Legends of the Mean Green : 1970s

The 1970s began disastrously for the Eagles with the 1972 season record of 1-10 marking a low point.  Coach Hayden Fry was hired in December of 1972 to turn the program around.  Over the next six seasons, he succeeded by obtaining a 40-23-3 record.  Notable highlights of the 1970s include a 98 yard kickoff return by Sears Woods in a 1975 game with only 4:25 remaining to score a North Texas victory; and the 1977 season which witnessed a 10-1 record for the Eagles.  The 1977 season also included a victory over SMU-the first North Texas win over SMU since 1933.  

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David Kervin (#14) of North Texas does a head-stand over a loose ball.  Offensive tackle Fred Ende (#74) and Drake defensive back Gale Murphy (#25) went after the ball but the play was ruled an incomplete pass.  The Mean Green won 19-7 at Denton, Texas, as co-champions with Tulsa of the Missouri Valley Conference. 

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Freshman running back Reggie Turner (#20) of North Texas goes high for a first down against the Drake Bulldogs.  Rudy Holmes (#21) of Drake is braced for mid –air tackle.  The other identifiable players are Scott Rainbolt (#45) of Drake and Red Johnson (#26).  North Texas won the game 19-7 in Denton, Texas, as Mean Green shared Missouri Valley co-championship with Tulsa.

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Photograph of a North Texas State University football game against Southern Methodist University in 1976. A referee separates J. T. Smith (#44) and his opponent.

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Photograph of a North Texas State University football game against Florida State University on November 13, 1976. The game was played on a snow-covered field and is referred to as the "Snow Bowl".

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Photograph of a North Texas State University football player in a game against Florida State University on November 13, 1976. The game was played on a snow-covered field and is referred to as the "Snow Bowl".

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Photograph of a North Texas State University football game against Southern Methodist University in September 1977. North Texas won the game 24-13.