Saint Francis Cougars

The Saint Francis Cougars is the athletic name of the teams that compete for the University of Saint Francis, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States. The teams compete in the NAIA's Crossroads League and the Mideast League of the Mid-States Football Association.

Saint Francis Cougars
UniversityUniversity of Saint Francis
ConferenceCrossroads League,
Mid-States Football Association (football)
NAIADivision II
Athletic directorMike McCaffrey
LocationFort Wayne, Indiana
Varsity teams18
Football stadiumBishop John M. D'Arcy Stadium
Basketball arenaHutzell Athletic Center
Baseball stadiumCougar Field
ColorsRoyal Blue and White

Conference sports

Conference sports
Cross Country
Track and field

National Championship appearances

Year Sport Result Score Opponent
1999Women's BasketballLost80-65Shawnee State (OH)
2004FootballLost15-13Carroll (MT)
2005FootballLost27-10Carroll (MT)
2006FootballLost23-19Sioux Falls (SD)
2010Men's BasketballWon67-66Walsh (OH)
2011Men's BasketballLost80-71Cornerstone (MI)
2014Women's BasketballWon75-68College of the Ozarks (MO)
2016Men's BasketballLost69-66Indiana Wesleyan
2016FootballWon38-17Baker (KS)
2017FootballWon24-13Reinhardt (GA)
2018Men's BasketballLost84-71Indiana Wesleyan


The University of Saint Francis Cougars won their first NAIA Championship on March 16, 2010. The Cougars won the 2010 NAIA Men's Division II Basketball Tournament when they defeated Walsh University 67-66 at Pt. Lookout, Missouri. The Cougars entered the tourney as the 15th seed. For his success, head coach Jeff Rekeweg was named the 2010 NAIA National Coach of the Year. On April 19, 2010, after 14 seasons of guiding the Cougars, Rekeweg resigned to take the head coaches position at Northwood University, a NCAA Division II school located in Midland, Michigan.[1]

The Cougars returned the following year to play in the championship game on March 15, 2011. That year, the Cougars were runners-up in the 2011 NAIA Men's Division II Basketball Tournament when the Cougars were defeated by Cornerstone (MI) 80-71. The Cougars entered the tourney as the 13th seed.[2]


Saint Francis named Kevin Donley the Cougars' head coach in 1997. After a year of preparation, Saint Francis began play, as Fort Wayne's first collegiate football program, in the 1998 season.[3] Coach Donley led USF to a record of 2-8 (.200), their first and only losing football season.

Since that initial season, Saint Francis has risen to become one of the top programs in all of NAIA football. From the 1999 season through the 2013 season, Donley-led teams have lost 3 or fewer games each season. Eight teams have completed undefeated regular seasons (2002-2006, 2008, 2015, 2017), and 3 consecutive teams finished as national runners-up (2004-2006).

The Cougars made a 4th appearance in the national championship game in 2016, winning their first NAIA national title with their 38-17 win over Baker (KS) in the 2016 NAIA Football National Championship.[4] The following season, 2017, the Cougars returned a 5th time and successfully defended their title by defeating Rinehardt (GA) by a score of 24-13 in the 2017 NAIA Football National Championship. The Cougars completed a 14-0 undefeated season. This was only the 5th time in NAIA history that the back-to-back championships has occurred.

Season-by-season record

Year Team Overall ConferenceStanding Bowl/playoffs NAIA#
Saint Francis Cougars (Mid-States Football Association) (1998–present)
1998 Saint Francis 2–81–57th (MEL)
1999 Saint Francis 8–36–01st (MEL)L NAIA First Round12
2000 Saint Francis 10–26–01st (MEL)L NAIA Quarterfinal6
2001 Saint Francis 9–25–1T–1st (MEL)L NAIA First Round14
2002 Saint Francis 11–16–01st (MEL)L NAIA Quarterfinal8
2003 Saint Francis 12–16–01st (MEL)L NAIA Semifinal4
2004 Saint Francis 13–17–01st (MEL)L NAIA Championship2
2005 Saint Francis 13–17–01st (MEL)L NAIA Championship2
2006 Saint Francis 13–16–01st (MEL)L NAIA Championship2
2007 Saint Francis 11–26–12nd (MEL)L NAIA Semifinal4
2008 Saint Francis 12–16–01st (MEL)L NAIA Semifinal4
2009 Saint Francis 7–35–2T–2nd (MEL)17
2010 Saint Francis 10–26–12nd (MEL)L NAIA Quarterfinal5
2011 Saint Francis 9–33–23rd (MEL)L NAIA Quarterfinal7
2012 Saint Francis 9–34–1T–1st (MEL)L NAIA Quarterfinal6
2013 Saint Francis 9–35–11st (MEL)L NAIA Quarterfinal6
2014 Saint Francis 6–54–23rd (MEL)
2015 Saint Francis 11–16–01st (MEL)L NAIA Semifinal4
2016 Saint Francis 13–15–12nd (MEL)W NAIA Championship1
2017 Saint Francis 14–06–01st (MEL)W NAIA Championship1
2018 Saint Francis 10–34–23rd (MEL)L NAIA Semifinal3
2019 Saint Francis 7–34–2T–2nd (MEL)L NAIA First Round11
Saint Francis: 219–50114–21
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

Program statistics

Statistic Saint Francis [Opponents]
Games played269
Wins in championship game appearances23
Home wins12228
Road wins9519
Neutral site wins23
Home regular season wins9515
Road regular season wins9118
Home playoff wins2713
Road playoff wins41
Neutral site playoff wins23
Most consecutive wins27 (2016-2018) 7 (1998)
Most consecutive regular season wins54 (2001-2007) 7 (1998)
Most consecutive playoff wins10 (2016-2018) 2 (2000-2001)
Most consecutive home wins56 (2002-2009) 3 (1998)
Most consecutive road/neutral wins20 (2015-2018) 4 (1998)
Most points scored in a game by one team84 (2000 - USF 84, Iowa Wesleyan 9) 71 (1998 - Tri-State 71, USF 27)
Most points scored in a game by one team in a loss41 (1998 - Walsh 44, USF 41) 42 (2015 - USF 48, Taylor 42)
(2015 - USF 45, Marian 42)
Fewest points scored in a game by one team in a win12 (2004 - USF 12, Georgetown 7) 7 (2018 – Concordia 7, USF 3)
Fewest points scored in a regular season game by one team3 (2018 – Concordia 7, USF 3) 0 (Done 13 times,
most recently in 2017)
Fewest points scored in a playoff game by one team0 (1999 - Georgetown 38, USF 0)
(2002 - Georgetown 24, USF 0)
3 (Done 5 times,
most recently in 2018)
Most points scored in a game by both teams98 (1998 - Tri-State 71, USF 27)
(2002 - USF 77, Quincy 21)
(2007 - USF 69, Taylor 29)
Fewest points scored in a game by both teams10 (2018 – Concordia 7, USF 3)
Largest margin of victory75 (2000 - USF 84, Iowa Wesleyan 9) 44 (1998 - Tri-State 71, USF 27)


  1. "Jeff Rekeweg Named Men's Basketball Head Coach". April 19, 2010. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  2. "Refreshing to". Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  3. "DONLEY, KEVIN | Indiana Football Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  4. "Saint Francis Wins First National Championship". National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. December 17, 2016. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
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