Billy Murphy on College Hall of Fame Ballot Announced Thursday
March 6, 2014
The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced on Thursday the names on the 2014 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Listed on the ballot among 75 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision is University of Memphis coaching legend Billy Jack Murphy.
The ballot was mailed this week to more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Court, which deliberates and selects the class. Chaired by Gene Corrigan, a former ACC Commissioner and NCAA president, the 17-member NFF Honors Court includes an elite and geographical diverse pool of athletics directors, conference commissioners, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 4.99 million people have played college football,” said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell. “The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of only 1,500 individuals who are even eligible to be on the ballot, so being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to ever have played the game, and we are proud to announce their names.”
Murphy is the all-time winningest coach in Memphis history, having posted a 91-44-1 record over a head coaching career at Memphis which spanned three decades (1958-71). During his coaching career, Murphy had 11 winning seasons and retired as the 15th winningest coach in the nation. The World War II veteran went on to serve as a team captain during his playing career at Mississippi State and has been inducted into both Memphis’ and Mississippi State’s athletic halls of fame.
Murphy’s 1963 team was the University’s first undefeated major team in 25 years earning him National Coach of the Year honors. He concluded his playing career with a 28-9 win over San Jose State in the 1971 Pasadena Bowl.
As an athletic administrator, he was instrumental in the founding of the Metro Conference.
The other five FB coaches on this year’s ballot are Mike Bellotti (Chico State, 1984-88; Oregon, 1995-2008), Jim Carlen (West Virginia 1966-69; Texas Tech 1970-74; South Carolina 1975-81), Pete Cawthon (Texas Tech, 1930-40), Danny Ford (Clemson, 1978-89; Arkansas 1993-97) and Darryl Rogers (Cal-State-Hayward, 1965; Fresno State, 1966-72; San Jose State, 1973-75; Michigan State, 1976-79; Arizona State, 1980-84).
The 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be announced in May from Irving, Texas, and they will be inducted at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 9, 2014 at the landmark Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The inductees will be permanently enshrined in the new College Football Hall of Fame at a date to be determined in 2015. The new Hall, currently under construction, will open in Atlanta in time for the 2014 college football season.
To be eligible for the ballot, coaches must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach; won at least 60 percent of their games; and be retired from coaching for at least three years. If a coach is retired and over the age of 70, there is no waiting period. If he is over the age of 75, he is eligible as an active coach. In both cases, the candidate’s post-football record as a citizen may also be weighed.