Dating back to a 12-0 win against the Abilene Town Kids in 1897, Hardin-Simmons has mostly known success in its football program. Today’s win over Texas Lutheran HSU is win No. 500 in the school’s history.

In the 85 seasons of Cowboy football, HSU has a record of 500 wins, 275 losses and 35 ties, has appeared in eight bowl games, played in 24 postseason playoff games and produced 77 different All-Americans to a total of 103 nods.  

Three people with ties to the Cowboys are now in the pro football Hall of Fame – Clyde “Bulldog” Turner, former coach Sammy Baugh and Ed Sprinkle and a total of 25 players from Hardin-Simmons have played in the NFL.

The Golden Era of HSU football came from 1935 to 1951 when the Cowboys went 105-31 and played in eight bowl games. In the calendar year of 1948 HSU set a record by playing in four bowl games. In all, HSU has played in nine postseason bowl games.

In 1990, Jimmie Keeling restarted the Cowboy football program that had been eliminated since 1963.

He started a new era of NAIA and later Division III football that brought great excitement back to the Forty Acres. He had a record of 172-53 and led the Cowboys to the NAIA or NCAA playoffs in 11 different seasons and reached the National semifinals in 1993 and 2000.

Jesse Burleson has continued the run of Cowboy football and has produced four trips to the NCAA playoffs and a record of 88-30.

500 Wins By The Numbers

First Win1897, Abilene Town Kids, W, 12-0
  

Records By Decades

1890s1-3
1900s20-7-4
1910s5-11
1920s47-40-11
1930s59-30-11
1940s56-13-6
1950s49-53-2
1960s3-35-1
1990s81-29
2000s83-22
2010s74-29
2020s21-3
 499-275-35
Bowl Games
Jan. 1, 1936Sun BowlHSU 14, N.M. State 14
Jan. 1, 1937Sun BowlHSU 34, UTEP 6
Jan. 1, 1943Sun BowlAir Force 13, HSU 7
Jan. 4, 1947Alamo BowlHSU 20, Denver 0
Jan. 1, 1948Harbour BowlHSU 53, San Diego State 6
Dec. 4, 1948Grape BowlHSU 35, College of the Pacific 35
Dec. 18, 1948Shrine BowlHSU 40, Ouachita 12
Dec. 30, 1948Camelia BowlHSU 49, Wichita State 12
Dec. 31, 1958Sun BowlWyoming 14, HSU 6
   
Playoff Games
Nov. 21, 1992NAIAHSU 42, Howard Payne 28
Dec. 5, 1992NAIAMinot State 21, HSU 14
Nov. 20, 1993NAIAHSU 49, Evangel 21
Dec. 4, 1993NAIAHSU 30, Mary 20
Dec. 11, 1993NAIAWestminster 10, HSU 0
Nov. 19, 1994NAIAHSU 49, Missouri Valley 21
Dec. 3, 1994NAIALambuth 57, HSU 54
Nov. 18, 1995NAIAHSU 17, Howard Payne 6
Dec. 2, 1995NAIACentral Washington 40, HSU 20
Nov. 23, 1996NAIAEvangel 45, HSU 23
Nov. 20, 1999Division IIIHSU 28, Washington 21
Nov. 27, 1999Division IIIHSU 51, Washington and Jefferson 3
Dec. 4, 1999Division IIITrinity 40, HSU 33
Nov. 25, 2000Division IIIHSU 32, Western Maryland 10
Dec. 2, 2000Division IIIHSU 33, Trinity 30
Dec. 9, 2000Division IIISt. John’s 38, HSU 14
Nov. 17, 2001Division IIIWittenberg 38, HSU 35 (OT)
Nov. 20, 2004Division IIIUMHB 42, HSU 28
Nov. 19, 2006Division IIIUMHB 33, HSU 21
Nov. 22, 2008Division IIIUMHB 38, HSU 35
Nov. 21, 2015Division IIIUMHB 37, HSU 19
Nov. 16, 2016Division IIILinfield 24, HSU 10 
Nov. 18, 2017Division IIILinfield 27, HSU 13
Nov. 17, 2019Division IIIUMHB 27, HSU 6
Milestone Wins
1Abilene Town KidsSept, 18, 1897
100Texas Mines (now UTEP)Nov. 23, 1935
200TrinityOct. 4, 1952
300Austin CollegeNov. 1, 1997
400at East Texas BaptistOct. 10, 2009
500at Texas LutheranNov. 12, 2022