Penguin Football History


YSU at Rayen Stadium

YSU football played its first season in 1938. The program was organized by Coach Dwight Beede. Beede was the head coach of the football program from 1938 through 1972.

YSU has had only six head coaches in the program’s history – Beede, Rey Dempsey, Bill Narduzzi, Jim Tressel, Jon Heacock and Eric Wolford. The Penguins have won over 440 games in 72 seasons of football – the program was halted from 1943-45 for World War II.

YSU has played more than 700 games in the programs illustrious history. Youngstown State has been a member of the Mid-Continent Conference (1978- 80), the Ohio Valley Conference (1981-1987) the Gateway/Missouri Valley Football Conference (1997-present). The Penguins won Mid-Con titles in 1978 and 1979, won the OVC in 1987 and won the Gateway in 2005 and 2006.YSU has won four Division I-AA National Championships (1991, 1993, 1994 and 1997) and also played in the title game in 1992 and 1999. YSU also played for the Division II National Championship in 1979.

The Penguins have had 25-players sign to the NFL, 49 sign pro contracts, and 21 player go in the NFL draft. Seven (7) former Penguins have played in the super bowl.

Penguin Historical Football Classifications:
1938-1972 NCAA College Division (Small College)
1973-1980 NCAA Division II
1981-20XX NCAA Division I-AA/FCS


Penguin Historical Football Conferences:
1938-1972 Independent
1973-1977 Division II Independent
1978-1980 Mid-Continent Conference
1981-1987 Ohio Valley Conference
1988-1996 Division I-AA Independent
1997-20XX Gateway Football Conference/Missouri Valley Football Conference


Prepared, in-part, by YSU Sports Information Director Trevor Parks.
Additional data provided by College Football Data Warehouse.

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