The Pittsburg State Football program has been in existence since 1908 and it has built a formidable reputation for itself over the years. Part of the sports program of Pittsburg State University located in Pittsburg, Kansas, this team is also known as the Gorillas after its unique mascot. This football team has seen many ups and downs but it has the enviable achievement of producing the maximum number of wins in the history of the NCAA Division II. In addition, the team has won the national championship four times and conference championships 27 times, ensuring that’s its reputation as a football powerhouse in the area is fixed. It is also an important part of the MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association).
The Pittsburg Gorillas play home games at the large and impressive Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg, Kansas. Also known as ‘The Pitt’ or ‘The Jungle’, the stadium was built in 1923. It got its present name in 1987 after the footballer who led the team to NAIA National Football Championships in 1957 (against Hillsdale College) and again in 1961 (against Linfield College). The stadium received a $5.8 million renovation in 2000 and smaller renovations in 2006 and 2008. The stadium has seated thousands of ecstatic supporters of the Gorillas whenever they played home games.
The Pittsburg State Gorillas are wildly popular in their home state and they get a lot of support from locals. As a result, businesses and individuals in Pittsburg and neighboring areas give a lot of financial help to the Gorillas. The members of the football team are indeed deserving of the adulation they get since their efforts have helped improve the standing of the town where the university is located. As a matter of fact, the supporters of the team come out in full strength when there is a game against long-time rivals Northwest Missouri State University. Matches between these two teams tend to attract the maximum attendance from both sides and are much larger than most games in Division II.
The Gorillas have had many charismatic and effective coaches over the many years that the team has been in existence. It goes without saying that some coaches have been more effective than others in the 106 years of the team’s existence. Tim Beck, the head football coach at present, has been at the helm of the team since 2010. He was able to help the team achieve victory in the NCAA Division II Championship in 2012 when the Gorillas overcame the Wayne State team. The team gets ample support from a number of coaches and physios. In fact, the university also has a very effective nutrition and fitness program that aims to enhance the performance of its athletes and help them deal with injuries better.
The Pittsburg State Football team is so well known in the area that visitors to the place also try to catch a game if they can. The stadium is already a local landmark that attracts its fair share of tourists.