College Football Hall of Fame

Last updated

College Football Hall of Fame
CFHOF CFA 3D color.jpg
College Football Hall of Fame building.jpg
Exterior of the current College Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame
EstablishedAugust 23, 2014
Location250 Marietta St. NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30313
Coordinates 33°45′38″N84°23′44″W / 33.760442°N 84.395564°W / 33.760442; -84.395564
Type College sports hall of fame
CEOKimberly Beaudin
Curator Jeremy Swick

Coordinates: 33°45′37.59″N84°23′44.03″W / 33.7604417°N 84.3955639°W / 33.7604417; -84.3955639


The College Football Hall of Fame is a hall of fame and interactive attraction devoted to college football. The National Football Foundation (NFF) founded the Hall in 1951 to immortalize the players and coaches of college football that were voted first team All-American by the media. In August 2014, the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame opened in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The facility is a 94,256 square feet (8,756.7 m2) attraction located in the heart of Atlanta's sports, entertainment and tourism district, and is adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park. [1]


Early plans

Original plans in 1967 [2] called for the Hall of Fame to be located at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the location of the first contest under rules now considered to be those of modern football, between teams from Rutgers and the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University; Rutgers won 6–4. Rutgers donated land near its football stadium, office space, and administrative support. After years of collecting donations for the construction of the building with ground not having been broken and no plans to do so, the New Jersey Attorney General began an investigation of the finances of the Hall of Fame's foundation, the National Football Foundation. In response, the Foundation moved its operations to New York City, where it continued to collect donations for several years.

Kings Mills

When the New York Attorney General's office began its own investigation, the foundation moved to Kings Mills, Ohio in suburban Cincinnati, where a building finally was constructed adjacent to Kings Island in 1978. [3] [4] In choosing the site, it had been hoped that the museum could attract the same visitors attending the adjacent Kings Island amusement park, but this failed to happen. [4] The Hall opened with good attendance figures early on, but visitation dwindled dramatically as time went on and never truly met projections. [3] Attendance, which had been projected to be 300,000 annually, but peaked at 80,000 per year and dwindled to 30,000 per year. [3] [4] The facility closed in 1992. [3] [4] Nearby Galbreath Field remained open as the home of Moeller High School football until 2003. [3]

South Bend

College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind. featured a newly installed Sprinturf artificial turf field. The South Bend location closed on Dec. 31, 2012. South-bend-college-football-hall-of-fame.jpg
College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind. featured a newly installed Sprinturf artificial turf field. The South Bend location closed on Dec. 31, 2012.
College Football Hall of Fame side entrance in South Bend College-football-hall-of-fame-side.jpg
College Football Hall of Fame side entrance in South Bend
Blocking activity cage in South Bend South-bend-college-football-hall-of-fame-blocking.jpg
Blocking activity cage in South Bend
Wall of helmets representing all NCAA and NAIA teams. CFB HOF helmet wall.jpg
Wall of helmets representing all NCAA and NAIA teams.

In September 1991, the National Football Foundation opened a national search for a new location, soliciting bids from cities. [4] It first started by offering bids to cities with local National Football Foundation chapters. [4] Thirty-five such cities replied, including South Bend, Indiana. [4]

The South Bend bid proposal was led by Bill Starks and Edward "Moose" Krause of the South Bend chapter of the National Football Foundation, who then approached South Bend mayor Joe E. Kernan about the concept. [4] Kernan brought the concept to the city's Project Future department, tasked with bringing new attractions to the city to assist its economic development. [4] Patrick McMahon, Project Future's executive director, collaborated with over a hundred people to craft a proposal for South Bend to host the Hall of Fame, which was presented to the National Football Foundation in November 1992. [4] The proposal slated for a $14 million facility to be constructed in South Bend's downtown. [4] Several sites in the city had been explored, such as a site near the Indiana Toll Road and various sites in the city's downtown, but a location near Century Center was the top choice. [4]

On July 13, 1992, William Pearce, chairman of the National Football Foundation, made the announcement that South Bend had won the bid to host the Hall of Fame's new location. [4] South Bend had beaten out other locales, including Atlanta, Houston, the New Jersey Meadowlands, New Orleans. [4]

