LA Tech legends on 2023 College Football Hall of Fame ballot

By Wesley Harris

Three Louisiana Tech Bulldog legends are on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot for consideration for induction in 2023. 

Former wide receiver Roger Carr, quarterback Matt Dunigan, and coach Maxie Lambright appear on the ballot sent to more than 12,000 National Football Foundation members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Court, which will deliberate and select the class.

“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.54 million people have played college football and only 1,056 players have been inducted,” said National Football Foundation President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and we look forward to announcing the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class early next year.”

Dunigan was named the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback for the 1980 season by newly hired head coach Billy Brewer. Dunigan’s best collegiate season was in 1982 as a senior, completing 222 of 413 passes for 2,843 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. Dunigan led the Bulldogs to a 9-2 regular season record, an undefeated 5-0 record in the Southland Conference, a #2 ranking in The Sports Network poll, and the program’s first ever berth in the Division I-AA playoffs. After a 38-3 quarterfinal win at home against South Carolina State, the Bulldogs were eliminated from the playoffs in a 17-0 semifinal loss at home to Delaware.

In 40 total games at Tech, Dunigan completed 550 of 1,103 pass attempts for 7,010 yards with 40 touchdowns. After playing 14 seasons in the Canadian Football League, Dunigan was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Louisiana Tech Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.

After catching 29 passes for 738 yards and eight scores his first season, Roger Carr was destined to become a huge part of Tech’s offense. In his final two seasons, Tech lost just one game and won two Division II national titles. Carr’s clutch catch for 21 yards and a score with 12 seconds left helped Tech beat Boise State 38-34 in the semi-finals. Tech would go on to beat Western Kentucky 34-0 to win their second national title. 

An All-American in both 1972 and 1973, Carr spent ten years in the National Football League—eight with the Baltimore Colts and one each with Seattle and San Diego. When he retired from the NFL in 1983, Carr had left his mark on the league with 271 catches for 5,071 yards and 31 scores.

Maxie Lambright served as head coach of the Bulldogs from 1967 to 1978 and Tech  athletic director from 1970 to 1978. The legendary coach led Tech to three Division II national championships and seven conference championships. He amassed a record in conference play of 41 wins, 18 losses, and one tie. His Tech teams compiled an overall 95-36-2 record and won six of nine bowl games. 

Lambright put together a coaching staff at Tech that stayed virtually intact for all 12 years of his career, producing a truly “golden era” for Bulldog football. The program held  the nation’s longest winning streak in college football with 23 straight during 1973 and 1974. His teams played in post season games eight of his 12 years. He produced 11 all-Americans, 77 first team all-conference picks, and sent over a dozen Bulldogs into professional football.

All three nominees have been inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame—Lambright in 1986, Carr in 2012, and Dunigan in 2019.

Previous Bulldog inductees in the College Football Hall of Fame are Terry Bradshaw, Fred Dean, and Willie Roaf and coaches Joe Aillet and William Dietz.

Also on the ballot with Louisiana connections are Catholic High of Baton Rouge’s Warrick Dunn and New Orleans Saints Super Bowl winner Jahri Evans. 

The new members will be announced early 2023.

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