Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Sam "The Bam" Cunningham

Sam "The Bam" Cunningham


  • Position: Fullback
  • School: Southern California
  • High School: Santa Barbara HS (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • Years: 1970-1972
  • Inducted: 2010
  • Place of Birth: Santa Barbara, CA
  • Date of Birth: Mar 15, 1950
  • Jersey Number: 39
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 212

Member Biography

Sam "Bam" Cunningham earned his nickname for his bruising goal line dives throughout his career with the Trojans. Playing for College Football Hall of Fame coach John McKay, Cunningham rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries against Alabama in his first collegiate game. A member of the Trojans' 1972 national championship team, Cunningham scored four touchdowns in the 1973 Rose Bowl (his final game) and was named the player of the game. Cunningham was the team's Back of the Year and a team captain of a squad that many feel is among the greatest college teams of all-time. A 1972 First Team All-America, Cunningham played innumerous all star games including the Hula Bowl, College All-Star Game and Coaches All-America Game. Drafted 11th overall in the 1973 NFL Draft by New England, he played nine seasons for the Patriots. He was named to the AFC Pro Bowl team in 1978. Following his football career, Cunningham was active in charitable causes and worked as a landscape contractor. He is the older brother of 2016 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Randall Cunningham, who played punter and quarterback at UNLV.