The University of Georgia and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor 2018 electee Matt Stinchcomb with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments. The Salute will take place this Saturday, Nov. 10, during the Bulldogs’ game against Auburn. Coverage of the game will start at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
“Special honor on a special day and a great reminder that football is the ultimate team game,” Stinchcomb tweeted on the day the class was announced in January. “I’m very grateful for ALL my [Georgia] teammates.”
The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program, which began with the inaugural College Football Hall of Fame Class in 1951, has become a hallowed tradition, and to this day the singular events remain the first of numerous activities in each inductee’s Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater or college where he coached to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many inductees cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and hear the crowd roar their name.
“Matt Stinchcomb is just the third recipient of our Campbell Trophy® to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “His combined athletic and academic record made him one of the most decorated players in Georgia history, and we are thrilled to honor him at Sanford Stadium.”
A two-time First Team All-American, Stinchcomb earned consensus honors following his senior season in 1998. He led Georgia to a 19-5 record during his junior and senior campaigns with respective victories in the Outback and Peach bowls. Stinchcomb started 32 consecutive games for College Football Hall of Fame coach Jim Donnan’s Bulldogs while also claiming the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the SEC’s most outstanding blocker in 1998.
The senior team captain was a two-time First Team All-SEC selection in 1997 and 1998 and claimed second-team honors as a sophomore. A member of the UGA Circle of Honor and the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame, Stinchcomb was named an SEC Legend in 2009 and was named to the SEC All-Decade Team for the 1990s.
In addition to winning the 1998 Campbell Trophy® as the top football scholar-athlete in the country, Stinchcomb twice claimed First Team Academic All-America honors, including being named the Academic All-American of the Year as a senior. His academic record and community leadership brought multiple honors, including an NCAA Top Eight Award and twice being named to the AFCA Good Works Team.
After graduating magna cum laude with a business degree, Stinchcomb was selected 18th overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 1999 NFL Draft. He played five seasons with the Raiders (1999-2003), helping the team win the AFC championship in 2002 and earn a trip to Super Bowl XXXVII. He retired in 2006 following two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Following the NFL, Stinchcomb joined with his brother, Jon, a fellow NFF National Scholar-Athlete from Georgia, to form the Stinchcomb Family Foundation to support regional and national children’s charities. He also serves as chairman of the Countdown to Kickoff Charities, the fundraising arm for pediatric healthcare philanthropies, among many other community activities.
An avid guest speaker, he currently serves as the director of the Atlanta branch of Seacrest Partners, a commercial insurance brokerage and consulting firm. During the college football season, Stinchcomb can be seen as a game analyst on the SEC Network.
Stinchcomb becomes the 14th Bulldog player to be inducted, joining Kevin Butler (1981-84), Bill Hartman (1935-37), Terry Hoage (1980-83), Bob McWhorter (1910-13), John Rauch (1945-48), Jake Scott (1967-68), Frank Sinkwich (1940-42), Vernon Smith (1929-31), Bill Stanfill (1966-68), Fran Tarkenton (1958-60), Charley Trippi (1942, 1945-46), Herschel Walker (1980-82) and Scott Woerner (1977-80).
Four former Georgia coaches are also in the Hall: Wally Butts (1939-60), Jim Donnan (1996-2000), Vince Dooley (1964-88) and Pop Warner (1895-96).
Including the 2018 class, only 997 players and 217 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.33 million people who have played or coached the game over the past 149 years. In other words, less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of those who have set foot on the gridiron have earned the distinction. Click here for a complete list of players and coaches in the Hall.
The 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown on Tuesday, Dec. 4. This year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class includes Trevor Cobb (Rice), Kerry Collins (Penn State), Dave Dickenson (Montana), Dana Howard (Illinois), Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech), Paul Palmer (Temple), Ed Reed (Miami [Fla.]), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia), Aaron Taylor (Nebraska), Charles Woodson (Michigan) and coaches Frank Beamer (Murray State, Virginia Tech), Mack Brown (Appalachian State, Tulane, North Carolina, Texas) and Mel Tjeerdsma (Austin College [Texas], Northwest Missouri State). For more information on the Dinner, please contact Will Rudd at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 972.556.1000.