Oct 29, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Former Carolina Panthers great Julius Peppers is honored on the field before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Former Bears Devin Hester, Julius Peppers part of seven-member Class of 2024

A trio of former Chicago Bears players were among seven players to be selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024, the NFL announced Thursday night.

Devin Hester, Julius Peppers and Steve McMichael each will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, this summer. They will join four others: longtime Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, Houston Texans wideout Andre Johnson, Denver Broncos linebacker Randy Gradishar and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.

McMichael and Gradishar were senior selections, while the other five were part of the modern class.

The Hall of Fame is filled almost entirely with offensive and defensive stars, but Hester got the nod for his achievements on special teams. He holds the NFL record with 20 overall return touchdowns, as well as the league record with 14 punt return TDs.

Hester’s highlights included returning the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI for a touchdown against Indianapolis. He also caught 255 passes for 3,311 yards and 16 touchdowns during his career.

“Devin revolutionized the game,” Bears chairman George McCaskey said. “No one had seen anything like him, and there hasn’t been anyone like him since. He had opposing head coaches telling their special teams coordinators, ‘Don’t kick to that guy,’ and they suffered the consequences when the message didn’t get through. We’re delighted that the Hall has recognized Devin’s special talents.”

Johnson also stood apart with his ability to find the end zone. The Texans’ first-round pick in 2003 finished his career with 1,062 catches and 70 touchdowns, and he finished with seven 1,000-yard seasons during his 14-year career.

On the defensive side, Freeney earned the call to Canton in his second year of eligibility. He led the NFL with 16 sacks in 2004 and finished his career with 125 1/2 sacks in 218 games.

Willis’ wait ended after five years of eligibility. Although his career was shortened because of injuries, he finished with seven Pro Bowl selections in eight years with the 49ers.

Peppers burst onto the scene with the Carolina Panthers in 2002, finishing his rookie season with 12 sacks, five forced fumbles and an interception in 12 games. The defensive end went on to star for the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers before returning to Carolina to finish his career. He is the only player in NFL history to rack up at least 150 sacks and 10 interceptions.

McMichael, affectionately known as “Mongo” by Bears fans, was a key part of Chicago’s 1985 Super Bowl championship team. The defensive lineman finished his career with 95 sacks and 13 forced fumbles and gained notoriety for his fearless playing style. The honor was bittersweet as McMichael is battling ALS and was unable to attend the announcement in Las Vegas.

Gradishar was named to seven Pro Bowls during his 10-year career with the Broncos. He was voted the NFL’s defensive player of the year in 1978, and he finished with 20 interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries and four defensive touchdowns to go along with 19 1/2 sacks and more than 2,000 tackles.

–Field Level Media

Oct 29, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Former Panther defensive end Julius Peppers awaits his induction into the Panthers Ring of Honor during the first quarter between the Carolina Panthers and the Houston Texans at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Peppers, Antonio Gates headline Hall of Fame finalists

Defensive end Julius Peppers and tight end Antonio Gates — among the most prolific players at their respective positions — highlight the list of 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Modern Era Class of 2024, released Wednesday.

Peppers and Gates are the only players to make the list in their first year of eligibility. Nine players who made the final list in 2023 are back on the list in ’24, while four other players are finalists for the first time though not in their first year of eligibility.

Peppers, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time first-team All-Pro, finished his 17-year career with 159.5 sacks, fifth all time and the most by any player not yet in the Hall. Taken second overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2002 draft, Peppers was named Defensive Rookie of the Year after compiling 12 sacks to go with one interception and five forced fumbles in 12 games.

After 10 seasons with the Panthers, Peppers played four years with the Chicago Bears and then finished his career by playing three seasons with the Green Bay Packers.

On the other end of the draft spectrum, Gates went undrafted after not playing football in college. Instead, he starred in basketball in his final two years at Kent State.

Combining his height (6-foot-4) with his rebounding skills, Gates first made a name for himself in the NFL as a jump-ball specialist in the end zone. He really broke through in his second season, scoring 13 touchdowns — then a single-season record for tight ends. He finished his career with 116 career TDs, seventh all time and the most ever by a tight end.

Gates made eight Pro Bowls and was a three-time first-team All-Pro in his 16 seasons. He finished with 955 receptions for 11,841 yards, spending his entire career with the Chargers (14 in San Diego and the final two in Los Angeles).

The four other players making the list for the first time are cornerback Eric Allen (in his 18th year of eligibility), safety Rodney Harrison (11th year), running back Fred Taylor (ninth) and offensive lineman Jahri Evans (second).

