UWF Football

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

By about every measure you can think of, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos had a great season in 2017. "You know we really did, on and off the field" said Jonathan Griffith, the President of the Blue Wahoos and Studer Entertainment and Retail. "On the field, obviously, we won the (Southern League) championship, which was the first time since 1986 that (a) Cincinnati Reds (minor league affiliate) won a double A championship. That's a pretty cool thing! the Reds were really excited as well as the Pensacola community."

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Saturday is graduation day at the University of West Florida, but two senior football players were honored at an early graduation ceremony on Wednesday.

“Two of our students will not be able to attend graduation on Saturday, because they will be making history in Kansas City,” said UWF President Martha Saunders, kicking off the ceremony for defensive tackle Ronald Bell and linebacker Reggie Barnes – starters on an Argonaut squad that takes on Texas A&M-Commerce for the Division II national football championship.

northescambia.com

In just season two, West Florida football continues its journey through the rarefied air of the Division II playoffs. The Argonauts are one win away from playing for a national championship.

Semifinal week began for UWF with the naming of Head Coach Pete Shinnick as Region 2 Coach of the Year, and a finalist for Division II Coach of the Year.

“I’ve got a great staff, great group of players; without them, none of this would have happened,” Shinnick said on his weekly cable TV show.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

In just its second year of existence, the University of West Florida football program is in the Division II playoffs. The Argonauts take on Wingate University in North Carolina on Saturday.

The Argos went 7-3 in the regular season, including an upset of nationally-ranked West Georgia in the finale – a team that beat UWF 69-0 a year ago. After the game, Head Coach Pete Shinnick told the players who would be returning for 2017, not to forget that feeling.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Coming off a 5-6 inaugural season and two and a half weeks before starting the 2017 season at Missouri S&T, Head Coach Pete Shinnick delivered his “State of the Team” address on Wednesday.

It’s been almost a year since the UWF football program kicked off against Ave Maria, and Shinnick says he and the coaching staff have been gauging themselves compared to what it was like last fall; what was it like last spring, and where the program is now.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The University of West Florida’s second annual spring football game is set for Saturday morning at Pen Air Field on campus.

This time it’s different. When drills began last month, the Argonauts were going through a spring session after a regular season, their inaugural, in 2016.

“I think it’s gone well, and we’ve put ourselves in a position where I feel like every day we’re learning something, every day we’re getting better,” said UWF Head Coach Pete Shinnick.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Wednesday was National Signing Day for high school football players to commit to various college programs. Seventeen high school players and three mid-year transfers from other schools make up the University of West Florida’s third recruiting class.

UWF

January 1 marks a change at the top at the University of West Florida, when Judy Bense steps down as president after eight years.  Her latest honor is being named UWF’s second President Emeritus, joining the school’s first president, Morris Marx.

“It is a signal that you are liked, and that they want to have you keep that title, because you keep that title until you die,” said Bense. “There are some rights and privileges, so we’re working on fun list – one is a parking space.”

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Now that the inaugural season is in the books, the University of West Florida football program is preparing for 2017.

A dollars-and-cents study of that first year is also in the works.

The Argonauts went 5-6, tying Florida Tech and New Haven for the most wins by a first-year Division II program in the past decade. Head Coach Pete Shinnick says expectations were not solely based on the scoreboard.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Ground has been broken on the University of West Florida’s latest construction project: a mixed-use facility adjacent to Pen Air Federal Credit Union Field.

When University Park Center opens in the spring of 2018, the $6.8 million 32,700 sq. ft. building will house the new football program, along with providing space for the UWF College of Health, and the Florida State University’s Regional Medical School Campus.

UWF President Judy Bense says partnering with Florida State through University Park is emblematic of the twenty first century evolution of universities.

UWF Communications

More history was made Saturday night by the fledgling UWF football program, when the Argonauts played their first-ever home game at Fetterman Field against the Missouri S&T Miners. 

 

 

We watched an historic football game Saturday! @goargos! #UWF #uwffootball #goargos

A video posted by WUWF Public Media (@wuwf) on

Sep 12, 2016 at 12:18pm PDT

  Informally called University Field, the turf football field at the University of West Florida has a new name.

UWF Vice President Brendan Kelly made the announcement at the Argo Club on campus, that with a commitment of one million dollars by Pen Air Federal Credit Union, the field will be named Pen Air Field.

“The field will serve as an emblem of the full scope of that partnership,” said Kelly. “One that has the best interests of the community and this university at its core.”

Dave Dunwoody

As you probably know by now, the newly-minted UWF football team routed Ave Maria University 45-0 on Saturday. But this was more than just a game, it was history. 

Many of the 200 or so UWF supporters made the 11-hour trip from Pensacola to Ave Maria University, about 20 miles east of Naples, for the Argonauts inaugural game. Before kickoff, they took part in another college football tradition: tailgating. 

Enjoying the sun was George Birch of Clearwater, whose grandson J.J. Lewis is a freshman wide receiver on the Argonauts’ practice squad.

UWF Athletics

  Two weeks before their first football game, the University of West Florida Argonauts hold the first of two full scrimmages Friday evening. 

A couple of days before the live scrimmage, “live” meaning full speed with full pads, the new program held its first pre-season media day. 

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Twenty-three days before its first-ever game, the University of West Florida football team opened fall camp on Thursday. 

More than 120 players, along with coaches, went through their paces in a driving rain, on University Field’s artificial turf. 

“I feel good about our pace, our tempo, guys were eager to get out here, they were excited about what we were doing,” said Argos Head Coach Pete Shinnick. “And that’s what you’re looking for.”

Dave Dunwoody / WUWF News

 With about three months to go before their first official game, the UWF Argos football team has a new member: the Blue Wahoos. September 10th is circled on a lot of calendars in Northwest Florida. That’s the date of the first home game for the University of West Florida football program. The Argos, of course, will be playing their home games at Blue Wahoos Stadium in downtown Pensacola. And now the Wahoos’ organization has agreed to partner with the university. Dave Scott, the UWF Athletic Director says the agreement is to sell corporate and commercial sponsorships.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Spring football practice at the University of West Florida wrapped up Saturday, with the inaugural Blue-White Spring game on campus.

More than 2,000 fans sat in folding chairs and temporary bleachers – some even tailgating – on embankments around University Park Field to watch the more than 90 Argonaut players go through their paces under mostly cloudy, windy conditions, and 70-degree temperatures.

UWF Athletics

Spring drills opened Tuesday morning for UWF football, five and a half months away from the Argonauts’ first-ever game.

Ninety-two players assembled in the early morning with temperatures in the 40s, to begin the first of 15 practices leading up to the Blue-White spring game on April 16.

It’s a bit different from last spring, when nine players were eligible to practice on the intramural field in shorts and T-shirts. This year, the drills are on the brand-new artificial turf facility in full uniform.

UWF

The University of West Florida Wednesday announced its second recruiting class, seven months to the day before the first-ever football game.

Beginning at six o’clock Wednesday morning, 16 high school seniors declared to Head Coach Pete Shinnick their intention to suit up for the Argonauts,

“We wanted to be able to add depth at certain positions,” said Shinnick, “While also continuing to build a roster that we feel can be competitive next year in the Gulf South Conference.”

Dave Dunwoody.

  In what was considered a dress rehearsal for both UWF football and their future home, the Argos conducted the third of five scrimmages this season on Saturday. 

Saturday was what many call a “Chamber of Commerce” day at the newly named Fetterman Field at Bayfront Stadium. Sunny skies, a bit of breeze and temperatures common to mid-October. The gates opened about 90 minutes before kickoff.

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