Thursday, September 29, 2011
Charles Haley adds new honor to long list
By Jeff Caplan
Recently announced as one of three new inductees into the exclusive Dallas Cowboys Ring of Owner, Charles Haley, a former standout at James Madison and the only NFL player to win five Super Bowls, has added a new title: ambassador.
Haley will serve as the FCS Ambassador for the 2012 NCAA Division I football championship game that will be played Jan. 7 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco. Haley follows previous ambassadors Wayne Chrebet (Hofstra) in 2009 and another former Cowboys great Everson Walls (Grambling State) last year, the first FCS -- formerly known as Division I-AA -- championship game played in North Texas.
"I’m honored to serve as FCS Ambassador for the 2012 Division I Football Championship game," Haley said in release. “Greatness is not born, it’s made. The FCS has been turning out great players for years and I look forward to watching these outstanding student-athletes compete at the highest level."
As ambassador, Haley will lend his support to the championship game in a number of ways, including pre-game interaction with fans, serving as an instructor at a youth clinic, performing the pre-game coin toss and participating in the postgame awards ceremony.
"Charles Haley’s successful collegiate and professional career provides a quintessential model of academic and athletic success," said Damani Leech, NCAA director for Division I football and baseball. "Each year we have looked for an individual who embodies the character of the FCS and can be used as a success story for the FCS student-athletes. We are thrilled that Charles will continue this tradition."
A 2011 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, Haley graduated from James Madison in 1988. A four-year starter under head coach Challace McMillin, Haley became the first Dukes selected as a First-Team All-American in 1985, and was also the school’s first NFL draftee. Haley, whose jersey number 87 was retired by the school, finished his JMU career with a school record 506 tackles, three interceptions and 17 quarterback sacks.
Drafted as a specialty linebacker in the fourth round in the 1986 NFL Draft, Haley ended his career as a defensive end. Playing for the San Francisco 49ers from 1986-1991, he won rings from Super Bowl XXIII and XXIV following the 1988 and 1989 seasons, respectively. Traded to the Dallas Cowboys in the 1992 offseason, he won three more Super Bowl rings during the next four seasons in 1992 (Super Bowl XXVII), 1993 (XXVIII) and 1995 (XXX).
In his 12 NFL seasons, Haley recorded 100.5 quarterback sacks, two interceptions and eight fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown. He was selected to play in five Pro Bowls (1988, 1990, 1991, 1994 and 1995) and was named NFL All-Pro in 1990 and 1994.