TCU football wasn’t always in national spotlight.
About 25 years ago, a future for the Horned Frogs was in doubt.
The Frogs were placed on NCAA probation in 1986, losing post-season play, television revenue and football scholarships.
TCU fan Tim Breeding reminisced on the struggling time for TCU’s football program.
“I can remember going to Amon. G. Carter and there was hardly anybody there,” Breeding said.
Decades later, fans donned in purple and white filled the College Football Hall of Fame Tuesday to celebrate the history of TCU football.
The Horned Frogs have gone to 15 bowl games in the last 18 seasons, and the Frogs are participating in one of the New Year’s Six bowls this holiday season.
TCU has nine players and coaches inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. These school legends include Sammy Baugh, Davey O’Brien, Jim Swink and Bob Lilly.
Fans were able to create or relive their own memories as they experienced Horned Frog history firsthand.
“Walking through the door and seeing LaDainian Tomlinson’s game jersey from the UTEP game, it’s a memory I will never forget,” David Simank, class of ’91, said.
Tomlinson’s jersey from his record-breaking 406-yard performance in 1999 isn’t the only TCU artifact on display in Atlanta.
Through a series of interactive displays, fans can participate in fight song karaoke, choose TCU on ESPN’s College GameDay and discover other Horned Frogs in the Hall of Fame.
TCU’s presence in the College Football Hall of Fame reflects the national recognition that TCU’s football program has brought to the university.
“To see TCU mentioned anywhere on a national stage is exciting,” Breeding said.
A day before the Peach Bowl, purple was easily spotted in Atlanta, showing the rise of support for TCU on a national scale.
“To see the level of school spirit just go through the roof compared to what it was when I was going to school there… that’s been exciting,” Simank said.
After the Horned Frogs rose to No. 3 in the polls this season, Simank said he believes the future is bright for TCU football.
“I’m thinking all about next year just as much as this year, it’s constant excitement.”