The Wayne State Warriors football team is the college football team at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. The Wayne State football team played their first game in October 1918. The Wayne State Warriors have competed in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference since 1999 (and previously from 1975-1989), and are currently a Division II member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Wayne State plays their home games at Tom Adams Field at Wayne State Stadium. All Wayne State games are broadcast on WDTK radio.
The WSU football team had multiple venues during its early years. These locations included: Goldberg Field, University of Detroit, and Keyworth Stadium. The first long-term location for the football team was Tartar Field followed by Tom Adams Field in WSU stadium.
Current Athletic Director: Rob Fournier.
Rob Fournier became the Athletic Director for Wayne State in September 2000. He is also currently a finance committee member for the conference. Before coming to WSU, he was a part of the commissioner’s staff for the Mid-American Conference. He received his Bachelor of Science, master's and law degree all from University of Akron.
The current head football coach for the Wayne State Warriors is Paul Winters. He has been the head coach since 2004. He started his collegiate football career as the running back for the University of Akron. Upon graduation he then went on to become the assistant and then onto the backfield coach. After his time at Akron, he spent the next eight years coaching at the University of Toledo and then the University of Wisconsin. He then returned to Akron as the Running Backs Coach and Offensive Coordinator before coming to Wayne State.
The assistant coaches include Scott Wooster (head of Offensive line), Steve Neal (wide Receivers Coach). Brad Wilson (defensive coordinator), Keith McKenzie (former NFL player and Super Bowl champion, as linebackers coach), and Scott Kazmierski (defensive line coach).
The team changed its name from the Tartars to the Warriors in 1999. The mascot for the Warriors, “W”, debuted in 2005.
The WSU Warriors have had five All-American players in their history. In 2006, David Chudzinski was first team All-American for the offensive side of the ball. Joique Bell was another offensive player named 2009 first team All-American; he was also given the Harlon Hill Trophy in the same year. This award is given to the All-Around best player in Division II football. An all-purpose, first team All-American, Josh Renel, was named in 2010. Both Joe Long (offense) and Jeremy Jones (defense) were named 2011 first team All-Americans. Long was also awarded the Gene Upshaw Award in 2011.
After barely making the Division II Playoffs in 2011, the Warriors made it all the way to the national championship game before losing to the Pittsburg State Gorillas of Kansas. It was the first year that the football program had ever made it to the playoffs in their entire history. The Warriors won all of their road games, traveling across the country and ending up in Florence, AL for the playoffs. A tragic shooting and murder of a WSU player, Cortez Smith, inspired the team for success.GLIAC Coach of the Year
Dick Lowry - 1975
Paul Winters - 2006
Paul Winters - 2008
GLIAC Freshman of the Year
Joique Bell - 2006
Kevin Smith - 2008
Wayne State has had 4 players drafted in the NFL.
Norman "Happy" Wann - former head coach at Ball State
Brian VanGorder - Defensive Coordinator at the University of Notre Dame, former defensive coordinator at Georgia, Broyles Award winner
Vic Zucco - former DB for the Chicago Bears
Richard Byas, Jr. - former DB for the Atlanta Falcons
Paul Butcher, Sr. - former LB for Detroit, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Carolina and Oakland
Tom E. Beer - former FB and LB for the Detroit Lions
Joique Bell - RB for the Detroit Lions
Chris Fehn - custom percussionists, Slipknot