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Black College Football Hall of Fame


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Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic 2021

September 3-5, 2021 

The 2021 Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic Weekend returns to the Pro Football Hall of Fame next fall. The three-day schedule culminates on Sunday, Sept. 5 when the Grambling State University Tigers meet the Tennessee State University Tigers at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium for the Classic Game.

2019 BCFHOF Classic Highlights

 

 

Pro Football Hall of Fame Partnership

 

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The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) will have a permanent home at the Pro Football Hall of Fame (PFHOF) to tell its story. Thirty-three members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including more than 10% of the players enshrined in Canton, are from an HBCU. All but two (Len Ford and Marion Motley who briefly attended an HBCU before transferring to another college) are also members of the Black College Football Hall of Fame.

The two organizations announced a partnership in 2016 and are working together on joint programs and events including: hosting future annual BCFHOF induction ceremonies at Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village; expanded educational programming and special events at the PFHOF during Black History Month; a traveling exhibition; and post-graduate internship opportunities for graduates of HBCUs.

The partnership also includes the BCFHOF Classic held at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, and a major exhibition inside the PFHOF.

Black College Football Hall of Fame History

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The BCFHOF was founded in 2009 by two legendary NFL quarterbacks and African American pioneers, James Harris and Doug Williams. There have been 84 Inductees since inception, including Mel Blount, James Harris, Willie Lanier, Art Shell and Doug Williams, who serve as Trustees. Under their leadership, the BCFHOF has continued to grow, providing a meaningful platform to share the history and stories of the greatest HBCU football players, coaches and contributors.

About The Founders

 

  • ​James Harris, a star quarterback at Grambling State University, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the eighth round of the 1969 combined AFL-NFL Draft. As a rookie he became the NFL’s first African American to start full-time at quarterback. Later, while with the Los Angeles Rams, he became the first African American quarterback to be named to the Pro Bowl (1975) and to start and win a NFL playoff game. Harris played with the Bills (1969-1971), the Rams (1973-76) and the San Diego Chargers (1977-79).
     
  • Doug Williams, who also excelled at Grambling, was taken in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As a member of the Washington Redskins, he made history as the first African American quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl. His then-record 340 yards passing and 4 TDs in Super Bowl XXII earned him Most Valuable Player honors, also a first. Williams played with the Buccaneers (1978-1982) and the Redskins (1986-89) and two seasons with the USFL Oklahoma/Arizona Wranglers (1984-85).   

As the BCFHOF has now found a permanent home in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, included within the partnership is the Black College Football Hall of Fame Gallery.

In 2019 at the first inaugural BCFHOF Classic, Alabama A&M President Andrew Hugine Jr., Morehouse College President David Thomas, BCFHOF Co-Founder James Harris and long-time Hall of Fame Executive Joe Horrigan officially opened the exhibit with a commemorative ribbon cutting ceremony. The PFHOF and BCFHOF look to continue to grow this gallery in the future as this partnership grows.

Fellowship Program

 

The James Harris Doug Williams Fellowship is a prestigious fellowship named after NFL quarterbacks, African American pioneers, and co-founders of the Black College Football Hall of Fame: James Harris and Doug Williams.

The renowned opportunity grants a unique career advancement opportunity to a graduate of an HBCU school at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The position provides the fellow the opportunity to have a diverse experience in the organization’s management, daily operations and a well-rounded rotational program to experience all departments of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Program Testimonials


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“The James Harris Doug Williams Fellowship is a great opportunity for students seeking a career in the sports world. I am thankful to The Hall of Fame and David Baker for creating a platform like this for HBCU students to advance.”

- Akil Blount (2019 Recipient of the James Harris - Doug Williams Fellowship) 

2021 Application Process

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Applications are now being accepted for the James Harris - Doug Williams Fellowship. Completed applications are due 4/1/21.

Click Here to access the official application form

Submit all completed applications via email to: [email protected]