Oct. 1, 2013
The United States Naval Academy and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor coach Wayne Hardin with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute on Saturday in Annapolis during the game between Navy and Air Force. Coverage of the game will start at 11:30 a.m. EST on CBS.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to join such great men that are already in the Hall of Fame,” said Hardin when it was announced in May that he would be inducted. “I had the opportunity to play for one of the all-time great coaches in Alonzo Stagg and being in the same company as him is a great thrill. Being inducted in the Hall of Fame isn’t about me. It’s about all the players, assistant coaches, support staff and fans at Navy and Temple that contributed to our success. It is a great honor to be selected.”
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.
The most successful coach in Temple football history and the coach of Navy’s only two Heisman Trophy winners, Wayne Hardin created a Hall of Fame career, leading the Midshipmen and Owl programs to unprecedented accomplishments. He amassed a 118-74-5 lifetime record as a head coach, winning more than 61 percent of his games.
“Hardin was a tremendous coach, setting a new standard for football at both Navy and Temple,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “His legacy at Navy is unmatched in both the individual and team accomplishments achieved during his tenure. It will be a thrill to honor in front of the Navy faithful at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.”
Navy’s head coach from 1959-64 Hardin coached Hall of Famers and Heisman Trophy winners Joe Bellino (1960) and Roger Staubach (1963). Hardin ranks fifth all-time at Navy in wins (38), and his teams beat archrival Army in five of his six seasons. His five consecutive defeats of Army stood unsurpassed until 2007. He took Navy to the 1960 Orange Bowl and the 1963 Cotton Bowl, and he twice led the Midshipmen to a top five ranking (No. 4, 1960 and No. 2, 1963).
Following his time at Navy, Hardin served as head coach of the Owls from 1970-82, becoming the program’s all-time leader in wins. He led Temple to its only 10-win season in program history during the 1979 season, finishing at No. 17 in both major polls and beating favored California in the Garden State Bowl. Hardin also mentored Owl quarterback Steve Joachim who led the nation in total offense and won the Maxwell Trophy in 1973.
Hardin attended the College of the Pacific, playing football for College Football Hall of Fame coach Amos Alonzo Stagg. A 1998 Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Hardin earned 11 varsity letters before graduating college in 1948.
Hardin becomes the 24th Midshipman to be inducted. Three other coaches with stops in Annapolis are in the hall, including: Gil Dobie (1917-19), Bill Ingram (1926-30) and George Welsh (1973-81). Including the 2013 FBS class, only 934 players and 205 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the 4.99 million people who have played or coached the game over the past 145 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 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City’s historic Waldorf=Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 10. This year’s College Football Hall of Fame FBS Class includes: Ted Brown (North Carolina State), Teddy Bruschi (Arizona), Ron Dayne (Wisconsin), Tommie Frazier (Nebraska), Jerry Gray (Texas),Steve Meilinger (Kentucky), Orlando Pace (Ohio State), the late Rod Shoate (Oklahoma), Percy Snow (Michigan State), Vinny Testaverde (Miami, Fla.), Don Trull (Baylor), Danny Wuerffel(Florida), and coaches Wayne Hardin (Navy, Temple) and Bill McCartney (Colorado).