Punt/kick return specialist Devin Hester, who holds the single-season record for total kick-return touchdowns (six) and the career mark for punts returned for a score (14) is among those back on the list from 2023. Hester, who also made history with the first opening kickoff returned for a touchdown in Super Bowl history (Super Bowl XLI), is a finalist for the third time.

Wide receivers Reggie Wayne (whose Indianapolis Colts beat Hester’s Chicago Bears in that Super Bowl) and Torry Holt (a member of the St. Louis Rams’ famed “Greatest Show on Turf”) are both finalists for the fifth time, the most of any of this year’s finalists.

The Hall of Fame selection committee will elect the Modern Era Class of 2024 the week leading up to Super Bowl LVIII, with the class announced on Feb. 8.

Up to five members can be elected to the modern class (a minimum of 80 percent of the votes is required for possible election). Finalists from the Seniors and Coach/Contributor categories may also be elected.

Modern Era Class of 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame Finalists

(Name, position, years, teams)

Eric Allen, cornerback — 1988-1994 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995-97 New Orleans Saints, 1998-2001 Oakland Raiders

Jared Allen, defensive end — 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers

Willie Anderson, offensive tackle — 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens

Jahri Evans, guard — 2006-2016 New Orleans Saints, 2017 Green Bay Packers

Dwight Freeney, defensive end/outside linebacker — 2002-2012 Indianapolis Colts, 2013-14 San Diego Chargers, 2015 Arizona Cardinals, 2016 Atlanta Falcons, 2017 Seattle Seahawks, 2017 Detroit Lions

Antonio Gates, tight end — 2003-2018 San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers

Rodney Harrison, safety — 1994-2002 San Diego Chargers, 2003-08 New England Patriots

Devin Hester, punt returner/kick returner/wide receiver — 2006-2013 Chicago Bears, 2014-15 Atlanta Falcons, 2016 Baltimore Ravens

Torry Holt, wide receiver — 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars

Andre Johnson, wide receiver — 2003-2014 Houston Texans, 2015 Indianapolis Colts, 2016 Tennessee Titans

Julius Peppers, defensive end — 2002-09, 2017-18 Carolina Panthers, 2010-13 Chicago Bears, 2014-16 Green Bay Packers

Fred Taylor, running back — 1998-2008 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2009-2010 New England Patriots

Reggie Wayne, wide receiver — 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts

Patrick Willis, linebacker — 2007-2014 San Francisco 49ers

Darren Woodson, safety — 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys

–Field Level Media

Oct 29, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Former Carolina Panthers great Julius Peppers is honored on the field before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Peppers, Antonio Gates among 25 Hall of Fame semifinalists

Julius Peppers and Antonio Gates are among 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

Peppers, a prolific pass rusher for the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, and Gates, a tight end for the San Diego Chargers, joined 18 players who were semifinalists for the Class of 2023.

Eight of the final 15 in the ’23 class are again semifinalists, including Jared Allen, Willie Anderson, Dwight Freeney, Devin Hester, Andre Johnson, Torry Holt, Patrick Willis and Darren Woodson.

Peppers had 159.5 career sacks and 10 seasons with double-digit sacks. Like Gates, Peppers was a three-time All-Pro. Gates helped redefine his position and was an All-Pro in just his second season. He played a total of 16 seasons and is behind only Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten among tight ends in NFL history with 955 catches for 11,841 yards. Gates’ 116 touchdown receptions set the NFL record for tight ends.

Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, who retired following the 2006 season, joins Peppers and Gates as first-time semifinalists.

The 25 semifinalists will be reduced to 15 finalists before the final voting process for the Class of 2024 takes place in Las Vegas ahead of Super Bowl LVIII in February.

Also under consideration in February are the recommended nominees of the Hall of Fame’s Coach/Contributor Committee: Buddy Parker; and its Seniors Committee: Randy Gradishar, Steve McMichael and Art Powell.

–25 modern-day semifinalists
The following is the list of 2024 Modern-Era Player Semifinalists, including their positions, years in the NFL and teams.

Also listed are the number of times and years the candidate has been named a Semifinalist since this reduction vote was added to the Hall’s bylaws in 2004.

