In a statement released by the UT athletics department, Dickey said:
''It's a great honor to be selected to the College Football Hall of Fame. I think it's one of those things everybody would like to say happened to them. I am tremendously indebted to the players, coaches, and administration at the University of Tennessee and the University of Florida, who were all part of the success we enjoyed. I am indebted to Dick Williams, president of the East Tennessee Chapter, and the Chapter membership for putting my name in nomination.
''I certainly have a great debt of gratitude to Bob Woodruff for being my coach and my athletics director during my career. He gave me a number of opportunities in my life. I dont think anything would have happened if I hadnt had that relationship with him. Frank Broyles gave me an opportunity to get into coaching. That relationship has been there for 40 years. I am truly indebted to both of those people for their contributions to my career.
"In the end, when you get this kind of honor, the bottom line is that you have the greatest debt to the players who won the games and created the sense of winning tradition that goes with the program.
Dickey was honored for his coaching tenures at Tennessee and Florida. He was head coach at Tennessee from 1964-69, compiling a record of 46-15-4, winning two SEC titles and taking his teams to five bowl games. At Florida from 1970-78, he was 58-43-2 with four bowl appearances. Overall, he was 104-58-6. He was assistant head coach at Colorado in 1979.
''The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame has already recognized Coach Dickey as an outstanding athletic director by presenting him the John L. Toner Award,'' East Tennessee Chapter president Dick Williams said. ''His induction into the College Hall of Fame this year as a head coach is very deserved and tribute to his successful career. I congratulate Coach Dickey for all he has done for the University of Tennessee. I am honored to have been associated with him for thirty-eight years.''
Players chosen for the 2003 Class include Ricky Bell (Running Back, Southern Cal, 1973-76), Murry Bowden (Defensive Back, Dartmouth, 1967-70), Tom Brown (Guard, Minnesota, 1958-60), Jimbo Covert (Offensive Tackle, Pittsburgh, 1980-83), Jerry LeVias (End, Southern Methodist, 1965-68), Billy Neighbors (Tackle, Alabama, 1959-61), Ron Pritchard (Linebacker, Arizona State, 1966-68), John Rauch (Quarterback, Georgia, 1945-48), Barry Sanders (Tailback, Oklahoma State, 1986-88), Joe Theismann (Quarterback, Notre Dame, 1968-70) and Roger Wehrli (Defensive Back, Missouri, 1966-68). Joining Dickey as a head coach inductee was Hayden Fry (Southern Methodist, North Texas State and Iowa (232-188-10, 1962-98)).
Previous Vols inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame are Gene McEver (1928-29, 1930, inducted 1954), Beattie Feathers (1931-33, inducted 1955), Gen. Robert R. Neyland (inducted 1956 as head coach, 1926-34, 1936-40, 1946-52), Herman Hickman (1929-31, inducted 1959), Bobby Dodd (1928-30, inducted 1959 as player, inducted 1993 as coach), Bob Suffridge (1938-40, inducted 1961), Nathan W. Dougherty (1906-09, inducted 1967), George Cafego (1937-39, inducted 1969), Bowden Wyatt (1936-38, inducted 1972 as player, inducted 1997 as coach at Wyoming, Arkansas and Tennessee), Hank Lauricella (1949-51, inducted 1981), Doug Atkins (1950-52, inducted 1985), John Majors (1954-56, inducted 1987), Bob Johnson (1965-67, inducted 1989), Ed Molinski (1938-40, inducted 1990), Steve DeLong (1962-64, inducted 1993), John Michels (1950-52, inducted 1996), Steve Kiner (1967-69, 1999), and Reggie White (1980-83, inducted 2002).
The 2003 College Football Hall of Fame class will be inducted at the 46th Annual Awards Dinner December 9, 2003, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. They will be officially enshrined at the Hall in South Bend in 2004.