AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic Inducts Five Legends Into Hall Of Fame
Tom Campbell, Lou Holtz, Shay Muirbrook, Kevin Murray, Jim Williams
Honored in Cowboys Stadium Enshrinement Ceremony
ARLINGTON – Five individuals who helped shape the tradition of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and college football history were inducted today into the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame during enshrinement ceremonies at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
The honorees in the ninth Hall of Fame Class included 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.
Each member of the Hall of Fame received a personalized bronze statue in the likeness of a 1930s football player, the era in which the Classic was founded.
Brad Sham, “The Voice of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic,” and “The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys,” served as Master of Ceremonies.
“Hall of Fame Day is truly a special day,” said Tommy Bain, the Chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. “This is an event that gives us a chance to reflect upon our game’s history and to honor those who have played such a vital role in the success of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic through the years.
“We have so much to be thankful for in our game’s 76-year history,” Bain noted. “Our record book reads like a Who’s Who in college football. The Hall of Fame celebrates the amazing performances of four legendary players and an outstanding head coach who played a huge role in expanding the reach and legacy of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.”
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.
In the 1969 and 1970 Classics, Texas linebacker/defensive back Tom Campbell was in the right spot at the right time against Tennessee and Notre Dame. In those two games, Campbell had eight tackles, three interceptions and four pass breakups. His interception with 38 seconds to play against the Irish clinched a 21-17 victory and college football’s national championship for Texas.
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.
The AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame is one of several events developed by AT&T and the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association to extend the Classic to the community and to future generations. Among these activities is the AT&T Cotton Bowl Art Contest involving more than 3,000 elementary children throughout North Texas during the fall.
Since its first game in 1937, the Classic has hosted:
20 Pro Football Hall of Famers
11 Heisman Trophy winners
13 Outland Trophy winners
12 Lombardi Award winners
10 Maxwell Award winners
8 Walter Camp Award winners
THE CLASS OF 2012
TOM CAMPBELL, TEXAS, LINEBACKER/DEFENSIVE BACK
1969 Classic: Texas 36, Tennessee 13
1970 Classic: Texas 21, Notre Dame 17
1969 Defensive Statistics: 2 tackles, 1 unassisted, 2 interceptions, 4 PBU
1970 Defensive Statistics: 6 tackles, 4 unassisted, 1 interception
Texas defensive ace Tom Campbell erased all doubt that in pressure-packed situations lightning can strike twice. After batting down four passes and picking off two others against Tennessee in the 1969 Classic, Campbell stepped onto an even bigger stage as a senior. In a month’s time, the Longhorn defender came up with a pair of last-second interceptions that are firmly entrenched in Texas football lore. In the “Big Shootout” he picked off an Arkansas pass that preserved a 15-14 victory and sent the top-ranked Horns packing for Dallas to face Notre Dame. With under a minute to play and Texas holding a 21-17 lead, Mr. Clutch stepped up to do it all over again. Campbell intercepted Notre Dame’s final pass to ice the game away for Texas along with college football’s national title.
COACH LOU HOLTZ, NOTRE DAME
1988 Classic: Texas A&M 35, Notre Dame 10
1993 Classic: Notre Dame 28, Texas A&M 3
1994 Classic: Notre Dame 24, Texas A&M 21
Classic Coaching Record: 2-1-0
He’s known for being a quick wit, his motivational speeches, a stern taskmaster, best-selling author and television analyst. Above all else, Lou Holtz was a highly-successful football coach. Holtz led Notre Dame to three Cotton Bowl appearances, winning twice. In 1993, the Irish manhandled Texas A&M, 28-3, although it didn’t start out that way. A defensive stalemate ensued until Holtz pulled the middle screen out of his bag of tricks with 45 seconds before the half. The pass went to receiver Lake Dawson who sailed 40 yards for the Irish’s first score. It was a brilliant decision by Holtz and cracked the game wide open. A master of preparation, Holtz taught his players to never leave anything to chance. Come ready to play and prepare to win.
SHAY MUIRBROOK, BYU, LINEBACKER
1997 Classic: BYU 19, Kansas State 15
Defensive Statistics: 12 tackles, 11 unassisted
Tackles For Loss: 6 QB sacks for -38 yards; 1 tackle for -3 yards
Eluding the grasp of BYU middle linebacker Shay Muirbrook was virtually impossible. No one got by Muirbrook, a four-year starter and the heart of a stingy defensive unit. More often than not, he stopped opponents in their tracks for lost yardage. Kansas State found that out the hard way in the 1997 Classic. Muirbrook registered an AT&T Cotton Bowl record six sacks for 38 yards in losses. His first sack of the day set the tone for the BYU defense. Taking advantage of a punt that pinned Kansas State on its two-yard line late in the first quarter, Muirbrook nailed the quarterback for a safety and the first points of the game. It was the start of an incredible performance of 11 solo tackles for the Cougars’ defensive leader that led to a 19-15 victory for BYU.
KEVIN MURRAY, TEXAS A&M, QUARTERBACK
1986 Classic: Texas A&M 36, Auburn 16
1987 Classic: Ohio State 28, Texas A&M 12
1986 Rushing: 4 attempts, -9 yards
1986 Passing: 16-26-1, 292 yards, 1 TD
1987 Rushing: 5 attempts, 12 yards
1987 Passing: 12-31-5, 143 yards
Texas A&M quarterback Kevin Murray used the glow of the Classic’s 50th anniversary game to outshine Bo Jackson, Auburn’s Heisman Trophy winner. Murray enjoyed a phenomenal game against the Tigers, setting a Cotton Bowl record with 292 yards through the air. Holding a tenuous 21-16 lead, the sophomore quarterback took charge late in the game and marched the Aggies 72 yards in nine plays for the game-clinching touchdown. Only 2:22 was left on the clock when Murray completed the drive on a nine-yard pass play and secured A&M’s first Cotton Bowl victory in 18 years. The Classic has witnessed some incredible passing performances, but the aerial show Murray delivered against Auburn was one for the record books.
JIM WILLIAMS, ARKANSAS, DEFENSIVE TACKLE
1965 Classic: Arkansas 10, Nebraska 7
1966 Classic: LSU 14, Arkansas 7
1965 Defensive Statistics: 11 tackles, 4 unassisted, 3 sacks for -34 yards, 1 tackle for -2 yards
1966 Defensive Statistics: 5 tackles, 2 unassisted
CBAA Chairman: 1988-1990 (Coordinated first title sponsorship)
There were a lot of heroes on the field for Arkansas in the Hogs’ 10-7 victory over Nebraska in the 1965 Classic, but in the end, it was junior defensive tackle Jim Williams that saved the day for the unbeaten Razorbacks. Nebraska appeared to have the game in hand with a 7-3 lead and the clock ticking past the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter. But, the Hogs came alive and drove 80-yards for what proved to be the winning score with 4:41 to play. That’s when Williams proceeded to dash whatever hopes the Huskers had to regain the lead with three clutch tackles on the final drive, including two quarterback sacks. On the Huskers’ last play he smothered the Nebraska quarterback for a 15-yard loss to help secure Arkansas’ first national championship.