Friday, March 4, 2011

UCSB Launches Bring Back Guacho Football!!!!

This week Bring Back 49er Football discovered that efforts to reinstate football at UCSB has begun. Bring Back Guacho Football and the other leadership at CSULB, CSUN, and CSUF have been working to help get things going at UCSB.

UCSB needs 50% of the number of the number of students that voted in AS Elections last year. Last Spring about 8,000 students voted, which means Bring Back Guacho Football needs about 4,000 signatures.

UCSB's prospect are quite promising considering they still have an on campus stadium. The stadium was built in 1966 and is named after Theodore "Spud" Harder, a former coach of the Gauchos' football team. It hosted Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers who trained there ahead of the 1967 Super Bowl I. The UC-Santa Barbara football team played their home games at Harder Stadium until football was cut after the 1972 season due to budget cuts. UCSB brought football back as a non-scholarship sport in 1983 and by 1987 was playing a full Division II and III schedule. In 1992, the NCAA ruled that Division I schools must play at the Division I level in all sports; UCSB and a few other schools attempted to form a non-scholarship Division I-AAA level, but the effort failed and UCSB eventually dropped football. The stadium has a capacity of 17,000 people, and currently is the largest stadium on California's Central Coast, although when Alex G. Spanos Stadium which is currently used by California Polytechnic State University is fully renovated in the summer of 2010 it will lose that title. Along with the UCSB Events Center, it is one of the more well-attended athletic venues in the Central Coast.(1)

With UC Riverside, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Barbara starting movements similar to CSULB, CSUF, and CSUN increase the odds of football reinstatement at all universities. CSUF has 1100 of 3500 signatures needed for referendum after 4 days worth of signature gathering!

The blue print has been presented who else is going to use it? Good luck to everyone!

1. (


  1. This is something I have been promoting on various FCS forums. Yes! An excellent idea!! Not sure how old the average reader on this site is, but I was there when the Green Bay Packers came to practice at UCSB's stadium. I saw the first and last games played and many in between (that includes 1966,72 and 92). I remember great excitement when UCSB went 8-1 and went to the Camellia Bowl. I know many football enthusiasts in the greater Santa Barbara area and feel strongly the program could prosper. Cal Poly has an exceptional football program and has great crowds in spite of its smaller student and general population. The Big Sky Conference would offer UCSB something they have never enjoyed in their football history; a nationally recognized powerhouse conference which currently boasts the defending national champions in Division I FCS. A very strong western division of that conference which, with the addition of UCSB would provide and ideal California rivalry series: Cal Poly, UC Davis, Sac State and UCSB!! With two divisions, UCSB would enjoy a minimum of 3 in-state matchups and at least two more home games each year. Like Cal Poly and Davis, the potential for booking out of conference games with teams like Fresno State and San Diego State, would create an additional 1 or 2 in state games. The traveling games would be with other division opponents (likely Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado and or Weber State or Portland State). Three additional games from the other Big Sky division would likely be on a rotating basis. Since 1980, the Big Sky Conference has touted 7 national champions and 6 national runner-ups!! Unprecedented success!! UCSB has an excellent facility to begin competitive play at the FCS level which has been upsetting DI FBS schools at an increasing rate of late. James Madison vs Virginia Tech is just one example. Harder Stadium can be easily updated and expanded to accommodate more than 30,000 if future needs dictate. Being located next to an full service municipal airport is ideal for attracting competition as well as prospective bowl and all star games. Another benefit would be the longer term viability of a revised Big West Football program if down the road, Hawaii and any of the former Big West/PCAA Football programs could be enticed to bring back their programs (UOP, Long Beach, Fullerton, Northridge, even Riverside!!) Imagine an all Cal/Hawaii Big West Football slate!
    Yes, there are Title IX issues, staffing issues etc. and yet so many schools are finding a way to make it happen. Alumni!!! UCSB has great ones!! Affluent community members!! UCSB has them!! A spirited student body!! UCSB has this as well. I've been to the Thunder-Dome!
    I say all this and I'm a Cal Poly alumnus. I will continue to buy my Cal Poly season tickets each year, will take the rooter train to Qualcomm Stadium for the San Diego State game and will thoroughly enjoy myself for yet another season. I think it's a shame that my home town of Santa Barbara cannot do the same. I applaud the enthusiasm I see starting here and encourage you to keep it up! If it does come to pass, I will definitely purchase season tickets to both venues and double (almost - CP and UCSB would have to play each other) my fun!! Go Mustangs! Go Gauchos!

  2. UCSB and UCR are in the game now should very interesting to see what the Big West may do...