Rice, Gagliardi in College Hall of Fame

Updated: May 9, 2006, 4:11 PM ET
Associated Press

MORRISTOWN, N.J. -- NFL great Jerry Rice and college football's all-time winningest coach, John Gagliardi, were among seven new members to join the divisional class of the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

The group, to be enshrined at the hall on Aug. 11-12 in South Bend, Ind., also includes defensive back Kevin Dent of Jackson State, quarterback John Friesz of Idaho, receiver Ronnie Mallett of Central Arkansas and coaches Dick Farley of Williams (Mass.) and Vernon "Skip" McCain of Maryland State.

The divisional class considers players and coaches from NCAA Divisions I-AA, II, III and the NAIA.

Rice starred at Mississippi Valley State from 1981-84, finishing with 310 career receptions, 4,856 receiving yards and 51 touchdowns. Drafted in the first round by the San Francisco 49ers, he was selected for the Pro Bowl 13 times, won three Super Bowls and broke virtually every receiving record. His NFL totals exceed 1,500 receptions, 22,000 receiving yards and 200 touchdowns.

Gagliardi has a 432-118-11 record at Carroll College (Mont.) from 1949-52 and Saint Johns University (Minn.) from 1953-present. His 57 coaching seasons tie him with fellow Hall of Famer Amos Alonzo Staggs for most seasons coached. Gagliardi's teams have won four national championships and 27 conference titles. Only two of his teams had losing records, and none since 1967.

A three-time Sheridan Black College National Defensive Player of the Year, Dent led the nation in interceptions in 1986 and currently ranks among the top 25 in NCAA Division I-AA history with 21 career picks.

Friesz twice led the nation in passing and received the 1989 Walter Payton Award as Division I-AAs National Player of the Year. With over 10,000 career passing yards, he ranks among the top 20 in Division I-AA history. He played 10 seasons in the NFL.

A three-time All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference selection, Mallett shattered numerous receiving records, many of which he still holds. Among them: single-game receiving yards (242), career touchdown receptions (30) and career receiving yards (2,649).

Farley posted a 114-19-3 record between 1987-03 at the Division III school. Williams did not have a losing season on his watch, recording 128 consecutive games without back-to-back losses. His .849 win percentage ranks sixth among coaches in all divisions.

McCain had a 102-21-5 mark from 1948-63 at Maryland State, which during that span was a football power among historically black colleges. His teams won four Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and never had a losing season. He is one of only 28 coaches in college football to have a winning percentage greater than .800 among those who have coached at least nine seasons.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press