Former Illini Moe Gardner headed to College Football Hall of Fame

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WCIA — Former Illini all-time great Moe Gardner finally got his Hall call. The two-time consensus All-American is the 18th Illinois player to become a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, as part of the Class of 2022.

“My induction to the College Football Hall of Fame represents far more than my individual athletic ability or achievement,” Gardner said in a statement to the school. “As such, I’m at a loss for words after being given such an honor. At the core of my induction, is a communal journey that leaves me indebted to countless people throughout my life who have shown a loving grace that laid the foundation for my success on and off the field. My induction celebrates the unyielding lifelong support of my parents, Morris and Mynelle Gardner; they were my first coach and teacher, and Dr. Roberta Gardner my wife of thirty-two years, who continues to be my North Star.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t single out specific thanks to the educators and coaches at Cathedral High School (Indianapolis), University of Illinois athletics staff, all my high School and collegiate teammates, my brother Derrick Brownlow, and coaches: Mike White, Bill Kollar, and Lou Tepper. Also, I would like to send a special shout out to my Illini heroes Claude “Buddy” Young and J.C. Caroline, two trailblazing players who paved the way for African American student-athletes.”

Gardner is considered one of, if not the best defensive tackle in the 100-plus year history of Illinois football. Gardner led a stout Illini defense to three consecutive bowl game and a share of the 1990 Big Ten championship. He was named All-Big Ten in all four years of his college career, including first team his final three seasons.

Illinois’ College Football Hall of Fame Members (18)

• Alex Agase, G (inducted 1963)
• Bob Blackman, coach (inducted 1987)
• Al Brosky, DB (inducted 1998)
• Dick Butkus, LB (inducted 1983)
• Chuck Carney, WR (inducted 1966)
• J.C. Caroline, RB (inducted 1980)
• Pete Elliot, coach (inducted 1993)
• Moe Gardner, DL (inducted 2022)
• Jim Grabowski, RB (inducted 1995)
• Harold “Red” Grange, RB (inducted 1951)
• Edward K. Hall, coach (inducted 1951)
• Dana Howard, LB (inducted 2018)
• Bart Macomber, RB (inducted 1972)
• Bernie Shively, G (inducted 1982)
• David Williams, WR (inducted 2005)
• George W. Woodruff, coach (inducted 1963)
• Claude “Buddy” Young, RB (inducted 1968)
• Robert Zuppke, coach (inducted 1951) 

2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class

PLAYERS:
• LaVar Arrington – LB, Penn State (1997-99)
• Champ Bailey – DB, Georgia (1996-98)
• Michael Crabtree – WR, Texas Tech (2007-08)
• Sylvester Croom – C, Alabama (1972-74)
• Mike Doss – S, Ohio State (1999-2002)
• Chuck Ealey – QB, Toledo (1969-71)
• Kevin Faulk – AP/RB, LSU (1995-98)
• Moe Gardner – DT, Illinois (1987-90)
• Boomer Grigsby – LB, Illinois State (2001-04)
• Mike Hass – WR, Oregon State (2002-05)
• Marvin Jones – LB, Florida State (1990-92)
• Andrew Luck – QB, Stanford (2009-11)
• Mark Messner – DT, Michigan (1985-88)
• Terry Miller – RB, Oklahoma State (1974-77)
• Rashaan Salaam – RB, Colorado (1992-94)
• Dennis Thomas – C, Alcorn State (1971-73)
• Zach Wiegert – OT, Nebraska (1991-94)
• Roy Williams – DB, Oklahoma (1999-2001)

COACHES:
• John Luckhardt – 225-70-2 (76.1%); Washington & Jefferson [PA] (1982-98), California [PA] (2002-11)
• Billy Jack Murphy – 91-44-1 (67.3%); Memphis (1958-71)
• Gary Pinkel – 191-110-3 (63.3%); Toledo (1991-2000), Missouri (2001-15)

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