Indiana: Sept. 20
Georgia: Oct. 11
Vanderbilt: Oct. 25
Homecoming / Tiger Stripe
Kentucky: Nov. 1
Arkansas: Nov. 28
- Truman the Tiger
- The nickname "Tigers," given to Mizzou's athletic teams, traces its origin to the Civil War period. At that time, plundering guerilla bands habitually raided small towns, and Columbia people constantly feared an attack. Such organizations as temporary "home guards" and vigilance companies banded together to fight off any possible forays.
The town's preparedness discouraged any guerilla activity and the protecting organization began to disband in 1854. However, it was rumored that a guerilla band, led by the notorious Bill Anderson, intended to sack the town. Quickly organized was an armed guard of Columbia citizens, who built a blockhouse and fortified the old courthouse in the center of town. This company was called "The Missouri Tigers."
The marauders never came. The reputation of the intrepid "Tigers" presumably traveled abroad, and Anderson's gang detoured around Columbia.
Soon after Missouri's first football team was organized in 1890, the athletic committee adopted the nickname "Tiger" in official recognition of those Civil War defenders. Their spirit is now embodied in the MU mascot - "Truman the Tiger." In 1984, the Tiger was named Truman after President Harry S. Truman, a Missouri native.
Truman was acclaimed the "Best Mascot in the Nation" in 2003 and 2004.
- Tiger Walk
- Tiger Walk is when the football team arrives at the Mizzou Athletic Training Complex and walks across the Pedestrian Bridge and down the South tunnel to its locker room. It occurs two hours prior to kick-off.
- Rock M
- The traditional block “M,” carved from stone by the freshman class in 1927, guards the stadium’s north endzone and gives Memorial Stadium one of the more unique landmarks around the country.
The “M,” formed by whitewashed rocks, is 90-feet wide and 95-feet high. Mizzou’s yearbook, the Savitar, recounted the debut of the Missouri landmark on Oct. 1, 1927, when the Tigers defeated Kansas State, 13-6:
“Five-hundred freshmen joined hands and encircled the cinder track in a single line while the bland played ‘Old Missouri’ in the center of the field. The pennants of all the Missouri Valley fluttered and danced above the stadium on the long line at the open end of the gridiron. A huge stone M – the work of the Frosh the night before – loomed up white and threatening against the bankment.”
The “M” has weathered the good and bad times. In 1957, a group of pranksters changed the “M” to an “N” the night before the Missouri-Nebraska game. But, the Mizzou groundskeeper, with the help of some young boys who gained free admission to the game in exchange for their assistance, restored the “M” to his proper form before kickoff.
- This tradition got its start in 1911 by Chester Brewer, Director of Athletics. That year the annual Missouri-Kansas game was to be played on a college campus for the first time. To cheer the Tigers on, Brewer issued a plea to all Mizzou alumni to “come home” for the big game. They did, with more than 9,000 packing Rollins field. Missouri was the first school to bring football and “coming home” together, hence the tradition of Homecoming was born.
- The six Ionic Columns that stand in the center of Francis Quadrangle are all that remain of the old Academic Hall that was destroyed by fire on January 9, 1892. They remain to honor the many generations of students and faculty who have passed in their shadow. The Quadrangle and its Columns are fond symbols of MU and the witness to many events annually. One of the most photographed sites in Missouri, the Columns represent the core of MU’s pride and tradition. Many myths surround the Columns, including the legend that the architect placed two further apart for his own amusement. Ivy used to grow on five of the six Columns. It is believed that during the Civil War, two soldiers fought over the love of a woman, one was shot at the base of that Column, therefore no ivy would ever grow on it.
- Marching Mizzou
- Marching Mizzou, also known as the "Big 'M' of the Midwest," is the most visible ensemble in the School of Music and is the largest student organization on campus. Comprised of students from nearly every major within the University, this time-honored organization combines quality musicianship, spirit, pride and dedication to create their nationally renowned gridiron excitement. Each member auditioned to earn a position in Marching Mizzou.
Marching Mizzou possesses a distinguished tradition of excellence. The Southeastern Conference has long been known for fielding many of the finest marching bands at the collegiate level. The University of Missouri-Columbia, one of the leading educational and research institutions of higher education in the world, is no exception. Marching Mizzou is well known for the unmatched excellence of its musical performances along with a marching style that is quick moving and entertaining. The members of Marching Mizzou have accumulated many fond memories by having been affiliated with this great band.
Marching Mizzou is under the direction of Dr. Brad Snow.
