May 16, 2006
From the national ballot of 77 candidates and a pool of hundreds of nominees, Ron Johnson, chairman of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, announced Tuesday the 2006 College Football Hall of Fame Division I-A Class, which includes 13 All-America players and two legendary coaches. Florida State University is the only school with two inductees – Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Charlie Ward and head coach Bobby Bowden. The College Football Hall of Fame 2006 Class will be inducted at the 49th Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. They will officially be enshrined at the Hall in South Bend, Indiana, during ceremonies in the summer of 2007.
Bobby Anderson (RB – Colorado), Bennie Blades (DB – Miami), Carl Eller (T – Minnesota), Steve Emtman (DL – Washington), Thomas Everett (FS – Baylor), Chad Hennings (DT – Air Force), Chip Kell (OG – Tennessee), Mike Phipps (QB – Purdue), Mike Rozier (RB – Nebraska), LB Jeff Siemon (LB – Stanford), Bruce Smith (DT – Virginia Tech), Emmitt Smith (RB – Florida) and Charlie Ward (QB – Florida State) made up the 13-player group of All-Americans inducted. Bowden will be joined by Penn State’s Joe Paterno as the two coaches to be added to the College Football Hall of Fame.
In leading Florida State to its first-ever National Championship, quarterback Charlie Ward received more than 30 individual awards, making him possibly the most decorated player in the history of college football.
In the magical national title year of 1993, Ward won the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year and earned unanimous First Team All-America honors among many others. A two-time ACC Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference selection, he set seven ACC records and led the Seminoles to two conference titles.
Widely regarded as the greatest player in FSU history, Ward set 19 school records including single-season touchdowns (27) and career total offense (6,636 yards). A 1993 co-captain, he passed for more than 5,700 career yards and ran for better than 850.
An incredibly talented two-sport athlete, Ward opted to enter the National Basketball Association rather than the NFL, despite his remarkable football success. He played for 11 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the New York Knicks, and currently serves as an assistant coach for the Houston Rockets, where he currently resides.
After relatively short stints at Samford and West Virginia, Coach Bobby Bowden has become an institution at Florida State University. With 359 career wins in 41 seasons, Bowden has won the most games in the history of Division I-A college football…and he’s still counting.
Prior to Bowden’s arrival at Florida State, the Seminoles had won only four games in the previous three seasons. Since, FSU has won 286 of 365 games and 19 of 29 bowl games. He is the only coach in NCAA history to win 11 consecutive bowl games, make 14 straight bowl appearances and appear in the Top Five of the AP final rankings for 14 consecutive seasons. Twice leading the Seminoles to the National Championship, Bowden’s 1999 team was the first ever to go wire-to-wire as the AP’s #1 ranked team.
When FSU joined the ACC in 1992, FSU’s dominance only became more pronounced. In 15 seasons, Bowden’s teams have won 13 conference titles and he has twice earned ACC Coach of the Year honors.
To date, Bowden has an overall record of 359-107-4 with a win percentage of .768. By far the winningest coach in school history, he has more victories than the prior seven FSU coaches combined. For all of his success, the field at Doak Campbell Stadium was named in his honor and a national award given by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes now bears his name as well.
Quotes from Charlie Ward
“First, I would like to thank the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame committee for this induction. After listening to what it takes to get in, I’m very honored. I see the criteria they use and I see a lot of inductees who played a long time ago just getting in. It really brings it to the forefront for me. I am extremely grateful.”
“It was an honor to receive the call and you may not see it, but I was very excited. I tried to hold it in, but I had to share it with my wife of course. My kids still don’t know, probably won’t know until the time comes in December. I am grateful to have the opportunity to share this with a lot of people – my family, my mom and dad who raised me, who I feel have done a good job with all of their kids in raising them to be men and women of honor. I’m also grateful to have the opportunity to play for Coach Bobby Bowden in football and Pat Kennedy in basketball. The opportunities that they provided for me to be able to excel in what I did, I’m grateful for that. And all of those that have helped me graduate from college, I am truly grateful to them because playing two sports is difficult. Playing two sports and getting a degree is extremely difficult. When you have people that are willing to help you achieve your goals, I am grateful. The last thing I would like to share is that there was a negative experience going to South Bend a few years ago and I am grateful to say that there is something positive to me going back to South Bend this time.”
Quotes from Bobby Bowden
(on his reaction to getting in and being inducted with Joe Paterno)
“I wasn’t expecting it because I thought you had to die first – and I didn’t want to volunteer for that,” Bowden said. “They might have changed the rules to get me and Joe in. But I’m very excited about it.”
(on going in with Charlie Ward)
“That would always be extra special. I think anytime a person is inducted into any kind of hall of fame, the people that are going in with him, surrounding him, is kind of a personal thing. To be going in with Charlie is very good, I love that. Even Emmitt Smith was a great Floridian, so that’s a plus.”
(on if he knew in advance and what it means to go in with Paterno)
“It’s interesting because Joe and I are kind of the last two of this generation. It excites me to go in with Joe, it really does. I had been tipped that this was in the making, today was not the first day I found out about it.”
(on what Charlie meant to the program)
“Charlie started for us his junior year at Florida State. Had he not had Casey (Weldon) and Brad (Johnson) and some of those guys ahead of him, he was probably ready to play as a redshirt freshman. He was probably ready to win for you as a redshirt freshman. He waited his turn. I remember when he played as a junior we went 11-1 I believe, lost to Miami. The next year I made the prediction he would win the Heisman. I told our sports information people, don’t try to blow him up, don’t even advertise because he is going to win it. He has got what they’re looking for. Sure enough he did and that just tells you the kind of athlete he was. Not only that, he matches that with his character.”
(did you sense before the 1993 season what he would be that good?)
“I sure did because of what he did in ’92. I said this guy, you can’t miss him. You know, some guys can win for you and a fair quarterback can win for you just by executing. Charlie stood out because he did things that you can’t coach with his natural God given ability. I thought that would catch the eye of all the voters which it did.”