Fayetteville State has a long history as one of the premier football programs in North Carolina and the CIAA. The Broncos began playing football games as early as 1921, eventually joining the North Carolina Athletic Association in 1934. In 1940, Fayetteville State joined the Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, where it built a sturdy 47-29-3 record. Fayetteville State later left the EIAC in 1954 to join the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), where it has remained to this day as one of the hallmarks of the conference's history. Fayetteville State has won three CIAA Championships, each in the last decade, with titles in 2002, 2003 and 2009.

2002 Broncos head coach Kenny Phillips came to Fayetteville State in 2000 and quickly became the architect for what would become one of the CIAA's elite programs. In just his third season at the helm, Phillips led the Broncos to 10 victories in 2002, shaping a team that would go on to claim Fayetteville State's first CIAA football championship. The Broncos finished the season with just one regular season loss in a year that featured a stretch of seven straight wins, including a thrilling 30-26 victory in four overtimes over rival Winston-Salem State. The Broncos placed eight players on the CIAA's First Team All-Conference Squad after their 17-14 victory over Bowie State in the CIAA Championship in Winston-Salem, NC. Fayetteville State then advanced to the NCAA Division II Playoffs to cap a 10-2 season.

2003 The road to the CIAA Championship was a tad bumpier in 2003, with the Broncos opening the season with a 2-2 mark through four games. But Fayetteville State got on a roll after that, winning four of its next five games on its way to closing out the regular season. That was enough for the Broncos to earn a berth into the CIAA's title game against Virginia Union in Durham, NC. There, the Broncos knocked off the Panthers 23-19 to claim back-to-back championships. Fayetteville State finished the season 7-4 after making an appearance in the Pioneer Bowl against Albany State in Atlanta, GA, with five players earning selections to the CIAA's First Team All-Conference squad.

2009 The Broncos' third CIAA Championship season got off to a rocky start, with Fayetteville State dropping its first two games of the season by a combined eight points. The Broncos regrouped to win their next two games, but following yet another close loss, found themselves just 2-3 through five games. But that's when the stampede started. Fayetteville State won its last five games of the regular season to mirror their charging finishes of the previous two title seasons. Earning a trip to the CIAA Championship in Durham, NC, Fayetteville State thumped Bowie State 21-10 to claim the program's third championship in a span of just seven years, establishing itself as one of the CIAA's marquee programs. Fayetteville State punched its ticket for another NCAA Division II Playoff appearance and finished the season 8-4 with a total of eight players being named to the CIAA's First and Second All-Conference Teams.

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