- Golden Girls
- In 1957, Charles Emmons, the director of the band, added the sparkle to Marching Mizzou by founding the now-famous Golden Girls, a twirling line of six to eight majorettes and two feature twirlers. The group first danced in 1966, when then-director Dr. Alex Pickard had the girls throw down their batons and do the "Charleston." In 1970, the twirling line officially became the gold-sequined, high-kicking dance line that it is today. The Golden Girls won the national championship in the pom-dance category in 1991, 1992 and 2003. Their 1991 title netted them a trip to Japan, where they performed at the Japan Classic Basketball All-Star series.
- The University of Missouri Cheerleaders are an important part of the spirit and atmosphere at Mizzou. They made their first appearance in the 1909-1910 school year with an all-male squad called the "Yell Leaders". The white-clad squad was led by a head cheerleader who was sent with the football team on all trips, to gather Missouri support at the out-of-Columbia games. In the Fall of 1937 three women were added to the squad. The addition of Betty Jacque Smith, Betty Ann Onhemus, and Jean Jones gave new enthusiasm to fans. The girls' uniforms were all white - long pleated skirts, sweaters, ankle sox, and flat-heeled oxfords. The only color notes were the black and gold buttons on their white "beanies" and the huge black and gold "M's" on their sweaters.
In 1954 a pep organization called the "Hellcats" formed to coordinate fundraisers to help finance the cheerleaders to out of town games. In was in this same year that the cheerleaders were organized under the Student Government Association. In the next several years the cheerleaders prospered, not only growing in size, but also growing in enthusiasm. In the early 1980's the cheerleaders were moved under the direction of the Athletic Department, where the 46 members now reside. The 1996-97 squad won Mizzou’s first National Cheerleading Championship. In addition, both the All girls and Coed squads have placed in the Top 10 at the National Cheerleaders Association College Nationals the past 6 years.
The University of Missouri cheerleading program is comprised of three squads, a Small Co-ed Squad for Football/Mens Basketball, a Small Co-ed Squad for Football/Womens Basketball and an All-Girl Squad for Volleyball.
Cheerleader Appearance Requests
For information regarding Cheerleader Appearance Requests please download, fill out and return a request form , e-mail ThompsonSus@missouri.edu or call Suzy Thompson (Cheer Coach/Mascot Coordinator) at (573) 882-6802 (office) or (573) 228-0907 (cell).
- Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field
- The storied history of Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field combines the best of old and new. Opened in 1926, the stadium has seen tremendous growth throughout the years, but Tiger fans are proud of the traditional feel and atmosphere the stadium lends itself to on game day.
The newest addition to the game-day atmosphere was unveiled prior to the 2009 home opener, when a high-definition video board debuted. With a video display spanning 80-feet by 31 1/2 feet, the new display gives Tiger fans some of the best HD viewing in the Midwest, to go along with an improved sound system throughout the stadium.
Among the features installed prior to the 2003 season was a state-of-the-art artificial playing surface, called FieldTurf. The project to convert the old natural grass surface (on which Mizzou played from 1995-2000) began in April of 2003 and was completed on June 26th. FieldTurf provides the reliability and consistency of artificial surfaces, but is head and shoulders above all other projects in terms of offering the look and feel, and safety of natural grass. The Tigers enjoyed great success on the surface in 2003, as Mizzou went a perfect 6-0 at Faurot Field, setting a school record for most home wins in a season.
That record has since been tied twice, as the Tigers used the home field advantage to post records of 6-1 in 2006 and 6-0 in 2007 at Faurot Field. Entering the 2010 season, the Tigers have won 24 of their last 29 there overall.
The stadium, built at a cost of $350,000, was the product of Coach Gwinn Henry’s championship seasons of 1924-25, and a vision of athletic director Chester L. Brewer. It was carved out of “a sizeable natural valley that lay between twin bluffs south of the University,” chronicled Bob Broeg, longtime sports editor of the St. Louis Post-dispatch, and unofficial historian of Missouri football.
Though the seating capacity is listed at 71,004, crowds in excess of 75,000 have seen the Tigers play in Columbia – against Texas in 1979, and a record 75,298 against Penn State in 1980.
Mizzou packed in a modern-day record crowd of 71,004 on Oct. 24, 2009 against Texas – marking the largest crowd to see a game at Faurot Field since 1983.
Mizzou’s average attendance for six home games in 2008 was a stout 64,520, which was the highest season average since 1980, followed by an average of 64,120 in 2009.
Coach Don Faurot’s powerhouse Split “T” teams in the late ‘30’s and ‘40’s helped pay off the stadium bonds – along the Faurot’s brave scheduling of Ohio State for nine straight years at Columbus, and big paydays from games with NYU and Fordham back east.
Peak attendance in the Tigers’ single-tiered football arena was 30,832, who crammed into temporary bleachers and sat on the hillside to watch Faurot’s team upset SMU, 20-14 in 1948.
