The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced today the members of the 2013 Divisional College Football Hall of Fame Class.
(Pictured: Legendary coach Boots Donnelly is one of seven members (four players, three coaches) of the 2013 Divisional College Football Hall of Fame Class.)
DALLAS, May 29, 2013
– The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced today the members of the 2013 Divisional College Football Hall of Fame Class. The Divisional College Football Hall of Fame considers players and coaches from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III, and the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) for induction. The class includes:
2013 DIVISIONAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS
· SHELBY JORDAN – Washington University in St. Louis [Mo.], LB (1969-72)
· JOE MICCHIA – Westminster College [Pa.], QB (1987-89)
· ART SHELL – University of Maryland Eastern Shore, OT (1964-67)
· JEFF WITTMAN – Ithaca College [N.Y.], FB (1989-92)
· FRANK CIGNETTI – West Virginia University (1976-79), Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1986-05); 199-77-1 (72.0%)
· JAMES “BOOTS” DONNELLY – Austin Peay State University (1977-78), Middle Tennessee State University (1979-98); 154-94-1 (62.0%)
· JESS DOW* – Southern Connecticut State University (1948-65); 108-40-6 (72.1%)
“This is a truly exceptional group of College Football Hall of Fame inductees from the divisional ranks,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee from Ole Miss. “We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments this summer, and we applaud them for reaching the pinnacle of recognition in our great sport.”
The NFF launched its Divisional Hall of Fame program in 1996 during its annual enshrinement festival. A total of 144 players and coaches, counting this year's class, have been inducted from the divisional ranks, including Terry Bradshaw (Louisiana Tech), Walter Payton (Jackson State), John Randle (Texas A&M – Kingsville), Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State), and coach Eddie Robinson (Grambling State).
Including the recently announced 2013 Football Bowl Subdivision class and this class of divisional honorees, only 934 players and 205 coaches, have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 4.92 million who have played or coached the game over the past 144 years. In other words, only two one-hundredths of one percent (.0002) of the individuals who have played the game have been deemed worthy of this distinction. This year’s divisional class brings the number of schools represented with at least one College Football Hall of Famer to 296.
The 2013 Divisional College Football Hall of Fame Class will be honored this summer in Atlanta, Ga., during the Enshrinement ceremonies in August.
(Note: The 2012 College Football Hall of Famers from the Football Bowl Subdivision, who were inducted at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 4, 2012, will be enshrined this summer in Atlanta, Ga., with the 2013 divisional class. The FBS class that was announced on May 7 will be inducted on Dec.10, 2013 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City and enshrined in the summer of 2014.)
Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.)
The consummate student-athlete during his collegiate career, Washington University in St. Louis’ Shelby Jordan becomes the first Bear player in history to tackle induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
A brooding 6-foot-7, 270-pound tackler, Jordan led WUSL in tackles for three consecutive seasons en route to being named a Kodak First Team All-American during his senior campaign. The 1972 team captain and Bears MVP is considered the greatest defensive player in school history, and he was named to the school’s 1990 All-Centennial football team. Equally impressive in the classroom, the pre-med student was a member of the Washington University Career Scholarship Program, and he graduated with a degree in psychology.
Drafted in the seventh round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers, he eventually became a six-year starter for the New England Patriots at offensive tackle and later won Super Bowl XVIII with the Los Angeles Raiders.
Jordan and his wife, Donzella, fund and direct a Los Angeles-based nonprofit economic-development corporation that provides affordable urban housing and services for families and seniors. He has received numerous awards for his work within the community, and he was named a WUSL Distinguished Alumni in 2009. Jordan was an inaugural inductee in his alma mater’s sports hall of fame in 1991.
Westminster College (Pa.)
With an undefeated record as a starter and two national championships under his belt, few can match the stellar collegiate career of Westminster’s Joe Micchia. The quarterback becomes the third Titans player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A two-time All-American (1989 – First Team, 1988 – Second Team), Micchia led Westminster to back-to-back undefeated seasons en route to consecutive NAIA Division II national championships. The school’s first-ever 4,000-yard passer holds Titans records for career (68) and season (32) touchdown passes, and he went 31-0 as a starter. A two-time national title game MVP, he led his team to a 27-game winning streak (1988-89) that ranked as the nation’s longest among all divisions at the time.
After graduating from Westminster, Micchia completed medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1994, later completing his residency in Columbus, Ohio. He worked at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and at North Raleigh Primary Care before forming a practice in Wake Forest, N.C. with his wife in 2010.
Micchia played for College Football Hall of Fame coach Joe Fusco at Westminster, and he was inducted into the Titan Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Offensive Tackle, 1964-67
Before his career as a celebrated player and coach in the NFL, Art Shell was a versatile athlete on both sides of the ball for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He becomes the third Hawks inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame.
A four-year letterman, who played both offensive and defensive tackle, Shell claimed both Little All-American and Pittsburgh Courier Black College All-America honors in 1967. The three-time All-Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) performer blocked for College Football Hall of Fame halfback Emerson Boozer, and he led UMES to a 20-8-1 record during his career.
Shell was drafted by the AFL’s Oakland Raiders and became an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time First Team All-Pro. The three-time Super Bowl champion (XI, XV, XVIII) participated in 24 playoff appearances with the Raiders and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989.
Shell has held the UMES Celebrity Golf Classic since 2000, and he was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in 1984. He is also a member of the Black College Football and the CIAA halls of fame. Following his playing days, he was twice named the head coach of the Raiders, becoming the first African-American to head a modern-day NFL team. Shell currently serves as a joint NFL/NFLPA representative to review fines and suspensions levied for on-field misconduct.
Ithaca College (N.Y.)
