the all-time series 43–23–5, and have won 5 straight. The most recent match-up was played at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ; a 23–17 win for Penn State.[138]

The teams do not have any future match-ups scheduled.


Main article: Colgate–Syracuse football rivalry

For many years, Syracuse's main football rivals were the nearby Colgate Red Raiders. Colgate and Syracuse first played each other in football in 1891, with Colgate recording a 22–16 victory. The Red Raiders would go on the win 12 of the first 16 games in the series. Colgate's early dominance in the series quickly gave rise to the legend of the Hoodoo (a play on a corruption of the word Voodoo). The schools have played each other a total of 67 times, with the series tied at 31–31–5.

By the late 1950s, Syracuse had established itself as a major power in Eastern college football, and the games became increasingly one-sided. Following the 1961 contest, Colgate terminated the series, in order to focus on playing smaller, peer institutions.

Following the NCAA's I-A/I-AA split in 1978, the rivalry was intermittently renewed in the 1980s, with Syracuse comfortably winning all three games played in the decade. In 2010, the rivalry was renewed again after a 23-year absence, with Syracuse recording a 42–7 victory.[139][140] The series resumed again in 2016, when Syracuse hosted Colgate in a game played in the JMA Wireless Dome,[141] which Syracuse won 33–7.


Syracuse helmet design history
Current helmets worn by the Orange

Syracuse University adopted orange color as its official color in 1890. The color was selected after a vote by students, alumni, faculty, and trustees, who noted it was a strong, bright color not claimed by any other school. Syracuse University was the first school to adopt only one primary color. It was chosen to "represent the golden apples of Hesperia, as well as the story of the sunrise and hope for a golden future."[142]

The first uniforms of the Orange were classic white sweaters and dark pants. Syracuse football wore these from 1889 to 1919. Orange color was first worn in the 1920s. A blue number was stitched on the back of orange jerseys, and the dark pants were replaced with Khaki moleskin. Blue began to be generally recognized as a secondary color of Syracuse.[143]

During its glory years beginning with the first bowl game appearance in 1952, Syracuse football used to wear white jerseys and orange pants at home at Archbold stadium. From 1952 to 1966, coach Ben Schwartzwalder, with his military background and always looking for an edge, thought white jerseys made his players look bigger, faster and stronger. During his first three seasons (1949–51) and in 1958, he also experimented with an all orange look to camouflage the football.[144] Blue jerseys were rarely seen during that era as Syracuse wore them only three times.

The switch to blue and orange combination at home came in 1967. Since then, it was blue jersey and orange pants at home until the first three Frank Maloney seasons (1974–76) when the newly assigned coach wanted to move away from the Schwartzwalder era with orange jerseys and unusually designed white helmets, before bringing blue jerseys and orange helmets back for essentially the next 28 seasons. Syracuse started wearing white jerseys and orange jerseys (and pants) at home again in the 2000s. Three colors (orange, white and blue) have been used in several combinations throughout the years.

Bowl games

See also: List of Syracuse Orange bowl games

Since the establishment of the team in 1890, Syracuse has appeared in 28 bowl games. Included in these games are 10 combined appearances in the "New Year's Six" bowl games (the Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Orange, Fiesta and Peach) and 1 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game appearances. The New Year's Six represent six of the ten oldest bowl games played at the FBS level (missing the Sun, Gator, Citrus and Liberty bowls), continuing their original history of putting the very best teams in the country against each other.

Syracuse's all-time bowl record is 16 wins, 11 losses and 1 tie (16–11–1).

