Former Villanova running back and Cheyney University coach Billy Joe yesterday was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame Divisional Class, which honors players and coaches who did not play major college football.
Joe was elected to the hall for his coaching accomplishments.
Joe played at Villanova from 1960 to '62, then spent seven seasons in the American Football League, before the merger with the NFL. He played for Denver, Buffalo, Miami and the New York Jets.
Joe won 237 games as coach of Florida A & M (1994-2004), Central State (Ohio) University (1981-93) and Cheyney (1972-78). He won five Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles with Florida A & M and two NAIA national titles with Central State.
Joe was fired by Florida A & M in June 2005 when the school self-reported 196 rules violations among its 15 men's and women's sports over a 7-year span. But an NCAA investigation found no evidence that Joe committed any infractions, citing instead a lack of institutional control.
Also elected was Jessie Tuggle, who starred at linebacker for Valdosta State from 1983 to '86, setting a school career record for tackles (340) and being picked all-Gulf South Conference three times. He went on to play 14 seasons for the Atlanta Falcons.
Others elected were Georgia Southern quarterback Tracy Ham (1983-86), Kentucky State quarterback Joe Kendall (1934-36) and Bloomsburg linebacker Frank Sheptock (1982-95). Sheptock, the only three-time All-America in Bloomsburg's football history, is currently the head coach at Wilkes (Pa.) College.
Jim Christopherson, who won 218 games as coach of Concordia College in Minnesota from 1969 to 2000, was also elected to the Hall of Fame.
The Divisional Class will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during enshrinement ceremonies July 19 to 21 in South Bend, Ind. The National Football Foundation will announce its induction class of players and coaches from major college football on May 9. *