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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Homecoming: Homecoming facts in celebration of the 100th anniversary

Tyler Baker

UA alumni, cheerleaders, Wilbur and the football team rush on the field during Arizona’s Homecoming against UCLA last season. Only world wars have stopped the UA from holding Homecoming football games.

Homecoming firsts
Not only did 1929 see the first Homecoming game in Arizona Stadium, it was also the year of the first Homecoming parade. The floats drove around the stadium track.

In 1947, the UA elected its first Homecoming Queen, Ruth Tackett, a sophomore from Tucson.

In 1988, the UA started crowning the Homecoming King and Queen on the UA Mall on Friday night, featuring a bonfire and pep rally.

Homecoming nights
Saturday’s Homecoming is a night game, a UA tradition that has faded away.

The first Homecoming night game was in 1931 when the UA lost 32-0 to Rice. It was only Arizona’s second loss in its first 17 Homecoming games.

Then, night games became the new normal, as 19 of the next 24 were under the lights.

From 1958 to 1975, the games were during the day, but night games were again standard with only one day Homecoming game from 1976 to 1994.

In the 2000s, the UA has played five Homecoming games at night.

The Kaiser, Emperor and Hitler spoil the fun
Only world wars have preempted UA Homecomings.

They were canceled in 1918 and from 1943 to 1945.

The UA was undefeated during the United States’ involvement in the world wars, though. In 1917, Arizona beat Whittier 45-0, and in 1942, the Wildcats beat Oklahoma State 20-6.

In 1942, Arizona beat Oklahoma State in the UA’s 28th Homecoming; due to wartime travel restrictions, no on-campus formal events were held.

Lighting up the scoreboard
In the modern era, the highest-scoring Homecoming game was Arizona’s 65-35 win over University of the Pacific in 1980.

The highest-scoring Homecoming game against a university team was a 73-0 win over New Mexico State in 1916. The most offensive Homecoming game was when Arizona bombed junior college New Mexico Military Institute 110-0 in 1921.

The Wildcats have played teams such as UTEP, Air Force, Kansas State, Hardin-Simmons, Loyola, Marquette, St. Mary’s, New Mexico and Occidental.

The last nonconference team Arizona played on Homecoming was Pacific in 1989, a 38-14 win.


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