IWU's Blazine Named to Hall of Fame
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Illinois Wesleyan University's Tony Blazine has been chosen for induction into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's Class of 2002.
Blazine, a tackle who played for the Titans from 1931-34, is part of the Divisional Hall of Fame Class for 2002, which includes players and coaches from NCAA Divisions I-AA, II, III, and the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics).
This year's class will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Hall, August 9-10, in South Bend, Indiana.
Solidifying the offensive line for coach J. Norman Elliott in the early 1930s for Illinois Wesleyan, Blazine helped lead the Titans to a spot among the nation's elite football programs.
A four-year football letterman, Blazine's teams went 19-11-4 playing a difficult schedule that included Michigan State, Western Kentucky, DePaul and St. Louis, all national powers at the time. In 1934, Blazine was named Little All-America and earned a starting position in the 1935 College All-Star Game, where he reportedly played 57 minutes at tackle against the Chicago Bears. Among the reserves on that team was a Michigan center named Gerald Ford, and among the players Blazine beat out for the starting all-star post were Phil Bengston of Minnesota and Bill Lee, an All-American from Alabama. Alabama's Don Hutson was a starting end for the all-star team that lost to the Bears, 5-0.
Three times an all-conference selection, he was voted team captain by his teammates his senior season.
Following graduation in 1935, Blazine played professionally for the Chicago Cardinals from 1935-40 and the New York Giants from 1940-41. After retiring from professional football, he served stints as line coach for the University of Illinois and University of Washington football programs.
A multi-talented athlete, Blazine also lettered four years at IWU in track and basketball, serving as captain of the 1933-34 squad. The Johnston City, Ill., native who passed away in 1963, was a biology major at IWU.
"On behalf of the board of directors, members of our four Divisional Honors Courts, and our more than 10,000 members nationwide, we celebrate the careers and accomplishments of these exceptional players and coaches for receiving college football's ultimate honor," stated NFF Chairman Jon F. Hanson.
Since 1996, 49 of college football's greatest players and 20 of the game's most celebrated coaches from Division I-AA, II, III, and NAIA schools have been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
With this program, the Foundation continues the recognition of those who have had an extraordinary career and impact on the game at every level.
The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit educational organization comprised of more than 11,000 members in 118 chapters nationwide, dedicated to the promotion of amateur football, scholarship, citizenship, and superior athletic performance. Through various programs and initiatives, such as Play It Smart and the NFL/NFF Coaching Academy, the Foundation endeavors to promote the positive values learned through participation in sport.
The College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana serves as the shrine where those who exemplify the Foundation's ideal of excellence both on and off the field are immortalized.
In addition to Blazine, this year's inductees include:
Harry Carson, South Carolina State, Defensive End,
Rod Cason, Angelo State, Offensive Tackle, 1969-71
Kenny Gamble, Colgate, Running Back, 1984-87
Charles Green, Wittenberg, Quarterback, 1961-64
Brent Jones, Santa Clara, Tight End, 1982-85
COACHES, SCHOOL(S), YEARS, RECORD
Chris Ault, Nevada, 1976-92,1994-95,163-63-1
Marcelino "Chelo" Huerta, Tampa, Wichita State, Parsons, 1952-67, 104-53-2
Fred Martinelli, Ashland, 1959-93, 217-119-12
Harry Carson. South Carolina State University
One of the greatest defensive players in the history of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Carson led South Carolina State to back-to-back conference championships, shattering sack and tackle records along the way.
A first team All-America in 1975, Carson set school and conference records with 17 sacks and 112 tackles. He anchored the 1975 team that recorded six shutouts and set an NCAA record for fewest points (29) allowed in a 10-game season. A two-time all-conference choice, Carson became the first player in MEAC history to win back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year honors, 1974 and 1975.
Following graduation in 1976, Carson was selected in the fourth round of the NFL draft by the New York Giants. He made 10 Pro Bowl appearances in a 13-year career with the Giants culminating with a Super Bowl Championship in 1986.
Carson was named to the Sheridan Broadcasting
Network 100-Year Anniversary Black College All-America Team and the Division
II Team of the Century. He is a member of the Division II Athletic Hall
of Fame, MEAC Hall of Fame and South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame. Carson
is also a board member for the New York State Special Olympics and the
New York State United Way.
Rod Cason, Angelo State University
Arguably the greatest and most decorated offensive lineman in Angelo State history, Cason was a key component to the Rams‚ rise as a Lone Star Conference and NAIA power.
A four-year starter and letterman, Cason became the first player in school history to earn first team NAIA All-America honors three times. In addition, Cason was twice named AP Second Team All-America.
Struggling in its early years, Cason spearheaded a program turnaround that saw three consecutive winning seasons and a 1971 campaign that was the program's most successful ever with a 7-3 record and an appearance in the NAIA National Semifinals. An all-conference selection three consecutive years, Cason was named team captain in 1971. He was chosen in the 11th round of the NFL draft in 1972 by the New England Patriots.
Also a successful teacher and businessman,
Cason has served as a high school football coach and most recently, Operations
Superintendent for Tesoro Petroleum.
Kenny Gamble, Colgate University
When Gamble completed his storied career at Colgate, his name had become synonymous with the school, Colonial League, ECAC and NCAA record books. Few in the history of collegiate football ran the ball with such intensity and passion.
A two-time first team All-America, Gamble won the Walter Payton Trophy in 1987 as the top Division I-AA player in the country finishing first and second respectively in all-purpose yards (2,097) and rushing yards (1,411). As a junior, his 1,816 rushing yards led the nation, while his 21 rushing touchdowns and 2,425 all-purpose yards set NCAA Division I-AA records.
