FCS Championship Game History - UPDATED

May 17, 2021 by NCAA.com

FCS football began in 1978 when Division 1 was split into 1-A and 1-AA. In 2006, 1-A was renamed "Football Bowl Subdivision" and 1-AA was named "Football Championship Subdivision".

Huntington, West Virginia has been the most successful location for hosting the championship, in terms of attendance. That is partly due to the home team, Marshall, appearing in 4 of the 5 championship games played there as well as the size of the stadium. But even in 1994, when Boise State lost to Youngstown State in the title game, over 27,000 fans filled the venue. With Marshall playing, attendance averaged in the 30,500 range.

The worst location for fan turnout was Tacoma, Washington. The two games played there in 1985 and 1986 averaged less than 5,000 fans.

Statesboro, Georgia averaged 24,000 when its hometown Eagles of Georgia Southern were playing, but half that total when Youngstown played Marshall there in 1991.

Chattanooga had a 13-year run of averaging over 17,000 fans, regardless of who participated. The hometown Mocs never got the chance.

Frisco, Texas has hosted the last 11 championship games and will do so again following the 2021 season. The game is played in the soccer home of Dallas FC, a facility which maxes out at just over 20,000 fans. The FCS championship has either sold out, or nearly sold out, every year that it has been played there. The 2020 game, played May 16, was limited to 50% capacity by the NCAA amid social distancing concerns from the coronavirus pandemic, but that must have been eased as the announced crowd was 7,840.

North Dakota State played in 8 title games in Frisco in the last 10 years, and won all 8. The only three champions in Frisco that aren't named North Dakota State have been Eastern Washington in 2010 (beat Delaware), James Madison in 2016 (beat Youngstown State), and Sam Houston Stat in 2020.

The only Texas-based team to make it to the final in Frisco has been Sam Houston State. In addition The Bearkats did so in 2011 and 2012, losing to NDSU on both of those occasions before claiming the 2020 title over South Dakota State.

FCS Championship Game Results

Year Champion Coach Score Runner-Up Site
2020 Sam Houston State K.C. Keeler 23-21 South Dakota State Frisco, Texas
2019 North Dakota State Matt Entz 28-20 James Madison Frisco, Texas
2018 North Dakota State Chris Klieman 38-24 Eastern Washington Frisco, Texas
2017 North Dakota State Chris Klieman 17-13 James Madison Frisco, Texas
2016 James Madison Mike Houston 28-14 Youngstown State Frisco, Texas
2015 North Dakota State Chris Klieman 37-10 Jacksonville State Frisco, Texas
2014 North Dakota State Chris Klieman 29-27 Illinois State Frisco, Texas
2013 North Dakota State Craig Bohl 35-7 Towson Frisco, Texas
2012 North Dakota State Craig Bohl 39-13 Sam Houston State Frisco, Texas
2011 North Dakota State Craig Bohl 17-6 Sam Houston State Frisco, Texas
2010 Eastern Washington Beau Baldwin 20-19 Delaware Frisco, Texas
2009 Villanova Andy Talley 23-21 Montana Chattanooga, Tenn.
2008 Richmond Mike London 24-7 Montana Chattanooga, Tenn.
2007 Appalachian State Jerry Moore 49-21 Delaware Chattanooga, Tenn.
2006 Appalachian State Jerry Moore 28-17 Massachusetts Chattanooga, Tenn.
2005 Appalachian State Jerry Moore 21-16 Northern Iowa Chattanooga, Tenn.
2004 James Madison Mickey Matthews 31-21 Montana Chattanooga, Tenn.
2003 Delaware K.C. Keeler 40-0 Colgate Chattanooga, Tenn.
2002 Western Kentucky Jack Harbaugh 34-14 McNeese State Chattanooga, Tenn.
2001 Montana Joe Glenn 13-6 Furman Chattanooga, Tenn.
2000 Georgia Southern Paul Johnson 27-25 Montana Chattanooga, Tenn.
1999 Georgia Southern Paul Johnson 59-24 Youngstown State Chattanooga, Tenn.
1998 Massachusetts Mark Whipple 55-43 Georgia Southern Chattanooga, Tenn.
1997 Youngstown State Jim Tressel 10-9 McNeese State Chattanooga, Tenn.
1996 Marshall Bob Pruett 49-29 Montana Huntington, W.Va.
1995 Montana Don Read 22-20 Marshall Huntington, W.Va.
1994 Youngstown State Jim Tressel 28-14 Boise State Huntington, W.Va.
1993 Youngstown State Jim Tressel 17-5 Marshall Huntington, W.Va.
1992 Marshall Jim Donnan 31-28 Youngstown State Huntington, W.Va.
1991 Youngstown State Jim Tressel 25-17 Marshall Statesboro, Ga.
1990 Georgia Southern Tim Stowers 36-13 Nevada Statesboro, Ga.
1989 Georgia Southern Erk Russell 37-34 Stephen F. Austin * Statesboro, Ga.
1988 Furman Jimmy Satterfield 17-12 Georgia Southern Pocatello, Idaho
1987 Louisiana-Monroe Pat Collins 43-42 Marshall Pocatello, Idaho
1986 Georgia Southern Erk Russell 48-21 Arkansas State Tacoma, Wash.
1985 Georgia Southern Erk Russell 44-42 Furman Tacoma, Wash.
1984 Montana State Dave Arnold 19-6 Louisiana Tech Charleston, S.C.
1983 Southern Illinois Rey Dempsey 43-7 Western Carolina Charleston, S.C.
1982 Eastern Kentucky Roy Kidd 17-14 Delaware Wichita Falls, Texas
1981 Idaho State Dave Kragthorpe 34-23 Eastern Kentucky Wichita Falls, Texas
1980 Boise State Jim Criner 31-29 Eastern Kentucky Sacramento, Calif.
1979 Eastern Kentucky Roy Kidd 30-7 Lehigh Orlando, Fla.
1978 Florida A&M Ruby Hubbard 35-28 Massachusetts Wichita Falls, Texas

* -- Stephen F. Austin's participation in 1989 championship vacated.