The new location was opened in South Bend, Indiana, on August 25, 1995. Despite estimates that the South Bend location would attract more than 150,000 visitors a year, the Hall of Fame drew about 115,000 people the first year, [5] and about 60,000 annually after that. [6]

By the late '90s, some had already begun to be criticize the Hall of Fame in South Bend as a failure, due to a lack of corporate sponsorship and poor turnout even during special events. [7]

In September of 2009, Archie Manning, the chairman of the National Football Foundation, announced that the museum would be moving to Atlanta. [6] The South Bend location closed in December of 2012. [8]

Current location in Atlanta

In 2009, the National Football Foundation decided to move the College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta, Georgia. The possibility of moving the museum has been brought up in other cities, including Dallas, which had the financial backing of multi-millionaire T. Boone Pickens. [9] However, the National Football Foundation ultimately decided on Atlanta for the next site. The new $68.5 million museum opened on August 23, 2014. [10] It is located next to Centennial Olympic Park, which is near other attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. [11] [12] The Hall of Fame is located near the Georgia Institute of Technology of the ACC (home to the oldest stadium in Division I FBS, Bobby Dodd Stadium) and roughly 70 miles (110 km) from the University of Georgia of the SEC. The new building broke ground on January 28, 2013. [13] Sections of the architecture are reminiscent of a football in shape.

The facility is 94,256 square feet (8,756.7 m2) and contains approximately 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) of exhibit and event space, interactive displays and a 45-yard indoor football field. [14] [15] Atlanta Hall Management operates the College Football Hall of Fame. [13]

During the George Floyd protests on May 29, 2020, the Hall of Fame was damaged and looted by protesters. [16] Hall of Fame CEO Kimberly Beaudin told ESPN that only the gift shop was looted, adding that "no artifacts or displays were damaged". [17]


As of 2018, there are 997 players and 217 coaches enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, representing 308 schools. [18] Thirteen players, two coaches and one inanimate object (the Goodyear Blimp) [19] are slated for induction in 2019. [20]

Players by school

InstitutionPlayers inducted
Notre Dame 46 [21]
USC 43 [22]
Michigan 31 [23]
Ohio State 26 [24]
Pittsburgh 26 [25]
Yale 24 [26]
Tennessee 24 [27]
Army 24 [28]
Navy 22 [29]
Princeton 21 [26]
Oklahoma 21 [30]
Alabama 20 [31]
Arkansas 19 [32]
Penn State 18 [33]
Harvard 18 [34]
Minnesota 18 [35]
Nebraska 18 [36]
Penn 18 [35]
Stanford 18 [37]
Texas 18 [35]
California 16 [38]
Georgia 14 [39]
Georgia Tech 14 [40]
Miami 12 [41]
Wisconsin 12 [42]
Washington 12 [43]
Illinois 12 [44]
Northwestern 11 [45]
Purdue 11 [46]
SMU 10 [47]
Texas A&M 10 [48]
Iowa 10 [49]
Michigan State 9 [50]
Syracuse 9 [51]
Auburn 8 [52]
Florida 8 [53]
Florida State 7
BYU 6 [54]
Virginia 5 [55]
Houston 2 [56]
Georgia Southern 2 [57]

Criteria for induction

The National Football Foundation outlines specific criteria that may be used for evaluating a possible candidate for induction into the Hall of Fame. [58]

  1. A player must have received major first team All-America recognition.
  2. A player becomes eligible for consideration 10 years after his last year of intercollegiate football played.
  3. Football achievements are considered first, but the post-football record as a citizen is also weighed.
  4. Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.
  5. The nominee must have ended his professional athletic career prior to the time of the nomination.
  6. Coaches must have at least 10 years of head coaching experience, coached 100 games, and had at least a .600 winning percentage. [59]

The eligibility criteria have changed over time, and have occasionally led to criticism. Dennis Dodd of has said,

