National Football Foundation

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Coach Danny Ford Set for Oct. 28 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, Presented by Fidelity Investments
Clemson and the National Football Foundation will jointly honor Ford, a 2017 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, as the Tigers host Georgia Tech.
Published: 10/26/2017 12:45:00 PM

IRVING, Texas (Oct. 26, 2017) – Clemson University and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor former head coach Danny Ford with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments. The Salute will take place this Saturday, Oct. 28, during the Tigers’ game against Georgia Tech. Coverage of the game will start at 8 p.m. ET on ABC or ESPN2.

“It all goes back to the players and coaches,” Ford told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette after the announcement in January. “You have to surround yourself with good people. I think the head coach probably does less coaching than anybody on the staff.”

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.

“Danny Ford coached one of the most successful runs in Clemson history, and he still remains the youngest coach ever to win a national championship,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “We are thrilled to honor him in Death Valley.”

The youngest coach in college football history to win a national championship, Ford was only 33 when he led Clemson to a perfect 12-0 season in 1981 after defeating Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. The head coach at Clemson from 1978-89 and Arkansas from 1993-97, he won 66.9 percent of his games while amassing a 122-59-5 overall record.

He guided the Tigers to six wins in eight bowl games, the second-most bowl victories among ACC coaches, with five coming against Hall of Fame coaches. The 1981 AFCA and Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year coached Clemson to a school-record 41 consecutive weeks in the AP Top 20 and eight top 20 seasons, including four in the top 10. A two-time ACC Coach of the Year, Ford led the Tigers to five conference titles and his 51 wins over his first six years is an ACC record.

Ford’s 76.0 winning percentage with the Tigers ranks first in school history among coaches who served at least three seasons, and he is second in wins at Clemson (96) behind only College Football Hall of Fame coach Frank Howard. Ford never had a losing season at Clemson, guided them to the second most postseason appearances in school history and led the university to its first national championship in any sport.

At Arkansas, Ford led the Razorbacks to the 1995 SEC Western Division title, a spot in the conference championship game and a bowl berth.

During his career at both universities, Ford coached 15 First Team All-Americans, including Hall of Famers Jeff Davis and Terry Kinard at Clemson. He also coached 73 first team all-conference selections, 21 Academic All-ACC players, three ACC Players of the Year, two ACC Rookies of the Year and two recipients of the ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy. He also coached 1978 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Steve Fuller.

Ford was a team captain and earned First Team All-SEC honors playing for College Football Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant at Alabama. Before becoming Clemson’s head coach, he served an assistant coach at Clemson, Virginia Tech and on Bryant’s 1973 national championship team at Alabama. A member of the Clemson Ring of Honor, Ford is enshrined in the Clemson, Orange Bowl, Peach Bowl, State of Alabama Sports and State of South Carolina Sports halls of fame. A scholarship at Clemson has been named in his honor.

Ford becomes the fourth Clemson coach to be inducted, joining John Heisman (1900-03), Frank Howard (1940-69) and Jess Neely (1931-39).

Three former Tiger players are also enshrined in the Hall: Jeff Davis (1978-81), Terry Kinard (1978-82) and Banks McFadden (1937-39).

Including the 2017 class, only 987 players and 214 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.26 million people who have played or coached the game over the past 148 years. In other words, only two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) 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 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown on Tuesday, Dec. 5. This year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Bob Crable (Notre Dame), Marshall Faulk (San Diego State), Kirk Gibson (Michigan State), Matt Leinart (Southern California), Peyton Manning (Tennessee), Bob McKay (Texas), Dat Nguyen (Texas A&M), Adrian Peterson (Georgia Southern), Mike Ruth (Boston College), Brian Urlacher (New Mexico) and coaches Danny Ford (Clemson, Arkansas), Larry Kehres (Mount Union [Ohio]) and Steve Spurrier (Duke, Florida, South Carolina). 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 Jan. 1, 2018, 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 2017 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes
Presented by Fidelity Investments
(Chronological Order)

DATE

INDUCTEE

SCHOOL
(YEARS PLAYED/COACHED)

OPPOSING TEAM

Oct. 27

Mike Ruth

Boston College (1982-85)

Florida State

Oct. 28

Coach Danny Ford

Clemson (1978-89)

Georgia Tech

Nov. 4

Dat Nguyen

Texas A&M (1995-98)

Auburn


The 2017 season marks the eighth 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 28th time in 2017.

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, which recognizes the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives around the country.


About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity’s mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $6.4 trillion, including managed assets of $2.3 trillion as of August 31, 2017, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 26 million people invest their own life savings, 23,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing more than 12,500 financial advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for 70 years, Fidelity employs more than 40,000 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, 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


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