Bowden and Richardson, along with two 40-year volunteers, D.L. Claborn and Reg McCrary, were honored in an on-field ceremony prior to last night’s Chick-fil-A Bowl between #24 Duke and #21 Texas A&M.
“Throughout our history, we’ve been fortunate to host in our game some of the most accomplished players and coaches in all of college football and this inductee class is a perfect example of that,” said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. “Each of these men represents determination, toughness, character and sportsmanship and they do it in a first-class manner. Their efforts in our game, and throughout their careers, make each of them well deserved members of our Hall of Fame.”
Bobby Bowden, the winningest coach in college football with 377 wins, was head coach at Florida State for 34 years and West Virginia for six. During his tenure at Florida State, he coached two national championship teams, recorded 173 victories, earned 12 ACC Championships, and coached two Heisman Trophy winners. Bowden’s Seminoles compiled 14 consecutive 10-win seasons from 1987-2000, went to 15 consecutive New Year’s Day bowl games and won 11 consecutive bowl games, including the 1983 Peach Bowl. Prior to being inducted into the Chick-fil-A Bowl Hall of Fame, Bowden was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006, inducted into both the Alabama and Florida Sports Hall of Fame and named both the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year and the Walter Camp National Coach of the Year.
Tony Richardson was a member of an Auburn squad that appeared in the 1990 Peach Bowl against Indiana. That year, the Tigers came from behind to defeat the Hoosiers 27-23 in the last minute of play. Following an impressive collegiate career, Richardson was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1995, where he played for 11 of his 16 NFL seasons. Over that span, he tallied 3,270 yards with 24 touchdowns while playing for the Chiefs, Vikings and Jets. The three- time Pro Bowler received the 2001 Ed Block Courage Award, and was named as one of the "Good Guys in Sports" by The Sporting News in 2002, 2003 and 2004. In addition, he was the Chiefs' NFL Man of the Year nominee in 2002.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl has long been known as the preeminent hospitality bowl in the country due in large part to an extremely dedicated group of volunteers. The Bowl currently enjoys the service of 433 volunteers, many of whom have served with the Bowl for more than 20 years. The Chick-fil-A Bowl Volunteer Hall of Fame was created to recognize and celebrate the significant contributions of its volunteer force in a meaningful way.
D.L. Claborn’s role with the Chick-fil-A Bowl suits two of his lifelong passions – football and sales. In the 1971 Peach Bowl, Claborn’s successes in both areas came to the forefront. He served as an official in the first Bowl game at Atlanta’s Fulton-County Stadium. In the years following, D.L. remained involved as a ticket sales volunteer. Year in and year out, Claborn established himself as the top seller and set the bar high for his team. In 2004, the D.L. Claborn Award was created to recognize outstanding Chick-fil-A Bowl ticket sales volunteers.
In his 41 years of service, Reg McCrary has worked extensively within the Game Management committee. Now serving as the committee chairman, he oversees in-game production and all volunteers inside the Georgia Dome on game day. In addition to his responsibilities on game day, he is a long-time member of the Chick-fil-A Bowl Team Marketing and Selection committee.
Established in 2002, the Chick-fil-A Bowl Hall of Fame honors former players, coaches and contributors, as well as staff and volunteers, who have had a significant impact on the Bowl. There are currently 38 members, including players such as Mike Singletary, Reggie White and Jim Kelly, and coaches including Bobby Dodd, Vince Dooley and Lou Holtz.