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May 15, 2012
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Former California quarterback Steve Bartkowski was among 14 first-team All-Americans and three legendary coaches announced Tuesday as members of the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision Class. Bartkowski will become the 16th former Bears player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame. Six former Cal head and assistant coaches have also been inducted.
"It's an absolute honor, and I'm humbled by it, especially now that I hear some of the guys that are along with me in this class," Bartkowski said. "I'm absolutely thrilled. It's one of the highest honors I've received, and I'm grateful for it."
Bartkowski earned consensus All-America honors by leading the nation in passing with 2,580 yards as a senior in 1974. The gunslinger also set school single-season records during his final campaign at Cal by attempting 325 passes and accumulating 2,387 yards of total offense. He was universally named the best quarterback in the West following his senior year, as well as team MVP, first-team All-Pac-10, an All-Coast Team selection and the NorCal Player of the Year. His four 300-yard passing games set a then-school record.
"I look back with great fondness on my college years at the University of California," Bartkowski said. "It was a wonderful time."
Selected by the Atlanta Falcons in 1975, Bartkowski is the only Cal player ever picked No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft and played 11 seasons with the Falcons, in addition to one campaign with the Los Angeles Rams. He was named the 1975 NFL Rookie of the Year, appeared in two Pro Bowls and compiled 24,124 career passing yards in the NFL.
In addition to his football exploits, Bartkowski was an All-American first baseman for the Cal baseball team in 1973 and led the squad with a .329 batting average. He became a member of the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990. Bartkowski also hosted the outdoors shows Backroad Adventures with Steve Bartkowski on TNN and Suzuki's Great Outdoors with Steve Bartkowski. The Atlanta native serves on the board of directors for multiple organizations and is a member of the Christian Sportsmen Fellowship.
Former college players joining Bartkowski in the 2012 class include former LSU tailback Charles Alexander (1975-78); former Purdue halfback Otis Armstrong (1970-72); USC's Hal Bedsole (1961-63); Notre Dame tight end Dave Casper (1971-73); BYU quarterback Ty Detmer (1988-91); Rice QB Tommy Kramer (1973-76); Syracuse wide receiver Art Monk (1976-79); Colorado State defensive back Greg Myers (1992-95); UCLA offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden (1992-95); Texas Tech defensive tackle Gabe Rivera (1979-82); Kansas State linebacker Mark Simoneau (1996-99); Air Force safety Scott Thomas (1982-85); and Colorado offensive guard John Wooten (1956-58).
The three coaches selected were Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee, 1992-2008); Jimmy Johnson (Oklahoma State, 1979-83; Miami, Fla., 1984-88); and R.C. Slocum (Texas A&M, 1989-2002).
The group was chosen from a national ballot of 76 candidates and a pool of hundreds of eligible nominees.
"We are extremely proud to announce the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Class," said Archie Manning, chairman of The National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Ole Miss. "Each year the selection process becomes increasingly more difficult, but Gene Corrigan and the Honors Court do an amazing job of selecting a diverse group of the most amazing players and coaches in our sport's rich history. This class is certainly no exception, and we look forward to honoring them and celebrating their achievements through the year ahead."
The 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Class will be inducted at the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 4, 2012, at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. They will be honored guests at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on January 2, 2013 and officially enshrined in the summer of 2013.