LEXINGTON, Ky. – Art Still (pictured), whose dominance at defensive end helped lead Kentucky to some of its greatest moments in school history, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame Tuesday night at the 58th annual National Football Foundation Awards Dinner in New York City.
The festivities begin Tuesday morning with a news conference at 9 a.m. The awards dinner will be at 8 p.m. Both events will be at the Waldorf Astoria and can be seen on ESPN3. The link for the news conference is http://es.pn/1TeXY9x. The link for the awards dinner is http://es.pn/1XrwVsc.
The dinner begins with the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards and continues with several other NFF major award winners before culminating with the Hall of Fame induction.
“It’s humbling to be selected because I didn’t do it alone,” Still said when the Hall of Fame class was first announced in January. “It’s a compliment to all the guys I played with and the coaches.”
Originally from Camden, N.J., Still played at Kentucky from 1974-77 under Coach Fran Curci. Still helped the Wildcats to a 19-4 record in his final two seasons. UK went 9-3 in his junior year, winning a share of the Southeastern Conference championship, and capped the season with a 21-0 blanking of North Carolina in the Peach Bowl. The Cats were ranked 18th in the final Associated Press poll.
UK posted a 10-1 mark in his senior season, finishing the campaign No. 6 in the final AP ranking. The Wildcats went 7-3 against Top-20 ranked teams his last two seasons, winning the last five in a row vs. ranked foes Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia, at Penn State and at LSU. Paced by Still’s dominating performances, Kentucky led the SEC in total defense and rushing defense.
Still, a first-team All-American, was a four-year starter who totaled 327 tackles during his career, an amazing figure for a defensive end. Quarterback sacks were not kept during his career and tackles for loss are available only for his senior year, when he compiled 22 TFL, a school record that “Still” stands.
On the conference level, Still was the SEC Senior Player of the Year by the Birmingham Touchdown Club and the UPI SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He was first-team All-SEC as a junior and senior.
Even with all the team success and the individual accolades, Still’s most cherished memories come from the friendships forged during his time at UK.
When asked his biggest thrill at Kentucky, Still said, “The sports side was nice but what I remember most are the relationships with my teammates and classmates. Where I came from in Camden, it was predominantly African-Americans and Puerto Ricans. (At UK) I learned how to deal with people from different environments, how to relate to people and treat people. We had players from all parts of the country and we learned to treat people the way we wanted to be treated.
“Teammates like Derrick Ramsey, Billy Williams, Mike Martin, Jerry Blanton, Dallas Owens. Coach Curci. (Strength coach) Pat Etcheberry, who set the foundation for discipline, weight training and speed. You take all those things – family, friends, teammates, coaches – and they made you a better person,” said Still, who cherishes his visits to Lexington when he and his teammates have their “Curci’s Cats” reunions.
After being tabbed as the second pick of the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft (only behind Earl Campbell), Still went on to a record-setting 12-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, set Kansas City records for most sacks in a career (73) and season (14.5, twice), and was second in team history in total tackles (992).
UK Athletics Photo