2010-07-08 / Sports

Cal Lutheran linebacking legend to join College Football Hall of Fame

Kelley is first CLU athlete to earn game’s highest honor

College football fans from across the country will join the National Football Foundation July 16-17 at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., for the organization’s annual Enshrinement Festival.

The event will pay tribute to the storied careers of Brian Kelley from California Lutheran University and 23 other standouts as they are formally enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to enshrine another exceptional class of college football legends,” said NFF President and CEO Steven J. Hatchell.

“Each year our hardworking honors courts do an outstanding job ensuring the game’s greatest players and coaches find their place on college football’s mountain top. We look forward to celebrating in South Bend with this amazing class and their loyal fans from around the country.”

As a vicious linebacker, Kelley is the first College Football Hall of Fame inductee from California Lutheran University.

During his junior season, Kelley led the Kingsmen to a victory in the 1971 NAIA Division II national championship game, earning MVP honors.

Finishing his career with a school-record 17 interceptions, Kelley was honored as a NAIA First Team All-America choice. He was also a member of the NAIA District III Defensive First Team and All-Lutheran College Defensive First Team. Also contributing as punter, Kelley ended his career with an average of 34.6 yards per punt.

As a two-sport athlete, Kelley was named the NAIA District III heavyweight wrestling champion in 1970.

Upon completing his colligate career, Kelley played for the New York Giants from 1973-83.

During those eleven seasons, he was part of one of the best linebacker corps, the “Crunch Bunch,” with Lawrence Taylor and fellow College Football Hall of Famers Brad Van Pelt and Harry Carson.

During the 1974-76 seasons, Kelley was the leading tackle for the Giants. Kelley, who was born in Dallas on Sept. 1, 1951, was inducted into the CLU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003. He now works as a financial adviser and resides in New Jersey.

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