Gamble is a two-time all-conference pick, three-time all-ECAC choice and was named ECAC Division I-AA Player of the Year in 1987. A two-time recipient of the Andy Kerr Trophy, presented to Colgate's Most Valuable Player, he led the team in rushing all four years of his career.
At the conclusion of his career, Gamble
held or shared 13 NCAA Division I-AA records and 29 school records. His
career 7,623 all-purpose yards set the all-time record for all divisions
of collegiate football. Following graduation in 1987, he played professional
football with the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL.
Charles H. Green, Wittenberg University
One of the most efficient and successful quarterbacks in Division III football history, Green led Wittenberg to heights the school has never seen and became arguably the school's greatest passer. During his tenure, the Tigers lost only a single game, and after being named the team's starting quarterback, he led them to three consecutive undefeated seasons, three consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference titles and a 25-0-1 record. Twice Wittenberg was recognized as the top small college team in the nation.
An All-America selection and conference Most Valuable Offensive Back in 1964, Green led the conference in passing yards, passing yards per game, touchdown passes and total offense for two straight seasons en route to establishing 14 conference records. The active leader in all major passing categories at Wittenberg, Green finished his career with 5,575 passing yards and 61 touchdown passes.
Following graduation in 1965, Green
was drafted by the Boston Patriots and played with them for one season
before being traded to the Oakland Raiders where he played for three. A
well-rounded athlete, Green also played basketball and was named the baseball
team's MVP while at Wittenberg.
Brent Jones, Santa Clara University
One of the players that helped revolutionize the concept of the pass-catching tight end, Jones served as both a key blocker and primary receiving target in four years with Santa Clara.
During his sophomore season, Jones made the shift from wide receiver to tight end. By the conclusion of his illustrious collegiate career, he had led the Broncos to two Western Football Conference championships and emerged as the greatest tight end in school history. A first team All-America in
1985, Jones played in the East-West Shrine All-Star Game and was named Greater San Jose Male Athlete of the Year.
A three-time all-league selection, Jones ranks second all-time in school history with 137 career receptions, fourth with 2,267 receiving yards, fourth in scoring with 200 points and third with 24 TD receptions.
Originally selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1987 NFL draft, Jones signed as a free agent with the San Francisco 49ers where he spent 12 seasons. During that time, he was named All-Pro four
times, was a member of three Super
Bowl championship teams and set the 49ers' record for most career receiving
yards by a tight end with 747. In 1998, Jones was named NFL "Good Samaritan
of the Year."
Coach Chris Ault
In 19 seasons, Ault's dedication and passion as a coach and director of athletics resulted in winning more than 70% of Nevada's games on each level during the program‚s steady ascension through Division II, I-AA and I-A.
Believed to be the only coach in NCAA history to win conference championships on three different NCAA playing levels at the same school, Ault is the Big Sky Conference all-time winningest coach, claiming seven championships in total and guiding the Wolf Pack to seven NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances. Nevada‚s all-time winningest coach with a record of 163-63-1 and winning percentage of .720, Ault was named Conference Coach of the Year five times, National Coach of the Year twice and University of Nevada Coach of the Century.
In three seasons on the Division I-A level, Ault won at least a share of three BIG WEST conference championships and appeared in two Las Vegas Bowl games.
The producer of eight nationally ranked
teams, Ault orchestrated what many believe is the greatest comeback victory
in NCAA history trailing by 35 points vs. Weber State in 1991. Recently
Sports Illustrated named him to their list of the 50 Greatest Sports Figures
of the 20th Century from the state of Nevada. Married for 35 years with
three children, Ault is a member of the Wolf Pack Hall of Fame.
Coach Marcelino "Chelo" Huerta
Dedicating much of his life to the betterment of amateur athletics, Huerta served as both head coach and director of athletics in each of his 16 seasons coaching. He becomes the first coach of Hispanic ethnicity to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
As the youngest director of athletics and head coach in the nation, Huerta began his storied coaching career at the University of Tampa were he would spend the next 10 seasons. In 1959, he received the Pop Warner Award for doing the most for youth in the State of Florida. At Wichita State, Huerta enjoyed the most successful season of his career when in 1963 the team ranked second in the nation in total offense and won the Missouri Valley Conference co-championship. Subsequently, he was named Conference Coach of the Year.
In his three seasons at Parsons College, Huerta amassed a 23-5-0 record en route to a career record of 104-53-2 ˆ a win percentage of .660. He holds membership in the University of Florida Hall of Fame, University of Tampa Hall of Fame and Florida Sports Hall of Fame.
A decorated World War II veteran, he
inaugurated "Football Players for Crippled Children", a drive adopted by
the National Society for Crippled Children. Prior to his death in 1985,
Huerta served on the Presidents Council on employment for the handicapped
and as executive vice president for the McDonald's Training Center Foundation.
Coach Fred Martinelli
An educator, director of athletics and head coach for parts of five decades, Martinelli's success and influence has transcended Ashland College, being felt across the football landscape.
In 35 years, Martinelli became the second winningest coach in NCAA Division II history with victories in nearly 65% of his games en route to a 217-119-12 career record. His 217 victories rank him 27th all-time in total wins among collegiate football coaches.
Martinelli's teams have won four Mid-Ohio Conference championships and five Heartland Conference titles. Earning numerous Coach of the Year honors, he guided the 1967 and 1972 squads to undefeated seasons and the 1986 team to the NCAA Division II playoffs. Martinelli has seen his teams finish in the National Top 20 Poll eight times and has won more games than each of the other 10 Ashland head coaches combined. He has coached 72 All-America standouts and two National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame scholar-athletes.
A member of the Ashland University and County Hall of Fame, Martinelli has served amateur football as a member of the NCAA Nominating Committee, NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship Committee, College-Division All-America Selection Committee and The NFF Division III Honors Court, just to name a few.