IRVING, Texas – Former Cal football players Tony Gonzalez and Ron Rivera are among the names on the 2019 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced Monday. With a voting deadline of June 22 for more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers, Gonzalez and Rivera will be looking to join the 22 Golden Bears already enshrined in the esteemed Hall with Steve Bartkowski’s induction in the Class of 2012 the most recent.
“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 5.26 million people have played college football and only 997 players have been inducted,” NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell said. “The Hall’s requirement of being a first-team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and those actually elected to the Class will be part of a momentous year as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of college football in 2019.”
The ballot was emailed today to more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which will deliberate and select the class.
“Having a ballot and a voice in the selection of the inductees is one of the most cherished NFF member benefits,” added NFF Chairman Archie Manning, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee from Mississippi. “There is no group more knowledgeable or passionate about college football than our membership, and the tradition of the ballot helps us engage them in the lofty responsibility of selecting those who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in our sport.”
If you would like to become a member of the National Football Foundation and receive this year’s ballot, please contact NFF Director of Membership Ron Dilatush at email@example.com.
The announcement of the 2019 Class will be made Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. The city is serving as the host for the CFP National Championship, which will be played later that day at Levi’s® Stadium.
The 2019 class will officially be inducted during the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10, 2019, at the New York Hilton Midtown. They will also be honored at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 2019 season.
Tony Gonzalez, TE (Cal, 1994-96)
• Consensus first-team All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 selection in his final collegiate season when he had career highs of 46 receptions for 699 receiving yards and five touchdown catches
• Shares Cal’s bowl record for most receptions with nine in the 1996 Aloha Bowl vs. Navy
• A two-sport standout at Cal who also starred in basketball and helped the Bears to the Sweet 16 of the 1997 NCAA Tournament
• A member of the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team who played in the league for 17 seasons and ranks among the all-time regular-season leaders in receptions (2nd, 1325), receiving yards (6th, 15127) and receiving touchdowns (7th, 111)
Ron Rivera, LB (Cal, 1980-83)
• Consensus first-team All-American, Lombardi Award finalist, East-West Shrine Game MVP and Pac-10 Co-Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 1983
• Led Cal in tackles for each of his final three seasons (1981-83) and set the school’s career record with 336
• Had a successful nine-year NFL playing career with the Chicago Bears (1984-92) including a victory in Super Bowl XX to cap the 1985 season
• Has coached in the NFL since 1997 and will be entering his eighth season as the Carolina Panthers’ head coach in 2018
• Two-time NFC champion as a coach (2006, ’15) and AP NFL Coach of the Year (2013, ’15)