National Champion. All-American. Walter Payton Award Winner. Grizzly Sports Hall of Famer. Grey Cup Champion. CFL MVP. CFL Hall of Famer. CFL Coach of the Year.
Montana football great Dave Dickenson has earned many accolades in his illustrious collegiate and professional career, but perhaps none as prestigious as this.
On Monday, the National Football Foundation announced that Dickenson will be immortalized as one of the greatest college football players of all time as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
Dickenson will be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside nine other legendary players and three coaches at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4 in New York City. Their accomplishments will also be enshrined at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
“I am very honored and excited to be included in the Hall of Fame,” said Dickenson.
“We did some special things at Montana. To be able to represent our program, Don Read and the coaches, our school, and our city, means a lot to me. More than anything though, it means a lot to be able to represent the state of Montana.”
The class of 2018 includes legendary players Trevor Cobb – RB, Rice (1989-92), Kerry Collins – QB, Penn State (1991-94), Dave Dickenson – QB, Montana (1992-95), Dana Howard – LB, Illinois (1991-94), Calvin Johnson – WR, Georgia Tech (2004-06), Paul Palmer – RB, Temple (1983-86), Ed Reed – DB, Miami [Fla.] (1998-2001), Matt Stinchcomb – OT, Georgia (1995-98), Aaron Taylor – C/OG, Nebraska (1994-97), Charles Woodson – DB, Michigan (1995-97).
Coaches joining the Hall of Fame include Frank Beamer – 280-144-4 (65.9%); Murray State (1981-86), Virginia Tech (1987-2015), Mack Brown – 244-122-1 (66.6%); Appalachian State (1983), Tulane (1985-87), North Carolina (1988-97), Texas (1998-2013), Mel Tjeerdsma – 242-82-4 (74.4%); Austin College [Texas] (1984-93), Northwest Missouri State (1994-2010).
The inductees were selected from a national ballot of 75 All-America players and six elite coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 98 players and 31 coaches from the divisional ranks.
Dickenson is only the second player ever from the state of Montana to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The other: Grizzly great William “Wild Bill” Kelly who was inducted in 1969.
Including the 2018 Hall of Fame class, only 997 players and 217 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.26 million who have played or coached the game during the past 149 years. Meaning fewer than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of the individuals who have played the game have been deemed worthy of this distinction.
“Being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame is such an amazing and well-deserved achievement for Dave,” said Montana Director of Athletics Kent Haslam.
“He is a great representative of the University of Montana and the Grizzly football program. He was the definition of a student-athlete during his years here at UM, and we could not be more proud of him and his accomplishments.”
The announcement of the 2018 Class was made today live on ESPN’s SportsCenter in Atlanta, the site of the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship.
“We are extremely proud to announce the 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer in an NFF statement.
“Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played or coached the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments.”
The 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4, 2018, at the New York Hilton Midtown. The inductees will also be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the fall.
Founded in 1947, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame inducted its first class of inductees in 1951. The first class included 32 players and 22 coaches, including Illinois’ Red Grange, Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Carlisle (Pa.)’s Jim Thorpe.
University of Montana
A Montana football legend and two-time First Team All-American, Dave Dickenson remains the Grizzlies’ all-time leading passer and still holds 28 other school records.
The recipient of the 1995 Walter Payton Award as the top player in the FCS, Dickenson led Montana to the FCS national title that year. In the championship game, he orchestrated a 12-play, 72-yard scoring drive that culminated with the game-winning field goal as part of a come-from-behind win over Marshall. In four playoff games in 1995, Dickenson threw for 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns, bringing his totals at the end of the season to 5,676 and 51, respectively. Although the NCAA did not recognize playoff statistics at the time, he completed the regular season with a school- and then-Big Sky Conference single-season record 4,176 passing yards. Dickenson’s 379.6 yards per game in 1995 rank fifth all-time in FCS history and still stand as a school and conference record. His record-setting senior season also extended off the field where he was named an NFF National Scholar-Athlete and earned his third consecutive Academic All-America honors.
The three-time First Team All-Big Sky selection and Big Sky Offensive MVP led the Grizzlies to conference titles in 1993 and 1995, and he led the FCS in passing yards per game as a junior and senior. Dickenson finished third for the Walter Payton Award in 1994 and was an Honorable Mention All-American in 1993 after leading the team to the playoffs in both seasons. A three-time team MVP, his school-record 11,080 career passing yards are sixth in conference history, and his 33 career wins remain a program best. A member of the University of Montana’s Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame, Dickenson’s No. 15 jersey is one of only two retired jerseys at the school.
After college, Dickenson played professionally for 12 seasons, most notably in the Canadian Football League for the Calgary Stampeders (1997-2000, 2008) and the BC Lions (2003-07). The 2015 CFL Hall of Fame inductee was the league’s MVP in 2000, and he won three Grey Cups (1998, 2006, 2008). Dickenson spent the 2001 and 2002 seasons in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions.
After seven years as an assistant coach, Dickenson has served as head coach of the Calgary Stampeders since 2016, leading the team to two Grey Cup appearances in as many seasons and earning coach of the year honors after his first campaign.
Active in the community, Dickenson is heavily involved with the Special Olympics in Alberta, Canada, and supports the Calgary Urban Project Society. A member of the Montana High School Association Athletic and State of Montana Football halls of fame, he was named the Big Sky Conference’s greatest-ever male athlete in 2013.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME SELECTION CRITERIA
1. First and foremost, a player must have received First Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.
2. A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s honors courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
3. While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and fellow man. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
4. Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years*. For example, to be eligible for the 2018 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1968 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
5. A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.
* Players that do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Honors Review Committees, which examine unique cases.