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Charlotte 49ers

The Charlotte 49ers football team represents the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in collegiate level football competitions.

Team History

The Charlotte 49ers football team represents the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and has a history marked by periods of inception, growth, and achievements. The team’s journey began in the modern era under the leadership of Brad Lambert, who became the program’s first head coach in 2011. Initially competing as an Independent in the FCS subdivision, the 49ers transitioned to the FBS subdivision and Conference USA (C-USA) in 2015.

During Lambert’s tenure, the team saw its first win in the inaugural game and its first FBS game victory. Lambert was succeeded by Will Healy in 2018, who led the team to notable successes, including their first bowl eligibility and a historic win over a Power Five opponent, Duke, in 2021. The Healy era was marked by a focus on revitalizing the program and achieving milestones that had previously eluded the 49ers

Foundation and Early Years

The Charlotte 49ers football program’s roots trace back to 1946 when it was first established, only to be disbanded a few years later. The modern incarnation of the team was officially launched in 2013, marking the return of football to the university after a long hiatus. This revival was spearheaded by significant efforts from the university and its athletic department, culminating in the appointment of Brad Lambert as the head coach in 2011, which set the foundation for the team’s development and future successes.

Notable Early Achievements

Under the guidance of Lambert and later Healy, the Charlotte 49ers quickly began to establish themselves within the college football landscape. Lambert’s leadership saw the team’s transition to FBS play and their first victory against an FBS opponent. Healy’s tenure brought further success, including the team’s first bowl game appearance in 2019, despite a loss, and a remarkable win against Duke in 2021, marking the program’s first victory over a Power Five school​.

Periods of Change

The transition from Lambert to Healy and then to Francis “Biff” Poggi, who took over in 2022, marks significant periods of change for the 49ers. Each era brought its own challenges and milestones. Healy’s recruitment and coaching led to improved performance on the field, culminating in bowl eligibility. Poggi’s tenure began with a focus on building upon the foundations laid by his predecessors, aiming to elevate the program to new heights.

Championships and Achievements

While the Charlotte 49ers have yet to claim a major conference championship, their achievements include reaching bowl eligibility for the first time under Will Healy and participating in their first bowl game in 2019. The program has also seen individual successes, with several players being selected in the NFL Draft, highlighting the growth and development of the team and its members

Current Roster

Information on the current roster reflects the ongoing commitment to recruiting and developing talent, essential for the team’s competitive efforts in the American Athletic Conference, to which they transitioned in 2023. The roster comprises players who are key to the 49ers’ strategies and aspirations for success in the coming seasons.

Management and Coaching Staff

The coaching staff, led by Francis “Biff” Poggi since 2022, brings a wealth of experience and a new vision for the team. Poggi’s background and success in previous roles are seen as instrumental in guiding the 49ers through their next phases of development and competition in the higher echelons of college football​.

Home Stadium Information

The Charlotte 49ers play their home games at Jerry Richardson Stadium, a facility that reflects the growth and aspirations of the football program. Named after former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, the stadium underscores the community’s support for the team and its role in enhancing the collegiate football experience for players, students, and fans alike.

The Charlotte 49ers’ journey from their re-establishment to their current state is a testament to the university’s commitment to its athletic programs and its vision for achieving excellence in college football. The team’s history, marked by key achievements and the efforts of its coaching staff and players, sets the stage for future successes and the continued growth of the 49ers football program.

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