April 30, 2009
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Former Georgia Tech football All-American Pat Swilling, a leader of the Yellow Jackets’ “Black Watch” defense of the mid-1980s, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The announcement came Thursday from Archie Manning, chairman of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame. Swilling and 15 other former players, and two former coaches, form the 2009 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) Class. Swilling was selected from a national ballot of 76 candidates, which included another former Yellow Jacket, Marco Coleman, and a pool of hundreds of eligible nominees.
Swilling played four seasons (1982-85) at Georgia Tech under head coach Bill Curry. A first team All-American and first team All-ACC selection in 1985, Swilling owns Georgia Tech records for sacks in one game (7 vs. NC State in 1985) and sacks in one season (15 in 1985). He finished his career with 285 total tackles, the second-most in school history, and 23 sacks, the fifth-most in Tech history.
As a senior in 1985, Swilling led the Yellow Jackets to a 9-2-1 record, including a 17-14 win over Michigan State in the All-American Bowl. Tech’s “Black Watch” defense that season allowed just 10.7 points per game and held opponents to seven points or less five times. He went on to play in the Senior Bowl and was selected in the third round of the NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints, where he played from 1986-92, participated in five Pro Bowls and was the 1989 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Swilling later played for the Detroit Lions (1993-94) and Oakland Raiders (1995-96, and 1998).
Swilling is a member of the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, the state of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame. His brother, Darrell, and cousin, Ken, also played football at Georgia Tech in the late 1980s.
Swilling is Georgia Tech’s 17th representative in the Hall of Fame.
The 2009 class includes:
PLAYERSPERVIS ATKINS - HB, New Mexico State (1958-60)TIM BROWN - WR, Notre Dame (1984-87)CHUCK CECIL - DB, Arizona (1984-87)ED DYAS - FB, Auburn (1958-60)MAJOR HARRIS - QB, West Virginia (1987-89)GORDON HUDSON - TE, Brigham Young (1980-83)WILLIAM LEWIS* - C, Harvard (1892-93)WOODROW LOWE - LB, Alabama (1972-75)KEN MARGERUM - WR, Stanford (1977-80)STEVE McMICHAEL - DT, Texas (1976-79)CHRIS SPIELMAN - LB, Ohio State (1984-87)LARRY STATION - LB, Iowa (1982-85)PAT SWILLING - DE, Georgia Tech (1982-85)GINO TORRETTA - QB, Miami (Fla.) (1989-92)CURT WARNER - RB, Penn State (1979-82)GRANT WISTROM - DE, Nebraska (1994-97)Selection from the FBS Veterans Committee, deceased
COACHES DICK MacPHERSON – 111-73-5 (.601) – Massachusetts (1971-77), Syracuse (1981-90) JOHN ROBINSON – 132-77-4 (.629) – Southern California (1976-82, 1993-97), Nevada-Las Vegas (1999-2004)
“The NFF Honors Court and its Chairman Gene Corrigan did an exceptional job in selecting the 2009 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Manning, a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Ole Miss. “This year’s class represents two centuries of outstanding football players who have reached the pinnacle of success in the collegiate ranks, and we are happy to preserve their legacies in the Hall of Fame.”
The 2009 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Class will be inducted at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 8, 2009, at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. They will be officially enshrined at the Hall in South Bend, Ind., during ceremonies in the summer of 2010.