April 30, 2009
NEW YORK--Former Arizona safety Chuck Cecil was named to the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, joining a class of 16 first-team All-America players and two legendary coaches.
Cecil was picked from the national ballot of 76 candidates and a pool of hundreds of eligible nominees, Archie Manning, chairman of NFF, announced today in presenting the Football Bowl Subdivision HOF class.
The Arizona legend joins former Wildcat linebacker Ricky Hunley and former UA coaches Jim Young and Darrell Mudra in the College Football Hall of Fame. Cecil has been on the ballot for several years, along with several other former Wildcat greats.
"The NFF Honors Court and its chairman Gene Corrigan did an exceptional job in selecting the 2009 College Football Hall of Fame Class," said Manning, a 1989 Hall of Famer from Ole Miss. "This year's class represents two centuries of outstanding football players who have reached the pinnacle of success in the collegiate ranks, and we are happy to preserve their legacies in the Hall of Fame."
The 2009 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Class will be inducted at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 8, 2009, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. They will be officially enshrined at the Hall in South Bend, Ind., during ceremonies in the summer of 2010.
Only 846 players and 182 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the more than 4.65 million who have played the game over the past 140 years.
Founded in 1947, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame inducted its first class of inductees in 1951. The first class included 32 players and 19 coaches, including Illinois' Red Grange, Notre Dame's Knute Rockne, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Carlisle's Jim Thorpe.
A two-time First Team Academic All-America selection (1986-87), Cecil played for Arizona from 1984 to 1987, first under the late Larry Smith and then under former head coach Dick Tomey for his final year. He began as a recruited walk-on from Helix High School in San Diego and finished his UA career as one of the Pac-10's noted and fearless safeties.
A consensus All-American in 1987, Cecil was the Aloha Bowl MVP and a two-time first-team all-conference selection, plus earned second-tam honors as a sophomore. He was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in 1987 and Pac-10 Player of the Week on three occasions.
Off the field Cecil was a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection and culminated his education as a recipient of the NCAA VI Award, one of the nation's top scholar-athlete citations. He was named Arizona's male winner of the the Pac-10 Conference Medal.
He is No. 7 on Arizona's all-time tackles chart with a total of 392, still holds the Arizona career record with 21 interceptions and among those returned one 100 yards for a touchdown against Arizona State in 1986, a play that likely rests atop many UA partisans' choice as the single-most electrifying and revered moment in UA football history.
He finished his UA career with the then No. 1 mark in passes defended, 38, which currently is second to Michael Jolivette's 44 from 2000 to 2003. He led the Wildcats with 80 solo tackles his senior year and also posted the school record that season with four interceptions at Stanford.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 1988 draft by the Green Bay Packers, Cecil spent seven seasons in the NFL with the Packers, Arizona Cardinals and Houston Oilers. Cecil is currently the assistant coach for safeties and nickel backs for the Tennessee Titans.
Cecil has served as co-chair of the University of Arizona Medical Center Foundation campaign for UMC Trauma Center with his wife and founded the Chuck Cecil Scholarship Golf Classic benefitting University of Arizona scholarships.
2009 COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS
PLAYERS PERVIS ATKINS - HB, New Mexico State (1958-60) TIM BROWN - WR, Notre Dame (1984-87) CHUCK CECIL - DB, Arizona (1984-87) ED DYAS - FB, Auburn (1958-60) MAJOR HARRIS - QB, West Virginia (1987-89) GORDON HUDSON - TE, Brigham Young (1980-83) WILLIAM LEWIS* - C, Harvard (1892-93) WOODROW LOWE - LB, Alabama (1972-75) KEN MARGERUM - WR, Stanford (1977-80) STEVE McMICHAEL - DT, Texas (1976-79) CHRIS SPIELMAN - LB, Ohio State (1984-87) LARRY STATION - LB, Iowa (1982-85) PAT SWILLING - DE, Georgia Tech (1982-85) GINO TORRETTA - QB, Miami (Fla.) (1989-92) CURT WARNER - RB, Penn State (1979-82) GRANT WISTROM - DE, Nebraska (1994-97) * Selection from the FBS Veterans Committee, deceased
COACHES DICK MacPHERSON - 111-73-5 (.601) - Massachusetts (1971-77), Syracuse (1981-90) JOHN ROBINSON - 132-77-4 (.629) - Southern California (1976-82, 1993-97), Nevada-Las Vegas (1999-2004)