A year later, the stadium underwent its first facelift with the addition of sections in the center of the west side, boosting the number of rows from 40 to 78. Those piecemeal additions continued sporadically until the summer of 1965, when the final two sections on the southeast corner were completed in the two-tired horseshoe.
The playing field adopted a new name in 1972 – Faurot Field – in honor of the legendary Mizzou football coach and athletic director whose teams and administrative leadership helped mightily to pay off the mortgage. As a matter of fact, Faurot a graduate student in 1926, helped lay the stadium’s sod. He made one last symbolic contribution to the field, dropping in the last square of turf in June 1995, when Mizzou converted its previous artificial surface to natural grass. He died later than year, during Homecoming week.
In 1995, Mizzou converted Faurot Field from an artificial surface known as OmniTurf (which graced the field from 1985-1994) to natural grass. The field was not the only cosmetic change made to Faurot Field in 1995. Grass-covered terraces now extend upwards from field level to the grandstands, where they meet a brick wall that adds a traditional collegiate ambiance to the stadium. The hill on the north end of the field was re-graded to provide a consistent “bowl” and is now framed by nearly 600 bushes.
Over the last 20 years, upgrades to the stadium’s superstructure have been made, giving the natural bowl the tender loving care it needs to remain as the home of the Tigers for many years to come. In 1991, all of the stadium’s old cypress bleachers were replaced with aluminum. Work in the stadium in 1995 also addressed accessibility issues. Seating sections and vomitories were modified to allow wheelchair access on both the east and west sides. Restrooms and concessions stands were replaced, as were the concourse surfaces beneath the grandstands in the next phase of the project, which was completed in 1997. The $12 million effort also included new ticket booths, a reconfigured north entrance, more brickwork to accent what was installed at field leve in 1995, and parking lot improvements. A portion of the project was completed in 1996, installing four light towers for night games. On gamedays, the Tigers enjoy a spacious locker room, completed in 1992.
Tucked beneath the south stands is the facility which includes large and comfortable dressing quarters for players and coaches, state-of-the-art medical facilities including X-ray equipment, and a large interview room which enables 50 reporters to comfortably execute their post-game duties.
Prior to the 2006 season, scoreboards were installed above the south end zone stands, complete with messaging capability that keep fans updated on key game statistics and national scores.
Faurot Field had an artificial surface once before 1985 – for its very first game in 1926. Construction of the sunken stadium seating 25,000 spectators went down to the wire in the fall of ’26 with the heaviest September rainfall in 35 years contributing to the delay.
Time ran out before the playing surface could be sodded for the Oct. 2 opener with Tulane. Constant rains washed out a bridge east of Columbia, and though repaired in time, slightly more than 10,000 drenched fans showed up for the opening ceremonies.
Without sod, sawdust and tanbark were spread on the field as an alternative, and the Tigers and the Green Wave played to a “scoreless, mudpie tie,” Bob Broeg wrote in his two historical books on Mizzou football.
- Father of the Field, Don Faurot
- Don Faurot's association with MU started when he was a young boy who'd sneak into old Rollins Field some 80 years ago to watch the football Tigers play and practice. Later, he was a three-sport letterman at Missouri from 1922-24.
But it was as football coach and director of athletics that Faurot left his legacy on the University, and the sport. Faurot served as football coach from 1935 through 1956 - with three years out for Navy service during World War II. Aside from leading the Tigers out of debt and into football's big time, Faurot's tenure as football coach and director of athletics - a job he relinquished in 1967 - left MU athletics with its greatest legacy, the imprint of his integrity.
His prime contribution to football was his innovation of the Split-T formation at Mizzou in 1941. In the post-World War II era countless universities adopted the Faurot formation - and more than 50 years later, it is still in vogue today at all levels of football. Several of football's most publicized formations - the Wishbone, Wingbone, Veer or I-attack and others - utilize Faurot's option play as their basic play.
In 19 years as Tiger football coach, the Faurot record was 101 wins, 79 losses and 10 ties. His 1939 team, featuring all-American Paul Christman, won Faurot's first Big Six title and the Tigers' first bowl bid (Orange). Faurot was a member of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame, the Orange Bowl Hall of Honor, the Blue-Gray Game Hall of Fame, past president of the American Football Coaches Asssociation, and recipient of the Amos Alonzo Stagg award for his distinguished service in the advancement of the best interests of football.
In 1972, the Tigers' football stadium was officially named for him - and that probably rates as his greatest personal honor. As a graduate student in agriculture in 1926, Faurot helped lay the sod on the field, prior to the opening of Memorial Stadium, that fall. In '95, he placed the final square of sod as MU successfully converted the stadium's floor back to natural grass.