Yellow Jacket Football Program Among the Best in Division III

BW celebrates its 2008 Cuyahoga Gold
Bowl victory over John Carroll.

The Baldwin Wallace University football program is one of the best in all of college football. It is a simple and plain fact that is both factual and result based. Virtually every season, BW is a contender for both the prestigious Ohio Athletic Conference title and the NCAA Division III National Championship.

“Each year, our goals begin with winning the OAC title,” said Head Coach John Snell. “We know that if we can win the OAC title, we have a great shot at winning a national title. We also are very proud of our tradition of excellence in the classroom and on the football field. It is a winning tradition.”
Most Wins in the OAC
On the field, BW has built a history of being arguably the best football program in the history of the OAC. In the 106-year history of football at the College, the Yellow Jackets have compiled an all-time record of 546-319-30 - good for a .627 winning percentage. The 546 wins are the most of any current OAC member school.
Winning Seasons and Postseason Success
The Yellow Jackets have had 41 winning seasons in the past 44 years, including a 38-year streak that began in 1967 and ended in 2005. BW won the 1978 national championship and has advanced to the NCAA Division III Playoffs five times, most recently in 2003 when it advanced to the second round. The Jackets have captured 12 OAC titles, including three straight from 1982 through 1984.

Lee Tressel (far left)
Legendary Coaches
The past nine years, John Snell has guided the Yellow Jackets to a 56-36 record and has embodied the tradition of three legendary coaches who proceeded him. Snell was mentored by the late Bob Packard, who compiled a 156-54-2 record with a .741 winning percentage from 1980-2001. Packard, who graduated from the College in 1965, returned in 1968 as an assistant and was never a part of a losing team either as a player or coach. Packard was mentored by the late and College Football Hall of Fame legend Lee Tressel. Tressel graduated from the College in 1947 and returned in 1958 to coach for 22 years with a 155-52-6 record with a .742 winning percentage and the 1978 national title. Tressel was mentored by the late and great Ray Watts, who had a 104-58-14 record from 1928 through 1948, and initiated what was known as the “Flying Circus” offense that later grew into the “Run N Shoot” offense.

Kevin Soflkiancs
All-Americans On the Field and in the Classroom
Historically, BW has had many, many great football student-athletes compete in its 114-year football history, including 178 All-America and Academic All-America selections. In addition, BW has more All-OAC and Academic All-OAC selections that any other conference school. In the fall of 2007, senior 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.
In the classroom, the Yellow Jacket football student-athlete also is expected to excell. Since the Academic All-America program began by the College Sports Information Directors of America in 1972 and is now sponsored by ESPN THE MAGAZINE, 23 student-athletes have earned the title of Academic All-American. That is the most of any current OAC school. In addition to Soflkiancs’ All-OAC and All-America honors, he earned ESPN THE MAGAZINE Academic All-America honors for the second straight year in 2007.
“We tell every young man who walks into my office and wants to compete in our football program that his academic experience at this college will be his number one priority,” said Snell. “We encourage our young men to excell in the classroom, on campus in as many leadership opportunities as possible and on the football field.
“Our tradition of excellence both in the classroom and on the football field speak for volumes about the quality of Baldwin Wallace University,” said Snell. “The college gives our young men a great deal of support in many ways. BW is just a great place to be and we hope the football student-athlete and recruit feels that way too.”
This page was last updated on December 17, 2010.
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