UWF Football

John Blackie / University of West Florida

Eighteen months after being hired to start the University of West Florida’s football program, Head Coach Pete Shinnick leads his team into fall practice on Thursday, after meetings and a walkthrough on Tuesday and Wednesday.

As has been said many times before, 2015 is a practice and redshirt year. The inaugural season begins in September of 2016, in Naples against Ave Maria University. Speaking at the first football media day last week, Shinnick said they’ll have a bit of a variation in schedule when they take the field on Thursday.

University of West Florida

Four years after first being mentioned, football at the University of West Florida begins in a week with the opening of fall camp for the 2015 practice year.

In 2011, UWF President Judy Bense held up a plain white helmet with “UWF” taped to it to announce that the effort would begin to start a football program. On Wednesday, she got to hold up the real deal: a helmet which will be game-worn.

“Holding up that helmet now, it is not a generic helmet,” Bense said. “It is an absolutely gorgeous blue, frosted white [with an] Argonaut on it. It will never look that good again.”

The University of West Florida football program held its first spring practice on Wednesday, at the UWF Intramural Fields under sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s.

The players are nine student-athletes who have either transferred from other schools, or were selected from two previous tryout camps. Before the workout, Head Coach Pete Shinnick addressed the troops.

“Listen, like we’ve talked about, how we’re doing things, what’s taking place and what your role is,” said Shinnick. “We’re going to teach, we’re going to learn.”

The University of West Florida’s Faculty Senate met in regular session Friday. High on the agenda were questions about Phase-I of the University Park Project dealing with facilities for the new football program.

With only one dissenting vote, the Senate passed a resolution to halt construction of the athletic training facility and football training field, for at least 18 months. Leading the charge was Doug Waggle – who represents the Department of Accounting and Finance.

University of West Florida

WUWF Received a copy of a memo sent to President Judy Bense dated February 6. The Faculty Senate is meeting this Friday, February 13. More information will be made available as it is received.

To:           President Judy Bense
CC:           UWF Board of Trustees

From:     Faculty Senate Executive Committee

Re:           University Park Project and UWF Financial Questions

Date:     February 6, 2014

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Wednesday was National Signing Day for high school football players seeking a college and vice versa. For the first time, the list of universities competing for talent includes the University of West Florida, which begins play in 2016.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The University of West Florida’s new football program on Monday held its first tryout for students seeking to join the squad as walk-ons.

About 75 UWF students, most of them having played football at high schools in Florida and Alabama, turned out at the UWF Intramural Fields. They’re hoping to make a team that doesn’t begin play until September of next year. The 2015 season will be spent at practice, with players being red-shirted – that is, not losing any eligibility in the run up to West Florida’s inaugural season.

UWF Football Yr Ender

Dec 20, 2014
Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

In early 2014, the University of West Florida took a major step towards fielding a football team in 2016. Pete Shinnick was introduced in February as the program’s first head coach.

By her count, UWF President Judy Bense said she waited five years, four months and 32 days for this announcement.

Shinnick came to Pensacola from the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, where he started that football program from scratch. In seven seasons, the Braves won 55 games – including a 9-2 mark in 2013, while advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

University of West Florida

The University of Alabama-Birmingham’s announcement Tuesday that its football program is going away is raising questions about how other football-playing schools in the region, including the University of West Florida, could be affected.

UAB becomes the first since Pacific in 1995 to shutter its football operation. The decision was made after a campus-wide study conducted by a consulting firm over the past year, which shows UAB subsidizes two thirds of the program’s $30 million operating budget.

Bob Barrett/WUWF

Science, engineering and football all got a boost Tuesday as the University of West Florida announced a major gift from a local family.