Eric Allen, CB, 1988-1994 Philadelphia Eagles, 1995-97 New Orleans Saints, 1998-2001 Oakland Raiders | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2021-24)
Jared Allen, DE, 2004-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2008-2013 Minnesota Vikings, 2014-15 Chicago Bears, 2015 Carolina Panthers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2021-24)
Willie Anderson, T, 1996-2007 Cincinnati Bengals, 2008 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2021-24)
Tiki Barber, RB, 1997-2006 New York Giants | (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2024)
Anquan Boldin, WR, 2003-09 Arizona Cardinals, 2010-12 Baltimore Ravens, 2013-15 San Francisco 49ers, 2016 Detroit Lions | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2022-24)
Jahri Evans, G, 2006-16 New Orleans Saints, 2017 Green Bay Packers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2023-24)
London Fletcher, LB, 1998-2001 St. Louis Rams, 2002-06 Buffalo Bills, 2007-13 Washington Redskins | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2023-24)
Dwight Freeney, DE, 2002-2012 Indianapolis Colts, 2013-14 San Diego Chargers, 2015 Arizona Cardinals, 2016 Atlanta Falcons, 2017 Seattle Seahawks, 2017 Detroit Lions | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2023-24)
Antonio Gates, TE, 2003-18 San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2024)
Eddie George, RB, 1996-2003 Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans, 2004 Dallas Cowboys (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2022, 2024)
James Harrison, LB, 2002-12, 2014-17 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals, 2017 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 2 – 2023-24)
Rodney Harrison, S, 1994-2002 San Diego Chargers, 2003-08 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2021, 2023-24)
Devin Hester, PR/KR/WR, 2006-2013 Chicago Bears, 2014-15 Atlanta Falcons, 2016 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2022-24)
Torry Holt, WR, 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars | (Times as a Semifinalist: 10 – 2015-2024)
Andre Johnson, WR, 2003-14 Houston Texans, 2015 Indianapolis Colts, 2016 Tennessee Titans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2022-24)
Robert Mathis, DE/LB, 2003-16 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2022-24)
Julius Peppers, DE, 2002-09, 2017-18 Carolina Panthers, 2010-13 Chicago Bears, 2014-15 Green Bay Packers (Times as a Semifinalist: 1 – 2024)
Steve Smith Sr., WR, 2001-13 Carolina Panthers, 2014-16 Baltimore Ravens | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2022-24)
Fred Taylor, RB, 1998-2008 Jacksonville Jaguars, 2009-10 New England Patriots | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2020-24)
Hines Ward, WR, 1998-2011 Pittsburgh Steelers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2017-2024)
Ricky Watters, RB, 1992-94 San Francisco 49ers, 1995-97 Philadelphia Eagles, 1998-2001 Seattle Seahawks | (Times as a Semifinalist: 4 – 2020, 2022-24)
Reggie Wayne, WR, 2001-14 Indianapolis Colts | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2020-24)
Vince Wilfork, DT, 2004-14 New England Patriots, 2015-16 Houston Texans | (Times as a Semifinalist: 3 – 2022-24)
Patrick Willis, LB, 2007-14 San Francisco 49ers | (Times as a Semifinalist: 5 – 2020-24)
Darren Woodson, S, 1992-2003 Dallas Cowboys | (Times as a Semifinalist: 8 – 2015, 2017, 2019-2024)

–Field Level Media

Aug 4, 2023; Canton, OH, USA; A general overall view of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hall of Fame nominees include Julius Peppers, Antonio Gates

Nine first-time eligible players, including former All-Pros Antonio Gates and Julius Peppers, are among the 173 modern-era nominees announced Tuesday by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Other first-time nominees for the Class of 2024 are wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Jordy Nelson, running back Jamaal Charles, offensive linemen T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton and Max Unger, and defensive lineman Haloti Ngata.

Gates, a tight end, and Peppers, a defensive end, were considered among the best at their positions earlier in the 2000s. Both three-time All-Pro selections, Peppers and Gates were named to the Hall of Fame’s All-2000s team. Peppers also got the nod on the All-2010s team.

The list of modern-era nominees is made up of 94 offensive players, 62 defensive players and 17 special teams players. The 173 nominees will be pared to 25 semifinalists in November and eventually further whittled before the 50-member Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee votes on the Class of 2024 before Super Bowl LVIII.

The committee also will consider seniors finalists Randy Gradishar, Steve McMichael and Art Powell, and Buddy Parker from the coach/contributor category. Parker coached three NFL teams from 1949-63.

Finalists from the 2023 class nominated again for 2024 are Jared Allen, Willie Anderson, Dwight Freeney, Devin Hester, Torry Holt, Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Patrick Willis and Darren Woodson.

To be elected to the Hall of Fame, a nominee must be named on 80 percent of ballots.

