Best D3 Football Schools In 2022

Best D3 Football Schools

Looking for the best D3 football schools to enroll in? This article is for you. College football is a favorite sport among millions of Americans. And while football will always be the most popular game, more people strictly follow college football at the Division III level than at some of the more well-known Division I schools.

Did you know that there are over 200 four-year colleges and universities sponsoring football at the NCAA Division III level? That many of these programs have come up with nicknames. Only a few have stuck to the present day.

There are plenty of great D3 schools out there, but it all depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to play for a powerhouse program, then you should pick one of the top 25 D3 football schools. But if you want to go somewhere where your skills will be appreciated and where you’ll get lots of playing time, then any school on this list is worth checking out.

What is the Best D3 Football School?

The best D3 football school is the one that fits you best. Every school has a unique culture, and each has pros and cons. The best way to find the right school for you is to go to the campus, meet with the coaches and players, and see if it’s a good fit. However, the D3 football league has more than 120 colleges and options. Here is my top ten list of best D3 football schools:

1. Chicago Maroons, University of Chicago

University of Chicago football is played by the Chicago Maroons. Since 2017, the NCAA Division III Maroons have been exclusively part of the Midwest Conference on the football field. It was Amos Alonzo Stagg’s job to lead the University of Chicago’s Maroons to 41 consecutive winning seasons during the school’s time as a member of the Big Ten Conference.

Heisman Trophy was first awarded to halfback Jay Berwanger in 1935 for his outstanding performance in college football. However, the University of Chicago’s devotion to academics and the demands of major college football led president Robert Maynard Hutchins to end the team’s existence in 1939 and pull the school out of the Big Ten in 1946.

In 1963, U of C  established a club football team at the University of Chicago, and by 1969, the program had been elevated to varsity status. In 1973, the Maroons moved to the Division III competition.

They have won twelve titles. Seven of those titles came from the Big Ten, while another five came from the University Athletic Association, giving Chicago twelve conference titles. Hugo Bezdek, a fullback from 1905 to 1954, was inducted for his work as a coach at Oregon, Arkansas, and Penn State. Jay Berwange, a halfback from 1933 to 1935, was the first winner of the Heisman Trophy.

  • Year Founded: 1892
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • College Type: Private, Urban
  • Enrollment: 6300 (full-time undergrad)
  • Tuition In-State: $60,552
  • Tuition Out of State: $60,552
  • Division: NCAA III
  • Conference: University Athletic Association

2.  Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, Johns Hopkins University

The first team to represent Hopkins was put together in 1881, and they spent the whole year preparing for and studying a new form of the game. Druid Hill Park was where they played their sport, which was more similar to rugby. Following the training, the squad decided to play just two games during the 1882 season.

Because of the school’s rules regarding football activity, the team was required to compete throughout the season under the name of the Clifton Athletic Club. The first contest, which took place on October 7, was a scrimmage against the Baltimore Athletic Club. A score of 4-0 defeated the Hopkins squad. The game that followed was going to be their first real test for a game, and it was going to be against the Naval Academy.

Bill Stromberg is the proud possessor of a Bachelor of Arts degree. Johns Hopkins in 1982 and became one of the athletes with the most honors and awards in the school’s long history of athletics.

As the owner of six national and thirteen school records, he is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished football wide receivers in the history of NCAA Division III. Stromberg was the only football player from Johns Hopkins to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for the 2017 season. In addition to being inducted into the Johns Hopkins Hall of Fame, Stromberg was also elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

  • Year Founded: 1876
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • College Type: Private, Urban
  • Enrollment: 6330 (full-time undergrad)
  • Tuition In-State: $55,350
  • Tuition Out of State: $55,350
  • Division: NCAA III
  • Conference: American Lacrosse Conference (Division I), Centennial Conference (Division III), Collegiate Water Polo Association (Division I)

3. MIT Engineers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In 1881, the inaugural MIT football squad, known as the Techmen due to its winning record against Exeter College, won its first game by a score of 2-0. The decision to disband the intercollegiate football team at MIT was approved by a vote of 119 to 117 in 1901.

Through the 1920s, the institution kept fielding football teams for its sophomores and freshmen. The MIT sophomore squad faced off against the Harvard freshman team in the last game ever against an opponent from another institution in 1901.

In 1978, a group of students at the school spontaneously gathered themselves in order to restart the squad, although, at the time, no one in management was aware of this. They acted as referees for intramural sports, sold hot dogs, painted hurdles for track meetings, received grants from the school, and secretly borrowed money from the budgets of their respective fraternities in order to generate money.

