SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly celebrated 100 seasons of football during the 2018 campaign.
To commemorate the occasion, videos focusing on each of the 10 decades of Mustang football were published each week on GoPoly.com and the various Cal Poly Athletics social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube).
The decade of the 1910s was first, as Cal Poly officially fielded a football team for the first time in 1915 with the hiring of D.W. Schlosser as head coach. The 1920s was featured next, followed by the 1930s, highlighted by the undefeated, untied, unscored-upon 1933 squad which finished 7-0.
The 1940s included the first Mustang game as a four-year school and the cancellation of the 1943 and 1944 seasons due to World War II. Head coach Roy Hughes arrived in 1950 and vowed, "In three years, we'll be tough." He lived up to his promise with an undefeated, untied 1953 season as the Mustangs were 9-0 and outscored the opposition 395-65. Some consider the 1958 team to be the best Mustang squad as Bobby Beathard and John Madden, among others, led Cal Poly to a 9-1 mark.
The football program in the 1960s dealt with the plane crash that killed 16 players, the team manager and a booster and, after struggling to regain its footing, hired Joe Harper in 1968 to lead the way back to prominence. Head coach for 14 seasons (1968-81), Harper compiled a 96-43-4 record and among his teams were the 1972 Camellia Bowl and 1978 playoff squads.
The decade of the 1980s opened with the NCAA Division II National Championship under Harper and ended with Lyle Setencich's team which reached the Division II semifinals and finished 10-2. The 1990s included a student referendum which was narrowly approved in 1992 sending Mustang athletics to Division I and Cal Poly's first victory over a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent. The first decade of the 21st Century for Cal Poly football featured a memorable victory over UTEP, a pair of NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff berths, an unprecedented three straight Buck Buchanan Award winners and two triumphs over San Diego State at Qualcomm Stadium.
The last of the series focused on the current decade. Tim Walsh began coaching the Mustangs in 2009 and has guided Cal Poly to FCS playoff berths in 2012 and 2016. The Mustangs entered the Big Sky Conference in 2012 and captured the league championship the very first year as Deonte Williams rushed for 1,506 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Andre Broadous rushed for 1,459 yards and 30 touchdowns and passed for 3,120 yards and 31 more scores as Cal Poly's quarterback from 2010-12. It was Chris Brown's turn to call the signals from 2013-15 and he responded with a pair of 1,000-yard seasons rushing and twice accomplishing the feat of rushing and passing for a touchdown and catching a touchdown pass in a single game. His 226 yards rushing against Montana in 2014 is a school record for a quarterback.
Fullback Joe Protheroe produced a pair of 1,000-yard seasons rushing and shattered the school records for single-season and career rushing during his five-year career from 2014-18.
Cal Poly is 30-26 in Big Sky games since joining the conference in 2012 and is 46-37 against Big Sky foes over the last 15 seasons.
In addition to the 1943 and 1944 seasons, Cal Poly did not field a team in 1918 due to a flu epidemic and in 1930 because of a polio epidemic. Thus, even though the first game was played 103 years ago in 1915, the 2018 Mustangs are playing Cal Poly's 100th season of football.
The video series was produced by Cal Poly Athletics Video Coordinator Andrew Baird.
Here are links to each of the 10 videos:
1910s -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pinsQul12q4
1920s -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak21b2n1Mpc
1930s -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVlx93lVWPo
1940s -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwxeBvmRGvY
1950s -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGppOde5bmI
1960s -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLuOAtW4eKY
1970s -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY_TJTI59GU
1980s -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL9jC4s9MUY
1990s -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-JnWPWCSiQ
2000s -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdMUtEAdrVo
2010s -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCP6s4_SpLM
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