Johnson NFF On-Campus Salute Set for Thursday
"It's a special day for me because I spent so much time in college as both an assistant coach and a head coach," said Johnson at the time of the announcement in May. "My time at the University of Miami really defines my career. It was probably the most fun time I ever had in my life prior to now, and we were able to do some things that I was extremely proud of."
The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program is a hallowed tradition that began with the inaugural class in 1951, and to this day the salutes 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.
"Jimmy Johnson was a master at moulding his players, instilling confidence in them and subsequently producing some of the most successful stretches of victories in college football history," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "We are excited to immortalize his accomplishments in the College Football Hall of Fame, and we look forward to celebrating his stellar career with the Hurricane faithful this weekend."
The Oklahoma State head coach from 1979-83 and Miami head coach from 1984-88, Jimmy Johnson continuously led his teams to victory, earning numerous coaching honors along the way and the national championship with the Hurricanes in 1987, capped by a 20-14 victory over Oklahoma in the 1988 Orange Bowl.
At Miami, he enjoyed a 52-9 mark in five seasons with five New Year's Day bowl appearances. During his final four seasons in Miami, he posted a remarkable 44-4 record, including four top 10 finishes and two national title appearances. He earned two National Coach of the Year distinctions while coaching 12 first-team All-Americans. Johnson's star pupils included future College Football Hall of Famers Bennie Blades and Russell Maryland as well as the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner in Vinny Testaverde. Johnson's tenure was the genesis of an NCAA-record 58-game home winning streak, which lasted from 1985-94.
Johnson began his head coaching career in Stillwater, Okla., leading the Cowboys to a 29-25-3 mark. He won Big 8 Coach of the Year honors his first year after taking Oklahoma State to a 7-4 record. Under Johnson, the Cowboys participated in the 1981 Independence Bowl and the 1983 Bluebonnet Bowl. He coached 15 First Team All-Big 8 performers during his five seasons with the Pokes. His combined record at Miami and Oklahoma State enters the records books at 81-34-3.
A member of Arkansas' 1964 national championship team, Johnson became the only person to win a college national championship as a player and coach and lead a team to a Super Bowl victory when he guided the Dallas Cowboys to victories in back-to-back Super Bowl victories following the 1992 and 1993 seasons. In the NFL, he held the Cowboys head coaching job from 1989-93 and with the Miami Dolphins from 1996-99.
A member of the University of Arkansas, University of Miami, State of Texas and State of Florida Sports Halls of Fame, Johnson supports charities such as The Children's Health Fund, Malaria No More, City of Hope, and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Johnson, who works as an NFL analyst on FOX, has donated his time visiting troops overseas and hosting a fundraiser for the Gridiron Greats Foundation, which raises money for former NFL players in need of medical assistance.
Johnson becomes the third Hurricane head coach to earn induction, joining (listed with year of induction) Jack Harding (1980) and Andy Gustafson (1985). Miami players in the Hall of Fame include Gino Torretta (2009), Ted Hendricks (1987), Don Bosseler (1990), Bennie Blades (2006), Arnold Tucker (2008) and Russell Maryland (2011).
Including the 2012 FBS class, only 918 players and 200 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly five million people who have played or coached the game over the past 144 years. In other words, only two ten-thousandths of one percent (.0002) of those who have set foot on the gridiron have earned the distinction. For a complete list of players and coaches in the hall, please visit www.collegefootball.org.
The 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City's historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Tue., Dec. 4. This year's hall of fame class includes: Charles Alexander (LSU), Otis Armstrong (Purdue), Steve Bartkowski (California), Hal Bedsole (Southern California), Dave Casper (Notre Dame), Ty Detmer (BYU), Tommy Kramer (Rice), Art Monk (Syracuse), Greg Myers (Colorado State), Jonathan Ogden (UCLA), Gabe Rivera (Texas Tech), Mark Simoneau (Kansas State), Scott Thomas (Air Force), John Wooten (Colorado), and coaches Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee), Jimmy Johnson (Oklahoma State, Miami) and R.C. Slocum (Texas A&M). For more information, please contact Will Rudd at email@example.com or by calling 972-556-1000.
The 2012 season marks the third 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. 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 Initiative, which recognizes the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives around the country.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE FOOTBALL 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 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. NFF corporate partners include the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the BCS, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Liberty Mutual Insurance, NCAA Football, and Under Armour. For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.