Cullowhee, N.C. - Former Western Carolina Hall of Fame placekicker and three-time first team All-America selection Kirk Roach is one of 100 players and 32 coaches listed on Divisional Player/Coach ballot for the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation (NFF) and the College Football Hall of Fame announced on Monday.
Roach is the lone representative from the current Southern Conference between the Divisional Player and Coach candidates. Another 76 players and six coaches were listed among the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) player/coach candidates. The head coach of former SoCon-member, East Carolina Clarence Stasavich (Lenoir-Rhyne, 1946-61; East Carolina, 1963-69) – for whom the SoCon Football championship trophy is named – appears on the Divisional coaches’ ballot.
One of the most honored and decorated players in Western Carolina football history, Roach was a three-time first-team All-America selection from the Associated Press in 1984, 1986, and 1987. He was additionally the first, four-time All-SoCon selection (1984-87) in conference history.
A 1996 inductee into the Western Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame, Roach was also listed on the SoCon’s 75th-anniversary team. Roach continues to hold WCU’s all-time scoring record with 302 career points that includes two of the top individual single-season scoring marks with 96 points in 1986 and 79 points scored in 1987. All four of Roach’s seasons rank inside the top 10 in school history for field goals made including a school – and SoCon-record – 24-of-28 (.857) in 1986, finishing the year as the NCAA statistical champion with an average of 2.16 field goals made per game. He continues to hold the WCU and SoCon record for career field goals made with 71.
Roach also holds the WCU record for the career-long field goal, twice splitting the uprights from 57 yards away against Appalachian State (11/21/87) and North Carolina A&T (11/17/87). All told, Roach holds eight of the top 10 long field goals in program history. In fact, Roach and one other hold the NCAA FCS record for most field goals of 50-yards or more with 11, while Roach holds the benchmark for most times kicking two-or-more field goals in the same game in a career with 25. His career average field goal distance was 40.5 yards, a NCAA FCS record.
The ballot was emailed on Monday to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which will deliberate and select the class. The FBS Honors Court, chaired by NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin from Ohio State, and the Divisional Honors Court, chaired by former Marshall head coach, longtime athletics director and NFF Board Member Jack Lengyel, include an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletic administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
The announcement of the 2019 Class will be made Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. The city is serving as the host for the CFP National Championship, which will be played later that day at Levi’s Stadium.
The 2019 class will officially be inducted during the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 10, 2019, at the New York Hilton Midtown. The inductees will be permanently enshrined at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta later that December and honored on the field during the 15th Annual National Hall of Fame Salute during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. They will also be honored at their respective schools at an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 2019 season.
The criteria for Hall of Fame consideration include:
• First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.
• A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
• While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man, with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
• Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.* For example, to be eligible for the 2018 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1968 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
• A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.