Three with ACC ties named to National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame
The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Monday named three new inductees with ties to current ACC schools as members of its 2017 class that will be inducted next December at its annual banquet in New York City.
Named from current ACC schools were Boston College defensive tackle Mike Ruth, former Clemson and Arkansas head coach Danny Ford, and former Duke, Florida and South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier.
Ruth, the recipient of the 1985 Outland Trophy as the most outstanding interior lineman in the nation, terrorized offensive lines with his combination of strength and quickness. He becomes the seventh Boston College player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. A consensus first team All-America as a senior, Ruth led the Eagles to three bowl games, including a win in the 1985 Cotton Bowl against Houston. Boston College would finish the 1984 season ranked No. 5 nationally. A three-time All-East and All-ECAC selection, he led the Eagles to back-to-back Lambert Trophies as the top team in the East.
Ford is the fourth former Clemson head coach to be named to the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame. The others are John Heisman, Jess Neely, and Frank Howard. Former Clemson players in the Hall of Fame are Banks McFadden, Terry Kinard and Jeff Davis.
Ford coached Clemson from 1978-89 and posted a record of 96-29-4. The highlight of his Clemson tenure took place in 1981 when the Tigers posted a 12-0 record and defeated Nebraska, 22-15, in the 1982 Orange Bowl to win the school’s first National Championship. Ford’s winning percentage at Clemson (.760) is still the third best among all ACC head coaches and his total of 96 wins still ties for fifth best in league.
In his 11 full years as Clemson head coach, Ford won five ACC Championships and had seven top 25 teams. He coached 21 different players who earned All-American honors. Many of his players went on to fame in the NFL, including 10 who combined to win 13 Super Bowl Championships.
Ford was just 33 years, seven months and 30 days at the time of the win over Nebraska and he is still the youngest coach to win the National Championship.
Spurrier began his collegiate head coaching career at Duke, guiding the Blue Devils to a three-year record of 20-13-1 (.603) during the 1987 through 1989 seasons, In 1989, he coached the Blue Devils to a 6-1 conference mark and an ACC co-championship with Virginia. It is the only ACC football title for Duke in the last 54 years. He was named ACC Coach of the Year in two of his three (1988-89) seasons as the Blue Devils’ head coach.
Spurrier, who retired during the 2015 season after winning a total of 228 games, spent 12 seasons as head coach at Florida (1990-2001) and 11 years at South Carolina (2005-15), with also a stint as head coach of the Washington Redskins of the NFL.
Spurrier becomes the fourth Duke head coach to be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame, joining Howard Jones (inducted in 1951), Wallace Wade (1955) and Bill Murray (1974). In addition, former Duke head coach Mike McGee was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1990 and is joined by eight other Blue Devils including Fred Crawford (1973), Al DeRogatis (1986), Dan Hill (1962), Clarkston Hines (2010), Steve Lach (1980), George McAfee (1961), Ace Parker (1955) and Eric Tipton (1965).
The 1966 Heisman Trophy winner as a quarterback at Florida, Spurrier had previously been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player and becomes only the fourth person to be named to the Hall as both a player and a coach joining Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Bowden Wyatt.
The new tradition of announcing the College Football Hall of Fame class in conjunction with the CFP National Championship began in 2015 before the inaugural CFP title game in Dallas. The 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be inducted at the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 5, 2017, at the New York Hilton Midtown. The inductees will also be honored at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on January 1, 2018, and they will be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the fall.
“We are extremely proud to announce the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Ole Miss. “Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played or coached the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments.”
Other members of the class include former players Bob Brable (Notre Dame, LB, 1978-81), Marshall Faulk (San Diego State, RB, 1991-93), Kirk Gibson (Michigan State, WR, 1975-78), Matt Leinart (Southern California, QB, 2003-05), Peyton Manning (Tennessee, QB, 1994-97), Bob McKay (Texas, OT, 1968-69), Dat Nguyen (Texas A&M, LB, 1995-98), Adrian Peterson (Georgia Southern, RB, 1998-01), Mike Ruth (Boston College, NG, 1982-85) and Brian Urlacher (New Mexico, DB, 1996-99) and former Mount Union head coach Larry Kehres.