Syracuse Orange Bowl Games
# Bowl Score Date Season Opponent Stadium Attendance Head coach
1 Orange Bowl L 6–61 January 1, 1953 1952 Alabama Orange Bowl 66,280 Ben Schwartzwalder
2 Cotton Bowl Classic L 27–28 January 1, 1957 1956 TCU Cotton Bowl 61,500 Ben Schwartzwalder
3 Orange Bowl L 6–21 January 1, 1959 1958 Oklahoma Orange Bowl 75,281 Ben Schwartzwalder
4 Cotton Bowl Classic W 23–14 January 1, 1960 1959 Texas Cotton Bowl 75,500 Ben Schwartzwalder
5 Liberty Bowl W 15–14 December 16, 1961 1961 Miami Philadelphia Municipal Stadium 15,712 Ben Schwartzwalder
6 Sugar Bowl L 10–13 January 1, 1965 1964 LSU Tulane Stadium 65,000 Ben Schwartzwalder
7 Gator Bowl L 12–18 December 31, 1966 1966 Tennessee Gator Bowl Stadium 60,312 Ben Schwartzwalder
8 Independence Bowl W 31–7 December 15, 1979 1979 McNeese State Independence Stadium 27,234 Frank Maloney
9 Cherry Bowl L 18–35 December 21, 1985 1985 Maryland Pontiac Silverdome 51,858 Dick MacPherson
10 Sugar Bowl T 16–16 January 1, 1988 1987 Auburn Louisiana Superdome 75,495 Dick MacPherson
11 Hall of Fame Bowl W 23–10 January 1, 1989 1988 LSU Tampa Stadium 51,112 Dick MacPherson
12 Peach Bowl W 19–18 December 30, 1989 1989 Georgia Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 44,991 Dick MacPherson
13 Aloha Bowl W 28–0 December 25, 1990 1990 Arizona Aloha Stadium 14,185 Dick MacPherson
14 Hall of Fame Bowl W 24–17 January 1, 1992 1991 Ohio State Tampa Stadium 57,789 Paul Pasqualoni
15 Fiesta Bowl W 26–22 January 1, 1993 1992 Colorado Sun Devil Stadium 70,224 Paul Pasqualoni
16 Gator Bowl W 41–0 January 1, 1996 1995 Clemson Jacksonville Municipal Stadium 45,202 Paul Pasqualoni
17 Liberty Bowl W 30–17 December 27, 1996 1996 Houston Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium 49,163 Paul Pasqualoni
18 Fiesta Bowl L 18–35 December 31, 1997 1997 Kansas State Sun Devil Stadium 69,367 Paul Pasqualoni
19 Orange Bowl L 10–31 January 2, 1999 1998 Florida Orange Bowl 67,919 Paul Pasqualoni
20 Music City Bowl W 20–13 December 29, 1999 1999 Kentucky Adelphia Coliseum 59,221 Paul Pasqualoni
21 Bowl W 26–3 December 29, 2001 2001 Kansas State Bank One Ballpark 40,028 Paul Pasqualoni
22 Champs Sports Bowl L 14–51 December 21, 2004 2004 Georgia Tech Citrus Bowl 28,237 Paul Pasqualoni
23 Pinstripe Bowl W 36–34 December 30, 2010 2010 Kansas State Yankee Stadium 38,274 Doug Marrone
24 Pinstripe Bowl W 38–14 December 29, 2012 2012 West Virginia Yankee Stadium 39,098 Doug Marrone
25 Texas Bowl W 21–17 December 27, 2013 2013 Minnesota Reliant Stadium 32,327 Scott Shafer
26 Camping World Bowl W 34–18 December 28, 2018 2018 West Virginia Camping World Stadium 41,125 Dino Babers
27 Pinstripe Bowl L 20–28 December 29, 2022 2022 Minnesota Yankee Stadium 31,131 Dino Babers
28 Boca Raton Bowl L 0–45 December 21, 2023 2023 South Florida FAU Stadium 20,711 Nunzio Campanile (interim)

National polls

Syracuse has finished in the Final Top 25 rankings 21 times in the national polls, and finished in either the AP or Coaches Polls a combined 35 times since 1952. Syracuse has appeared in over 200 AP Polls including 7 weeks at AP No.1.[145]

Syracuse Final Rankings
Year Record AP Poll† Coaches‡
1952 7–3 14
1956 7–2 8 8
1958 8–2 9 10
1959 11–0 1 1
1960 7–2 19
1961 8–3 14 16
1963 8–2 12
1964 7–4 12
1966 8–3 16
1967 8–2 12
1987 11–0–1 4 4
1988 10–2 13 12
Year Record AP Poll† Coaches‡
1990 7–4–2 21
1991 10–2 11 11
1992 10–2 6 7
1995 9–3 19 16
1996 9–3 22 19
1997 9–4 21 20
1998 8–4 25 24
2001 10–3 14 14
2018 10–3 15 15

AP Poll began selecting the nation's Top 20 teams in 1936. Only the Top 10 teams were recognized from 1962 to 1967. The AP Poll expanded back to the Top 20 teams in 1968. In 1989, it began recognizing the Top 25 teams.

