Bill McCartney, Colorado’s all-time winningest football coach who led the Buffaloes to their only national title, was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
McCartney, 72, was one of two coaches selected, the other being Wayne Hardin. The two coaches will be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with 12 players on Dec. 10 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.
McCartney had a 93-55-5 record in 13 seasons, including an 11-1-1 record and a victory over Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl to win the 1990 Associated Press national title.
“It’s a surprise and it is very humbling when you look at the men that have been recognized with this honor over the years,” McCartney said in a statement from the school. He is expected to meet with the local media later Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s very gratifying and rewarding. Keep in mind I’ve been out of coaching almost 20 years, so to be remembered after such a long absence was a complete surprise to me.”
McCartney took over in 1982 for Chuck Fairbanks, and the Buffs were 7-25-1 in McCartney’s first three seasons. His first winning season was 7-5 mark in 1985.
After going 11-0 in the 1989 regular season before losing to Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl, Colorado started the 1990 season 1-1-1 — with a tie vs. Tennessee, a win over Stanford and a one-point loss at Illinois. Colorado then won its next 10 games, including a 10-9 victory in the rematch with Notre Dame at the Orange Bowl.
All of McCartney’s 93 wins came against Division I-A teams. He won three consecutive Big Eight titles (1989-91) and went to nine bowl games. He retired after the 1994 season when the Buffs went 11-1 and beat Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.
McCartney will be the school’s first coach and the seventh Buffalo enshrined in the Hall. He will join Byron White (inducted in 1952), Joe Romig (1984), Dick Anderson (1993), Bobby Anderson (2006), Alfred Williams (2010) and John Wooten (2012).
McCartney joins Hardin, who was 118-74-5 overall at Navy (1959-64) and Temple (1970-82), in the Class of 2013.
The 12 players in this year’s class are: Ted Brown (TB, North Carolina State, 1975-78); Tedy Bruschi (DE, Arizona, 1992-95); Ron Dayne (RB, Wisconsin, 1996-99); Tommie Frazier (QB, Nebraska, 1992-95); Jerry Gray (DB, Texas, 1981-84); Steve Meilinger (E, Kentucky, 1951-53); Orlando Pace (OT, Ohio State, 1994-96); Rod Shoate (LB, Oklahoma, 1972-74); Percy Snow (LB, Michigan State, 1986-89); Vinny Testaverde (QB, Miami, Fla., 1982, 84-86); Don Trull (QB, Baylor, 1961-63); and Danny Wuerffel (QB, Florida, 1993-96).