Inside Athletics

1998 NAU Athletics Hall of Fame Class

1978 Football Team

(Big Sky Conference Champions)

In their first season in the new NCAA Division I-AA alignment, moving up from Division II, the 1978 team was the first NAU football program to win the Big Sky Conference Championship. Under head coach Joe Salem, the Lumberjacks posted a perfect 6-0 league record en 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.


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