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Wildcats: Then & Now

picture of a Football Brochure, 1958

The spirit of the Villanova Wildcats is strong in all that we do – whether it’s dominating in the sports realm, succeeding academically, or “proving them wrong” by wearing our masks on- and off-campus. Above you can see a picture depicting the 1958 football schedule along with two pictures of Wildcats. Although Will D. Cat’s look may have evolved over the years, ultimately the ability of Wildcats to successfully survive and adapt is the spirit the Villanova community embodies. 

Here are a couple of fun throwback facts about the Villanova Wildcats:

  1. Villanova’s Wildcat most closely resembles the bobcat, which is found in the Southwest part of the United States.
  2. In 1930, 1945, 1947, and 1949 Villanova acquired a wildcat that was kept in a cage on campus at the Fieldhouse and traveled to both home and away games.
  3. For a short period during the late 1970s and early 1980s the word “cat” was added to the name of the individual sports: “Trackcats”, “Watercats”, and “Polocats.”

To read and see more about the evolution of the Wildcats, visit the digital library exhibit Wildcats Past & Present: Moments from the History of Sports at Villanova.


Headshot of post author and graduate assistant, Jenna NewmanJenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Rocking my Villanova mask around campus.


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#TBT Comeback ‘Cats: By Popular Demand, Football Returns to Villanova

photo of plastis football

 

In 1984, Villanova Football made its triumphant return to campus.

A constant at the University since 1894, football was not played at Villanova for three seasons, until alumni and students rallied to revive the Wildcat gridders. The effort even included a benefit at the Philadelphia Academy of Music with legendary comedian Bob Hope!

During this first season, football cheerleaders tossed this palm-size football (now in the University Archives) to the home crowd. The team played at the Division III level and featured a shortened five-game schedule, going undefeated. New Head Coach Andy Talley would helm the team for 230 wins over 37 seasons and send many players to the NFL, including Philadelphia Eagles great Brian Westbrook.

 


headshot of Shawn Proctor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shawn Proctor, MFA, Communications and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library, says his favorite Villanova football player is Matt Szczur (pronounced “Caesar”) who led the team to a national championship in 2009.


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Last Modified: August 22, 2019