Which programs previously played in the FCS?

There is no surprise that the allure of major college football has caused some teams to try their hand at the FBS level. In some cases, teams have dropped football altogether or dropped to the FCS level. Idaho left the FBS for the FCS after the Sun Belt declined to keep them as a conference member. Dropping to the FCS is a very rare occurrence, but one that made sense for Idaho as they were part of the Big Sky in every other sport but football before the move and were also a Big Sky football member from 1965 through 1995. Most recently, Jacksonville announced an immediate shutdown of its football program after the 2019 season.

Below are the teams that used to play in the FCS, but have since moved on to the FBS or shut down their football program. Teams that no longer have a football program are marked with an asterisk. Only two teams on the following list, West Texas A&M and Savannah State participate at a lower division. West Texas A&M participates in the Lone Star Conference while Savannah State returned to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Both the LSC and SIAC are at the Division II level.

The below list was cultivated from the NCAA’s FCS records handbook and some school records along with secondary sources such as Wikipedia and Sports-Reference. The years may not match the NCAA due to the inclusion of transition years in our records.

Akron is NOT listed in the NCAA Handbook, but the Zips’ own records (page 32) show otherwise from 1980 to 1986. In addition, the NCAA Handbook also had MAC teams listed as FCS teams in 1982 for “reclassification” due to not meeting NCAA requirements. These schools are NOT included in this list as they were in name only or a temporary reclassification.

TeamYear(s) in FCS
Akron1980 – 1986
Alabama-Birmingham (UAB)1993 – 1995
Appalachian State1982 – 2013
Arkansas State1982 – 1991
Boise State1978 – 1995
Boston University*1978 – 1997
Buffalo1993 – 1998
Cal State Northridge*1993 – 2001
Canisius*1993 – 2002
Central Florida1990 – 1995
Charlotte2013 – 2014
Coastal Carolina2003 – 2016
Connecticut1978 – 1999
Evansville*1993 – 1997
Fairfield*1996 – 2002
Florida Atlantic2001 – 2003
Florida International2003 – 2004
Georgia Southern1982 – 2013
Georgia State2010 – 2012
Hofstra*1991 – 2009
Iona*1993 – 2008
Jacksonville*1998 – 2019
La Salle*1997 – 2007
Louisiana-Monroe1982 – 1993
Liberty1988 – 2017
Louisiana Tech1982 – 1988
Marshall1982 – 1996
Massachusetts1978 – 2011
Middle Tennessee1978 – 1998
Morris Brown*2000 – 2002
Nevada1978 – 1991
North Texas1983 – 1994
Northeastern*1978 – 2009
Old Dominion2009 – 2012
Saint John’s (NY)*1993 – 2002
Saint Mary’s (CA)*1993 – 2003
Saint Peter’s*1993 – 2006
Savannah State**2000 – 2018
Siena*1993 – 2003
South Alabama2010 – 2011
South Florida1997 – 1999
Texas-Arlington*1982 – 1985
Texas-San Antonio***2011
Texas State1984 – 2011
Troy1991 – 2000
West Texas A&M**1982 – 1985
Western Kentucky1978 – 2006
Winston-Salem State****2006 – 2009

* School no longer has a football program

** School participates at the Division II level in football

*** Not officially former FCS members per the NCAA due to the fact they never completed the full transition to FCS status. Texas-San Antonio originally planned to join the FCS before opting to go to the FBS as soon as possible with an offer from the now-defunct Western Athletic Conference.

**** Winston-Salem State was never officially members of the FCS despite starting and nearly finishing the transition process to the MEAC. They decided in the fourth year of the transition to remain at the Division II level.

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