FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Former Arkansas head football coach Danny Ford has been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame it was announced by the National Football Foundation on Monday. Following a highly successful head coaching stint at Clemson University (1978-89), Ford came to Fayetteville where he led the University of Arkansas (1993-97) for five seasons, including capturing its first SEC Western Division Championship (1995).
Ford earned an overall career record of 122-59-5 (.669) including winning a national championship at Clemson (1978-89) in 1981. Ford becomes the 19th former Razorback coach or player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and the first since Jimmy Johnson was inducted in 2012. He is the fifth Arkansas head coach to be selected for the Hall of Fame joining Hugo Bezdek (1954), Frank Broyles (1983), Bowden Wyatt (1997) and Lou Holtz (2008).
The 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be inducted at the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, 2017, at the New York Hilton Midtown. The inductees will also be honored at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Jan. 1, 2018.
Ford first came to Arkansas as a consultant during the 1992 season, the Razorbacks’ first season in the SEC. Following that campaign, Ford was named head coach and went to work on rebuilding the Razorback program for competition in the nation’s toughest conference. In 1995, Ford led the Razorbacks to an 8-5 season (6-2 SEC) and their first SEC Western Division title. Arkansas became the first team other than Alabama or Florida to play in the SEC Championship Game. The Razorbacks went on to play North Carolina in the CarQuest Bowl.
The youngest coach in college football history to win a national championship, Ford was only 33 when he led Clemson to a perfect 12-0 season in 1981 after defeating Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. 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.
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, including Henry Ford (DT) and Orlando Watters (CB) in 1993 and Madre Hill (RB), Mark Smith (LB) and Steven Conley (DE) in 1995. Ford also coached 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.
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.
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