Most Wins in the OAC
On the field, BW has a rich, winning tradition. In the 117-year history of football at the University, the Yellow Jackets have compiled an all-time record of 603-354-30 - good for a .611 winning percentage. The 603 wins are the second most of any current OAC-member school.
Winning Seasons and Postseason Success
The Yellow Jackets have had 54 winning seasons, plus three .500 seasons in the past 61 years. BW had an impressive 38-year winning streak from 1967 to 2004. The Yellow Jackets won the 1978 NCAA Division III National Championship and has advanced to the NCAA Division III Playoffs six times, most recently in 2003. BW has captured 10 OAC titles, including three straight from 1981-84.
Great Coaching Has Led to Legendary Teams
The Yellow Jackets are the only Division III school to have three of its football head coaches win 100 or more games. They are Ray E. Watts, Lee Tressel '47 and Bob Packard '65. The trio are linked to the legend and lore that is Yellow Jacket football.
Packard compiled a school-record 156 victories, a 156-54-2 career record and had a .741 winning percentage from 1980-2001. He helped BW to win 10 OAC titles, make five playoff appearances and was a key to its Div. III national title in '78. Packard returned to his alma mater in 1968 as an assistant, took over as head cach in 1981 and was never a part of a losing team either as a player or coach for 38 seasons!
Packard was mentored by the late and legendary College Football Hall of Famer, Dr. Lee Tressel, who graduated from BW in 1947. Following a highly successful high school career at Mentor and Massillon, Tressel returned to his alma mater in 1958. He coached the Yellow Jackets for 22 seasons and compiled a 155-52-6 career record with a school-record .742 winning percentage. His record also included BW's Division III national crown in the 1978 and serving as the school's athletic director.
Tressel was mentored by the late, great Ray E. Watts, who had a 104-58-14 career record from 1928 through 1948, and initiated what was known as the "Flying Circus" offense that later grew into the Run N Shoot offense. Many longtime football observers believe Watts was the inventor of the legendary "Run N Shoot" offense. Watts also served as BW's athletic director for many years.
Prior to Jim Hilvert, John Snell '87 was mentored and hand-selected by Bob Packard to succeed him as head coach in 2001. Snell guided the Yellow Jackets from 2001 until 2016 and compiled a solid, a 92-60 record with a .605 winning percentage. Snell, who currently serves as BW's Assistant Director of Athletics, embodies the tradition of three legendary coaches that preceded him.
Historically, BW has had many great football student-athletes, including 155 All-Americans and 34 Academic All-America selections. In addition, BW has more All-OAC and Academic All-OAC selections that any other conference school.
In the classroom, the Yellow Jacket football student-athlete also is expected to excel. Since the Academic All-America program began by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) in 1972. 34 football student-athletes have earned the title of Academic All-American. That is the most of any current OAC school.
In the fall of 2007, punter Kevin Soflkiancs (Middleburg Heights) became the first football player in OAC history to earn first-team All-OAC honors for four straight years. He also became just the third player in BW football history to earn All-America honors three times. Following the 2018 season, ten BW football student-athletes earned Academic All-OAC accolades and six were nominees for CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-District 7 Academic All-America accolades.
- NCAA Division III Championship Season of 1978
- The Tressel Family
- Bob Packard '64
- Donald "Donny" Delapenha '85
- Purchase A Copy of the History of BW Football Book
(And We Must Excel written by Bill Nichols)