In 1919, the Bowling Green football team played its first season. At the time, the school was known as Bowling Green Normal College, and the team was made up of just 13 players. Despite the small roster size, the team managed to win its first game of the season, a 34-0 victory over Toledo’s Davis Business College.
The team was coached by a student, Elton Rynearson, who would go on to become a legendary figure in Bowling Green football history. Rynearson would eventually coach the team for 20 seasons, from 1919 to 1948, and is credited with building the program into a regional power.
Bowling Green would go on to have a successful first season, finishing with a 3-2-2 record. The team played against opponents such as Defiance College, Ohio Northern University, and the University of Findlay.
While the team was still in its infancy in 1919, this inaugural season marked the beginning of what would become a storied football tradition at Bowling Green State University.