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Don Hansen's Football Gazette Blog of information, comments, notes, and tidebits on Small College Football. NCAA 1-AA & Mid Major, Division II & Mid Major, Division III, NAIA, and NCCAA

Saturday, May 13, 2006


The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Inc.

Four players and three coaches slated for August induction

MORRISTOWN, NJ, May 9, 2006 - Ron Johnson, Chairman of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF), announced the Hall of Fame Divisional Class for 2006, which considers players and coaches from NCAA Divisions I-AA, II, III, and the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) for induction.

This year's class will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame during Enshrinement Ceremonies at the Hall, August 11-12, in South Bend, Indiana. The class includes:


. Kevin Dent - DB, Jackson State, 1985-88

. John Friesz - QB, Idaho, 1986-89

. Ronnie Mallett - E, Central Arkansas, 1978-81

. Jerry Rice - WR, Mississippi Valley State, 1981-84

. Dick Farley - Williams (Mass.) (1983-2003), 114-19-3

. John Gagliardi - Carroll College (Mont.) (1949-52), Saint John's Univ.
(Minn.) (1952-present), 432-118-11

. Vernon "Skip" McCain - Maryland State (1948-63), 102-21-5

"We are very pleased to announce the 2006 College Football Hall of Fame Divisional Class," said Johnson. "Often overlooked by the enormous accomplishments by those on the Division I-A level, it is very important for us to recognize those who have been gridiron legends on all levels of college football."

With 119 chapters and over 12,000 members nationwide, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in America's young people.
NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., Play It Smart, The NFF Center for Youth Development Through Sport at Springfield College (Mass.), the NFL-NFF Coaching Academy, and annual scholarships of nearly $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes.


1. First and Foremost, a player must have received First Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.

2. A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation's Honors Courts ten years after his final year of intercollegiate football played.

3. While each nominee's football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.

4. Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years*. For example, to be eligible for the 2006 ballot,
the player must have played his last year in 1956 or thereafter. In
addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.

5. A coach becomes eligible three years after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage*.

(*Those players that do not comply with the 50-year rule and coaches that have not won 60% of their games may still be eligible for consideration by the Division I-A and Divisional Honors Review Committees, which examine unique cases.)


Kevin Dent
Jackson State University (Miss.)
Defensive Back, 1985-88

A fierce defensive talent, Jackson State's Kevin Dent will become the first defensive player and third overall in school history to enter the College Football Hall of Fame, joining legends Walter Payton and Willie Richardson.

A constant interception threat, Dent is the school's only three-time First Team All-America selection (1986-88). A three-time Sheridan Black College National Defensive Player of the Year, he led the nation in interceptions in
1986 and currently ranks among the Top 25 in NCAA Division I-AA history with
21 career picks.

At 6-foot-2, 196 pounds, Dent was the leader of a defense that vaulted the Tigers to three consecutive Southwest Athletic Conference championships and a remarkable 27-1 conference record. A three-time First Team All-Conference selection, he was twice named SWAC Defensive Player of the Year.

A two-time Mississippi Sports Writers All-Mississippi Team selection, Dent currently ranks fourth all-time at Jackson State in single-season interceptions (11 in 1988). A community minded individual, he continues to reside in Jackson, Mississippi.

John Friesz
University of Idaho
Quarterback, 1986-89

Arguably the greatest player in the 109-year history of the University of Idaho, quarterback John Friesz will become the school's first-ever inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame.

A two-time First Team All-America selection, Friesz twice led the nation in passing and received the 1989 Walter Payton Award as Division I-AA's National Player of the Year. With over 10,000 career passing yards, he ranks among the Top 20 in Division I-AA history.

A Big Sky Conference legend, Friesz was named conference Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference three times while leading the Vandals to three straight conference championships. An eight-time conference Player of the Week mention, he broke virtually every school single-season and career passing record. For all of his prowess, the team's Most Valuable Player Award was renamed the John Friesz Award.

Drafted in the sixth round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, Friesz went on to enjoy a 10-year professional career with four teams. An active member in his community, he has hosted a golf tournament benefiting the American Diabetes Association. A member of Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Friesz also participates in numerous charity events for the Specials Olympics.

Ronnie Mallett
University of Central Arkansas
End, 1978-81

A talented wide receiver with impeccable hands and a nose for the ball, Ronnie Mallett will become the University of Central Arkansas' first-ever inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame.

An offensive force, Mallett earned First Team NAIA All-America honors from 1979-81, the first in school history to achieve the distinction three times.
A team leader and motivational source, he helped guide Central Arkansas to a
33-8-2 record and three conference championships in four seasons.

A three-time All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference selection, Mallett shattered numerous receiving records, many of which he still holds
including: single game receiving yards (242), career touchdown receptions
(30) and career receiving yards (2,649). To date, Mallet ranks in UCA's Top 10 in 20 record categories for receiving.

