May 7, 2002
Randy Rhino, the only three-time, first-team all-America football player in Georgia Tech history, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
A native of Charlotte, N.C., who starred for the Yellow Jackets from 1972-74, Rhino is one of 13 former players and two coaches to make up the 2002 College Football Hall of Fame Division I-A Class, announced Tuesday by National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Chairman Jon F. Hanson and Honors Court Chairman Gene Corrigan.
Rhino will become Georgia Tech’s 16th inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, including 11 players, three coaches and two officials.
A defensive back and return specialist, Rhino earned first-team all-America honors three straight years from 1972-74, including consensus first-team accolades in 1973. He was also named all-Southeast Independent all three years and participated in the Blue-Gray Game and Hula Bowl following his senior season.
Rhino made 14 career interceptions, which still ranks second in Georgia Tech history, and his 203 career tackles ranks 13th among defensive backs. He averaged 13.1 yards per punt return in his career for a total of 749 yards, which still stands as the Rambling Wreck record. He also holds the school record for longest punt return with a 96-yarder against South Carolina in 1972, while his Tech season record of 441 punt return yards in 1972 was broken last fall by his son, Kelley Rhino.
After being drafted by the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League in 1975, Rhino starred in the Canadian Football League, where he earned all-pro honors in three of his five seasons. Today, he is a chiropractor in Atlanta.
The Rhino name has become synonymous with Georgia Tech football. Randy’s father, Chappell Rhino, played for the Yellow Jackets in the 1950s under legendary head coach Bobby Dodd, and his son, Kelley, is currently an all-Atlantic Coast Conference punt return specialist for the Jackets. Randy’s brother Danny also lettered for Tech from 1974-76.
Rhino is part of a Hall of Fame Class that includes Dan Marino of Pittsburgh, Reggie White of Tennessee, Ronnie Lott of Southern California, Kellen Winslow of Missouri and John Jefferson of Arizona State. Also joining Rhino in the Class of 2002 are Terry Beasley of Auburn, George “Sonny” Frank of Minnesota, Cosmo Iacavazzi of Princeton, Napoleon McCallum on Navy, Reggie McKenzie of Michigan, Jerry Sisemore of Texas, Gary Spani of Kansas State, and coaches Carmen Cozza of Yale, and Earle Bruce of Ohio State, Iowa State, Tampa, Northern Iowa and Colorado State.
Rhino becomes Tech’s first inductee since Ray Beck entered the Hall of Fame in 1997. Other former Georgia Tech standouts in the College Football Hall of Fame include Maxie Baughan, Bobby Davis, Bill Fincher, Buck Flowers, Joe Guyon, George Morris, Larry Morris, Peter Pund, Everett Strupper. Three Tech coaches are in the Hall of Fame in John Heisman, William Alexander and Bobby Dodd, and former Tech players George Gardner and Bobby Gaston were honored as college football officials.