National Football Foundation

News Detail

William Fuller Set for Nov. 5 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, Presented by Fidelity Investments
North Carolina and the National Football Foundation will jointly honor Fuller, a 2016 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, as the Tar Heels host Georgia Tech.
Published: 11/3/2016 10:30:00 AM

IRVING, Texas (Nov. 3, 2016) – The University of North Carolina and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor William Fuller with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments. The Salute will take place Nov. 5 in Chapel Hill, N.C., during the Tar Heels’ game against Georgia Tech. Coverage of the game will start at 12:30 p.m. ET on the ACC Network.

“We are extremely proud that…William Fuller will join a long list of ACC players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “[Fellow 2016 inductee] Derrick [Brooks] and William were two of the greatest defensive players – both in this league and nationally. They join an outstanding 2016 class, and we are pleased that they are being recognized by the National Football Foundation.”

The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program, which began with the inaugural class in 1951, has become a hallowed tradition, and to this day the singular events 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.

“William Fuller used his tremendous quickness to slice through offensive lines during his standout career at North Carolina,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “We are thrilled to honor him in front of the Tar Heel faithful at Kenan Memorial Stadium.”

A defensive tackle at North Carolina from 1981-83, Fuller is one of just six North Carolina players to twice earn First-Team All-America honors. A consensus First Team All-American in 1983, Fuller owns the school record with 57 career tackles for loss and set a then school-record for single-season tackles for loss with 22 in both 1981 and 1983. The two-time Outland Trophy finalist led the Tar Heels to three consecutive bowl berths, including wins in the 1981 Gator Bowl and 1982 Sun Bowl.

Fuller was the only unanimous choice on the 1983 All-ACC team, and he is one of just three defensive linemen ever to make All-ACC for three straight years. A team captain as a senior, he finished his career with 225 tackles and 20 sacks, and he earned invitations to both the Hula Bowl and the Japan Bowl. Fuller was one of just two defensive linemen named to the ACC Silver Anniversary Team, and his No. 95 has been retired by UNC.

Fuller was selected in the first round of the NFL Supplemental Draft, but he chose to start his pro career with the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars of the USFL. He led the Stars to consecutive league championships before moving to the NFL, where he played 13 seasons with the Houston Oilers, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers. A member of the All-Time USFL Team, Fuller was a four-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowl selection.

A noted philanthropist, Fuller hosts the William Fuller Golf Tournament to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, which has raised nearly $5 million for the organization. He is also involved in the United Way, Special Olympics, Ronald McDonald House, Philadelphia Services for the Blind and the Boys’ Club of America. Fuller endowed a football scholarship at UNC, and he has served on numerous boards, including Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and the Educational Foundation at UNC. He currently serves as manager at Fuller Consulting Group, LLC, in Virginia.

Fuller becomes the fifth Tar Heel to be inducted, joining Dre Bly (1996-98), Charlie Justice (1946-49), Don McCauley (1968-70) and Art Weiner (1946-49). Two coaches with stops in Chapel Hill are also in the Hall: Carl Snavely (1934-35, 1945-52) and Jim Tatum (1942, 1956-58).

Including the 2016 class, only 977 players and 211 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.19 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 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City’s historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 6. This year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Marlin Briscoe (Nebraska Omaha), Derrick Brooks (Florida State), Tom Cousineau (Ohio State), Randall Cunningham (UNLV), Troy Davis (Iowa State), William Fuller (North Carolina), Bert Jones (LSU), Tim Krumrie (Wisconsin), Pat McInally (Harvard), Herb Orvis (Colorado), Bill Royce (Ashland [Ohio]), Mike Utley (Washington State), Scott Woerner (Georgia), Rod Woodson (Purdue) and coaches Bill Bowes (New Hampshire) and Frank Girardi (Lycoming [Pa.]). For more information on the Dinner, please contact Will Rudd at wrudd@footballfoundation.com or by calling 972.556.1000.

The inductees will also be honored at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 31, and they will take part in a series of events at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta where their accomplishments will be forever immortalized.

Remaining Scheduled 2016 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes
Presented by Fidelity Investments
(Chronological Order)

DATE

INDUCTEE

SCHOOL
(YEARS PLAYED/COACHED)

OPPOSING TEAM

Nov. 5

William Fuller

North Carolina (1981-83)

Georgia Tech

Nov. 12

Rod Woodson

Purdue (1983-86)

Northwestern

Nov. 19

Pat McInally

Harvard (1972-74)

Yale


The 2016 season marks the seventh 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 27th time in 2016.

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 $5.6 trillion, including managed assets of $2.1 trillion as of September 30, 2016, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 25 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 investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for 70 years, Fidelity employs 45,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about.

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 FootballMatters.org, 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 Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Hofmann Brands, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org.

FootballMatters.org


Created by the National Football Foundation, FootballMatters.org is the home for storytelling that promotes the power of amateur football.

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