The history and tradition of the Valparaiso University football program will be honored and celebrated throughout 2019, as the University has announced plans for its 100th anniversary season.
Valpo Athletics is set to recognize and celebrate individuals and teams from select eras at four games this season. The program has won 11 conference championships, including six in the Indiana Collegiate Conference and two in the Pioneer Football League.
The early days of Valpo football will be in the spotlight at the home opener as the department pays homage to the 1919-1949 teams on Sept. 14 against Central Connecticut State. George Keogan led the first team on record to a 5-3 mark in 1919. Valpo quickly elevated to a championship level of success, winning the Western Interstate Conference in 1923. J.M. Christiansen led the team to a combined 22-2 record from 1931-1933. Valpo won the Indiana Intercollegiate Conference during the 1932 season, going a perfect 7-0. The program was discontinued in 1943 and 1944 due to World War II, then Loren Ellis coached Valpo to a 6-1 mark as the team resumed play in an Indiana Intercollegiate Conference championship season of 1945. Emory G. Bauer took over in 1946 and started to build toward the most successful era in program history.
The 1950-1975 seasons will be part of the homecoming festivities as Valpo takes on the University of Charleston on Sept. 28. During a time period that was rich with success, Valpo won six Indiana Collegiate Conference championships. Valpo appeared in the Cigar Bowl in 1950, then the championship run started with the program’s first season of ICC affiliation in 1951, when an Emory G. Bauer coached crew went a perfect 9-0 to earn the conference title. Bauer’s Valpo team repeated as champions in 1952 before winning again in 1954. Valpo added to the successful period in Valpo lore with ICC championships in 1964, 1968 and 1969. Bauer and Walt Reiner shared head coaching duties in 1964 before Norm Amundsen guided the team for the final two championships of the 1960s. The 2019 season marks the 50th anniversary of the 1969 team that went 7-2 overall and 3-1 in the ICC.
Landon Fox will speak at the homecoming kickoff luncheon on Friday, Sept. 27 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Christopher Center Community Room. Registration is required and the cost is $15 per person. To register or for more information, click here. There will be a tailgate tent for football alums at the homecoming game. In addition, the 1969 team will be recognized during the game.
The remainder of the 20th century will be honored on Oct. 26 vs. Stetson as the program celebrates 1976-1999. Valpo began that stretch in the ICC, then competed in the Heartland Collegiate Conference and Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference before the Pioneer Football League Era began in 1993. The millennium ended on a high note for Valpo, which went 9-2 under Tom Horne in 1999. There will be a tailgate area for football alums in attendance at the game against the Hatters.
The modern teams of 2000-2019 will be featured on Nov. 9 vs. Morehead State. The modern era is highlighted by Pioneer Football League Championship seasons in 2000 and 2003 under head coach Tom Horne. Valpo used league wins over San Diego, Dayton and Butler to capture its first PFL championship in 2000 before battling out a 54-42 win over Morehead State in the 2003 PFL title game at Brown Field to cap an 8-4 season. There will once again be a tailgate area for football alums in attendance for the game against the Eagles.
Stay tuned, as additional plans for the 100th season of Valpo football will be announced soon.