ARLINGTON, May 8, 2018 – Six individuals who helped shape the tradition of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and college football history were inducted today into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame during enshrinement ceremonies at AT&T Stadium.
The honorees in the 11th Hall of Fame Class included Texas A&M linebacker Quentin Coryatt, Arkansas/Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt, USC head coach John Robinson, Penn State halfback/linebacker Wallace Triplett, Texas running back Ricky Williams, and Oklahoma strong safety Roy Williams. Mr. Triplett was represented by his daughter, Alison Triplett, and granddaughter Ayanna McConnell.
Each member of the Hall of Fame Class received a personalized bronze statue in the likeness of a 1930s football player, the era in which the Classic was founded.
“This wonderful spring time event showcases the rich tradition of college football in North Texas and provides future generations with a greater appreciation of our game’s history,” said Carl Ice, Chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. “Honoring those who have played such a vital role in the success of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl is important to all of us. It gives me great pleasure to welcome The Class of 2018 into this prestigious fraternity.”
Brad Sham, the Voice of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and the Dallas Cowboys, served as Master of Ceremonies for the enshrinement activities.
A judging committee comprised of media representatives and athletic administrators voted from a ballot consisting of 60 nominees that included former players, coaches, bowl administrators and others who have made special contributions to the Classic.
Selection criteria for the Hall of Fame include the following:
- Voting is based solely upon an individual’s performance in – or contribution to – the Classic rather than on the person’s overall college or professional career.
An individual is eligible five years after their final Classic appearance.
- The Class of 2018 features a distinguished group of former players and coaches.
Texas A&M linebacker Quentin Coryatt was fast, a fierce hitter, and one of the most respected defenders in the Southwest Conference. His sack of Florida State quarterback Casey Weldon for a safety in the 1992 Classic was sensational. The Seminoles may have won the game, 10-2, but it was Coryatt’s safety and 10 unassisted tackles that had everyone talking.
Coach Houston Nutt became the fourth of only six head coaches to guide two universities to the Cotton Bowl Classic. He led Arkansas to a 27-6 victory over rival Texas in the 2000 game, and then directed Ole Miss to back-to-back victories over Texas Tech in 2009 and Oklahoma State in 2010. In four Classic appearances, his teams were 3-1.
Coach John Robinson’s USC Trojans left their mark on the 1995 Cotton Bowl Classic with a decisive 55-14 victory over Texas Tech. USC rolled up 578 yards in total offense and erased five offensive records that day. Defensively, the Trojans were just as dominating. Under Robinson’s direction, USC recorded one of the most incredible team performances ever in the Classic.
Penn State halfback/linebacker Wallace Triplett made history in the 1948 Classic in more ways than one. He and teammate Dennie Hoggard broke down racial barriers in the state of Texas. And, on the football field, Triplett was spectacular. He reeled in a six-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter to tie SMU, 13-13.
Texas running back Ricky Williams rushed for 203 yards in the 1999 game to spark the Longhorns to a 38-11 victory over Mississippi State. The Heisman winner’s first touchdown came early in the second half when he broke loose up the middle and sailed 37 yards for the score. As he crossed the goal line, Williams struck the Heisman pose and the floodgates sprang open for Texas.
Oklahoma strong safety Roy Williams was dominating in the Sooners’ 10-3 victory over Arkansas in 2002. Williams’ collected six tackles for the game, five of them were unassisted. He made three tackles for -17 yards in losses, including two sacks for minus-eight yards. It was easy to see why Williams’ teammates called him Superman.
With the induction of The Class of 2018, the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame expands to 71 men and women who have enriched the legacy of the Classic. The first class was enshrined in the spring of 1998 and since then the event has become a spring-time tradition at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Since its first game in 1937, the Classic has hosted:
- 139 College Football Hall of Famers
- 9 Heisman Trophy winners
- 7 Walter Camp Award winners
- 4 Davey O’Brien Award winners
- 4 Lombardi Award winners
- 27 Pro Football Hall of Famers
- 7 Maxwell Award winners
- 6 Outland Trophy Award winners
- 4 Johnny Unitas Award winners
- 3 Doak Walker Award winners