University of Tulsa Football Photograph Collection

Football has become America’s favorite pastime, which brings families together to watch the sport and has become the most popular sport in the United States. Football is introduced to the lives of most Americans when they are children, they often play peewee football or watch the games on the television with their families. Football can draw large crowds from high school games to professional games, with a variety of the level of the sport being shown on TV.

Football is important at the University of Tulsa, a school with a rich history of the sport in its past. The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes Football program is an NCAA Division I program that competes in the American Athletic Conference. The University of Tulsa was formerly known as Henry Kendall College until the change of the university name to the University of Tulsa on February 8, 1921. The twenties were considered a period of success for the football program, where it was referred to as ‘the glorious twenties.’ After an opening day win against a strong Texas Christian University team in 1922, Head coach Howard Acher put his mind to work. The press had claimed that the Kendall football team blew through its opponents like a tornado. So, it figured that Tornadoes would be the nickname with “golden” added to identify the color of the uniforms. However, it was later found that Georgia Tech had claimed that name, so from tornado, it was evolved meteorologically to a hurricane. In 1930 the University of Tulsa opened Skelly Stadium, which was named after William G. Skelly, a local oilman who donated a large sum of money to the building project. The University of Tulsa football program is rich in history that dates back to 1895, which is unique to the story of the university.

Here at McFarlin library special collections, we hold a piece of this history in our archives. Our collection has photographs of the University of Tulsa football team from 1895 to 1976, and these photographs include team photographs and individual pictures of coaches and players. These photographs are from a historical period in the history of the University of Tulsa’s football program; they allow the viewer to take a look back through history to see the evolution of the school and the program.

If you would like to look at the Tulsa football collection yourself, you can always come to see us in Special Collections, located on the 5th floor of McFarlin Library, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am until 4:30 pm.

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