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South Alabama Jaguars

The South Alabama Jaguars football program, established in 2009, represents the University of South Alabama in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, of which it became a member in 2012.


On December 6, 2007, the university's Board of Trustees approved the addition of football to the intercollegiate athletics program. The team began play in 2009 with a planned full transition to the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) by 2013. On February 15, 2008, President Gordon Moulton and Athletic Director Joe Gottfried announced Joey Jones, former University of Alabama and Atlanta Falcons receiver, as the first head football coach in the university's history. The team currently plays its home games in Ladd Peebles Stadium.


On September 5, 2009, the University of South Alabama Jaguars defeated Hargrave Military Academy 30-13 in the program's first ever game in front of more than 26,000 fans. The team completed its first season undefeated at 7-0, outscoring its opponents by a combined score of 321-41.


After playing a 7-game schedule in 2009, the Jaguars played 10 games in 2010. The 2010 schedule was made up of schools from NCAA Division I-FCS, NCAA Division II, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and no Junior Colleges. The team completed its second season undefeated at 10-0, outscoring its opponents by a combined score of 413-130.


The 2011 season marked the beginning of South Alabama's 2-year transition phase from unclassified to Division I FBS status. South played as a Division I-FCS Independent for the 2011 season. The Jaguars were scheduled to play 11 games in 2011 but after ending its contracts with UC Davis and Edward Waters College early, and only replacing them with a game against Mississippi Valley State, South played 10 games in the 2011 season. The 2011 schedule was made up of schools from NCAA Division I-FBS, NCAA Division I-FCS, and NCAA Division II. For the first time, South Alabama had games televised. The 2011 season opener against West Alabama was televised on local channel WJTC, as well as on ESPN3. The Jaguar's game against North Carolina State on Sept. 17 was aired on ESPN3.[5] The Jaguars finished the season 6-4.


The 2012 season was South Alabama's final year in the transition phase to full Division I-FBS status. The Jaguars began to face Sun Belt Conference teams in a full conference schedule, but were not eligible for either the conference title or post-season bowl games. The Jaguars did not perform well in their non-conference play, going 1-4, with the only victory over FCS opponent Nicholls State. The Jaguars also struggled in Sun Belt Conference play, going 1-7, with their only victory over Florida Atlantic. The team finished 2-11, and in last place in the Sun Belt.


The South Alabama Jaguars will have full Division I FBS status for the 2013-14 season and remain in the Sun Belt Conference. The Jaguars will be eligible to win the Sun Belt Championship and for a post season Bowl game.