The Rochester Institute of Technology’s own football program had just been eliminated, so the squad decided to reuse the institute’s jerseys for their own use. At long last, the students discussed with Jerry Wiesner, the president of MIT at the time. Wiesner took the problem to MIT’s sports board, where Jack Barry, an associate athletic director, suggested that MIT provide financial assistance to the club for at least one season.

After a dismal first season, the new MIT Engineers scored their first victory in 1979 and then went 6–1 the following year. The club entered Division III of the NCAA in 1987, and the following year they won their first modern-period varsity game, 29-7, against Stonehill.

In 2014, the Engineers won their first New England Football Conference title with a 9–0 record in the regular season. In 2018, they won their second title with a 9–1 record but lost to the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays in the playoffs. In 2019, MIT was victorious in the NEWMAC conference tournament for the second year.

The team went on to compete in the NCAA Division III playoffs. However, they were eliminated by Muhlenberg College. Because of the coronavirus, the 2020 season has been canceled. The Engineers concluded the year 2021 with a record of 5-4 to show for their efforts.

  • Year Founded: 1861
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • College Type: Private, Urban
  • Enrollment: 4510 (full-time undergrad)
  • Tuition In-State: $53,790
  • Tuition Out of State: $53,790
  • Division: NCAA III
  • Conference: Collegiate Water Polo Association, Eastern College Athletic Conference, New England Football Conference, New England Women’s and Men’s Athletics Conference, North Eastern Collegiate Volleyball Association, Patriot League, Pilgrim League

4. Amherst Mammoths, Amherst College

Amherst College is a private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts. Founded in 1821 as an attempt to relocate Williams College by its then-president Zephaniah Swift Moore, Amherst is the third oldest institution of higher education in Massachusetts.

The college was named after Sir Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baronet, who helped lead British forces to victory over France during the Seven Years’ War. Amherst was established as a men’s college and became coeducational in 1975.

Amherst competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). In sports, the college fields 30 varsity teams (11 male, 19 female), known as Lord Jeffs. The name “Lord Jeffs” dates back to 1895 when a football player at Yale University used it derisively to describe Amherst students. Since then, it has been applied to fans of all skill levels.

  • Year Founded: 1821
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • College Type: Private, Suburban
  • Enrollment: 1839 (full-time undergrad)
  • Tuition In-State: $58,640
  • Tuition Out of State: $58,640
  • Division: NCAA III
  • Conference: New England Small College Athletic Conference (Division III)

5. Washington and Lee Generals, Washington & Lee University

Washington & Lee University is a private liberal arts university in Lexington, Virginia. It was established in 1749 by Scots-Irish pioneers, including George Washington’s great-grandfather. The first president of the college was Samuel Finley.

Washington & Lee is a member of the Annapolis Group of colleges in the United States, which includes the United States Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York; it is also affiliated with Phi Beta Kappa.

The school is known for its honor system and has been recognized as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes magazine. In 2016, Washington and Lee ranked #30 among all national universities according to U.S. News & World Report’s “2016 Best Colleges” rankings list.

Washington & Lee University football program represents Washington and Lee University in college football at the NCAA Division III level (NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision). The Generals compete as members of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and play their home games at Rotunda Stadium in Lexington, Virginia.

  • Year Founded: 1749
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • College Type: Private, Suburban
  • Enrollment: 1823 (full-time undergrad)
  • Tuition In-State: $58,260
  • Tuition Out of State: $58,260
  • Division: NCAA III
  • Conference: Centennial Conference (Division III), Old Dominion Athletic Conference (Division III)

6. Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges

Pomona College and Pitzer College, both of the Claremont Colleges, participate together in intercollegiate sports like the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens. Its mascot is Cecil the Sagehen, and it participates in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division III.

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags and Athenas, a team comprised of students from all three of the other undergraduate Claremont Colleges, are its principal competitors.

Cecil the Sagehen, a larger sage-grouse, has been selected to serve as the team’s official mascot (Centrocercus urophasianus).

The Sagehen serves as the mascot for Pomona-sports Pitzer’s teams, making them the only ones in the world to do so. The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags and Athenas, the collective team name for the three other undergraduate Claremont Colleges, are the Sagehens’ most significant competition.

  • Year Founded: 1887
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • College Type: Private, Suburban
  • Enrollment: 1477 (full-time undergrad)
  • Tuition In-State: $56,284
  • Tuition Out of State: $56,284
  • Division: NCAA III
  • Conference: Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (Division III)

7. Washington University Bears, Washington University

Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853 and named after George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all 50 U.S. states and more than 120 countries. The university has four undergraduate schools, including the Henry Shaw School of Botany, the School of Engineering & Applied Science, the David Rittenhouse Laboratory School, and the College of Arts & Sciences.

It also has four graduate schools: Arts & Sciences, Business Administration (Olin), Engineering & Applied Science, and Law — as well as a law school with an international reputation for attracting students from around the world to study law at its Washington University School of Law in Madrid program.

