A look at 100 years of CSU Homecoming football history


Collegian | Collegian file photo

Pregame festivities before Colorado State University played Utah State University for Homecoming in 2014.

Damon Cook, Sports Writer

Colorado State University has a long and prosperous history full of many traditions and events. One of those events is the Homecoming football game. This year, CSU will face Utah State University in the 100th anniversary of CSU’s first intercollegiate Homecoming football game. So how has the CSU football team fared over these years, and what kind of traditions have they created themselves?

The origin of Homecoming came from Charles A. Lory, who was president of the university when it was known as Colorado Agricultural College. He wanted an event in which alumni of the university could return once a year for a reunion. So in 1914, he organized the first-ever Homecoming game between alumni and the football team at the time. 


“When Dr. Lory created the first Homecoming in 1914, it was meant to instill pride in the school and also return alumni to the campus in the form of reunions,” said John Hirn, volunteer historian for CSU Athletics.

The alumni won 3-0, Hirn added. The tradition of alumni versus the team held up for a few years, and then in 1922, CSU played their first intercollegiate Homecoming game against the Colorado School of Mines, which CSU won 19-0. 

CSU has done a good job of keeping the general vibes up around Homecoming and tends to feel like a winning team during Homecoming. Darrell Blair, a senior instructor at CSU, said he feels the same way. 

“In my opinion, I would hate to think that I’m wrong,” Blair said. “Typically we try to schedule a team that’s more beatable, and I think we’ve done well.”

Blair’s statement checks out. A list Hirn put together showcasing every Homecoming game CSU has ever played highlights that CSU has a winning record in their history playing in the Homecoming game at 51-45-1.

This year’s game against Utah State will be CSU’s 98th Homecoming contest. Only three times in Homecoming’s 100-year intercollegiate history has a game been canceled: twice for World War II in 1943 and 1944 and then during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 

Over those 97 games, CSU football has come up with and displayed some great traditions. Most recently was the running of the original 1925 Homecoming flag. Hirn said that in 1925, a fan and future student of the University of Colorado Boulder stole the flag and that it was returned prior to Homecoming in 2014 — the 100th anniversary of Homecoming at CSU. 

“The flag and its story of being returned to CSU on the anniversary of our 100th Homecoming intoxicated many people in the room, including the (former) interim (Athletic Director) John Morris,” Hirn said. 

Since the return of the flag, CSU is 6-1 in their Homecoming contests. Colorado State will take on Utah State for their 20th Homecoming matchup Saturday, Oct. 15. During the 19 contests, the record between the teams is 9-9-1, and the Rams won the most recent meeting 31-24 in 2016.


Reach Damon Cook at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dwcook2001.