Earning First Team All-America status once is hard enough, but three times proved to be the charm for Ithaca’s Jeff Wittman. He now joins his head coach Jim Butterfield as one of the only two Bombers in the College Football Hall of Fame.
A record-breaking fullback, Wittman led Ithaca to the Division III national title in 1991 and was subsequently named MVP of the Stagg Bowl after a stellar three-touchdown performance. A three-time First Team All-American from 1990-92, he broke 16 career rushing and scoring records while leading the Bombers to a 36-8-0 record during his prolific career. The 1993 Ben Light Senior Male Athlete of the Year ran for 100-plus yards in a game 18 times, and he rushed for an Ithaca-record 3,410 yards and 44 touchdowns during his collegiate campaign.
After graduating from Ithaca in 1993, Wittman returned to his hometown of Rochester, N.Y., to pursue his passion for teaching and coaching. He taught at an elementary school within the Gates Chili Central School District while also coaching the junior varsity football and wrestling teams at the local high school. He currently teaches physical education at Gates Chili High School.
More than 20 years later, Wittman remains a fixture atop the Ithaca and Stagg Bowl record books and was inducted into his alma mater’s athletics hall of fame in 2001.
West Virginia University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Head Coach, 199-77-1 (72.0%)
The winningest head coach in Indiana University of Pennsylvania history, Frank Cignetti led the Hawks to unprecedented success during his 20-year tenure from 1986 to 2005. He becomes the third IUP representative in the College Football Hall of Fame, following defensive end Jim Haslett (2001) and fellow coach Chuck Klausing (1998).
It didn’t take long for Cignetti to find success at IUP, leading the Hawks to conference titles in his first two seasons in 1986 and 1987 and subsequent Division II national title game appearances in 1990 and 1993. He took IUP to 13 Division II playoffs appearances, including six trips to the national semifinals, and he led the Hawks to at least a co-share of the PSAC Western Division title 14 times. Under his tutelage, IUP ranked in the Top 20 each season from 1986-2004, achieving undefeated regular seasons in 1991 and 1993. He retired after the 2005 season as the third-winningest active coach in Division II.
Cignetti’s teams received the Lambert Cup 10 times as the top Division II team in the East. He was named the PSAC West Coach of the Year five times and the Kodak College Division Regional Coach of the Year three times en route to earning Chevrolet Division II National Coach of the Year honors in 1991. Cignetti coached 11 First Team All-Americans and 124 First Team All-PSAC performers.
Cignetti served as the offensive coordinator at West Virginia University under College Football Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden from 1970-75 before taking over as the Mountaineers’ head coach for four seasons (1976-79). The former NAIA All-American, who played end at IUP from 1956-59, was an inaugural member of his alma mater’s athletics hall of fame in 1996, and he served as the school’s athletics director from 1982-98.
JAMES “BOOTS” DONNELLY
Austin Peay State University, Middle Tennessee State University
Head Coach, 154-94-1 (62.0%)
After resurrecting two college football programs in his home state of Tennessee, James “Boots” Donnelly now rises to ultimate success as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. He becomes the first Hall of Famer in both Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee State history.
Donnelly started his head coaching career at Austin Peay State, taking a program that had never won a football championship to an Ohio Valley Conference title in his first season on the job. After two seasons and a 14-7 record, he left APSU for his alma mater where he would spend the next 20 years leading the Blue Raiders to unprecedented success. Donnelly led MTSU to nine top 20 regular-season finishes and seven NCAA I-AA playoff appearances, guiding MTSU to a 31-game home winning streak from 1987-93. He won or shared the Ohio Valley Conference title five times, was named the OVC Coach of the Year four times, and is the only coach in OVC history to win a conference title at two different schools.
The Nashville, Tenn., native was named the 1989 NFF Middle Tennessee Chapter’s Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award winner and is a member of the organization’s board of directors, instrumental in fundraising for scholarships. Donnelly currently serves as the CEO of the Backfield in Motion organization, which combines academics and athletics to inspire inner city boys to reach their maximum potential.
A defensive back at MTSU from 1962-64, Donnelly led the Raiders to a conference championship and a Grantland Rice Bowl win in 1964. He later served as athletics director for three years at his alma mater, playing an integral role in moving Middle Tennessee to the FBS level. He is a member of the Blue Raider and the Tennessee Sports halls of fame.
Southern Connecticut State University
Head Coach, 108-40-6 (72.1%)
The coach of the only unbeaten-untied (9-0-0) team in Southern Connecticut State history, Jess Dow becomes the first-ever Owl to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Forty-eight years after his last season, he remains SCSU’s most successful coach with a 72.1 winning percentage.
The founder of the Southern Connecticut athletics, Dow established the football program, and he served as head coach from 1948-65. He enjoyed 16 winning seasons, including a perfect 9-0-0 in 1956, and he led the Owls to seven seasons in which only one game was lost. He also guided his 1959 team to an appearance in the NAIA playoff semifinals. Dow was named Connecticut Coach of the Year in 1950 and 1953 and Eastern Football Coach of the Year in his final season at the helm. He completed his career as the winningest college division coach in New England.
A native of Tona, Texas, Dow was a three-year letterman at fullback for West Texas A&M University from 1935-37, and he is a member of the WTAMU Hall of Honor. He later played three seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles until World War II, when he served as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy.
Dow served as Southern Connecticut’s athletics director from 1948-75, and he also coached the school’s track, basketball, baseball, and golf teams. In 1988 Southern Connecticut dedicated Jess Dow Field, a multi-million dollar stadium facility that can accommodate football, soccer, field hockey and track & field. He was a member of the school’s inaugural hall of fame class in 1986. Dow passed away in 2003 at age 88.
ABOUT The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Award presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. NFF corporate partners include the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the BCS, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Liberty Mutual Insurance, NCAA Football, and Under Armour. For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.