COLUMBIA, Mo. -

The Lincoln University football program is rising from it's ashes. 

They are team trying to climb the ladder to success after the football program was restored in 1999.

"When you shut something down for 10 years and it's been in existence for 50 years and you know there was a great history at Lincoln Universities in the 50s, 60s, 70s. Then in 1989 they decided to shut the program down and you bring it back you have to resurrect a lot of different things and it takes a long time to do that," said head football coach Mike Jones.

This is Head Coach Jones' fourth year on the sidelines with the blue tigers.

He says having something to fight for is giving his team motivation to overcome obstacles on the field.

"We are underdogs and we trying to play up to that," said Jones.

Coach Jones is seeing results, three wins last season is the most since 2003.

"We're making significant progress. I think the guys are realizing that. Now - it used to be, you were just happy being in the game, now guys are mad they are losing. So you can see the mindset change and the mentality changing," Jones said.

That is what they need, Coach Jones says, the players to fully invest in the program.

His athletes have and not just on the field. As a team, they laid down the concrete in their new weight room.

"Now the guys understand - I built that weight room. We are talking about doing some different things in the stadium. So now with all these different things we are doing, now they feel they are a part of it, apart of something and when you feel apart of something that is when you can change things."

Like the history books of the university.

"These guys want to change that, they want to, I tell them you can be somewhat like folk heroes here. Forty-two years, you become the first team to have a winning season here and it's realistic."