UPI/Coaches Poll began selecting its Top 20 teams on a weekly basis in 1950 before expanding to the nations's Top 25 teams in 1990.

Individual award winners

See also: Syracuse Orange football statistical leaders

Retired numbers

See also: List of NCAA football retired numbers

Syracuse University retired six jersey numbers and hung them in the JMA Wireless Dome rafters.[146]

Syracuse Orange football retired numbers
Donovan McNabb
Don McPherson
Larry Csonka
(25 players) 1
Joe Morris
Dwight Freeney
Tim Green
John Mackey

1 The complete list of players who wore number 44 (by chronological order): Gifford Zimmerman, Charles Roberts, Clarence Taylor, Don Baldwin, Richard Fishel, Henry Merz, Hamilton Watt, Francis Mullins, Stanley Stanislay, Benjamin DeYoung, Francis Mazejko, Richard Ransom, J. O'Brien, Robert Eberling, Jim Brown, Thomas Stephens, Ernie Davis, William Schoonover, Floyd Little, Richard Panczyszyn, Mandel Robinson, Glenn Moore, Michael Owens, Terry Richardson, and Rob Konrad.

The 150 greatest players in college football's 150-year history

Jim Brown is named as the greatest player in college football history. ESPN unveiled college football's 150 greatest players of the first 150 years of history of college football. ESPN's top 150 players were determined by a blue-ribbon panel of current and former writers, broadcasters, administrators, sports information directors and ESPN personalities.[147][148]

Rank Name Pos. Years
1 Jim Brown RB 1954-56
15 Ernie Davis RB 1959-61
52 Floyd Little RB 1964–66

Heisman Trophy voting

QB Donovan McNabb at the 1999 NFL Draft
Name Pos. Year Place
Dwight Freeney DE 2001 9th
Donovan McNabb QB 1998 5th
Don McPherson QB 1987 2nd
Larry Csonka FB 1967 4th
Floyd Little RB 1966 5th
Floyd Little RB 1965 5th
Ernie Davis RB 1961 1st
Jim Brown HB 1956 5th

National award winners

See also: National College Football Awards Association

Heisman Trophy
Best player
1961 Ernie Davis
Walter Camp Trophy
Best player
1961 Ernie Davis
Maxwell Award
Best player
1987 Don McPherson
Walter Camp All-Century Team
Best player of the century
2000 Jim Brown
Walter Camp Man of the Year
Man of the Year
1978 Floyd Little
Walter Camp
Alumni of the Year

Distinction in excellence as an athlete
2000 Don McPherson
Chic Harley Award
College Football Player
1961 Ernie Davis
Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Best defensive player
2001 Dwight Freeney
Chuck Bednarik Award
Best defensive player
2001 Dwight Freeney †
Davey O'Brien Award
Best quarterback
1987 Don McPherson
1993 Marvin Graves
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
Best senior quarterback
1987 Don McPherson
1993 Marvin Graves †
1998 Donovan McNabb
Sammy Baugh Trophy
Best quarterback
1987 Don McPherson
Jim Thorpe Award
Best defensive back
1987 Markus Paul
1988 Markus Paul †
Lombardi Award
Best lineman or linebacker
1984 Tim Green
1985 Tim Green
1987 Ted Gregory
2001 Dwight Freeney
Lou Groza Award
Best kicker
2018 Andre Szmyt
Vlade Award
Most accurate placekicker
2018 Andre Szmyt
Walter Camp
Distinguished American Award

Great success in business or public service
2011 Floyd Little
NFF Distinguished American Award
Excellence in scholarship, citizenship, leadership
1982 Jim Brown
Silver Anniversary Awards
Achievement in life
1982 Jim Brown
1992 Floyd Little
2011 Tim Green
AFCA Good Works Team
Accomplishments off the field
2000 Kyle Johnson
2001 Graham Manley
2004 Matt Tarulo
2014 Sam Rodgers
2018 Kielan Whitner
Academic All-America
Hall of Fame

Outstanding collegiate scholar-athletes
2006 Tim Green


National coaching awards

See also: Category:College football coach of the year awards in the United States