–Field Level Media

Aug 4, 2023; Canton, OH, USA; A general overall view of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Hall of Fame names three senior finalists

Randy Gradishar, Steve McMichael and Art Powell are one step closer to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Seniors Committee selected the three former players as finalists for the Class of 2024 on Tuesday.

Each would need at least 80 percent approval when the full 50-person selection committee meets early next year in order to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio.

They were selected from a group of 12 candidates.

“Every one of the individual presentations for the 12 candidates by the members of the Seniors Committee participating Tuesday was outstanding, truly creating the possibility that each one could have reached the position of finalist,” Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in a news release Wednesday.

“I applaud the committee for the thorough discussion and consideration for all 12. The depth of the Seniors pool came on full display once again.”

Gradishar, 71, played his entire 10-year career with the Denver Broncos (1974-83). The seven-time Pro Bowl and two-time All-Pro linebacker was a first-round pick in 1974 and the Defensive Player of the Year in 1978, anchoring Denver’s “Orange Crush” defense.

McMichael, 63, played defensive tackle for 15 seasons with the New England Patriots (1980), Chicago Bears (1981-93) and Green Bay Packers (1994). The two-time Pro Bowl and two-time All-Pro selection won Super Bowl XX with the fabled 1985 Bears.

Powell, who died in 2015 at age 78, played in the CFL and entered the NFL as a defensive back before thriving as a receiver with the AFL’s New York Titans (1960-62) and Oakland Raiders (1963-66). He racked up 8,046 receiving yards and 81 TDs in 117 games.

The other seniors who were under consideration were Ken Anderson, Maxie Baughan, Roger Craig, Joe Jacoby, Albert Lewis, Eddie Meador, Sterling Sharpe, Otis Taylor and Al Wistert.

–Field Level Media

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond (11) calls a play before snapping the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders during a preseason game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Browns QB Kellen Mond gets start in Hall of Fame Game

Browns third-string quarterback Kellen Mond is the starter for Cleveland as the preseason begins with the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday in Canton, Ohio.

Mond, a reclamation project of head coach Kevin Stefanski, is set to start against the New York Jets with Deshaun Watson and No. 2 quarterback Josh Dobbs not slated to play in the preseason opener.

Mond will share playing time with fifth-round draft pick Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the dual-threat phenom from UCLA. He’s more realistically competing for a spot on a practice squad — in Cleveland or another NFL team.

“I think Kellen’s done a great job,” Stefanski said. “There was a period of just getting to know him early in the season last year. So he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. I’ve been very impressed with him both in the meeting room and on the practice field. And the fun part for our players, as you know, is to play these games. So I think Kellen’s excited about the opportunity.”

A third-round pick (66th overall) of the Minnesota Vikings in 2021, well after Stefanski’s run as offensive coordinator with the team, Mond fell out of favor with then-head coach Mike Zimmer and was unable to dig himself out of the doghouse.

The Jets plan to rest all of their starters, head coach Robert Saleh said, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Zach Wilson will start the game for the Jets.

NFL teams have become more cautious playing starters, especially quarterbacks. Saleh said it’s possible Rodgers could debut Sept. 11, Week 1 of the regular season, against the Buffalo Bills.

–Field Level Media

Jan 18, 2023; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Former NFL quarterback and Virginia Tech Hokies player Michael Vick watches from courtside during the Hokies' game against the Virginia Cavaliers in the second half at John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Vick, Larry Fitzgerald lead College FB HOF ballot

Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Vick and Terrell Suggs highlight 78 former players on the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame ballot released Monday by the National Football Foundation.

The ballot also includes nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision as well as 101 players and 32 coaches from the divisional ranks.

Fitzgerald, Vick and Suggs all made the ballot in their first year of eligibility.

“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.62 million people have played college football and only 1,074 players have been inducted,” NFF president & CEO Steve Hatchell said in the release. “The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and we look forward to announcing the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class early next year.”

Vick led Virginia Tech to the then-BCS National Championship game on Jan. 4, 2000, a 46-29 loss to Florida State. He finished third in the 1999 Heisman Trophy voting, throwing for 2,065 yards and rushing for another 682. He combined for 22 touchdowns. He went No. 1 to the Atlanta Falcons in 2001.

Fitzgerald won the Biletnikoff Award in 2003 and finished second in Heisman balloting after catching 92 passes for 1,672 yards and 22 TDs. Pitt retired his No. 1 jersey in 2013. He went on to be the No. 4 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.

