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Three with HBCU connections in College Football Hall of Fame class

May 2, 2007

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF), has announced the Hall of Fame Divisional Class for 2007, which considers players and coaches from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA), Divisions II, III, and the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) for induction. The class includes two former coaches at HBCUs and a player who dominated black college football in the 1930s.

Billy Joe
Tracy Ham

Former Florida A&M head football coach William "Billy" Joe, former Clark Atlanta mentor Tracy Ham and Kentucky State standout Joe Kendall will join three other noted collegiate personalities during Enshrinement Ceremonies July 19-21, in South Bend, Ind. The class includes:

PLAYERS
> Tracy Ham - QB, Georgia Southern, 1983- 86
> Joe Kendall* - QB, Kentucky State, 1934- 36
> Frank Sheptock - LB, Bloomsburg (Pa.), 1982-85
> Jessie Tuggle - LB, Valdosta State (Ga.), 1983-86

COACHES
> Jim Christopherson - Concordia College (Minn.) (1969-2000), 218-101-7
> William "Billy" Joe - Florida A&M (1994- 2004), Central State (Ohio) (1981-93), Cheyney (Pa.) (1972-78), 237-108-4

* deceased

Joe, fashioned a scintillating collegiate coaching career spanning three institutions - Cheyney (Pa.) State, Central (Ohio) State and Florida A&M University.

The second-winningest coach in Black College Football history behind the late Eddie Robinson of Grambling State, Joe compiled a 237-108-4 record in 31 seasons.

At Florida A&M, he led the Rattlers to an unprecedented five Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) titles, while garnering three of the conference's Coach of the Year accolades. He also spent ten consecutive seasons in the NAIA playoffs while at Central State. Throughout his 31 years as a head coach, Joe compiled 26 winning seasons and coached five Black College National Players of the Year.

Highly respected among his peers, he served as vice president of the American Football Coaches Association in 1993 and was elected president of the organization in 1995.

A consummate leader, Ham led Georgia Southern to two consecutive Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) national titles in 1985 and '86 - all within the school's first three years at the FCS level.

Ham, who currently holds 20 game, season and career records and 21 playoff game records, ranks first in all-time career passing yards and total offense at the school. He is also GSU's career leader in passing touchdowns. A versatile threat, Ham racked up over 3,000 career rushing yards, placing him sixth in the Eagles' all-time rushing ranks.

Named First Team All-America in 1986, Ham's incredible athleticism landed him in the nation's 'Top 20' in passing efficiency, scoring, total offense and rushing during his senior campaign. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1987 NFL Draft and went on to play 13 successful seasons in the Canadian Football League, including two Grey Cups and league MVP laurels in 1989.

He was head coach at Clark Atlanta from 2002-2004.

Kendall dominated black college football in the 1930s while leading Kentucky State to a national championship in 1934.

Nicknamed "Tarzan" for his athletic prowess, Kendall led the Thorobreds to a 1935 Orange Blossom Classic victory over Florida A&M en route to an impressive 29-7-3 overall record during his playing years.

A three-time First Team All-America selection from 1934-36 by the Pittsburgh Courier, Kendall is the first person in KSU history to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Kentucky State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1975.

Following his player career, Kendall served as a coach, teacher and school principal. As a result of his significant contributions as a recreational director in Owensboro, Ky., a park was named in his honor.

 

 

 

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