IRVING, Texas – Former University of Arkansas football student-athlete and head coach Ken Hatfield has been named to the 13-member College Football Playoff selection committee, CFP executive director Bill Hancock announced on Wednesday.
Hatfield is one of six new members and will serve a three-year term on the committee, which is responsible for selecting the top four teams in the playoff and assigning them to semifinal games as well as placing the next group of teams in the remaining New Year’s bowls. The committee meets in-person beginning late in the football season and produces a ranking of the top 25 teams each week, leading up to its final selections.
In six years as a head coach, Hatfield posted an Arkansas-record .760 winning percentage and averaged more than nine wins per year from 1984-89. He led the Razorbacks to a bowl game all six seasons, including two Cotton bowls, two Liberty bowls, the Holiday and the Orange. He coached the Razorbacks to Southwest Conference championships in 1988 and 1989, and final rankings of No. 12 in 1985, No. 15 in 1986, No. 12 in 1988 and No. 13 in 1989.
On the field as a halfback, he earned first-team All-SWC honors in 1964. His 81-yard punt return for a touchdown keyed the 14-13 victory at No. 1 Texas as Arkansas went 11-0 in 1964 and won the national championship following a 10-7 victory over No. 6 Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl.
Hatfield led the nation in punt returns in 1963 and 1964, averaging 16.7 yards per return each season. He also led the SWC in 1962. In 1962 and 1963, he led the Hogs in interceptions. In 1962, he led the team in passes broken up, and as a kickoff returner, he led the club in 1962 and 1964.
His 16.01 career punt return average is a school record while his 1,604 total return yards rank second in school history and ranked first until 2004. His 1,153 career punt return yards rank first at Arkansas and his 518 punt return yards in 1964 is a season record.
About the College Football Playoff
The College Football Playoff matches the No. 1 seed vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in semifinal games that rotate annually among six bowl games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. This season’s Playoff Semifinals will take place Saturday, December 29, 2018, at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and Capital One Orange Bowl. The College Football Playoff National Championship will be Monday, January 7, 2019, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.