NCAAF Arkansas State Redwolves

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Sun Belt
Past Conferences: Independent(1911–1929) Arkansas IC (1930–1950). Independent(1951–1963). Southland(1964–1986)Independent(1987–1992). Big West. (1993–1995). Independent(1996–1998). Big West(1999–2000). 

City: Jonesboro, Arkansas


Stadium: Centennial Bank Stadium

National Championships: 2 (1 claimed, 1 unclaimed). 

Conference Titles: 12

Divisional Championships:

 

Team History

Arkansas State’s inaugural football season was in 1911. The school played in the NJCAA up until the early 50s. Forrest England became head coach in 1946. Under England, the Red Wolves finished with a combined 48-22-9 record. The Red Wolves finished with just one losing season under England. The Red Wolves had a great run from 1951-1953. They had a combined 26-5-2 record and a 1-2-1 bowl record. They had three different coaches for the remainder of the 50s, finishing with just one winning season. 

 

In 1963, Bennie Ellender was named head coach. After an underwhelming 2-6 record in 1963, the Red Wolves moved to the Southland Conference for the 1964 season. In their first season in the Southland Conference, they finished with a perfect 7-0-2 overall record. In their second and third seasons, they finished with a combined 13-5 overall record. The years 1968-1970 were their best three years under Ellender. In 1968, they finished 7-3-1, won the Southland Conference and got invited to the Pecan Bowl. It was their first time being invited to a bowl game. In 1969, they finished 8-1-1 and won the Southland Conference again. They were invited to the Pecan Bowl again, this time winning against Drake. It was their first bowl win. In 1970, they finished 11-0 overall and won their third straight Southland title. They also earned another bid to the Pecan Bowl, where they beat Central Missouri State. Additionally, they were crowned National Champions in 1970. Ellender ended his stint at Arkansas State with a 52–20–4 overall record. 

 

Bill Davidson became coach in 1971. His first two seasons ended with a 7-12-1 combined record. The Red Wolves had just one losing season from 1973-1978. In 1975, they finished with a perfect 11-0 record and won the Southland Conference. In 1978, they managed to win another Southland Conference title. 

 

Larry Lacewell coached the Red Wolves from 1979-1989. They made the playoffs four years in a row from 1984-1987. They won the Southland Conference back-to-back years in 1985 and 1986. Additionally, in 1986 they got to the Championship but fell to Georgia Southern. 

 

The 90s were transitional for the Red Wolves. They had four different coaches and played in two different conferences and spent time as independents. 

 

From 2000 On

In 2001, they made the move to the Sun Belt. Steve Roberts became head coach in 2002. He coached the Red Wolves until 2010. They never posted a winning season. However, in 2005 they won the Sun Belt with a 6-6 record and clinched a berth in the New Orleans bowl. He finished his career with a 45–63 overall record. 

 

The 2010s was perhaps the best decade for the Red Wolves. Hugh Freeze became head coach in 2011. He led the Red Wolves to a 10-2 overall record and an 8-0 Sun Belt record and title. He departed for Ole Miss. 

 

Gus Malzahn also spent just one year at Arkansas State. In 2012, they finished 9-3 and won the Sun Belt Conference again. Malzahn departed for Auburn. Bryan Harsin also spent just one year at Arkansas State. After leading the Red Wolves to yet another Sun Belt Championship, he departed for the Boise State head coaching job. 

 

Blake Anderson coached the Red Wolves from 2014 until 2020. Anderson led the Red Wolves to six straight winning seasons from 2014-2019. Arkansas State won the Sun Belt in both 2015 and 2016. Additionally, they tied for first in their division in 2018. Anderson would go on to become the head coach at Utah State. He ended his tenure at Arkansas State with a 51–37 overall record and a 2-4 bowl record. 

 

Butch Jones is the current coach at Arkansas State. 

All-Time Records (CFB)

  • Passing yards

    • Ryan Aplin: 10,758

    • Justice Hansen: 10,133

    • Cleo Lemon: 7,706

    • Layne Hatcher: 7,427

    • Corey Leonard: 7,319

 

  • Rushing yards

    • Richie Woit: 3,947

    • Reggie Arnold: 3,933

    • Antonio Warren: 3,040

    • Jonathan Adams: 3,005

    • Michael Gordon: 2,961

  • Receiving yards

    •  J. D. McKissic: 2,826

    •  Omar Bayless: 2,775

    •  Lennie Johnson: 2,730

    •  Robert Kilow: 2,446

    •  Jonathan Adams Jr.: 2,306

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