Washington University’s main campus is located on its 300-acre (1 km2) Danforth Campus in St. Louis County’s Central West End neighborhood adjacent to Forest Park. Some of their Worthy to note all Americans include Harvey Jablonsky, Glynn Clark, Harry Brown, Bob Hudgen, Joe Bukant, and Dwight Hafeli.

  • Year Founded: 1853
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • College Type: Private, Suburban
  • Enrollment: 7653 (full-time undergrad)
  • Tuition In-State: $57,750
  • Tuition Out of State: $57,750
  • Division: NCAA III
  • Conference: University Athletic Association (Division III)

8. Carnegie Mellon Tartans, Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University D3 Football School is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III member. In addition, the team competes in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC).

Carnegie Mellon University D3 Football School was founded in 1900 and is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team plays its home games at Max M. Fisher Athletic Complex and has a color scheme of red, white, and blue. The school colors are red and white, while the mascot is a Tartan Terrier named Hamish.

The Carnegie Mellon University D3 Football School is a comprehensive training program that combines the fundamentals of football with the latest sports science research and cutting-edge technology. The program has been developed by experts in the field, including former NFL players, coaches, and scientists.

The program is broken down into two levels:

Level I – Fundamentals of Football (30-40 hours)

This level is designed for players who have never played football or are new to the sport. It covers all aspects of basic football skills, including; blocking/tackling, route running/passing/catching, offense/defense, etc. This level also includes conditioning programs to develop strength and speed. The goal is to prepare players for Level II, which focuses on advanced skills and strategy while developing their overall athletic ability.

Level II – Advanced Skills & Strategy (30-40 hours)

At this level, players will learn advanced skills such as pass protection schemes, route running, and how to read defenses. Players will also understand team concepts such as formations and game-planning strategies used by professional teams across the country (i.e., Patriots). At this level, we focus on developing individual skills while preparing players for competition at the high school varsity level or beyond.

  • Year Founded: 1900
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • College Type: Private, Urban
  • Enrollment: 6620 (full-time undergrad)
  • Tuition In-State: $57,560
  • Tuition Out of State: $57,560
  • Division: NCAA III
  • Conference: University Athletic Association (Division III)

9. Case Western Reserve Spartans, Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University is a private research university in Cleveland, Ohio. It was created in 1826 by Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University federation. The case offers more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Its history is that Case Western Reserve University (also known as Case Western Reserve, Case Western, CWRU, and Case) is a private research university in Cleveland, Ohio. It was created in 1967 by the federation of the Case Institute of Technology (founded in 1881) and Western Reserve University (founded in 1826).

Case Western Reserve is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of 62 leading research universities in North America. The school’s athletic teams are known as the “Case Western Reserve Spartans.” The school participates in NCAA Division III athletics and is a North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) member.

  • Year Founded: 1826
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • College Type: Private, Urban
  • Enrollment: 4978 (full-time undergrad)
  • Tuition In-State: $61,040
  • Tuition Out of State: $61,040
  • Division: NCAA III
  • Conference: University Athletic Association (Division III)

10. Tufts Jumbos, Tufts University

Tufts University is a private university in Medford, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1852 by industrialist and philanthropist J. P. Tolles, whose bequest to the school formed the basis for its endowment. Tufts College was incorporated in 1852 with Isaac Rich as its first president. Tufts University is a private research university in Medford, Massachusetts, United States. It is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of 10.8%.

Tufts University has four schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, the David Sarnoff School of Computer and Communications Sciences (home to the oldest computer science department in the world), and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. The university offers an alternative medicine degree program in conjunction with Tuft’s medical school. Tufts also offers a joint engineering program with MIT, allowing students to earn two degrees in six years.

The university has two campuses: one in Medford/Somerville and one on Upham’s Corner in Boston’s historic Back Bay neighborhood. The first campus comprises seven buildings around an ample common green space known as The College Green. Tufts’ second campus is located on Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, where it shares its building with Berklee College of Music.

Tufts competes as a member of NCAA Division III within the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

  • Year Founded: 1852
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • College Type: Private, Suburban
  • Enrollment: 5483 (full-time undergrad)
  • Tuition In-State: $58,578
  • Tuition Out of State: $58,578
  • Division: NCAA III
  • Conference: New England Small College Athletic Conference (Division III)

This list of D3 football schools should be successful for those looking for great football programs that don’t have to forfeit academics. Undoubtedly, the D3 level of football requires a special type of player and coach, and several unique challenges go along with playing at this level.

However, there are some great rewards as well. Just be prepared to put in the hard work. So if you’re considering playing at the D3 level and know you’re a good college football player, check out these ten great schools on your next trip to the big city.

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