The Football Decade: 1930-1940

As the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary began in 1930, so did football. The "Braves," the junior college version of William and Mary's "Indians," were coached by Tommy Scott who built the program from sub-standard beginnings to a strong team. (Read Joseph Healy's account of football's beginnings.)

Because they were a "junior college," they played other junior colleges, high schools, and various military and apprentice teams. As a rude awakening, they lost their very first game 7-0 to Suffolk High School. But that didn’t stop them.

They continued to practice on the makeshift field they created themselves and wore the hand-me-down uniforms from William & Mary. By 1936, after many victories, the Braves played in Foreman Field, a state-of-the-art stadium for its time. Perry Jackson, a Chemistry faculty member in 1930s said of Foreman Field:

The construction of the great stadium at Foreman Field suggested the growth which the future held in store for the college; at the time, however, the stadium so overshadowed the rest of the institution that cynical humorists referred to "the stadium with college attached." (from ODU Oral History Interview, February 1975)

During their 10 years, the Braves won sixty-two games, lost nineteen, and tied four. Their last season was a total shut out for the team. In 1941, problems with finances, lack of attendance, and issues with Southern Conference eligibility shut down the football program.

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University Photos

1930-31 Norfolk Braves
Football at Bain Field
Braves vs. Gallaudet
Football at Bain Field
Braves vs. Gallaudet




Yearbook Photos


1936 Cauldron, Page 46



1936 Cauldron, Page 47

Official Football Programs

October 8, 1937
October 23, 1937
October 29, 1937

September 29, 1939
1939 Braves to meet Richmond

High Hat Articles

(student newspaper)

October 6, 1939
Almost, but not quite

News Clippings : Articles from the Virginian-Pilot from 1930-1941

An exhibit of the Old Dominion University Libraries. Fall 2009