Ex-Valley coach to be inducted into CFHOF

Thursday, May 28, 2009

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Legendary Missouri Valley College head football coach Volney Ashford will be among six inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame during the Enshrinement Festival, July 17-18 at South Bend, Ind.

Ashford, who died in 1973, will be inducted posthumously in recognition of his 34-year term as Vikings' coach -- including a 41-game win streak between 1941 and '47, the fifth-longest of all time at all levels of college football. In 1949, Ashford's squad received unanimous acclaim as the No. 1 small college team in the country.

The 1931 Valley graduate was named Little All-American "coach of the year" in 1950 and twice received the NAIA Award of Merit. He was the NAIA "coach of the year" in 1959 and his 197-55-12 record ranks him in the top 10 all-time for college coaches.

Ashford graduated from Marshall High School in 1927 and received a degree from Missouri-Kansas City in 1949. He retired from coaching in '71 and became vice-president of development for MVC.

"Coach Ashford's legacy has made a tremendous impact on the entire Missouri Valley College family," noted school president Bonnie Humphrey. "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 Knute Rockne Award for his contribution to athletics.

Also being honored are Maryland-Eastern Shore defensive tackle Roger Brown, Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Fred Dean, Montclair State (N.J.) linebacker Sam Mills, Missouri Southern State wide receiver Rod Smith and coach Jim Donnan -- who headed programs at Marshall (W.Va.) and Georgia.

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