|A LycomingFootball.com file photo.|
NEW YORK – Former Lycoming College head football coach Frank Girardi joined an elite group in the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday night, Dec. 6, as part of the National Football Foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria, adding to an already legendary resume, as NFF chairman Archie Manning officially recognized Girardi as one in a 16-member class.
Girardi was a part of a prestigious class that included Marlin Briscoe, QB – Nebraska Omaha (1964-67); Derrick Brooks, LB – Florida State (1991-94); Tom Cousineau, LB – Ohio State (1975-78); Randall Cunningham, P/QB – UNLV (1982-84); Troy Davis, TB – Iowa State (1994-96); William Fuller, DT – North Carolina (1981-83); Bert Jones, QB – LSU (1970-72); Tim Krumrie, DL – Wisconsin (1979-82); Pat McInally, TE – Harvard (1972-74); Herb Orvis, DE – Colorado (1969-71); Bill Royce, LB – Ashland [Ohio] (1990-93); Mike Utley, OG – Washington State (1985-88); Scott Woerner, DB – Georgia (1977-80); Rod Woodson, DB – Purdue (1983-86); Lock Haven native Bill Bowes, Head Coach – New Hampshire (1972-98) and Girardi.
“I want to thank the Foundation for this wonderful, wonderful award,” Girardi said at the NFF’s morning press conference. “Looking around here at all these guys, man, I could have coached until I was 100 if I had these guys. You kidding me? I remember watching most of them on TV. That doesn't mean to say that I'm that much older than you guys, but I did watch you guys play.”
Over the course of 36 years, Girardi cobbled together one of the finest resumes in the history of college football. He won 257 games, which still ranks 16th all-time in NCAA history. He helped Lycoming win 13 Middle Atlantic Conference titles and make 11 appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament. He led the Warriors to the national title game in 1990 and 1997 and the semifinals in 1996.
The hallmarks of Girardi's teams seemed to always be the defense, which led Division III in total defense twice (1975, '83), rushing defense three times (1976, '82, '87) and scoring defense once (1999) during his career. By the mid-'80s, though, his offenses had the firepower to match the defense, leading the MAC in total offense for the first time in 1984 (178.5) and four more times in his career.
By the time Girardi decided to retire at the end of the 2007 season, Girardi had coached 82 All-Americans, 328 All-MAC selections, five Academic All-Americans (including Academic All-America Hall of Fame Member Vanaskie), 13 Academic All-District picks, 13 Lycoming College Male Athletes of the Year, seven MAC Most Valuable Players/Players of the Year and 58 members of the Lycoming College Athletics Hall of Fame.
“As you get older, you know that the game is so much more than all the wins that you've had,” Girardi said. “There are so many people are responsible for that, so many wonderful, wonderful young men I've coached, so many great coaches that I've worked with. It's all about relationships. It's all about memories. And I certainly have enough memories to last me for a lifetime.”