FAYETTEVILLE – Former University of Arkansas standout and First Team All-American Ronnie Caveness was officially inducted into The National Football Foundation’s (NFF) College Hall of Fame at the foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday at New York City’s historic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
In May, the NFF announced that Caveness would be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2010 Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) class. One of the last Arkansas players to start on both sides of the ball, Caveness dominated the opposition from 1962-64. Named a First Team All-Southwest Conference selection at both center and linebacker during his senior campaign, Caveness helped Arkansas to the 1964 conference and national championships on a team that was coached Hall of Famer Frank Broyles and included modern day football luminaries Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson. Caveness holds the Razorbacks record for most tackles made in consecutive seasons (309). Forty-five years later, he also still holds the top two spots on the school’s rankings for most tackles in a game (29 and 25, respectively). The team captain was Arkansas’ leading tackler in 21 straight games.
"Elated is not the right word to use but that’s the only thing I can think of. I’m getting a lot of calls from my teammates, and it’s just exciting for the University of Arkansas," said Caveness at the time of the announcement. "I feel honored to be even associated with the same names. I don’t mind telling you I feel very humbled. It’s just mind-boggling to me that I can be in the elite group that these guys are."
Drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1965, Caveness spent one year with the franchise before spending the remainder of his five-year professional career with the Oilers and Patriots. Following his playing days, he became a sales manager and also served as president of the Little Rock Razorback Club. Caveness has been named to the Arkansas All-Century Team, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the Cotton Bowl Classic All-Decade Team for the 1960s. He and his wife Teresa have two children and reside in Little Rock, Ark.
Razorbacks players previously inducted into the hall of fame include Lance Alworth (1984), Chuck Dicus (1999), Wayne Harris (2004), Loyd Phillips (1992), Wear Schoonover (1967), Clyde Scott (1971) and Billy Ray Smith (2000). For a complete list of players and coaches in the hall, please visit www.collegefootball.org.
The National Hall of Fame Salute at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl follows Jan. 1, giving the class recognition on a national stage, and events culminate with the College Football Hall of Fame’s Enshrinement Festival in the summer of 2011 in South Bend, Ind.
This year’s hall of fame class includes Dennis Byrd (North Carolina State); Ronnie Caveness (Arkansas); Ray Childress (Texas A&M); Randy Cross (UCLA); Sam Cunningham (Southern California); Mark Herrmann (Purdue); Clarkston Hines (Duke); Desmond Howard (Michigan); Chet Moeller (Navy); Jerry Stovall (LSU); Pat Tillman (Arizona State); Alfred Williams (Colorado); and coaches Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin) and Gene Stallings (Texas A&M, Alabama).
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE HALL OF FAMEFounded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, the NFF Gridiron Clubs of New York City, Dallas, and Los Angeles, and annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings.