National Football Foundation

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Thom Gatewood Set for Sept. 26 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, Presented by Fidelity Investments
Notre Dame and the National Football Foundation will jointly honor Gatewood, a 2015 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, as the Fighting Irish host UMass.
Published: 9/25/2015 10:50:00 AM
(Pictured: Notre Dame and the NFF will jointly honor Thom Gatewood with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, Saturday, Sept. 26, during the game between the Fighting Irish and UMass.)

IRVING, Texas  (Sept. 25, 2015)
– The University of Notre Dame and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor Thom Gatewood with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, Saturday, Sept. 26, in South Bend, Ind., during the game between Notre Dame and UMass. Coverage of the game will start at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

“I had to scrape myself off the floor when I found out,” Gatewood told the South Bend Tribune after the announcement in January. “I’ve been on the ballot for 30, 35 years. I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to be recognized with the other players from my era. My wife always encouraged me, ‘You belong, so it will eventually happen.’”

The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program is a hallowed tradition that began with the inaugural class in 1951, and to this day the salutes remain the first of numerous activities in each inductee’s Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many inductees cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and hear the crowd roar their name.

“The first African-American captain in Notre Dame history, Thom Gatewood set almost every receiving record in school history during his career from 1969-71,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “He was as an All-American both on and off the field and we are thrilled to honor him in front of the Irish faithful at Notre Dame Stadium.”

A consensus First Team All-American in 1970, Gatewood led Notre Dame in receiving all three seasons of his career. He owned multiple Irish receiving records for more than 30 years, including single-season (77) and career (157)  receptions, single-season (1,123) and career (2,283) receiving yards and career receiving touchdowns (21).

During his career, Gatewood led Notre Dame to an impressive 26-5-1 record and back-to-back Cotton Bowls, including a win in the 1971 edition against Texas. Playing for College Football Hall of Fame coach Ara Parseghian, the Baltimore native appeared alongside fellow Hall of Famers Dave Casper and Joe Theismann at Notre Dame. Academically, Gatewood excelled, and he was named an NFF National Scholar-Athlete in 1971 and a two-time Academic All-American.

Gatewood spent two seasons in the NFL after being selected by the New York Giants in the fifth round of the 1972 draft. A member of the Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame, he went on to serve as director and stage manager for ABC News and ABC Sports, receiving both an Emmy and Peabody Award for his work.

A stalwart in the community, Gatewood serves on the advisory board for the “Healthy Children, Healthy Futures” initiative, which helps set ground work for fitness and nutrition in inner city communities, and he is a volunteer for Minority Athletes Networking Etc. He currently is the owner and president of the advertising specialty company Blue Atlas Productions and the co-owner of Larkspur Lane Ltd., a television production company.

Gatewood becomes the 45th Fighting Irish player to be inducted, joining Hunk Anderson (1918-21), Angelo Bertelli (1941-43), Tim Brown (1984-87), Ross Browner (1973, 1975-77), Jack Cannon (1927-29), Frank Carideo (1928-30), Dave Casper (1971-73), George Connor (1946-47), Jim Crowley (1922-24), Ziggy Czarobski (1942-43, 1946-47), Bob Dove (1940-42), Ray Eichenlaub (1911-14), Bill Fischer (1945-48), George Gipp (1917-20), Jerry Groom (1948-50), Ralph Guglielmi (1951-54), Leon Hart (1946-49), Frank Hoffmann (1930-31), Paul Hornung (1954-56), John Huarte (1962-64), Johnny Lattner (1951-53), Elmer Layden (1922-24), Johnny Lujack (1943, 1946-47), Jim Lynch (1964-66), Ken MacAfee (1974-77), Jim Martin (1946-49), Bert Metzger (1928-30), Creighton Miller (1941-43), Don Miller (1922-24), Edgar Miller (1922-24), Fred Miller (1926-28), Wayne Millner (1933-35), Alan Page (1964-66), Louis Salmon (1900-03), Marchy Schwartz (1929-31), William Shakespeare (1933-35), Red Sitko (1946-49), John Smith (1925-27), Harry Stuhldreher (1922-24), Joe Theismann (1968-70), Adam Walsh (1922-24), Bob Williams (1948-50), Tommy Yarr (1929-31) and Chris Zorich (1987-90).

Six coaches with stops in South Bend are in the Hall: Dan Devine (1975-80), Jesse Harper (1913-17), Lou Holtz (1986-96), Frank Leahy (1941-43, 1946-53), Ara Parseghian (1964-74) and Knute Rockne (1918-30).

Including the 2015 class, only 963 players and 209 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.12 million people who have played or coached the game over the past 147 years. In other words, only two ten-thousandths of one percent (.0002) of those who have set foot on the gridiron have earned the distinction. Click here for a complete list of players and coaches in the Hall.

The 2015 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City’s historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 8. This year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Trev Alberts (Nebraska), Brian Bosworth (Oklahoma), Bob Breunig (Arizona State), Sean Brewer (Millsaps [Miss.]), Ruben Brown (Pittsburgh), Wes Chandler (Florida), Thom Gatewood (Notre Dame), Dick Jauron (Yale), Clinton Jones (Michigan State), Lincoln Kennedy (Washington), the late Rob Lytle (Michigan), Michael Payton (Marshall), Art Still (Kentucky), Zach Thomas (Texas Tech), Ricky Williams (Texas) and coaches Bill Snyder (Kansas State) and Jim Tressel (Youngstown State, Ohio State). For more information, please contact Will Rudd at or by calling 972.556.1000.

Remaining Scheduled 2015 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes
Presented by Fidelity Investments
(Chronological Order)





Sept. 26

Rob Lytle

Michigan (1974-76)


Sept. 26

Thom Gatewood

Notre Dame (1969-71)


Sept. 26

Zach Thomas

Texas Tech (1992-95)


Oct. 3

Michael Payton

Marshall (1989-92)

Old Dominion

Oct. 3

Brian Bosworth

Oklahoma (1984-86)

West Virginia

Oct. 10

Sean Brewer

Millsaps [Miss.] (1989-92)

Centre [Ky.]

Oct. 10

Trev Alberts

Nebraska (1990-93)


Oct. 10

Coach Jim Tressel

Youngstown State (1986-2000)

Illinois State

Oct. 24

Ricky Williams

Texas (1995-98)

Kansas State

Oct. 29

Ruben Brown

Pittsburgh (1991-94)

North Carolina

Nov. 14

Bob Breunig

Arizona State (1972-74)


Nov. 21

Dick Jauron

Yale (1970-72)


Nov. 27

Lincoln Kennedy

Washington (1989-92)

Washington State

The 2015 season marks the sixth season that Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans to higher education employees, is serving as the national presenting sponsor of the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes. The salutes are one component of a multi-year initiative between the two organizations to celebrate the scholar-athlete ideal and a joint commitment to higher education. At the start of the 2014 season, Fidelity became the presenting sponsor of the William V. Campbell Trophy, college football’s premier scholar-athlete award, which will be presented for the 26th time in 2015. Other highlights of the sponsorship include Fidelity becoming the first presenting sponsor of the organization’s prestigious NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards and helping launch the NFF Faculty Salutes Initiative, which recognizes the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives around the country.

About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity’s goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $5.1 trillion, including managed assets of $2.0 trillion as of August 31, 2015, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 24 million people invest their own life savings, nearly 20,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing nearly 10,000 advisory firms with technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for nearly 70 years, Fidelity employs 42,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit

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 in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, SKP, the Sports Business Journal and Under Armour. Learn more at

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