Byrd’s football legacy to be celebrated this weekend

July 15, 2011
By Chris Saunders

Dennis Byrd ’69, the first conference player to be named All-ACC byrdthree times, will be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame this weekend in South Bend, Ind.

Byrd was an All-American defensive lineman in 1966 and 1967, and is the fourth Wolfpack player inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

The North Carolina native died July 2010. He was a leader on NC State’s “White Shoes Defense,” which helped defeat third-ranked Houston in 1967 and held opponents to less than nine points per game that season.

The National Football Foundation nominates players for induction and enshrinement. “Dennis Byrd possessed a rare combination of size and agility that helped make history at NC State,” says Steve Hatchell, NFF’s president and CEO. “He played the game because he loved it, and there is nobody more deserving of a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame than Dennis Byrd.”

Other former NC State players in the College Football Hall of Fame are Roman Gabriel, Jack McDowall and Jim Ritcher.


One Response to “Byrd’s football legacy to be celebrated this weekend”

  1. Tim Peeler says:

    In addition, Jim Donnan, who was Byrd’s teammate on NC State’s first bowl-champion team in 1967, was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a coach, following his successful career at Marshall and Georgia.

    Former NC State coaches Buck Shaw and Lou Holtz are also members of the College Football Hall of Fame, which will open its new location next year in Atlanta, under the direction of former NC State basketball player Gary Stokan.

    And RIP, Coach Byrd, who had a fiery, but gentle spirit. NC State, Lincolnton, N.C., and West Lincoln High School lost an important part of their athletics heritage this time last year.


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