The NFF election process is arcane and confusing. Based on current rules, Notre Dame's Joe Montana will never be in the College Football Hall of Fame. He was never an All-American on a team recognized by the NCAA. If that sounds outrageous, consider that at one time hall of famers had to actually graduate. (emphasis in original) [60]

See also

Related Research Articles

John Heisman American football player and coach, namesake of Heisman Trophy

John William Heisman was a player and coach of American football, baseball, and basketball, as well as a sportswriter and actor. He served as the head football coach at Oberlin College, Buchtel College, Auburn University, Clemson University, Georgia Tech, the University of Pennsylvania, Washington & Jefferson College, and Rice University, compiling a career college football record of 186–70–18.

Edgar Allen Diddle was an American college men's basketball coach. He is known for coaching at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky from 1922 to 1964. Diddle became the first coach in history to coach 1,000 games at one school. Diddle was known as one of the early pioneers of the fast break and for waving a red towel around along the sidelines. During games he would wave, toss, and chew on this towel, and even cover his face in times of disappointment. His red towel is now part of WKU's official athletic logo. Diddle experienced only five losing seasons in 42 years.

Georgia Bulldogs football Represents the University of Georgia in the sport of American football

The Georgia Bulldogs football program represents the University of Georgia in the sport of American football. The Bulldogs compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They play their home games at historic Sanford Stadium on the university's Athens, Georgia, campus. Georgia's inaugural season was in 1892. UGA claims two consensus national championships ; the AP and Coaches Polls have each voted the Bulldogs the national champion once (1980); Georgia has also been named the National Champion by at least one polling authority in four other seasons. The Bulldogs have won 15 conference championships, including 13 SEC championships, tied for second-most in conference history, and have appeared in 57 bowl games, tied for second-most all-time. The program has also produced two Heisman Trophy winners, four number-one National Football League (NFL) draft picks, and many winners of other national awards. The team is known for its storied history, unique traditions, and rabid fan base, known as the "Bulldog Nation". Georgia has won over 800 games in their history, placing them 11th all-time in wins and has finished in the Top 10 of the AP Poll 25 times, 12 of which were Top 5 finishes.

William V. Campbell Trophy

The William V. Campbell, formerly the Vincent dePaul Draddy Trophy, is a trophy awarded by the National Football Foundation that is given to the American college football player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance. It is considered by many to be the "Academic Heisman" and nicknamed as such.

Joe Hamilton (American football)

Joseph Fitzgerald Hamilton is a former American college and professional football player who was a quarterback in three different professional leagues. He played college football for the Georgia Institute of Technology, earned All-American recognition and won several national awards. After his playing career ended, Hamilton became an administrator and coach. He has served as the running backs coach for Georgia State University and currently works in the recruiting department for his alma mater, Georgia Tech.

Delaware Fightin Blue Hens football Football team in Delaware

The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens football team represents the University of Delaware in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) college football. The team is currently led by head coach Danny Rocco and plays on Tubby Raymond Field at 22,000-seat Delaware Stadium located in Newark, Delaware. The Fightin' Blue Hens have won six national titles in their 117-year history – 1946, 1963, 1971, 1972, 1979, and 2003. They returned to the FCS National Championship game in 2007 and 2010. The program has produced NFL quarterbacks Rich Gannon, Joe Flacco, Jeff Komlo, and Scott Brunner. The Blue Hens are recognized as a perennial power in FCS football and Delaware was the only FCS program to average more than 20,000 fans per regular-season home game for each season from 1999 to 2010.

National Football Foundation Non-profit organization in support of American football

The National Football Foundation (NFF) is a non-profit organization founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, longtime Army Black Knights football coach Earl Blaik and journalist Grantland Rice. Its mission is to promote and develop amateur American football on all levels throughout the United States and "developing the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal and the drive for academic excellence in America's young people."

Michigan State Spartans football American college football program

The Michigan State Spartans football program (MSU) represents Michigan State University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level. The Spartans are members of the Big Ten Conference. Michigan State has a total of six national championships. The Spartans have also won eleven conference championships, with two in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and nine in the Big Ten. The Spartans compete with in-state rival Michigan for the Paul Bunyan Trophy.

