Marty Lyons Salute At Kent State Game

Former Alabama football coaches and players make up a significant niche in the College Football Hall of Fame. This year the National Football Foundation is adding another to the list of those former Crimson Tiders.

When Alabama hosts Kent State Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Marty Lyons will be on hand for what the National Football Foundation calls its "on campus salute." The presentation will be at halftime. The game kicks off at 11:21 a.m. CDT.

Also expected to take part in the ceremony are Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore, who was Bama's offensive coordinator when Lyons was playing defensive tackle in the late 1970s, and Ron Dilatush, director of membership for the NFF.

Lyons, a native of Pinellas Park, Fla., who went on to star for the New York Jets, played for Alabama and the legendary Coach Paul Bryant from 1976-78. He was a consensus All-America in 1978 as he helped the Crimson Tide to the national championship. He was particularly noteworthy on Bama's famous Sugar Bowl goalline stand against Penn State as No. 2 Alabama defeated Coach Joe Paterno's No. 1 Nittany Lions to win the title.

Alabama's membership in the Hall of Fame is now 23. It includes 19 players, three men who coached at (but did not play for) Alabama, one who played for the Crimson Tide but is in the hall for his coaching at Clemson, and one—Bryant--who was an outstanding Bama player, but as coach was the all-time greatest.

Previous Alabama players in the Hall of Fame are linebacker Cornelius Bennett, back Johnny Mack Brown, back Johnny Cain, back Harry Gilmer, lineman John Hannah, back Dixie Howell, back Pooley Hubert, end Don Hutson, linebacker Lee Roy Jordan, linebacker Woodrow Lowe, center Vaughn Mancha, back Johnny Musso, lineman Billy Neighbors, end Ozzie Newsome, lineman Fred Sington, back Riley Smith, and lineman Don Whitmire.

Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, and Gene Stallings – all of whom coached Bama to national championships – are in the Hall of Fame. Frank Howard was an outstanding Alabama player, but earned his way into the Hall of Fame as the outstanding – and flamboyant – coach at Clemson.

The National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame was founded in 1947 with early leadership from Gen. Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army Coach Earl "Red" Blaik, and immortal sportswriter Grantland Rice. The organization now supports numerous scholarships through its chapters, operates the Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind. (but moving to Atlanta in 2012), presents the MacArthur Bowl for the national cham;pionship and Camnpbell Trophy for outstanding player, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings.

Lyons and other members of the class of 2011 in the Hall of Fame will have a formal induction at the annual banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York on December 6.

Alabama fans going to the Florida game on October 1 will see the on campus salute to former Gators star Carlos Alvarez, also being inducted in 2011.

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