AFCA Coach of the Year
Best head coach
1959 Ben Schwartzwalder
1987 Dick MacPherson
Walter Camp Coach of the Year
Best head coach
1987 Dick MacPherson
Sporting News College Football
Coach of the Year

Best head coach
1987 Dick MacPherson
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year
Best head coach
1959 Ben Schwartzwalder
1987 Dick MacPherson
Woody Hayes Trophy
Best head coach
1987 Dick MacPherson
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year
Best head coach
1987 Dick MacPherson
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award
Best coach
1987 Dick MacPherson
Walter Camp Man of the Year
Man of the Year
1973 Duffy Daugherty
Amos Alonzo Stagg Award
Outstanding services in the advancement
of the best interests of football
1970 Pappy Waldorf
1977 Ben Schwartzwalder
1985 Duffy Daugherty

Consensus All-Americans

See also: College Football All-America Team

Syracuse football players have earned All-America honors over 130 times since 1908. Among those selections, 20 have achieved Consensus All-American status. Of those consensus All-Americans, 9 are unanimous selections. Below is the list of first team All Americans named by major selectors.

Dwight Freeney
All-America team selections
Season Name Pos.
1908 Frank "Bill" Horr* T
1908 Claude Fisher E
1915 Harold White* G
1915 Red Wilkinson HB
1915 Chris Schlachter G
1917 Chris Schlachter G
1917 Alfred Cobb* T
1918 Lou Usher* G
1918 Willard Ackley QB
1918 Doc Alexander G
1919 Doc Alexander* G
1920 Doc Alexander* G
1920 Bertrand Gulick T
1923 Pete MacRae* E
1924 Pappy Waldorf T
1924 Jack McBride B
1926 Vic Hanson* E
1930 George A. Ellert E
1934 Jim Steen T
1952 Bob Fleck G
1953 Bob Fleck G
1955 Jim Brown HB
1956 Jim Brown# HB
1958 Ron Luciano T
1959 Roger Davis# G
Season Name Pos.
1959 Robert Yates T
1959 Fred Mautino E
1960 Ernie Davis* HB
1961 Ernie Davis# HB
1964 Pat Killorin C
1964 Floyd Little RB
1965 Floyd Little RB
1965 Pat Killorin C
1965 Charlie Brown DB
1966 Floyd Little RB
1966 Gary Bugenhagen G
1966 Larry Csonka FB
1967 Larry Csonka# FB
1968 Tony Kyasky DB
1968 Art Thoms DL
1970 Joe Ehrmann DL
1971 Tom Myers DB
1975 Ray Preston LB
1978 Joe Morris RB
1979 Art Monk WR
1981 Gary Anderson K
1982 Mike Charles DL
1984 Tim Green DL
1985 Tim Green# DL
1987 Ted Gregory* DL
Season Name Pos.
1987 Don McPherson# QB
1988 Markus Paul DB
1989 Rob Moore WR
1989 John Flannery C
1990 John Flannery* C
1991 Qadry Ismail KR
1992 Chris Gedney# TE
1992 Marvin Graves QB
1995 Marvin Harrison AP
1995 Kevin Abrams DB
1996 Kevin Abrams DB
1996 Antwaune Ponds LB
1997 Donovin Darius S
1997 Quinton Spotwood KR
1997 Donovan McNabb QB
1998 Kevin Johnson KR
1999 Keith Bulluck LB
2001 Dwight Freeney# DE
2008 Tony Fiammetta FB
2009 Chandler Jones DE
2012 Ryan Nassib QB
2017 Steve Ishmael WR
2018 Andre Szmyt# K
2018 Andre Cisco S
2021 Sean Tucker RB
* – Consensus All-Americans
# – Unanimous All-Americans

Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) awards

See also: Eastern College Athletic Conference

ECAC Player of the Year
1966 Floyd Little
1967 Larry Csonka
1987 Don McPherson
ECAC Offensive Player of the Year
1979 Bill Hurley
1980 Joe Morris
ECAC Defensive Player of the Year
1985 Tim Green
ECAC Rookie of the Year
1990 Marvin Graves