Suggs recorded 44 sacks in three seasons at Arizona State with 65 1/2 tackles for loss. He was selected 10th overall in the 2003 draft by the Baltimore Ravens.

Membership voting goes through June 30. The announcement of who will be inducted will come in early 2024.

–Field Level Media

Aug 6, 2022; Canton, OH, USA; Dave Wilcox arrives on the red carpet during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 Enshrinement at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Legendary 49ers LB Dave Wilcox dies at 80

Hall of Fame linebacker Dave Wilcox, who spent his entire 11-year career with the San Francisco 49ers, died on Wednesday. He was 80.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Wilcox’s death. A cause of death wasn’t revealed but the Hall of Fame said Wilcox recently underwent heart surgery.

Wilcox was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, including six straight seasons from 1968-73. He had 14 interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries in 153 games (144 starts) and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

“While Dave Wilcox was a nicknamed ‘The Intimidator’ for his aggressive style of play, he was a kind, humble and gracious man in all other aspects of life,” Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in the announcement. “He transformed the outside linebacker position — one of the many feats that earned him a forever home in Canton.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dave’s wife, Merle, and their entire family. We will preserve his legacy for generations to come.”

Cal football coach Justin Wilcox, a son of Dave’s, is one of the survivors.

Dave Wilcox was born in Ontario, Ore., and began his college football career at Boise Junior College (now Boise State) before transferring to Oregon. He excelled as a defensive end in two seasons for the Ducks (1962-63) and was inducted into the Oregon Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.

The 49ers selected Wilcox in the third round (29th overall) in the 1964 draft.

–Field Level Media

Reggie Bush speaks during the Fox Sports Big Noon Kickoff football pregame show before Iowa hosts Michigan, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Iowa City, Iowa.

221001 Big Noon 022 Jpg

Reggie Bush among 18 players named to College Football HOF

Reggie Bush and Tim Tebow were among a class of 18 players selected for the College Football Hall of Fame.

The class was announced Monday ahead of the College Football Playoff national title game.

Bush is best known for winning the Heisman Trophy in 2005 and having it vacated later in life because his family received illicit benefits during his time as an electrifying running back for Southern California.

He led USC to two national titles in 2003 and 2004 and a third straight championship game appearance in 2005. He ran for 3,169 yards (7.3 per carry) and scored 42 total touchdowns in his collegiate career.

Tebow won the Heisman in 2007 during a record-setting career at Florida.

The rest of the class featured Eric Berry (Tennessee), Michael Bishop (Kansas State), Dwight Freeney (Syracuse), Robert Gallery (Iowa), LaMichael James (Oregon), Derrick Johnson (Texas), Bill Kollar (Montana State), Luke Kuechly (Boston College), Jeremy Maclin (Missouri), Terance Mathis (New Mexico), Bryant McKinnie (Miami), Corey Moore (Virginia Tech), Michael Stonebreaker (Notre Dame), Troy Vincent (Wisconsin), Brian Westbrook (Villanova) and DeAngelo Williams (Memphis).

Former Georgia and Miami coach Mark Richt will be inducted, along with Monte Cater (Shepherd), Paul Johnson (Georgia Southern, Navy, Georgia Tech) and Roy Kramer (Central Michigan).

The induction ceremony will be held Dec. 5.

–Field Level Media

The Marion Star Football Player of Week 9 Poll

Zz Football Mhs 50 Closeup

College Football Hall of Fame coach Darrell Mudra dies at 93

Darrell Mudra, a two-time national championship-winning head coach and 2000 College of Football Hall of Fame inductee, died Wednesday at the age of 93.

Nicknamed “Dr. Victory,” Mudra totaled 200 wins and a 70.9 winning percentage (200-81-4) over a nearly 30-year head-coaching career.

He was well known for coaching all of his games from the press box, breaking from the normal custom of coaching from the sidelines.

Mudra also famously proceeded another College Football Hall of Fame coach at Florida State, coaching the Seminoles for two seasons prior to Bobby Bowden taking over in 1976.

He also served stints at Adams State, North Dakota State, Arizona, Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois and Northern Iowa. Mudra won his first national title with North Dakota State in 1965, in the Pecan Bowl, and claimed his second with Eastern Illinois in 1978 at the Division II level.

Current Northern Iowa coach Mark Farley addressed Mudra’s passing on social media.

“The @UNIFootball family has lost one of greatest leaders of all time; Coach Darrell Mudra,” Farley said in part. “He guided UNI Football into (an) era that changed UNI forever.”

–Field Level Media