Clarksville, TN – Former Middle Tennessee State University football coach James "Boots" Donnelly was one of seven people named Thursday to the 2013 Divisional College Football Hall of Fame Class.
The Divisional class considers players and coaches from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) for induction.
Joining Donnelly in the class were four former players: Shelby Jordan, Washington University in St. Louis, linebacker (1969-72); Joe Micchia, Westminster College (Pa.), quarterback (1987-89); Art Shell, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, offensive tackle (1964-67); and Jeff Wittman, Ithaca College (N.Y.), fullback (1989-92).
The selections also included two other coaches: Frank Cignetti, who went a combined 199-77-1 (.720) at West Virginia University (1976-79) and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1986-05); and Jess Dow, who was 108-40-6 (.721) at Southern Connecticut State University (1948-65).
Donnelly compiled a 154-94-1 (.620) career record, going 14-7 in two seasons at Austin Peay State University (1977-78) and 140-87-1 in 20 seasons at Middle Tennessee State (1979-98). He becomes the first Hall of Famer in the history of both schools.
He led Austin Peay to the 1977 Ohio Valley Conference title. At MTSU, his alma mater, he led the Blue Raiders to nine Top 20 regular-season finishes, seven NCAA I-AA (now FCS) playoff appearances and a 31-game home winning streak from 1987-93. He won or shared the OVC title five times and is the only coach in OVC history to win a conference title at two different schools.
The divisional class will be honored during enshrinement ceremonies in August in Atlanta.