published Friday, May 28th, 2010

Stallings picked for college hall

First a member of Bear Bryant's "Junction Boys," then a national championship coach, Gene Stallings added another entry to his legacy Thursday afternoon.

The coach who directed Alabama to the 1992 national title is one of 14 inductees announced Thursday for the College Football Hall of Fame. Stallings made it in by the vote of the veterans committee of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

Barry Alvarez, the 1990-2005 Wisconsin coach, was the only other nonplayer elected to the class. Other notable inductees include Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard and Pat Tillman, who left the NFL to enlist in the Army and ultimately die in combat in Afghanistan.

An awards ceremony will be held in December at the Waldorf Astoria in New York before formal induction in 2011.

Stallings was selected by the veterans committee after his .559 career winning percentage fell just short of the .600 required. According to the Hall of Fame website, others "may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Honors Review Committees, which examine unique cases."

The site also stated that his "post football record as a citizen" also weighed in the decision. Stallings long has been an advocate for those suffering from Down syndrome after his son was born with the condition. After his retirement from Alabama in 1996, Stallings served on President George W. Bush's Commission on Intellectual Disability.

Stallings' college football career began at Texas A&M as a member of the now-famous team known as the "Junction Boys." He was an assistant under Bryant from 1958 to '65 when he took the head job at his alma mater. He later spent seven seasons as the Aggies' head coach, compiling a 27-45-1 record before spending the next 17 years coaching with the Cowboys and Cardinals of the NFL.

He was hired in 1990 as the Alabama head coach and led the program to its first national title since the retirement of his former coach. Stallings retired after the 1996 season with a 62-25 record in Tuscaloosa after eight wins were forfeited by the NCAA.

Stallings is a member of the Texas A&M Board of Regents after being appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2005. He also is the special athletic liaison to the A&M system members.



Hall of Fame class

Players

Dennis Byrd, DT, North Carolina State (1964-67)

Ronnie Caveness, C, Arkansas (1962-64)

Ray Childress, DL, Texas A&M (1981-84)

Randy Cross, OG, UCLA (1973-75)

Sam Cunningham, RB, Southern California (1970-72)

Mark Herrmann, QB, Purdue (1977-80)

Clarkston Hines, WR, Duke (1986-89)

Desmond Howard, WR, Michigan (1989-91)

Chet Moeller, DB, Navy (1973-75)

Jerry Stovall, HB, LSU (1960-62)

Pat Tillman, LB, Arizona State (1994-97)

Alfred Williams, LB, Colorado (1987-90)



Coaches

Barry Alvarez, 118-73-4 (.615) at Wisconsin (1990-2005)

Gene Stallings, 89-70-1 (.559) at Texas A&M (1965-71), Alabama (1990-96)

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