He’s one of the most iconic players in Michigan Wolverines history. Make that college football history. Desmond Howard, the 1991 Heisman Trophy winner and 1997 Super Bowl MVP with the Green Bay Packers headlines the 2011 College Football Hall of Fame class.
Joining Howard at the enshrinement festival today were two fellow Big Ten players, Wisconsin Badgers Athletic Director Barry Alvarez, who played at Nebraska at served as an assistant at Notre Dame. It was his coaching accomplishments in Madison that earned him this accolade however.
Completing the B1G Ten troika was Purdue Boilermakers QB Mark Herrmann, the first quarterback to throw for 8,000 and then 9,000 yards in CFB history. (The game was very different 1977-80).
Here’s an excerpt from Howard’s HOF speech
and another video interview we did with him
“Barry Alvarez took a program that had won six games in the three seasons prior to his arrival and turned them into a perennial powerhouse for more than a decade. There was never a doubt that he was headed to the Hall of Fame,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “He’s the ultimate competitor, recruiter and tactician, and he has been a great mentor to a slew of current head coaches.”
Alvarez has elevated his self to a living legend in the state of Wisconsin after leading the Badgers to a 118-73-4 record and three Big Ten Championships in his tenure as the head coach. He’s the only coach in Big Ten History to ever win back-to-back Rose Bowls and sports the highest all-time bowl winning percentage (.727) for coaches with at least 11 bowl appearances.
He coached 12 First Team All-America players, including three-time First Team selection and 1999 Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne, 62 First Team All-Big Ten picks, and two NFF National Scholar-Athletes (Jim Leonhard and Joe Thomas).
In 1993, Alvarez was named Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year, AFCA National Coach of the Year and College & Pro Football Newsweekly National Coach of the Year. The 1999 Victor Award (National Coach of the Year) winner, Alvarez was a finalist for ESPN National College Coach of the Decade.
Herrmann might have been the originator of “basketball on grass” at Purdue and one of the best examples for why Purdue is known as the cradle of quarterbacks. He set NCAA records for career attempts, completions, yards and total offense.
Including the 2011 FBS class, only 896 players and 192 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly five million who have played or coached the game over the past 142 years. In other words, less than one percent (.0002) have been deemed worthy of this distinction.
Be sure to return to this site in the upcoming days/weeks as we’ll have features/exclusives on all three of these guys plus Gene Stallings!Follow paulmbanks