April 7, 2004
Former Notre Dame football all-stars Jerome Bettis and Mike Golic are among the speakers scheduled in the eighth year of the popular KeyBank Gridiron Legends Luncheon Series presented by the College Football Hall of Fame. The South Bend Tribune and WSBT-TV return in 2004 as media partners along with KeyBank’s continued participation as presenting sponsor.
KeyBank’s Gridiron Legends Luncheon Series lineup features everything from local flavor with Bettis, Golic and Gale Sayers — to national champion spice with Nick Saban — to Super Bowl savior with Bobby Ross. Add Joe Tiller to the dish for some humorous seasoning and this shapes up as a very fortifying luncheon series.
The 2004 series kicks off April 22 with Bettis, the former Notre Dame and current Pittsburgh Steeler fullback. For the Fighting Irish, “The Bus” rolled up over 1,900 yards rushing before entering the NFL Draft after his junior season. In 1993, Bettis was selected the Los Angeles Rams’ MVP and rookie of the year and shared the NFL’s rookie of the year award with former Fighting Irish teammate Rick Mirer. This past season, Bettis became only the 12th runner in the NFL to compile more than 11,000 rushing yards.
On May 5, Ross, the United States Military Academy’s new head coach, will be the featured speaker. Ross has built championship programs at both the collegiate and professional levels. In 1990, he guided Georgia Tech to an 11-0-1 record sharing the national championship with Colorado. As an NFL head coach, Ross led the San Diego Chargers to the AFC title and an appearance in the Super Bowl in 1994. He then went on to take the Detroit Lions to a pair of playoff showings, serving as both head coach and vice president of football operations.
Two weeks later on May 19, Saban, the Associated Press coach of the year and head coach of the national champion LSU Tigers, will take the podium in South Bend. Under Saban, LSU has 39 wins in his four seasons. By rebuilding the Michigan State program and taking LSU to its first national championship since 1958, Saban has become a household name.
The June 2 luncheon will feature Sayers, Chicago Bears’ legend and 1977 College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee. The two-time All-American from the University of Kansas went onto an absolutely stunning NFL career in Chicago. His performance in 1965, leading the league with 22 touchdowns scored, tallying a record six in one game versus the San Francisco 49ers, earned him rookie of the year honors. He was the MVP of the NFL All-Star Game in 1967, 1968 and 1969.
On June 29, old gold and black will be the combination of the day as Tiller, Purdue’s head coach, brings his charming mixture of football knowledge and down-to-earth wit to South Bend. When Tiller took over in West Lafayette before the 1997 season, he told the Purdue family, “We will win again.” Tiller immediately fulfilled his prophesy, guiding the Boilermakers to seven bowl games in each of his years at the helm, including the 2001 Rose Bowl. Purdue has gone 55-32 since Tiller came to town.
Then on July 21, Golic, the former Notre Dame and NFL veteran who now makes his living on the ESPN Radio airwaves, will bring his affable style to the luncheon series. Golic will be the host for this luncheon, which will feature members of the coaching staffs from Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State and Ball State. Currently, Golic is “the voice of reason” on Mike & Mike in the Morning, ESPN Radio’s nationwide early AM show that he co-hosts with Mike Greenberg.
Individual tickets are on sale for $30 each while tables of eight are available for $230. Individual series tickets are $170 while tables for the entire series are $1,350. For tickets and information, please contact Special Events Coordinator Katie Berrettini at email@example.com or 574-235-5715 or 1-800-440-FAME or visit The College Football Hall of Fame’s website at www.collegefootball.org.