Big East Conference awards

See also: Big East Conference football individual awards

Offensive Player of the Year
1996 Donovan McNabb
1997 Donovan McNabb
1998 Donovan McNabb
ECAC Coach of the Year
1992 Paul Pasqualoni
1995 Paul Pasqualoni
1996 Paul Pasqualoni
Defensive Player of the Year
1991 George Rooks
1997 Donovin Darius
2001 Dwight Freeney
AFCA Regional
Coach of the Year
2010 Doug Marrone
Rookie of the Year
1995 Donovin Darius
Special Teams Player of the Year
1992 John Biskup
1993 Pat O'Neil
1995 Marvin Harrison
1997 Quinton Spotwood
1998 Kevin Johnson
ECAC Rookie of the Year
1994 Antwaune Ponds
1995 Donovan McNabb
2011 Dyshawn Davis
Scholar Athlete of the Year
2001 Kyle Johnson
2012 Ryan Nassib

Big East Football 10th Anniversary honors

The best players of the decade and the team, which includes 29 players, was selected by Big East media members to celebrate the 10th year of Big East football.[149]

Offensive Player of the Decade
QB Donovan McNabb
Special Teams Player of the Decade
KR/WR Kevin Johnson
Big East Team of the Decade
QB Donovan McNabb
WR Marvin Harrison
KR Kevin Johnson
CB Kevin Abrams
S Donovin Darius

Atlantic Coast Conference awards

See also: Atlantic Coast Conference football individual awards

AP ACC Coach of the Year
2018 Dino Babers
ECAC Coach of the Year
2018 Dino Babers
Defensive Rookie of the Year
2018 Andre Cisco
Brian Piccolo Award
2020 Nolan Cooney
Jim Tatum Award
2020 Kingsley Jonathan
ECAC Offensive Player of the Year
2018 Eric Dungey
ECAC Defensive Rookie of the Year
2018 Andre Cisco
ECAC Rookie of the Year
2021 Duce Chestnut


ACC All-Conference selections

Syracuse football players in All-ACC teams since 2013.

All-ACC team selections
Season Name Pos.
2013 Macky MacPherson C
2013 Jerome Smith RB
2013 Durell Eskridge S
2013 Jay Bromley DT
2014 Sean Hickey T
2014 Cameron Lynch LB
2015 Riley Dixon* P
2015 Ron Thompson DE
2015 Brisly Estime APB
2016 Amba Etta-Tawo* WR
2016 Zaire Franklin LB
2016 Brisly Estime APB
2016 Sterling Hofrichter P
2017 Steve Ishmael* WR
Season Name Pos.
2017 Ervin Philips WR
2017 Parris Bennett LB
2017 Cole Murphy K
2018 Sean Riley APB
2018 Andre Szmyt* K
2018 Sterling Hofrichter* P
2018 Jamal Custis WR
2018 Alton Robinson DE
2018 Andre Cisco* S
2018 Ryan Guthrie LB
2018 Eric Dungey QB
2018 Koda Martin T
2019 Sterling Hofrichter* P
2019 Trishton Jackson WR
Season Name Pos.
2019 Andre Cisco S
2019 Lakiem Williams LB
2019 Andre Szmyt K
2020 Nykeim Johnson KR
2020 Taj Harris WR
2020 Nolan Cooney P
2020 Ifeatu Melifonwu CB
2021 Duce Chestnut CB
2021 Cody Roscoe* DE
2021 Sean Tucker* RB
2021 Mikel Jones* LB
2022 Mikel Jones LB
2022 Sean Tucker RB
2022 Sean Tucker APB
Season Name Pos.
2022 Matthew Bergeron T
2022 Oronde Gadsden II* WR
* – 1st All-ACC

Hall of Fame

See also: Syracuse Football All-Century Team

Marvin Harrison, Hall of Fame WR

College Football Hall of Fame

See also: College Football Hall of Fame

Syracuse is one of the most represented schools in the National Football Foundation's College Hall of Fame. The Orange have 18 enshrinees, second-most among ACC programs behind Pittsburgh (25). Syracuse has had 11 players and 7 former coaches inducted into the Hall of Fame.[150]

