Thursday, July 16, 2009

Novacek to be inducted Saturday in College Football Hall of Fame

Former Wyoming great Jay Novacek, right, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame with former Dallas teammate Troy Aikman.

It has been a year of ceremonies leading up to the final celebration for this year’s class of inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame. The final celebration is the annual Enshrinement Festival taking place in South Bend, Ind., on Friday and Saturday.

One of the greatest athletes in University of Wyoming history, Jay Novacek, will be honored this weekend as one of 15 inductees into the 2008 College Football Hall of Fame Class.

CBS College Sports Network will televise the Enshrinement Show live on Saturday from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m., Mountain Time. Check your local cable provider for the CBS College Sports Network station on your cable system. DIRECTV customers will be able to watch on Channel 613, and DISH Network subscribers can tune to Channel 152 to watch the live show.

The 2008 College Football Hall of Fame Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Class was inducted at the National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 9, 2008, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

This weekend’s enshrinement event gives fans a chance to interact with the inductees through a variety of events, including: a block party in downtown South Bend on Friday; a parade and autograph session on Saturday; and the Enshrinement Dinner and Show on Saturday night.

Novacek, who was a consensus All-America tight end at Wyoming in 1984, still holds the NCAA record for highest average gain per reception in a single season by a tight end, averaging 22.6 yards per catch in 1984. The native of Gothenburg, Neb., also placed fourth in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships his senior season, earning All-America honors in track and field.

During his college career from 1982-84, Novacek had 83 receptions for 1,536 yards and 10 touchdowns, while playing in a wishbone offense.

Novacek will be one of 13 former college players and two former college coaches inducted into the 2008 College Hall of Fame class. He will be inducted with his former Dallas Cowboy teammate Troy Aikman (UCLA, QB, 1986-89).

The other players being inducted are: Billy Cannon (LSU, HB, 1957-59), Jim Dombrowski (Virginia, OT, 1982-85), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern, LB, 1993-96), Wilber Marshall (Florida, LB, 1980-83), Rueben Mayes (Washington State, RB, 1982-85), Randall McDaniel (Arizona State, OG, 1984-87), Don McPherson (Syracuse, QB, 1984-87), Dave Parks (Texas Tech, SE, 1961-63), Ron Simmons (Florida State, NG, 1977-80), Thurman Thomas (Oklahoma State, RB, 1984-87) and Arnold Tucker (Army, QB, 1944-46). The two coaches being inducted in the 2008 class are: John Cooper (Tulsa, 1977-84; Arizona State, 1985-87; Ohio State, 1988-2000) and Lou Holtz (William & Mary, 1969-71; North Carolina State, 1972-75; Arkansas, 1977-83; Minnesota, 1984-85; Notre Dame, 1986-96; South Carolina, 1999-2004).

Novacek was inducted into the University of Wyoming Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993 -- its inaugural class.

He went on to win three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys at the conclusion of the 1992, ‘93 and ‘95 seasons. Novacek was twice named All-Pro (1991 and ‘92), earned All-NFC honors three times (1991, ‘92 and ‘95) and played in five Pro Bowls (1991-95).

He joins one other former Cowboy player and three former Wyoming coaches as members of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Eddie “Boom Boom” Talboom was inducted posthumously as a tailback in 2000. Talboom played for the Cowboys from 1948-60.

Former Cowboy head coach Bowden Wyatt was inducted posthumously as a player (Tennessee) in 1972 and then was inducted as a coach (Wyoming, Arkansas, Tennessee) in 1997, becoming only the third individual at that time to be inducted as both a player and coach -- the other two being Amos Alonzo Stagg and Bobby Dodd. Wyatt was the Cowboys head coach from 1947-52.

The other College Football Half of Famers from the University of Wyoming are former head coach Bob Devaney (Wyoming-1957-61, Nebraska), who was inducted in 1981; and former Cowboy head coach Pat Dye (East Carolina, Wyoming-1980, Auburn), who was inducted in 2005.

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