Bernie Moore

Bernie Hawthorne Moore was an American college football, basketball, track and field coach and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Mercer University (1926–1928) and Louisiana State University (LSU) (1935–1947). Moore was also the head basketball coach at Mercer (1926–1928) and the head track and field coach at LSU (1930–1947). He was then SEC commissioner from 1948 to 1966. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1952.

Clemson Tigers football College Football Bowl Subdivision team; member of Atlantic Coast Conference

The Clemson Tigers are the American football team at Clemson University. The Tigers compete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). In recent years, the Tigers have been ranked among the most elite college football programs in the United States.

Ron Polk College baseball coach

Ronald George Polk is an American professional coach in NCAA Division I college baseball. He was a long-time head baseball coach at Mississippi State and is considered, by some, to be the "Father of Southeastern Conference Baseball." Polk compiled one of the most successful winning records, as a coach, in both MSU and Southeastern Conference history. In 31 seasons as an SEC coach he compiled a 1218-638-2 (.656) record. His career record stands at 1373-702-2. He currently ranks 9th on the all-time wins list nationally for 10+ year Division I coaches. His teams won five SEC championships and five SEC tournament championships. His teams participated in the NCAA tournament twenty-three times, and reached the College World Series eight times.

A national championship in the highest level of college football in the United States, currently the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), is a designation awarded annually by various organizations to their selection of the best college football team. Division I FBS football is the only National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sport for which the NCAA does not sanction a yearly championship event. As such, it is sometimes unofficially referred to as a "mythical national championship".

Centre Colonels football Football team representing Centre College in Kentucky, USA

The Centre Colonels football team, historically also known as the Praying Colonels, represents Centre College in NCAA Division III competition. The Colonels currently play in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA), which was established in 2011. Before the establishment of the SAA, Centre played 50 seasons in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Despite the school's small size, the football team has historically had success and possesses a strong tradition. At the end of the 2008 season, the school ranked as the 12th winningest school in Division III with an all-time record of 509–374–37.

Washington University Bears football American college football organization

The Washington University Bears football team represents Washington University in St. Louis in college football. The team competes at the NCAA Division III level as an affiliate member of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). They are a primary member of the University Athletic Association, of which they were a founding member. They were previously a founding member of the Missouri Valley Conference whose bigger schools split into the Big Eight Conference and then added a few members to form the Big 12 Conference.


