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Former Pitt Coach John Majors Named to ACC 2013 Class of Legends

John Majors was a two-time national coach of the year at Pitt.

John Majors was a two-time national coach of the year at Pitt.

Dec. 3, 2013

Greensboro, N.C. -

Led by four members of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame and two members of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s prestigious 50th Anniversary team, the ACC announced the 2013 Class of Legends for its 9th Annual Dr Pepper Football Championship Game, which will be played in Charlotte, N.C. on December 7.

Leading this year’s class are former Pitt head coach Johnny Majors (Lynchburg, Tenn.), former Maryland quarterback Boomer Esiason (East Islip, N.Y.), Clemson safety Terry Kinard (Sumter, S.C.), Virginia defensive end Tom Scott (Baltimore, Md.), and Syracuse running back Floyd Little (New Haven, Conn.).

Esiason and Kinard were both chosen in 2003 to be members of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary team, which honored the 50 best players of the league’s first 50 years, while Kinard, Scott, Little and Majors are members of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.

The Legends will be honored during this year’s Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game weekend. They will be honored at the ACC Night of Legends sponsored by the Belk Bowl on Friday, Dec. 6, and on Dec. 7, during ceremonies at Bank of America Stadium for the 9th Annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship, which will be nationally televised with either a 7:45 pm (ESPN) or 8 p.m. (ABC) kickoff.

Tickets for the Night of  Legends are priced at $85 each and are available at the Ticketmaster web link:  https://oss.ticketmaster.com/aps/accfootball/EN/link/buy/details/13nolind

The group of 15 former gridiron standouts from current ACC schools includes a former ACC Football Player of the Year; 10 former All-Americas, including six first-team All-America honorees; and 12 players who combined for 97 years in the National Football League. Twelve of the Legends were drafted into the NFL, including six first- or second-round draft choices.

In all, the collection of players combined for two national championships, five ACC Championships and one Super Bowl title.

Joining the aforementioned selections are Boston College running back Mike Cloud (Portsmouth, R.I.), who ended his collegiate career in 1998 as the Eagles’ all-time leading rusher with 3,597 yards; Duke halfback and end Wes Chesson (Edenton, N.C.), who ended his career with nine 100-yard receiving games, at the time the most in ACC history; Florida State guard Jamie Dukes (Orlando, Fla.), a consensus first-team All-America for the Seminoles in 1985; and Georgia Tech tailback “Rambling” Robert Lavette (Cartersville, Ga.), who is still the leading career rusher in Yellow Jacket history with 4,066 yards.

Completing the ACC Football Legends Class of 2013 are Miami’s Edgerrin James (Immokalee, Fla.), one of the most successful running backs in Hurricane history; North Carolina’s Ken Willard (Richmond, Va.),  a second-team All-America fullback for the Tar Heels; NC State’s famed Buckey twins, Dave Buckey (Akron, Ohio), an All-ACC quarterback, and Don Buckey (Akron), an All-ACC wide receiver, who keyed the Wolfpack’s football resurgence in the 1970s under then head coach Lou Holtz;  Virginia Tech wide receiver Andre` Davis (Niskayuna, N.Y.), a first-team All-America and explosive performer who was one of the leaders of Tech’s 2000 team which reached the BCS National Championship Game; and Wake Forest quarterback Jay Venuto (Salem, N.J.), the 1979 ACC Player of the Year who led the Deacons to wins over three nationally-ranked foes that year.

Majors (1973-76; 1993-96) inherited a Pitt program which had won 23 games in nine years prior to his arrival, including a 1-10 season in 1972. He then guided the Panthers to a four-year record of 33-13-1, including three bowl trips and a perfect 12-0 national nhampionship campaign in 1976. In two of his four seasons at Pitt he was named National Coach of the Year in 1973 and 1976. He coached or recruited 23 All-Americas in his career including nine at Pitt.

An All-America tailback at Tennessee as a player, he was twice named MVP in the SEC, leading the Vols to a perfect 10-0 record in 1956.  After Pitt’s national championship season, he returned to his alma mater as head coach in 1977, guiding the Vols to three SEC championships.

In 29 years as a head coach at Iowa State, Pittsburgh and Tennessee, Majors posted a 185-137-10 (.572) record. He was inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame in 1987 as a player. Originally a native of Lynchburg, Tenn., he currently lives in Knoxville, Tenn.

—PITT—