SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly is celebrating 100 seasons of football during the 2018 campaign.
To commemorate the occasion, videos focusing on each of the 10 decades of Mustang football will be 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.
This week the focus is on the teams of the 1970s.
Harper, head coach for 14 seasons (1968-81), compiled a 96-43-4 record. He still holds the school records for most wins and highest winning percentage (68.5 percent).
Among his teams were the 1972 Camellia Bowl and 1980 NCAA Division II National Championship squads. The 1978 Mustangs also qualified for the playoffs. Harper guided the Mustangs to 13 winning seasons in his 14-year tenure and his teams were 59-14-1 at home.
Also the head coach at Northern Arizona and Cal Lutheran and an assistant coach for several other schools, Harper currently serves as an offensive analyst for the 2018 Mustangs.
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.
Each subsequent video, produced by Cal Poly Athletics Video Coordinator Andrew Baird, will be published on Tuesdays throughout the 2018 season.
• Facebook: CalPolyMustangs
• Twitter: CPMustangs
• Instagram: CPMustangs
• YouTube: CalPolyAthletics
Coming off a 41-27 victory over Sacramento State on Oct. 6 and following a bye week, Cal Poly continues Big Sky Conference play Saturday, Oct. 20, with the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe against UC Davis. Kickoff for the Mustang Family Weekend contest is set for 4:05 p.m. inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.