• 73°

UWA’s Wallace tabbed for D-II hall

UWA Sports Information

FLORENCE — The University of West Alabamas Bobby Wallace will be inducted into the Division II Football Hall of Fame along with Ken Sparks of Carson-Newman College and Mel Tjeerdsma of Northwest Missouri State on Dec. 17, 2010, making up the 12th induction class of the Hall of Fame.

The coaches were chosen by a selection committee and announced by Division II Football Hall of Fame Chairman Jeff Hodges.

Three of the most successful coaches in the history of college football are the first group of coaches to be honored by the Hall of Fame, which was established in 1999. The Division II Football Hall of Fame has inducted former Division II players annually for the last 11 years, but the 2010 inductions will mark the first group of coaches to be honored.

It has been our intention, since the Hall of Fame was created in 1999, to not only honor the outstanding players from Division II but also the outstanding coaches within the division,” Hodges said. “Our induction of Shannon Sharpe last December gave us 25 players in the Hall, and with this year being the 25th anniversary of the Division II Championship Game’s move to Florence, we felt it was perfect timing.

Wallace, who led UWA last season to its first NCAA appearance since 1975, has led seven teams to Division II postseason play.

Wallace became the first coach in college football history to win as many as 40 games in just three seasons when he led the University of North Alabama to a 41-1 record and three straight NCAA Division II National Championships from 1993-95. He is also the only coach in Division II to ever win three straight national championships. He was previously named Division II Coach of the Quarter Century (1972-97).

“While all three of these coaches selected are still actively coaching at Division II programs, our committee felt that each had already reached a pinnacle of success deserving of Hall of Fame recognition,” Hodges added. “All three have also been a part of the Division II Championship Game tradition in the Shoals and this will be our chance to honor them, not only for their coaching accomplishments, but also for being the great ambassadors that they have been for Division II football.”††

The Division II Football Hall of Fame is housed at Braly Municipal Stadium, which has hosted the Division II Football Championship Game since 1986. The 38th annual Division II Football Championship Game will be played at Braly Stadium at 11 a.m. on Dec. 18, 2010, and the Harlon Hill Trophy presentation to the Division II Player of the Year, and the Hall of Fame inductions are part of the Shoals area’s championship week activities. The Division II Football Hall of Fame is sponsored by The City of Florence, Florence-Lauderdale Tourism, OptiNet, Herff Jones and the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa.

The trio of coaches will be inducted on Dec. 17 as part of a combined Harlon Hill Trophy and Division II Football Hall of Fame Banquet at 6:30 p.m. at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence.