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Legendary MVC football coach to be inducted into National Football Foundation College Hall Of Fame | Enshrinement ceremonies July 17-18 in South Bend, Ind.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Marshall -- Archie Manning, chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, has announced Volney C. Ashford, legendary Missouri Valley College football coach and MVC alumnus, will be inducted posthumously into the College Football Hall of Fame, according to a news release from the college.

From 1941-47, MVC reeled off a 41-game winning streak with Ashford at the helm. Ashford coached the Vikings for 34 years from 1937 to 1971. According to the research of the NCAA and the NAIA records, the MVC win streak ranks 5th all-time for all divisions of college football. 

Ashford graduated from MVC in 1931 and became head coach of the Vikings in 1937. Following the 41-game winning streak, Ashford led the Vikings to unanimous national acclaim as the number one small college team in the country in 1949.

He was named Little All-American Coach of the Year in 1950 and twice received the NAIA Award of Merit. In 1959, he was named NAIA Coach of the Year, and his overall record of 197-55-12 ranks him in the top 10 of all-time college coaches.

In addition to being an MVC alumnus, Ashford is a 1927 graduate of Marshall High School and a 1949 graduate of University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 1971, Ashford retired and took over as vice-president of development for MVC.

"Coach Ashford's legacy has made a tremendous impact on the entire Missouri Valley College family," said Bonnie Humphrey, MVC President. "I am so pleased that this outstanding Viking is being recognized and thankful to the National Football Foundation for honoring such an accomplished man."

Ashford is a member of the MVC Athletic Hall of Fame, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, the Helms Foundation Coaches Hall of Fame, and the Helms Foundation National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame. He helped found the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and received the Rockne Award for his contribution to athletics. Ashford passed away in 1973.

Ashford and the other members of the 2009 Divisional College Football Hall of Fame Class, which considers players and coaches from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA), Divisions II, III, and the NAIA for induction, will be inducted during the Enshrinement Festival July 17-18 in South Bend, Ind.

Other 2009 inductees include players: Roger Brown, Maryland-Eastern Shore, DT, 1956-59; Fred Dean, Louisiana Tech, DT, 1971-74, Sam Mills (deceased), Montclair State (N.J.), LB, 1977-80; and Rod Smith, Missouri Southern State, WR, 1988, 1990-93; and coaches Ashford and Jim Donnan (104-40-0/.722, Marshall, 1990-95; Georgia, 1996-2000).

"We are very proud to announce the 2009 Divisional Class of Hall of Famers," said Manning, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee from Ole Miss. "Each of these men have defined excellence in our sport, and we are happy to reward their respective careers by inducting them in college football's ultimate shrine."

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