Marty Lyons Chosen For Hall Of Fame

NEW YORK -- Former Alabama defensive tackle and captain Marty Lyons was among 14 past college players and two previous coaches selected Tuesday for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Marty Lyons was an All-America defensive tackle for Alabama, playing 1975-78.

Unquestionably one of the most accomplished defenders in Alabama's hallowed history, Marty Lyons built a stellar legacy, which earned him spots as a member of the Crimson Tide's All-Centennial Team and on the Southeastern Conference's All-1970s Team.

A consensus All-America in 1978, Lyons enjoyed considerable success under College Football Hall of Fame Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. The Crimson Tide compiled a 42-6 mark and finished 24-2 in SEC play during Lyons' tenure in Tuscaloosa. Lyons was a member of four bowl winners, including the 1975, 1978 and 1979 Sugar bowls, helping the Crimson Tide win its 10th national title in 1978. Lyons was a key member of the famed defensive front that made the Goal Line Stand against No. 1 Penn State in the 1979 Sugar Bowl to earn Bama the 1978 national championship.

For his career, Lyons compiled 202 tackles, 20 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. In addition to earning All-America honors as a senior, he was a two-time All-SEC player and was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 1978. Lyons was also placed on the SEC All-Decade Team and the Alabama Centennial Team.

Lyons was selected in the first round (14th overall) of the 1979 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He spent his full career in New York, appearing in 147 games over 11 seasons. He was selected to two Pro Bowls and was named the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1984. He is a member of the Jets' 1980s All-Decade Team. Lyons currently serves as Senior Vice President of Operations at the LandTek Group, Inc. in Amityville, N.Y.

For 27 years, Lyons has run the Marty Lyons Foundation, which aims to fulfill wishes of terminally ill children. The organization currently reaches nine states across the Eastern seaboard and Southern United States. He also claims 32 years of experience as a motivational speaker and 20 years as a broadcaster.

Lyons is a member of seven halls of fame in Alabama, Florida, Maryland and New York.

He and his wife, Christine, have four children and reside in Smithtown, N.Y.

There were 79 candidates for the 16 spots announced Tuesday by Archie Manning, chairman of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame.

"It goes without saying that this year's College Football Hall of Fame Class is an exceptional group of men who have forged some of the most legendary careers in the history of our sport," said Manning, a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Ole Miss. "Gene Corrigan and the Honors Court did an extraordinary job in selecting individuals who are not only known for their gridiron success but also for being great members of society in their post-football lives. On behalf of myself and the NFF Board of Directors, NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell, and the 12,000 members of the National Football Foundation, we are proud to welcome these tremendous players and coaches to the NFF family, and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments throughout the year."

The men will be inducted at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 6, 2011, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. They will be officially enshrined at the College Football Hall of Fame, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2012.

Along with Lyons, the new class includes former players:

Carlos Alvarez, wide receiver, Florida (1969-71); Doug English, defensive tackle, Texas (1972-74); Bill Enyart, fullback, Oregon State (1966-68); Eddie George, running back, Ohio State (1992-95); Russell Maryland, defensive tackle, Miami (1986-90); Deion Sanders, defensive back, Florida State (1985-88); Jake Scott, defensive back, Georgia (1967-68); Will Shields, offensive guard, Nebraska (1989-92); Sandy Stephens, quarterback, Minnesota (1959-61); Darryl Talley, linebacker, West Virginia (1979-82); Clendon Thomas, halfback, Oklahoma (1955-57); Rob Waldrop, defensive lineman, Arizona (1990-93); and Gene Washington, wide receiver, Michigan State (1964-66).

Coaches inducted are:

Lloyd Carr of Michigan (1995-2007) and Fisher DeBerry of Air Force (1984-2006).

Lyons joins a long list of former Alabama players and coaches in the Hall of Fame. Former players are:

Linebacker Cornelius Bennett (1983-86), running back Johnny Mack Brown (1923-25), fullback Johnny Cain (1930-32), tailback Harry Gilmer (1944-47), offensive lineman John Hannah (1970-72), lineman Frank Howard (1928-30), tailback Dixie Howell (1932-34), fullback Pooley Hubert (1922-25), end Don Hutson (1932-34), linebacker Lee Roy Jordan (1960-62), linebacker Woodrow Lowe (1972-75), center Vaughn Mancha (1944-47), halfback Johnny Musso (1969-71), tackle Billy Neighbors (1959-61), end Ozzie Newsome (1974-77), tackle Fred Sington (1928-30), quarterback Riley Smith (1933-35), and tackle Don Whitmire (1941-44).

Former coaches are Paul Bryant (1945-82), Gene Stallings (1990-96), Frank Thomas (1925-45), and Wallace Wade (1923-50).

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