1978 Football Team
(Big Sky Conference Champions)
The first Big Sky Conference champion football team, the 1978 Lumberjacks enjoyed their first season in the new NCAA Division 1-AA alignment, moving up from Division II. Under head coach Joe Salem, the Lumberjacks posted a perfect 6-0 league record on route to an 8-2 overall mark. The team was 5-0 at home, outscoring its opposition 148-61 in the Skydome. The efforts of the team produced five All Americans: linebacker Jerry Lumpkin, nose guard Neal Higginson, tailback Allan Clark (then NAU's all-time leading rusher), defensive end Ed Hightower and free safety Harold Smith. The squad scored at least 30 points six times during the season, and held five opponents to 14 points or fewer, including three under seven points. The team sealed the title with a 31-30 home win over runner-up Boise State, then followed with a 10-0 shutout of Weber State in the season finals.