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Springfield honors Ford

By Bob Weiner
Thursday, October 11, 2012

University at Albany head football coach Bob Ford will be inducted into the Springfield College Hall of Fame this weekend.

“Humbled and elated were the emotions that followed the phone call indicating that I had been named as an inductee to the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame,” said Ford. “Having a bachelors and a doctorate degree from Springfield and having served two separate stints on its faculty, I have a deep felt appreciation for the institution’s message and what it tries to instill in young people.”

Ford served as a starting quarterback in 1959 at Springfield College, where he earned his undergraduate degree in physical education. That same year, SC’s athletic department bestowed upon Ford “The Greatest Desire to Improve Award.” Ford would twice return to Springfield College as an assistant coach – in 1964 as the secondary coach, and in 1969 as its defensive coordinator. He later earned his doctorate from Springfield in physical education in 1970.

At one time, Ford was the youngest head football coach in the nation, when the 26-year-old took over the reins at St. Lawrence University in 1965. In his first season, he guided the Saints to an Independent Collegiate Athletic Conference (ICAC) title. He arrived in the Capital Region five years later to start the first gridiron squad at the University since 1924.

Ford, who has been UAlbany’s only head coach since the program was reinstated after a 46-year absence, was appointed on April 27, 1970. Since then, he has compiled a 40-year varsity record of 251-157 as the Great Dane mentor, while his 260 career victories rank first among active NCAA Division I college football head coaches.

Ford, 75, is a four-time Northeast Conference Coach of the Year and was a 1986 inductee into the Wachusett Regional High School Hall of Fame.

 
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