Seven Legends to Join Allstate Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame
NEW ORLEANS (December 17, 2019) – The Allstate Sugar Bowl will introduce seven legends as the third class of the Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame in conjunction with the 86th annual Allstate Sugar Bowl on January 1, 2020. The inaugural Hall of Fame class, introduced in 2017, was composed of 16 stars of the annual New Orleans football classic. This year’s class of Hall of Famers includes one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game as well as six standout players who left significant legacies in Sugar Bowl lore.
“For 86 years, the Sugar Bowl has built a legacy of excellence,” said Monique Morial, the President of the Sugar Bowl Committee. “Two years ago, the Sugar Bowl Committee created a Hall of Fame to recognize the legends that built our wonderful history. We are honored to have the opportunity to add seven more all-time greats to the Hall of Fame this year. These men all played significant roles in lifting the Bowl to its current level of national prominence, and we look forward to honoring them in New Orleans over the New Year’s holiday.”
The living members of the third class of the Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame have all been invited to New Orleans for this year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl. Attendees and their guests will participate in select Sugar Bowl VIP activities and will be recognized on the field during the pregame ceremony leading up to the annual Sugar Bowl Classic.
Allstate Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame – Class of 2019
|Warrick Dunn||Florida State||1995, 1997|
|Bill Montgomery||Arkansas||1969, 1970|
|Steve Slaton||West Virginia||2006|
|Johnny Vaught||Ole Miss||1953, 55, 58, 60, 61, 63, 64, 70|
A native of Baton Rouge, Warrick Dunn rushed for over 1,000 yards for three straight seasons at Florida State. Following his sophomore season, he ran for a game-high 58 yards, caught nine passes for 51 yards and threw a 73-yard touchdown pass on a halfback option to lead the Seminoles to a 23-17 win over archrival Florida in the 1995 Sugar Bowl. He was back in the Sugar Bowl two years later, scoring on a rushing TD, but his Seminoles fell to Florida State. He went on to be drafted No. 12 overall into the NFL and enjoyed a 12-year professional career, earning three Pro Bowl selections. Dunn is also celebrated for his many contributions to the community – he was presented with the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2005 and received a Giant Steps Award in civic achievement from former President Bill Clinton.
Bill Montgomery was a three-year starting quarterback at Arkansas and upon graduation, he held virtually every school record including career touchdown passes, career passing yards, single-season passing yards, single-game passing yards, career completion percentage and career total offense. The Razorbacks posted a 28-5 record with Montgomery under center, the best three-year stretch in school history. One of those wins came in the 1969 Sugar Bowl as Montgomery passed for 185 yards and a touchdown in a 16-2 upset of No. 4 Georgia. He returned to the Sugar Bowl the following year and had a memorable individual performance with 338 passing yards (second most in Sugar Bowl history at the time) and two touchdowns, but couldn’t overcome a legendary performance from Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning.
Tinker Owens came into the Oklahoma program playing in the shadow of his Heisman Trophy-winning brother, Steve Owens. However, Owens established himself as a star in his own right in the 1972 Sugar Bowl. Making just his third career start, he caught five of the Sooners’ six total completions for 132 yards, including one reception going for a touchdown and another setting up a score as he became the first freshman to win the Miller-Digby Award as the Most Outstanding Player in the Sugar Bowl. Due to his 5-11, 168-lb. size, many opponents underestimated the two-time All-American’s ability and he made them pay, catching 62 passes during his career for 1,424 yards, placing him fourth on the all-time reception yardage list. He was selected in the fourth round of the 1976 NFL Draft and played four seasons with the New Orleans Saints.
Del Shofner had 14 rushes for 88 yards as No. 11 Baylor shocked No. 2 Tennessee, 13-7, in the 1957 Sugar Bowl. His 54-yard run in the second quarter set up the Bears’ first touchdown and he added four tackles and intercepted a pass in his own end zone to thwart a Vol scoring opportunity; he also punted seven times for 228 yards. A native of Center, Texas, he also played basketball and baseball and was a sprinter for the Bears. Following his Baylor career, he was selected in the first round of the 1957 NFL Draft and went on to an 11-year NFL career with the Rams and Giants. He was a five-time consensus All-Pro and led the league in receiving yards in 1958 (second in 1959 and 1961). He was selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1960s and was inducted into the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame in 1970.
Steve Slaton opened his true freshman season as the fourth-string running back for West Virginia, but it didn’t take long for him to shoot up the depth chart. He would finish his freshman campaign with 1,128 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns in just eight games, capped by a now-legendary performance in the 2006 Sugar Bowl. That Sugar Bowl was the only one in 85 years played outside Louisiana as Hurricane Katrina forced the game to be played in Atlanta. Slaton set the Sugar Bowl record with 204 rushing yards on 26 carries while scoring three touchdowns (two on 52-yard runs) in a thrilling 38-35 win over Georgia. As a sophomore, Slaton rushed for a school-record 1,744 yards and 16 touchdowns as he finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting. He then he added another 1,000-yard season with another 17 TDs as a junior, finishing his career with a school record 50 touchdowns. He went on to play four years in the NFL.
Charley Trippi came into the 1947 Sugar Bowl recognized as one of the best players in the country – he had earned the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top player and he was the SEC Player of the Year. While North Carolina’s defense held the superstar in check to an extent, Trippi led the Bulldogs in rushing and passing – including a 67-yard touchdown pass (it would stand as the longest in Sugar Bowl history until 1963) in the third quarter that put the Bulldogs ahead to stay in their 20-10 win. The victory capped Georgia’s first perfect season since 1896 and handed a national championship to the ‘Dawgs. Trippi, who had his collegiate career interrupted by a stint in the U.S. military during World War II, would go on to be inducted into both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. Still living today in Athens, the 97-year old Trippi is recognized as one of the oldest living American football players.
Legendary Ole Miss coach Johnny Vaught was at the helm of the Rebels for 25 years, posting a 190-61-12 record. He directed Ole Miss to six SEC titles and was named the SEC Coach of the Year six times. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979. Vaught directed the Rebels to eight Sugar Bowls from 1953-70, recording five victories. His 14-6 victory over Rice in 1961 capped a 10-0-1 season after which they were crowned as national champions and the Rebels’ 17-13 defeat of Arkansas in the 1963 Sugar Bowl capped a perfect 9-0 campaign. He also added a 38-7 blowout of Texas in the 1958 Sugar Bowl, a 21-0 shutout of LSU in the 1960 Sugar Bowl and a 27-22 win over No. 3 Arkansas in the 1970 Sugar Bowl.
The New Orleans Mid-Winter Sports Association was founded in 1934 by a group of civic-minded businessman and professionals interested in promoting amateur athletic events geared toward bringing visitors to New Orleans during what had traditionally been a slow period for tourism. Now known as the Sugar Bowl Committee, the organization remains a voluntary group whose members serve without remuneration.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 93 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 85-year history. The 86th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, featuring Georgia from the SEC and Baylor from the Big 12, will be played on January 1, 2020. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors nearly 100,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.5 billion into the local economy in the last decade.