DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman and Grambling State announced a future home-and-home football series for 2014-15, renewing an HBCU rivalry that began in 1947.
Bethune-Cookman will host Grambling on Sept. 13, 2014, while the second game will be held on Sept. 12, 2015, with the Wildcats traveling to Grambling, La.
“We are elevating the non-conference portion of our schedule, and as we complete the schedule for the next few years, it will be sprinkled with opponents from BCS conferences as well as FCS power conferences in our attempt to improve the out-of-conference experience for our student-athletes,” said B-CU Director of Athletics Lynn W. Thompson.
With the addition of the series, Bethune-Cookman’s non-conference schedule for 2014 is nearly complete. One additional game contract is being worked out before the schedule announcement expected in February 2014, with the Wildcats once again playing a 12-game slate. Already on the schedule is another trip to Miami against Florida International University.
The last time the Cats played Grambling State was in 2004 as part of the Proctor & Gamble Ohio Classic in Cincinnati. A crowd of 35,608 saw the Tigers escape by the slimmest of margins, 24-23, with B-CU going on to win its next three games consecutively. Prior to that contest, the two teams played each other regularly, competing against one another four times from 1984-88. During that span, B-CU traveled to Grambling twice, and the Tigers returned the favor with trips to face B-CU as part of the Gateway Classic in Jacksonville, Fla.
The first game between the two schools occurred on Dec. 6, 1947, as first-year B-CU head coach Rudolph “Bunky” Matthews suffered a 46-7 setback against fifth-year head coach Eddie Robinson of then what was known as Grambling College. The game was played as part of the Lions Bowl in Ruston, La.
“To renew this longtime relationship is great for both institutions and our fans,” continued Thompson. “Doug Williams is fondly remembered by Florida fans for his stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And reverse of that, Brian Jenkins honed is coaching skills at Louisiana Lafayette. Both coaches were elated to reach this agreement.”