  1. "Hours, Directions & Parking Info - College Football Hall of Fame". Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Rohrer, Jim (August 9, 2011). "College Football Hall of Fame not enough to bring fortune to Mason". The Cincinnati Enquirer . Archived from the original on April 15, 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "South Bend The Next Cooperstown?" (PDF). Scholastic Notre Dame's Student Magazine. November 11, 1993. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  5. Lesar, Al (December 30, 2012). "Hall of Fame Curator Here from Beginning to End". South Bend Tribune . Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  6. 1 2 "Hall moving from South Bend to Atlanta". Associated Press. September 23, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  7. "TICKER TAPE" (PDF). The Howey Political Report. 3 (36). August 21, 1997. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  8. "College Football Hall of Fame to close today in South Bend" . The Times. December 30, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  9. "Hall hoping to open new building in 2012". Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Atlanta, Georgia: Associated Press. September 24, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  10. "History of the Hall - College Football Hall of Fame". Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  11. Lesar, Al (July 22, 2012). "Hall to Be Gone by December". South Bend Tribune . Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  12. "Hall hoping to open new building in 2012". September 24, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  13. 1 2 "Stephenson to lead development of College Football Hall of Fame". Atlanta Business Chronicle. February 4, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  14. "Interactivity at Core of Football Hall Design". Civil Engineering. March 19, 2013. Archived from the original on December 18, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  15. "Slideshow: Jan. 28 groundbreaking set for College Football Hall of Fame". Atlanta Business Chronicle. December 31, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  16. "Protesters damage College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta". AJC. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  17. Schlabach, Mark (May 30, 2020). "College Football Hall of Fame damaged by protesters". ESPN. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  18. "National Football Foundation - College Football Hall of Fame". National Football Foundation. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  19. "Goodyear Blimp Named Honorary Member of College Football Hall of Fame". National Football Foundation. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  20. "NFF Announces Legendary 2019 College Football Hall of Fame Class". National Football Foundation. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  21. "2018 Notre Dame Football Media Guide" (PDF). University of Notre Dame. p. 235. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  22. "USC Football 2018 Media Guide" (PDF). University of Southern California. p. 214. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  23. "2018 Michigan Football Media Guide" (PDF). University of Michigan. p. 156. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  24. "KEITH BYARS ELECTED INTO COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME". Ohio State University. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  25. "2018 Media Guide - Pittsburgh Panthers" (PDF). University of Pittsburgh. p. 161. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  26. 1 2 "Inductees - Football Players & Coaches". Atlanta Hall Management, Inc. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  27. "2018 Tennessee Volunteer Football Media Guide" (PDF). University of Tennessee. p. 154. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  28. "2018 Army West Point Football Media Guide" (PDF). Army West Point. pp. 83–84. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  29. "2018 Navy Football - Navy Football Record Book" (PDF). CBS Sports Digital. p. 145. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  30. "Oklahoma Football 2018 Media Guide" (PDF). University of Oklahoma. p. 182. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  31. "2018 Alabama Football Media Guide" (PDF). University of Alabama. pp. 146–147. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  32. "Three On College Football Hall Of Fame Ballot". University of Arkansas. p. 1. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  33. "2018 Penn State Football Yearbook". issuu inc. pp. 259–261. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  34. "Harvard Football Awards and Honors" (PDF). Harvard University. p. 1. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  35. 1 2 3 "Inductees - Football Players & Coaches". Atlanta Hall Management, Inc. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  36. "Huskers in the College Football Hall of Fame". Nebraska Huskers. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  37. "Stanford Football Record Book" (PDF). Stanford University. p. 133. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  38. "2018 Cal Football Record Book" (PDF). University of California. p. 120. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  39. "2018 Georgia Football Media Guide". University of Georgia. p. 195. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  40. "2018 Georgia Tech Football Media Guide" (PDF). Georgia Tech University. p. 204. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  41. "Miami Hurricanes", Wikipedia, January 12, 2021, retrieved January 15, 2021
  42. "Badgers in the College Football Hall of Fame". University of Wisconsin. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  43. "2018 Washington Football Information" (PDF). University of Washington. p. 161. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  44. "Illinois Fighting Illini History" (PDF). University of Illinois. p. 156. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  45. "18 Northwestern FB Media Guide" (PDF). Northwestern University. p. 113. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  46. "Purdue Boilermakers College Football Hall Of Famers". Purdue University. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  47. "2019 SMU Football Media Guide". Southern Methodist University. p. 168. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  48. "2018 Texas A&M Aggies Football Media Guide" (PDF). Texas A&M University. p. 177. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  49. "2018 Iowa Football Media Guide" (PDF). University of Iowa. p. 178. Retrieved July 2, 2019.[ dead link ]
  50. "2018 Michigan State Spartans Football Media Guide" (PDF). Michigan State University. p. 223. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  51. "2018 Syracuse Football Media Guide" (PDF). Syracuse University. p. 119. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  52. "2Auburn in the College Football Hall of Fame". Auburn University Athletics. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  53. "2019 Florida Gators Football Media Guide" (PDF). University of Florida. p. 105. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  54. "BYU College Football Hall of Fame". BYU. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  55. "NFF Announces Storied 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Class Presented by ETT". National Football Foundation. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  56. "'70s UH Standout Whitley to enter College Hall of Fame". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  57. "Adrian Peterson Elected to College Football Hall of Fame - Georgia Southern University Athletics". Georgia Southern University. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  58. "Inductees - Football Players & Coaches - College Football Hall of Fame". Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  59. "Inductees Selection Process". College Football Hall of Fame.
  60. Dodd, Dennis. "2014 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot Released: Latest Details and Reaction". Bleacher Report. Retrieved February 21, 2017.