Name Pos. Years Inducted
Frank "Buck" O'Neill HC 1906-07; 1913–15; 1917–19; 1936 1951
Howard Jones HC 1908 1951
Joe Alexander G 1917–1920 1954
Tad Jones HC 1909–1910 1958
Biggie Munn HC 1946 1959
Lynn 'Pappy' Waldorf T 1922-1924 1966
Bud Wilkinson HC 1938-41 1969
Jim Brown HB 1954–1956 1971
Vic Hanson E/HC 1924-26; 1928–36 1973
Ernie Davis HB 1959–1961 1979
Ben Schwartzwalder HC 1949–1973 1982
Floyd Little RB 1964–1966 1983
Hugh "Duffy" Daugherty G/HC 1937-39; 1940, 1946 1984
Larry Csonka FB 1965–1967 1989
Tim Green DT 1982–1985 2002
Don McPherson QB 1984–1987 2008
Dick MacPherson HC 1980–1990 2009
Art Monk WR 1976–1979 2012
Dwight Freeney DE 1998–2001 2023

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Art Monk, Hall of Fame WR

See also: Pro Football Hall of Fame

Syracuse's legacy in the Pro Football Hall of Fame ranks among the finest of any college football program. The Orange boast eight inductees, tied for the eight-most of any school. Only Notre Dame (13), USC (13), Michigan (11), Ohio State (10), Miami (9), and Pittsburgh (9) have more representatives in the Pro Football Hall of Fame than Syracuse.[151]

Name Team (Years) Position Inducted
Jim Brown Cleveland Browns (1957–65) FB 1971
Jim Ringo Green Bay Packers (1953–63) C 1981
Larry Csonka Miami Dolphins (1968–74, 1979) FB 1987
John Mackey Baltimore Colts (1963–71) TE 1992
Al Davis Oakland Raiders (1963–2011) Owner/GM/Commissioner 1992
Art Monk Washington Redskins (1980–93) WR 2008
Floyd Little Denver Broncos (1967–75) RB 2010
Marvin Harrison Indianapolis Colts (1996–2008) WR 2016
Dwight Freeney Indianapolis Colts (2002–2012) EDGE 2024

Orange in the National Football League

NFL All-Time Team

See also: National Football League 100th Anniversary All-Time Team

The National Football League 100th Anniversary All-Time Team was revealed in 2019 after being voted on by a panel consisting of media members, former players and league personnel. It honored the best players of the first 100 years of the National Football League (NFL). The team was chosen by a panel of 26 voters made up of coaches, team and front office executives, former players and members of the media between April and June 2018. Players were selected at each position group, and were voted in no order. There will be 10 quarterbacks, 12 running backs, 10 wide receivers, 5 tight ends, 7 tackles, 7 guards, 4 centers, 7 defensive ends, 7 defensive tackles, 6 outside linebackers, 6 middle/inside linebackers, 7 cornerbacks, 6 safeties, 2 kickers, 2 punters, 2 kick/punt returners, and 10 coaches. Sources:[152][153][154][155][156][157][158][159][160]

Position Player Team(s) played for Accolades
RB Jim Brown Cleveland Browns (1957–1965) Hall of Fame (1971), NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, NFL 1960s All-Decade Team, NFL Rookie of the Year (1957), 3× AP NFL Most Valuable Player (1957, 1958, 1965), 8× First-team All-Pro (19571961, 19631965), 9× Pro Bowler (19571965), NFL champion (1964)
WR Marvin Harrison Indianapolis Colts (1996–2008) Hall of Fame (2016), NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, 3× First-team All-Pro (1999, 2002, 2006), 8× Pro Bowler (19992006), Super Bowl champion (XLI)
TE John Mackey Baltimore Colts (1963–1971)
San Diego Chargers (1972)
Hall of Fame (1992), NFL 1960s All-Decade Team, 3× First-team All-Pro (19661968), 4× Pro Bowler (1963, 19661968), NFL champion (1968), Super Bowl champion (V)

Bold Unanimous selection.[152][155][158][160]

NFL All-Decade Teams

Main article: National Football League All-Decade Teams

Tom Coughlin in the White House after winning a Super Bowl with the New York Giants
Chandler Jones
NFL All-Decade Teams
Name Team Pos. Decade
Jim Brown Cleveland Browns RB 1960s
John Mackey Baltimore Colts TE 1960s
Jim Ringo Green Bay Packers
Philadelphia Eagles
C 1960s
Walt Sweeney San Diego Chargers G AFL All-Time
Art Monk Washington Redskins WR 1980s
Gary Anderson Pittsburgh Steelers K 1980s
Gary Anderson Pittsburgh Steelers
Minnesota Vikings
K 1990s
Dwight Freeney Indianapolis Colts DE 2000s
Marvin Harrison Indianapolis Colts WR 2000s
Chandler Jones New England Patriots
Arizona Cardinals
EDGE 2010s

