2017 College Football HOF Class: Coaches

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Clemson University (1978-89),
Arkansas (1993-97)
Head Coach, 122-59-5 (66.9%)
The youngest coach in college football history to win a national
championship, Danny Ford was only 33 when he led Clemson to a perfect
12-0 season in 1981 after defeating Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. After
coaching one of the most successful runs in Clemson history from
1978-89, he also coached at Arkansas from 1993-97.
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
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. 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.

Univ. of Mount Union (OH.) (1986-2012)
Head Coach, 332-24-3 (92.9%)
Boasting the highest winning percentage (93%) in college football
history, Larry Kehres established himself as a coaching legend during
his 27 seasons at Mount Union from 1986-2012. He also owns the most
national titles (11), most conference titles (23) and most unbeaten
regular seasons (21) of any college football coach in history.
The winningest coach in Ohio Athletic Conference and Mount Union
history, Kehres set an NCAA record for most consecutive victories
after winning 55 from 2000-03. One of only 10 coaches in college
football history to win 300 games, he was named AFCA Regional Coach of
the Year a record 17 times, AFCA National Coach of the Year eight
times, OAC Coach of the Year six times and in 2008 became just the
second-ever NCAA Division III winner of the Liberty Mutual National
Coach of the Year award.
Kehres’ Purple Raiders appeared in 16 national championship
games and led the OAC in total offense and total defense every season
from 1999-2009. He finished his career on a high note, compiling a
record of 182-7 and winning seven of his 11 national titles after the
year 2000. He stepped down as the head coach following a perfect 15-0
national championship season in 2012, and his 72-3 record in his final
five seasons is the best in college football history, breaking the
record set by Hall of Fame coach Tom Osborne in his final five
seasons. Kehres lost only nine home games and 24 games overall in 27
During his remarkable coaching career, Kehres coached five
Gagliardi Trophy winners, 77 First Team All-Americans (including Hall
of Famer Jim Ballard), 220 First Team All-OAC selections, 18 First
Team Academic All-Americans and three NFF National Scholar-Athletes.
Kehres served as the offensive coordinator for the U.S. National
Football Team that won a gold medal in the 2011 World Championships.
Off the field, he served as a board member and as president of the
American Football Coaches Association and volunteers with Habitat for
The Diamond, Ohio, native played quarterback and punter at Mount
Union from 1967-70. Kehres served as a graduate assistant coach at
Bowling Green from 1971-72, and then got his first head coaching job
at Johnstown Monroe High School [Ohio]. He returned to Mount Union the
following year, spending the next 11 seasons as an assistant coach
before taking over as head coach prior to the 1986 season. He has
served as Mount Union’s athletics director since 1985, and he is also
a professor of physical education at the university. His son, Vince,
has succeeded him as the Purple Raiders’ head coach and already owns a
55-4 record, three Division III national championship appearances and
the 2015 national title.

Duke University (1987-89), University of Florida (1990-2001),
University of South Carolina (2005-15)
Head Coach, 228-89-2 (71.8%)
The winningest coach in both Florida and South Carolina history,
Steve Spurrier becomes just the fourth person ever to be inducted into
the College Football Hall of Fame as both a player and coach.
Spurrier began his 26-year head coaching career at Duke from
1987-89. The ACC Coach of the Year in both 1988 and 1989, his 1989
team won the university’s first ACC title since 1962 and made its
first bowl appearance since 1960.
Spurrier became the head coach at his alma mater, Florida, in
1990, compiling a 122-27-1 record over 12 seasons in “The Swamp.” His
Gators appeared in back-to-back national championship games, winning
the 1996 national title after defeating rival Florida State in the
Sugar Bowl. During his tenure in Gainesville, Spurrier led the Gators
to six wins in 11 bowl appearances, and he was named SEC Coach of the
Year five times. He helped the Gators win their first-ever conference
title in 1991, and he added five more, including four straight from
1993-96 and one in 2000. At Florida, he became the only coach in major
college football history to win at least 120 games in his first 12
seasons at one school, and his teams never finished lower than No. 13
in the final rankings.
After a stint coaching the NFL’s Washington Redskins, he became
the head coach at South Carolina where he compiled an 86-49 record
from 2005-15. Spurrier picked up two more SEC Coach of the Year
honors, leading the Gamecocks to their first-ever SEC East title in
2010 and five bowl victories in nine berths. His South Carolina teams
finished in the top 25 four times, including a No. 4 ranking after the
2013 season. Spurrier guided the Gamecocks to historic wins in his
first season at the helm, including their first-ever win against
Tennessee in Knoxville and a victory over then-No. 12 Florida, who
they had not beaten since 1939.
He joins Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant (Kentucky and Alabama)
as the only two coaches in college football history to have the most
wins at two different SEC schools. During his career at all three
universities, Spurrier coached one Heisman Trophy winner in Danny
Wuerffel (Florida), 34 First Team All-Americans, 118 first team
all-conference players and nine First Team Academic All-Americans. He
coached two members of the College Football Hall of Fame in Clarkston
Hines (Duke) and Wuerffel (Florida), and he coached four NFF National
Scholar-Athletes, including Campbell Trophy winners Brad Culpepper
(Florida) and Wuerffel (Florida).
The 1966 Heisman Trophy winner as the quarterback at Florida,
Spurrier was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a
player in 1986. He is a member of multiple other halls of fame,
including the University of Florida and University of Florida
Athletics. In 2016, his name was added to the Gators’ home field.
After a 10-year playing career with the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa
Bay Buccaneers, he served as an assistant coach at Florida, Georgia
Tech and Duke and as head coach of the USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits. He
currently serves as an ambassador and consultant for the Florida
athletics department.


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