Football, as many Terriers know, got its start in 1889, when Wofford and Furman played the first intercollegiate football game in South Carolina. Teams in the 1890s played occasional games against Georgia, South Carolina and Clemson, but there is no record of more than four games in a season before 1900. However, football took a 12-season hiatus between 1901 and 1914 because Methodist leaders and college officials believed the game was so violent as to be unsafe. Students played class football — what we might today call intramurals — until alumni convinced the trustees to revive the sport in 1914.

Baseball was the more popular sport in the late 1890s and early 1900s. College historian D.D. Wallace writes about early baseball, noting that the earliest teams learned the sport in the late 1860s from federal soldiers stationed in Spartanburg. Baseball resumed in the late 1880s, though records of that era are thin. Between 1898 and 1903, a well-balanced Wofford baseball team won about 33 games with 13 losses. Early Wofford teams had to play off campus, sometimes at textile parks, but later, the athletic field was leveled and expanded to add a baseball diamond.

Basketball also got its start in the early 1900s, both with class teams and a varsity team. The first record of a game was a 1906 victory over Wake Forest University. The oldest team photo dates from that year. It is a bit of a mystery as to where the college played its basketball games until the opening of Andrews Fieldhouse in 1929. The Terriers played some games at the local YMCA and also played games outside, weather permitting. A gymnasium team and a tennis team rounded out most of the college’s athletics teams before World War II.

Women’s athletics, of course, is a much more recent addition. Volleyball and women’s basketball began intercollegiate competition in 1980, about four years after the move to full residential coeducation.

Baseball 1895
Football 1889
Basketball 1905 (M), 1980 (W)
Cross Country 1984 (M), 1988 (W)
Track and Field 1995-96 (restart)
Golf 1947 (M), 1996 (W)
Soccer 1975 (M), 1994 (W)
Tennis 1920 (M), 1986 (W)
Rifle 2003 (restart)
Lacrosse 2018
Volleyball 1980

The college had track and field and rifle teams at various points from 1930 until 1960, and rifle resurfaced for a short time in the 1980s. The college also had cheer teams in the 1930s, which continue today, although they are not NCAA Division I sports.