Despite UCA only averaging 20 pass attempts per game during Mallet's four-year tenure, he is tied for the school record with nine 100-yard receiving games and has three of UCA's four 200-yard receiving game performances.

Jerry Rice
Mississippi Valley State University
Wide Receiver, 1981-84

Widely regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers in football history on any level, Mississippi Valley State's Jerry Rice will join his teammate Willie Totten as both ends of the famed Delta Devil "Satellite Express" will now be members of the College Football Hall of Fame.

A two-time First Team All-America selection, Rice finished ninth in the 1984 Heisman Trophy voting as he set numerous Division I-AA records including single-season receptions (103) and receiving yards (1,450). A three-time First Team All-Conference pick, Rice was named the 1984 SWAC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year for the State of Mississippi. A member of the Super South 11, he shattered school records with 310 career receptions, 4,856 receiving yards and 51 touchdowns.

Drafted in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, Rice became arguably the greatest player in NFL history. In 20 seasons, he was named to the Pro Bowl 13 times, won three Super Bowls and broke virtually every receiving record. His NFL totals exceed 1,500 receptions, 22,000 receiving yards and 200 touchdowns.

In the community, Rice volunteers with the March of the Dimes, Packard Children's Hospital, Nike PLAY program, Team Up for Healthy Kids, United Way
and The Jerry Rice "127" Foundation.

Coach Dick Farley
Williams College (Mass.) (1987-2003)
Head Coach, 114-19-3, .849

A fixture at Williams College for 17 years, Dick Farley brought the Ephs to great heights and established himself as one of the greatest Division III coaches of all-time.

The only coach in Williams history to post a perfect season - a feat he accomplished five times, Farley was named Gridiron Club of Greater Boston New England Coach of the Year four times, NESCAC Coach of the Year twice and Division III Regional Coach of the Year in 1996 by AFCA. The recipient of the Johnny Vaught Lifetime Achievement Award, he recorded New England's longest Division III win streak (23 games).

In 17 years, Williams did not have a losing season on Farley's watch. He recorded 128 consecutive games without back-to-back losses, amassed 11 seasons with at least seven wins and had 12 seasons with one or zero losses.
A masterful leader, he coached nine First Team All-Americas.

Williams' all-time winningest coach, Farley retired with an overall record of 114-19-3 for a win percentage of .849, which currently ranks him sixth
among coaches in all divisions in college football history.

Coach John Gagliardi
Carroll College (Mont.) (1949-52), Saint John's University (Minn.)
Head Coach, 432-118-11, .780

In 2003, John Gagliardi won his 409th game to pass Eddie Robinson as the winningest coach in the history of college football. Few people have influenced the game of football more on the small college level, and he isn't done.

Last season, Gagliardi's 57th, tied him with fellow Hall of Famer Amos Alonzo Staggs for most seasons coached in college football history. In this time, his teams have won four national championships, 27 conference titles and have appeared in 51 national playoff games. Despite his long tenure, Gagliardi has had only two teams with losing records and none since 1967.

To date, Gagliardi has a remarkable record of 432-118-11 for a winning percentage of .780. In 1993, the trophy that has annually been given to the Player of the Year on the Division III level was renamed the Gagliardi Trophy in recognition of the coach's career and influence.

A leader on the gridiron and off, Gagliardi has served as athletics director at both Carroll College and Saint John's. In addition to football, he has coached and won championships in track and ice hockey at SJU. His insights and strategy have been documented in four books written about the coach.

Coach Vernon "Skip" McCain
Maryland State College (1948-63)
Head Coach, 102-21-5, .810

For more than a quarter of a century Maryland State College was regarded as a football powerhouse among historically black colleges. The architect of
16 of these teams was head coach Vernon "Skip" McCain.

Named Coach of the Year by the Pigskin Club of Washington in 1950, McCain led his teams to four Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and never recorded a single losing season in 16 years at the helm.

With a career record of 102-21-5, McCain is one of only 28 coaches in the history of college football to have a winning percentage greater than .800 among those whom have coached at least nine seasons. A leader of men, he guided MSC to three undefeated seasons and seven seasons of seven wins or more. For all of his accomplishments, he was named to the MSC and Langston University Halls of Fame.

In the community, McCain served as the school's athletics director, head baseball coach and head basketball coach during his career. An active member of the Metropolitan United Church, he was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Langston University Alumni Association.

NFF Contacts:
Matt Sweeney.....Director of Special Projects
22 Maple Ave.
Morristown, NJ 07960
973.829.1933 Ext. 116

Phil Marwill.....Director of Communications
22 Maple Ave.
Morristown, NJ 07960
973.829.1933 Ext. 118


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