Stephen Ward: Now that 49ers football is underway,
let’s take a look back at a timeline of events leading up to this inaugural season.
Narrator: Charlotte 49ers Football Timeline 2006: Dr. Philip L. Dubois installed as UNC
Charlotte’s fourth Chancellor. The Charlotte Football Initiative is formed. The grassroots
group hopes to bring football to the 49ers. The Board of Trustees authorizes the study
of football. March 2007: Chancellor Dubois appoints the Football Feasibility Committee
chaired by former Board of Trustees Chair, Mac Everett. 2008: the Football Feasibility
Committee unanimously recommends the addition of football. The March to the End Zone Pep
Rally was held by the 49ers student body. Phil Dubois: My recommendation to the Board
of Trustees is that you authorize UNC Charlotte to apply for entry into the Football Championship
Subdivision, that is Division I AA of the NCAA with the goal of playing our first full season
of football competition in the fall of 2013. All in favor of moving forward with
the Chancellor’s recommendation with the caveats and benchmarks and updated reporting that
we’ve discussed, please say “aye.” Aye.
Any apposed? Hearing none, the motion passes.
Narrator: 2009: DLR Group and Jenkins Peer Architects presents the initial renderings
of the football stadium. The Board of Trustees unanimously approves the funding plan. 2010:
the Board of Governors unanimously approves the funding plan. The legislature approves
the Capital Project Bill. Governor Bev Perdue signs the Non-appropriated Capital Project
Bill. Judy Rose: And now, we can firmly say, yes
the Charlotte 49ers will play football in 2013. It’s a done deal.
[ringing of bell] Narrator: The 49ers schedule their inaugural
home game versus Campbell for August 31, 2013. 2011:
Judy Rose: And with extreme pleasure introduce the Charlotte 49ers Head Coach, Mr. Brad Lambert.
[applause] Narrator: Over 3,000 fans celebrate the groundbreaking
for the 49ers football stadium. The 49ers announce the naming of McColl-Richardson Field
for banking pioneer Hugh McColl and Carolina Panthers owner, Jerry Richardson. 2012: the
49ers signed the first freshmen class of 27 players.
Phil Dubois: Today we officially announce that we accept the invitation and join Conference
USA in all sports starting in 2013 with our first season of football commencing in the
league in 2015. Narrator: Head Coach Brad Lambert unveils
the 49ers white helmet design. In a surprise announcement, Dale Halton, who purchased naming rights to the Field House and Chancellor Dubois named the Judy W. Rose Football Center for
the current longtime athletic director. The 49ers first team reports to campus. The first
workout session for the 49ers on the practice fields takes place. The first practice is
scheduled following approximately three weeks of conditioning workouts. The fall finale is
hosted as the 49ers hold the last practice of the fall campaign. 2013: two twelve foot
tall statues commissioned by Irwin Belk and sculpted by Jon Hair are installed at opposite
ends of the 49ers football stadium. The 49ers signed 20 student athletes in their second
recruiting class. The 49ers first spring game takes place in front of a crowd of nearly
14,000. The 49ers unveil complete home and away uniforms at the annual Great Gold Rush
Auction. Phil Dubois: When we open fall competition
against Campbell University on August 31st we will play on McColl-Richardson Field in
Jerry Richardson Stadium. Narrator: The 49ers and IMG College partner
with WCCB Charlotte to televise home football games. Brad Lambert participates in Conference USA Media Day. The 49ers begin fall practice. August 31, 2013: the Inaugural Season kicks
off. Crowd: Forty-Niners! Forty-Niners! Forty-Niners!