Two Sugar Bowl Participants to be Inducted Into College Football Hall of Fame park
Dat Nguyen and Steve Spurrier, both former Allstate Sugar Bowl participants, are among the 13 members of the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class as announced by Archie Manning, the chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. Manning, himself, is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame as well as the Most Outstanding Player of the 1970 Sugar Bowl. He is also a member of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Committee.
The Sugar Bowl now has 48 former coaches and 91 former players who have been enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.
The two former Sugar Bowl participants gaining induction to the College Hall of Fame are Dat Nguyen (Texas A&M, 1995-98, 1999 Sugar Bowl) and Steve Spurrier. Spurrier, who is already a College Football Hall of Famer as a player, is being inducted as a coach – he becomes the fourth person in history to enter the Hall of Fame as a player and a coach.
The 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be inducted at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 5, 2017, at the New York Hilton Midtown. They will be officially enshrined in the summer of 2017.
The only player in Texas A&M history to lead the team in tackles four consecutive seasons, Dat Nguyen is one of the greatest defensive players in Aggie history. The 1998 unanimous First Team All-American is the 10th A&M player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The winner of both the Bednarik and Lombardi awards in 1998, Nguyen started all 51 games of his illustrious career and still holds Texas A&M records with 517 career tackles and 30 double-digit tackle games. The 1998 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year led the Aggies to three bowl berths, including a trip to the 1999 Sugar Bowl when he led the Aggies with 14 tackles, including three tackles for loss and a pair of sacks.
The winningest head coach in both Florida and South Carolina history, Steve Spurrier is a Sugar Bowl legend. In addition to earning Most Outstanding Player honors in the 1966 Sugar Bowl, he coached Florida to the annual New Orleans classic on five different occasions (1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001), winning the national championship in the 1997 Sugar Bowl with a 52-20 victory over Florida State.
Spurrier began his 26-year head coaching career at Duke from 1987-89. The ACC Coach of the Year in both 1988 and 1989, his 1989 team won the university’s first ACC title since 1962 and made its first bowl appearance since 1960. Spurrier became the head coach at his alma mater, Florida, in 1990, compiling a 122-27-1 record over 12 seasons in “The Swamp.” During his tenure in Gainesville, Spurrier led the Gators to six wins in 11 bowl appearances, and he was named SEC Coach of the Year five times. He helped the Gators win their first-ever conference title in 1991, and he added five more, including four straight from 1993-96 and one in 2000. At Florida, he became the only coach in major college football history to win at least 120 games in his first 12 seasons at one school, and his teams never finished lower than No. 13 in the final rankings.