February 25: This Date in American Football History

Carson-Newman Ken Sparks
Carson-Newman’s Ken Sparks

Everyday RoadTripSports.com celebrates the past, present and future of American football including birthdays, deaths, and important games and events that have occurred in the past through our daily feature This Date in American Football History. Get to know the legends of American football – the sport’s greatest heroes including players and coaches, and relive some of the greatest plays and moments in the game’s history.

Then be sure to check out our Legends Library for historical profiles on the game’s greats or research your favorite schools or players in our databases for College Football Hall of Fame inductees, All-Americans and major award winners. Or take a moment to explore the various branches of the internet’s most complete coaching tree!

You can also follow your favorite teams here as well by selecting the appropriate division on our College Football Teams page or by locating your favorite professional team page. Team pages for all divisions of college football are available including NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA, NJCAA, CCCAA and CIS (Canada). Also, independent team and club team pages are available including teams holding associate membership in the USCAA and NCCAA.

February 25 in American Football History

1944 – Carson-Newman head coach Ken Sparks was born. As of the conclusion of the 2015 season, Sparks is the active leader in coaching wins across all levels of college football with 334 wins in 36 years at Carson-Newman. Heading into 2016, Sparks ranks sixth on the all-time list and needs just two wins to tie legendary College Football Hall of Fame coach Pop Warner for fifth place. Sparks guided the Eagles to five NAIA national championships (1983-1984, 1986, 1988-1989) before the school joined the NCAA Division II ranks.

1956 – Akron head coach Terry Bowden was born. Bowden played running back at West Virginia (1977-1978) where his father Bobby Bowden had coached (1970-1975) before leaving to take the Florida State job in 1976 just prior to the younger Bowden’s arrival in Morgantown. Bowden then joined his father’s staff in Tallahassee as a graduate assistant in 1982 before accepting his first head coaching job at Salem (WV) in 1983. Bowden later served as head coach at Samford (1987-1992), Auburn (1993-1998) and North Alabama (2009-2011) before accepting the Akron job in 2012. In 2015, he led the Zips to their first bowl win ever in just their second bowl appearance and first since 2005. The Zips defeated Utah State 23-21 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.


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