Archived Story

Holtz to be inducted into Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame

Published 8:44pm Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ARLINGTON – Five individuals who helped shape the tradition of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and college football history will be inducted into the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame during enshrinement ceremonies in April at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Lou Holtz

The honorees in the ninth Hall of Fame Class include Texas linebacker/defensive halfback Tom Campbell, Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz, BYU linebacker Shay Muirbrook, Texas A&M quarterback Kevin Murray and Arkansas defensive tackle Jim Williams.

The 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at Cowboys Stadium Thursday, April 19. The ceremony begins at noon and is free and open to the public.

“The AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame honors the many extraordinary individuals who have played a role in developing the tradition, pageantry and prestige of one of college football’s most historic post-season bowl games,” said Tommy Bain, chairman, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. “We believe that the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame provides future generations with a greater appreciation for the rich tradition of college football in Texas.”

A judging committee comprised of media representatives and athletic administrators voted from a list of 58 nominees that included players, coaches, bowl administrators and others who have made special contributions to the Classic.

Selection criteria for the AT&T Cotton Bowl 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 2012 features a diverse group of players and coaches.

Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz led the Fighting Irish to three appearances in the Cotton Bowl Classic. A master of preparation and motivation, Holtz posted back-to-back victories over Texas A&M in the early 1990s. The Irish ran away with a decisive 28-3 decision in 1993 and a year later pulled off a dramatic 24-21 victory that went down to the final minutes of the game.

In 1997, Shay Muirbrook enjoyed a remarkable day in the final game of his college career. The BYU middle linebacker collected 11 solo tackles and six quarterback sacks, including a first-quarter sack that resulted in a safety and an early 2-0 lead. It didn’t take Kansas State long to figure out there was no way around No. 46. BYU won in a thriller, 19-15.

During the Classic’s 50th anniversary game in 1986, Texas A&M quarterback Kevin Murray wrestled the national spotlight away from Auburn and set a Classic passing record with 292 yards. Murray drove 72-yards and connected on two long pass plays of 37 and 38 yards to fuel the decisive touchdown march. His leadership and big-play ability guided the Aggies to a 36-16 victory.

Arkansas rode the momentum of five consecutive regular-season shutouts to earn a trip to the 1965 Classic against Nebraska. The Hogs drove 80 yards in the final quarter for the go-ahead score, then turned to Jim Williams and the Razorback defense to win the game. Williams responded with three huge tackles, including two sacks, and put the Hogs in position to win the national title, 10-7.

With the induction of The Class of 2012, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame expands to 59 men and women who have enriched the legacy of the Classic. The first class was enshrined in the spring of 1998 and since then has become a spring-time tradition every other year at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Each honoree is presented a personalized bronze statue. This trophy features the likeness of a 1930s football player, the era in which the AT&T Cotton Bowl was founded.

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