March 15, 2016

Former University of Notre Dame All-America linebacker Bob Golic, who helped the Irish claim memorable Cotton Bowl wins after the 1977 and 1978 regular seasons, will be inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame next month.

Other honorees in the 10th Hall of Fame Class are Texas head coach Fred Akers, USC offensive tackle Tony Boselli, SMU tailback Eric Dickerson, Arkansas quarterback Fred Marshall and a former Cotton Bowl Athletic Association team selection chairman, the late Dan Petty.

Those six individuals who helped shape the tradition of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and college football history will be inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame during April 22 enshrinement ceremonies at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The induction ceremony for The Class of 2016 will be held at noon on the west concourse of AT&T Stadium. It is free and open to the public.

Golic never let opposing ball carriers stray too far from sight. With him on the prowl, there was absolutely nowhere to run. Golic was tough, physical, extremely quick and nearly impossible to block. The two-time All-American was phenomenal against No. 1 Texas in the 1978 Classic. He made 17 tackles, blocked a field goal and caused a fumble that led to Notre Dame’s first touchdown. The unrelenting Irish defense snagged six turnovers that day, paving the way to a 38-10 victory and Notre Dame’s 10th consensus national championship.

A year later, Golic took part in Notre Dame’s incredible fourth-quarter comeback against Houston. The Irish erased a 22-point deficit in the game’s final eight minutes to tie the score on the final play and win 35-34 with the clock expired. Golic accounted for two tackles (one unassisted) in his final collegiate game as Joe Montana threw to Kris Haines for the tying touchdown and Joe Unis kicked the winning extra point after time ran out.

A 6-3, 250-pounder from Cleveland, Ohio, Golic was a unanimous All-American as a senior captain in 1978. He made 146 tackles (seventh in school history), broke up five passes, blocked one kick, made three interceptions and returned one punt in ’77–and added another 152 (fifth in school history) tackles in ’78.

Golic finished with 479 career tackles (second best in school history), broke up eight passes, made six interceptions for 22 return yards, recovered two fumbles, blocked one kick and returned one punt for 16 yards. He was a 1979 participant in the Hula Bowl (he was the defensive player of the game in that contest) and the Japan Bowl. He still shares the school and NCAA single-game tackle record with 26 versus Michigan in 1978.

One of the nation’s top heavyweight wrestlers with a three-year record of 54-4-1, Golic finished third in the NCAA Championship meet in 1976 and fourth in 1977.

A second-round selection by the New England Patriots in the 1979 NFL Draft, Golic played in the NFL from 1979-92 with New England, Cleveland and the Los Angeles Raiders. He was a three-time Pro Bowl pick and two-time NFL All-Pro selection. He became an NFL analyst for NBC Sports and now does sports radio and television work in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio.

A judging committee comprised of media representatives and athletic administrators voted from a list of 60 Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame 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.
  • Individuals are eligible five years after their final Classic appearance.

Previous Notre Dame inductees to the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame are quarterback Joe Theismann (2003), Irish head coach Ara Parseghian (2007), quarterback Joe Montana and receiver Kris Haines (both 2010) and Irish coach Lou Holtz (2012).

— ND —