Danny Ford’s family is excited about the upcoming College Football Hall of Fame inductions. The former Clemson coach himself is less excited.
“I guess that’s a big week,” Ford told The State newspaper. “It is for my family. They are looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to getting it over with. I’ve gotten now where I just hate to leave the farm much.”
Ford will have to make an exception beginning Monday when he flies to New York for a Tuesday ceremony that will induct not only him but also former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier into the Hall of Fame for their coaching success.
“That’s three days away from the farm, but it’s quite an honor for my players and my coaches,” Ford said. “They deserve it, not me.”
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Ford, who won the 1981 national championship with the Tigers, was 122-59-5 in a 17-year career that included head coaching stops at Clemson and Arkansas. He won five ACC titles and one SEC West title.
Spurrier, who is the winningest coach in history at both South Carolina and Florida, already is a member of the Hall of Fame as a player. The 1966 Heisman Trophy winner will become just the fourth man inducted as both a player and a coach, joining Amos Alonzo Stagg, Bobby Dodd and Bowden Wyatt.
He’s more excited about the festivities than Ford. The University of Florida, where Spurrier currently serves as a consultant, will host a party along with USC and Duke (where Spurrier also coached) on Monday night for Spurrier and his wife, Jerri, and Spurrier expects between 150 and 200 people there, he said.
“Yeah, I am looking forward to it a bit,” he said. “We are doing a little talking, a little reminiscing.”
Spurrier was 228-89-2 in a 26-year collegiate career at South Carolina, Florida and Duke, and he’s happy to be going into the Hall in the same class as Ford, he said.
“Danny had a good run at Clemson and Arkansas,” said Spurrier, who coached the Gators to the 1996 national championship and won seven conference titles. “It’s interesting we are going in together.”
The feeling is mutual, Ford said.
“I was with him last year in Atlanta at a playoff game, and he made a point to tell me that we were going in together,” Ford said. “He’s a good man. He’s had a heck of a coaching career.”