NFL Individual Awards

See also: List of National Football League awards

Name Team Pos. Year
Jim Brown Cleveland Browns RB 1957, 1958, 1963, 1965
NFL Super Bowl MVP
Name Team Pos. Year
Larry Csonka Miami Dolphins HB 1974
Name Team Pos. Year
Jim Nance New England Patriots RB 1966
NFC Player of the Year
Name Team Pos. Year
Donovan McNabb Philadelphia Eagles QB 2000
Jim Brown Award
Name Team Pos. Year
Jim Brown Cleveland Browns RB 1957-61, 1963-65
Floyd Little Denver Broncos RB 1971
Deacon Jones Award
Name Team Pos. Year
Dwight Freeney Indianapolis Colts DE 2004
Chandler Jones Arizona Cardinals EDGE 2017
NFL Comeback Player of the Year
Name Team Pos. Year
Larry Csonka Miami Dolphins HB 1979
NFL Rookie of the Year Award
Name Team Pos. Year
Jim Brown Cleveland Browns RB 1957
Golden Toe Award
Name Team Pos. Year
Gary Anderson Minnesota Vikings K 1998
NFL GM/Executive of the Year
Name Team Pos. Year
Al Davis Las Vegas Raiders GM/Owner 1976, 2002[161]
Scott Pioli New England Patriots GM 2003, 2004, 2007
Scott Pioli Kansas City Chiefs GM 2010
All-Decade (2000s) NFL Executive Scott Pioli
NFL GM/Executive of the Decade
Name Team Pos. Year
Scott Pioli Patriots, Chiefs GM 2000s
Coach of the Year
Name Team Pos. Year
Al Davis Las Vegas Raiders HC 1963
Tom Coughlin Jacksonville Jaguars HC 1996

All-Pro and Pro Bowls

See also: All-Pro and Pro Bowl

Orange in the Pro Bowls and as All-Pro
Name Team Pos. Pro-Bowl All-Pro
Jim Ringo Green Bay Packers
Philadelphia Eagles
C 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966
Jim Brown Cleveland Browns RB 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965
Walt Sweeney San Diego Chargers G 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1970, 1971, 1972 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971
Marvin Harrison Indianapolis Colts WR 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 2004, 2005, 2006 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 2004, 2005, 2006
Dwight Freeney Indianapolis Colts DE 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009
Larry Csonka Miami Dolphins FB 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 1971, 1972, 1973
Floyd Little Denver Broncos RB 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973 1969, 1970, 1971
John Mackey Baltimore Colts TE 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 1966, 1967, 1968
Donovan McNabb Philadelphia Eagles QB 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009
Gary Anderson Pittsburgh Steelers
Minnesota Vikings
K 1983, 1985, 1993, 1998 1983, 1985, 1998
Chandler Jones New England Patriots
Arizona Cardinals
DE 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021 2017, 2019
Art Monk Washington Redskins WR 1984, 1985, 1986 1984, 1985
Keith Bulluck Tennessee Titans LB 2003, 2004 2002, 2003, 2004
Jim Nance New England Patriots FB 1966, 1967 1966, 1967, 1969
Daryl Johnston Dallas Cowboys FB 1993, 1994 1993, 1994
Rob Moore New York Jets
Arizona Cardinals
WR 1994, 1997 1997
Joe Morris New York Giants RB 1985, 1986 1986
Stan Walters Philadelphia Eagles T 1978, 1979 1979
Jim Collins Los Angeles Rams LB 1984, 1985 1984, 1985
Al Bemiller Buffalo Bills C 1965
Rob Burnett Cleveland Browns DE 1994 2000
Olindo Mare Miami Dolphins K 1999 1999
Tom Myers New Orleans Saints DB 1979 1979
David Tyree New York Giants WR 2005 2005
Otis Wilson Chicago Bears LB 1985 1984, 1985
Joe Ehrmann Baltimore Colts DT 1975 1976
Doc Alexander Rochester Jeffersons C 1921, 1922
Jack McBride New York Giants FB 1925
Jim Ridlon Dallas Cowboys DB 1964


