DALLAS, May 7, 2008 - Hearne High School product John Randle, a native of Mumford, has been honored by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF).
Chairman Archie Manning announced today the 2008 Divisional Hall of Fame Class, which considers players and coaches from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA), Divisions 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 the Enshrinement Festival, July 18-19, in South Bend, Ind. The class includes:
2008 DIVISIONAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS
Jim Ballard - QB, Mount Union (Ohio) (1991-93)
Ronald McKinnon - LB, North Alabama (1992-95)
John Randle - DE, Texas A&M-Kingsville (1988-89)
Brad Rowland - HB, McMurry College (Texas) (1947-50)
W.C. Gorden - Jackson State (1976-91): 119-47-5
Doug Porter - Mississippi Valley State (1961-65), Howard (1974-78), Fort Valley State (Ga.) (1979-85, 1987-96): 166-107-5
"The NFF prides itself on honoring the very best in college football history," said Manning. "This year's divisional class is no exception, and it's our duty to reward them for their outstanding accomplishments on the gridiron, earning them a spot among the greatest to ever play or coach our sport."
Founded in 1947 with leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, 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 young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, Play It Smart, and scholarships of over $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Trophy, the Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org.
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.
A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation's Honors Courts ten years after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
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.
Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years*. For example, to be eligible for the 2008 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1958 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.
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*.
* 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 Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) and Divisional Honors Review Committees, which examine unique cases.
MOUNT UNION COLLEGE (Ohio)
After transferring from Wilmington College (Ohio), Jim Ballard broke numerous school, conference and NCAA records en route to leading Mount Union to its first-ever Division III National Championship in 1993.
A two-time First Team All-America pick in 1992 and '93, Ballard broke 17 Division III records and threw for over 12,000 yards and over 150 touchdowns. The two-time recipient of the Mike Gregory Award, which is given to the Ohio Athletic Conference's top offensive back, he was a two-time All-Conference selection and suffered only one OAC loss during his prolific career. Ballard won the inaugural Melberger Award as Division III's Player of the Year and owned every Mount Union passing record by career's end.
The Ohio native played in the NFL, Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League during his 10- year professional career and led the Scottish Claymores to an NFL Europe World Bowl title in 1996.
Inducted into the Scottish Claymores Hall of Fame in 2001, Ballard currently serves as the commissioner of the Continental Indoor Football League in North Canton, Ohio.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA
The only defensive player to ever win the Harlon Hill Trophy in the 22 years of the award, Ronald McKinnon led the University of North Alabama to three straight Division II National Championships during his record- breaking career.
A three-time consensus First Team All-America, McKinnon was a four-time First Team All-Gulf South Conference pick and led the Lions to three consecutive GSC championships. Named the conference's Player of the Quarter Century (1971-95), the Elba, Alabama, native led UNA to four straight Division II playoff appearances. He also holds school records for career tackles (621) and season tackles (175).
McKinnon played ten seasons in the NFL, nine as a starter for the Arizona Cardinals, and finished his career with the New Orleans Saints. He was heavily involved in community service activities with the Cardinals and conducted numerous free youth football clinics in Arizona and Alabama while in the league.
A member of the Division II Team of the Quarter Century, McKinnon owns several small businesses and resides in Bessemer, Ala.
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY - KINGSVILLE
(formerly Texas A&I University)
Defensive End (1988-89)
A defensive phenom, John Randle punished opposing offenses during his successful collegiate and pro careers.
Selected as a First Team All-America in 1988, Randle was twice named the Lone Star Conference's Lineman of the Year. The Hearne, Texas, native amassed 105 tackles and 34 career sacks en route to leading the Javelinas to back-to-back conference championships in 1988 and '89 and two trips to the NCAA Division II playoffs. Starting his college playing career at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, Randle led a defense that allowed an average of only eight points per game during his senior campaign.
Randle played 14 years in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks. Named an All-Pro seven times, he recorded double-digit sacks during eight different seasons, including a career-high and league-leading 15.5 sacks in 1997. He retired as the league's all-time leader in sacks by a defensive tackle (137.5).
A member of the Lone Star Conference Team of the Decade for the 1980s and a 2006 inductee into the Division II Football Hall of Fame, Randle resides in Medina, Minn.
McMURRY COLLEGE (Texas)
Recognized as the first small-college player to start in the East-West Shrine Game, Brad Rowland has held six school records for more than a half a century and is a selection from the NFF Honors Review Committee*.
A two-time First Team All-America, Rowland held 16 school records by career's end, including career rushing yards (4,437), single-season rushing yards (1,249) and career total offense (5,200). The four-time All-Conference selection led the league in rushing each of his four years at McMurry and was a member of three Texas Conference championship teams. Rowland was also honored by Who's Who Among American College and University Students for his academic success.
The Hamlin, Texas, native played one season with the Chicago Bears before serving in the U.S. Army from 1952-53. He later worked in agribusiness for forty years.
Rowland has served as the national vice president of the Jaycees and as president of the Distribution Companies of America. He resides in Lombard, Ill.
* The Honors Review Committee examines unique cases, including players that do not comply with the 50-year rule and coaches that have not won 60% of their games, for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. These candidates are not listed on the NFF's National Ballot.
COACH W.C. GORDEN
JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY (1976-91)
As the winningest coach in Jackson State history, W.C. Gorden established himself as one of the most successful mentors in Football Championship Subdivision annals during his 15-year head coaching career.
During the Gorden era, the Tigers won eight Southwest Athletic Conference titles; made nine trips to the NCAA playoffs; and won a SWAC-record 28 consecutive conference games from 1985-89. JSU also led the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) in game attendance seven times under Gorden's watch. In 1985, he coached the SWAC all-stars to a 16-14 victory over the Mideastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) team in the third annual Freedom Bowl.
Named conference Coach of the Year six times, Gorden was a 1994 inductee into the SWAC Hall of Fame. The Nashville, Tenn., native was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and was the 1997 recipient of the Capital City Classic Humanitarian Award.
After retiring from coaching at JSU, he served as the university's athletics director for two years and has since become actively involved in community service and governmental affairs. Currently a motivational speaker, Gorden resides in Jackson, Miss.
COACH DOUG PORTER
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY (1961-65), HOWARD UNIVERSITY (1974-78),
FORT VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY (Ga.) (1979-85, 1987-96)
A fixture in historically black college athletics, Doug Porter forged an indelible coaching and administrative career for more than fifty years.
In 1961, Porter accepted his first head coaching job at Mississippi Valley State, where he turned around a program that had not had a winning season in five years before his third season in 1963. He then served as Eddie Robinson's assistant at Grambling State for nine seasons and later took the helm at Howard from 1974-78. After Fort Valley State hired him in 1979, it took Porter only one season to lead the Wildcats to a conference title. He led his teams to six Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and two NCAA playoff appearances. He boasts only five losing seasons in 26 years as a head coach.
The Memphis, Tenn., native and seven-time SIAC Coach of the Year served as Fort Valley's athletics director for 16 years. He also acted as chairman of the Division II Football Committee and as president of the National Athletic Steering Committee.
Porter returned to Grambling in 1997, becoming an advisor to former GSU coaches Doug Williams (a 2001 player inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame) and Melvin Spears and current coach Rod Broadway. Porter currently assists in the efforts to establish a museum in Hall of Fame Coach Eddie Robinson's honor.