Football at Dartmouth goes back almost as long as the history of the school. Dartmouth won its first intercollegiate game in 1881. Today, Dartmouth Big Green Football competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), carrying a tradition of producing outstanding college football players. Reggie Williams, Dennis Durkin, Jay Fiedler, Frank “the Iron Major” Cavanaugh, helped lead Dartmouth Big Green teams into championships and college football history.
A Legend – Reggie Williams
Reggie Williams was a three-time All-Ivy League first team selection while playing for Dartmouth. He had the prestigious accomplishment of being named to the All-New England, All-East, and All-Ivy teams in 1974 and 1975, and being selected for the American Football Coaches Association All-America Team in 1975.
Williams was drafted in the third round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1976. A 1976 All-Rookie Team selection, he played for the Bengals for 14 seasons, including two Super Bowl appearances, setting a franchise record with 16 interceptions and 23 fumble recoveries.
He was selected as the NFL’s Byron (Whizzer) White Award for Humanitarian Service in 1985, named the NFL’s Man of the Year in 1986 and the 1987 Sports Illustrated Co-Sportsman of the Year.
Dennis Durkin – Secret Offensive Weapon
Dennis Durkin earned a spot as a top football star at Dartmouth, going 13 for 13 on field goals in 1992. Scoreboard referred to Durkin as “the Green’s secret offensive weapon.”
Dennis Durkin led the team to some of the best kicking years in its history. Durkin became the third all-time leading scorer in Dartmouth history. He holds many other career and season records. Dennis Durkin’s reliable kicking skills helped to lead the team to Ivy League Championship wins for the Big Green in 1990, 1991, and 1992.
He earned an MBA from Harvard and had a successful business career. He helped to grow the global digital entertainment businesses at Activision Blizzard and Microsoft,including serving as its Corporate Vice President, and the Chief Operating and Financial Officer of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business. He also earned a board position at On Running.
Jay Fiedler – Standout Career
Jay Fiedler, born in Oceanside, N.Y., displayed obvious talent at Dartmouth, where he set school records with 58 touchdown passes, 6,684 passing yards, and an impressive total offense of 7,249 yards. He was named the 1992 Ivy League Player of the Year and was named Co-Offensive Player of the Game in the 1994 East-West Shrine Game.
He played for the Philadelphia Eagles (1994-1995) and briefly for the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars. His career with the Miami Dolphins began in 2000, when he replaced Dan Morino. He helped the Dolphins reach the NFL playoffs, led them to an AFC East title, with the team having 11–5 seasons in 2000 and 2001.
A devastating shoulder injury while playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led to Fiedler’s retirement in 2006.
Frank Cavanaugh, Murray Bowden, Casey Cramer, Nick Lalos – True Winners
Frank “the Iron Major” Cavanaugh led Dartmouth to a 42-9-3 record from 1911 to1916. He was named to the Dartmouth Hall of Fame Coaches and Administrators.
Murray Bowden was the co-captain and All-America rover back of Dartmouth’s undefeated Ivy League champion 1970 team. Dartmouth won the Lambert Trophy and won 17 of 18 games in 1969 and 1970.
Casey Cramer (2004), one of Dartmouth’s all-time leading receivers, All-America and All-Ivy tight end, played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers and the Tennessee Titans.
Defensive end Niko Lalos (2020) joined the New York Giants after Dartmouth as an undrafted free agent. He played an impressive game against the Bengals, snagging an interception, leading to a 19-17 win. He recovered a Russell Wilson fumble, delivering a 17-12 win over the Seahawks. He signed with the New Orleans Saints for the second time in 2023.
Dartmouth College encourages students to Explore. Engage. Excel. Many top football players, including Reggie Wilson and Dennis Durkin, followed this guidance, both on and off the field.