Archbold Stadium

Archbold Stadium seating stands in 1914
Archbold Stadium arch entrance (1922)

Main article: Archbold Stadium

Upon its completion in 1907, Archbold Stadium was touted as the "Greatest Athletic Arena in America." Designed to resemble the Roman Coliseum and to never become outdated, Archbold Stadium was a trademark of Syracuse Orange football.[162] The stadium was named for John D. Archbold, who donated $600,000 for the project. The Orange battled for victory inside the walls of Archbold Stadium from 1907 until 1978. Orange fans of the early 1900s were astonished by Archbold's unique design. The stadium's front entrance defined the character of Archbold, which consisted of an impressive cement arch and two epic towers, which extended high above the archway.

In addition to providing the university and the fans with an aesthetically beautiful stadium, Archbold gave the Orange football team a distinct home field advantage for all 71 years of its existence. The Orange went 265–112–20 all-time at Archbold, and at times were nearly unbeatable. From 1915 to 1927, Syracuse achieved a remarkable home record of 61–10–6. Then, during the 11-year stretch from 1958 to 1968, the team in Orange won 47 and lost only 6 games played at Archbold Stadium.[162]

Toward the end of the 1970s, Syracuse University was under pressure to improve its football facilities in order to remain a Division I-A football school. Archbold Stadium could not be expanded; earlier in the decade it had been reduced from 40,000 seats to 26,000 due to fire codes. Therefore, Syracuse University decided to build a new stadium on the site of Archbold, which, appropriately for Syracuse's often cold weather, was to have a domed Teflon-coated, fiberglass inflatable roof. While the JMA Wireless Dome was being built during the 1979 season, Syracuse played "home" games at three different locations—Giants Stadium, home of the NFL's New York Giants; Rich Stadium (now known as New Era Field), home of the NFL's Buffalo Bills; and Schoellkopf Field, home of the Cornell Big Red.

The JMA Wireless Dome

Main article: JMA Wireless Dome

The JMA Dome (2021)

The Syracuse Orange football team plays their games at the JMA Wireless Dome, referred to as the JMA Dome. The stadium is also known as "The Loud House", when it opened in September 1980, it was made clear just how loud it was inside; soon famous nickname was coined. It is the largest domed stadium of any college campus and the largest domed stadium in the Northeastern United States. The JMA Wireless Dome is used for several sports at the university and seats 49,250 for football.[1] The field was dedicated in 2009 to Ernie Davis, the first African American Heisman Trophy winner. The field now reads "Ernie Davis Legends Field" between the 45 yard lines on the home side. Davis's number forty-four was also placed along that yard line. The dedication took place at the Syracuse vs. West Virginia game October 10, 2009.[163]

In May 2018, the university announced the first phase of a major renovation to the JMA Wireless Dome as the central portion of a larger campus update. The most significant changes were the replacement of the current air-supported roof with a fixed roof, two-thirds of which will be translucent, the installation of air conditioning and the largest centerhung videoboard in college sports.[164] The upgrade also included a new lighting and sound systems, Wi-Fi improvements, accessibility upgrades, improved restrooms, and new concession spaces.[165] The high-profile renovation project by Geiger Engineers - the same firm that was the structural engineer for the original stadium, was named a winner of NCSEA's 2021 Excellence in Structural Engineering Award for Forensic/Renovation/Retrofit/Rehabilitation Structures.[166]

The school announced the next phase of its work to enhance, elevate and expand the stadium experience in April, 2022. This includes a complete replacement of benches with individual seats; a construction of a new publicly accessible event facility adjacent to the Dome; and an upgrade of the entire digital infrastructure, including latest 5G technology and wireless connectivity.[167] The renovation of both phases, estimated to cost $165 million, is expected to be completed in 2024.

Future scheduled opponents

Announced schedules as of February 7, 2020.[168]

2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033 2034 2035 2036 2037
Colgate Ohio vs Tennessee (in Atlanta, GA) New Hampshire at Penn State Penn State Morgan State at Notre Dame Notre Dame
Western Michigan at UNLV UConn at Army Notre Dame
at Purdue Holy Cross Army UConn
Army vs UConn at Notre Dame at Notre Dame UConn


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