On September 18, 1970 Coach David Knight wrote in a letter to Stonehill’s first football team, “The effort of a keen mind, a prepared intellect, a capable and fit body, and a heart filled with spirit will be richly rewarded as you meet the tests of the future weeks and years.”

Since that day over 50 years ago, football at Stonehill has continued to grow, develop and excel. The founders of the first football club—with a team roster of close to 40 players along with a volunteer head coach, three assistant coaches and a trainer—helped pave the way for the thriving program at the College today.

“It started with a bunch of guys sitting in the Student Union wanting to put a football team together,” recalls Mark Welch ’71, who served as the president of the Stonehill Football Club in its first year.

With the College focused on basketball at the time, the idea of a football program wasn’t met with enthusiasm or support from the administration. The first team took it upon themselves to establish a program.

Keeping costs as lean as possible, the players fundraised with mixers, raffles, pass-the-hat rallies and guest speaker events to buy used equipment and uniforms. According to some recollections, a few players even washed airplanes at Logan Airport, donating their wages to the program.

In that first year, the team purchased and wore powder blue jerseys with maroon trim, the uniforms of a disbanded Long Island football team.

Nicknamed the “Knights,” the team practiced and played on the old Eldon B. Keith Field at Brockton High School. While this home field was overgrown, it had bleachers and goal posts and players lined the field before each game.

The real amazing thing is that it is still going on—that thing we started..., somehow managed to evolve into something real. And that is a great accomplishment.

The Knights played six games that first season, against Worcester State College, Western New England College, Bristol Community College, Boston State College, Saint Michael’s College and Assumption College.

Five games into the season, the Knights had their first and only win, in a 14-12 home game against St. Michael’s on October 31, 1970.

Tight End Anthony Fagan ’24 [center] practicing this fall.

Defensive Back Darryn Hylton ’23 practicing this fall. 

Go Figure!

Stonehill Skyhawks

In 1988, football became a varsity sport at Stonehill, racking up numerous accomplishments and milestones throughout the years.


Six straight semesters with a team GPA of 3.0 or better under head coach Eli Gardner.

Area organizations

Area organizations the football team has volunteered its time with during their twice a year community service days, which started in 2017.

yard rushers

Stonehill has had four 1,000-yard rushers in the program’s varsity era, including All-America junior RB Justin Felder ’22, who set a program record with 1,349 yards in 2019 and became the program’s first Harlon Hill Trophy candidate.


Stonehill posted a program-best 9-2 overall record under coach Connie Driscoll in 1995 to win its third ECFC Championship. The year was highlighted by a dramatic 39-36 victory that ended rival Bentley’s 30-game winning streak and handed the Falcons their first home loss in over four years. Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan covered the game and wrote about the grit, passion and competition between the two rivals.

Opening year

W.B. Mason Stadium opened on September 10 with a 17-13 win over Pace on Timothy J. Coughlin ’80 Memorial Field.

Championship Year

Stonehill won a share of its first NE10 Regular Season Championship with an 8-3 record, competing in its first NE10 Championship Game at American International.