Couch among those nominated for hall of fame

Published 5:05 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2023


Kentucky Today

The ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame 2024 Class has been released and former Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch is among the 78 players and nine coaches listed for consideration.

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An additional 101 players and 32 coaches from the divisions also are on the ballot.

Couch is listed No. 16 on the list.

Couch, was Kentucky’s lone quarterback from 1996-98. After giving up his senior season of eligibility, he was drafted as the No. 1 pick by Cleveland in the 1999 NFL Draft. In 1998, the junior quarterback was named a first-team All-American and consensus Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.

Couch completed 400 of 553 passes for 4,275 yards and 36 touchdowns and led the nation in pass completions while ranked second in completion percentage, passing yardage and touchdown passes, and fourth in total offense.

After guiding the Wildcats to the Outback Bowl, UK’s first New Year’s Day bowl appearance in 47 years, Couch finished fourth in Heisman Trophy balloting. He was also a finalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award as a junior and sophomore.

Eastern Kentucky running back Markus Thomas also was listed as one of the candidates for the Hall of Fame on the division ballot.

Thomas, who was inducted into the Eastern Kentucky University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008, holds both the EKU and Ohio Valley Conference records for career rushing yards with 5,149, as well as the OVC record for career rushing average at 6.57 yards per carry.

He was twice named the OVC Offensive Player of the Year and was tabbed as an All-American as a senior after rushing for 1,494 yards and 17 touchdowns in 1992. Thomas scored 52 career touchdowns and helped lead EKU to conference titles in 1990 and 1991. He finished his career ranked third all-time in FCS history in rushing yards and is one of only two players in FCS history to amass over 5,100 rushing yards on less than 800 carries.

Legendary late Western Kentucky coach Jimmy Feix also was listed as a candidate among 21 coaches at the divisional level nominated.

Feix is the only football coach in WKU’s history to eclipse the 100-win mark, amassing a career record of 106-56-6 (.649) in his 16 years as the programs head coach from 1968-83. He was added to the ballot for his career as a coach as he led the Hilltoppers to the NCAA Division II championship game in its first year of existence, 1973, before again taking WKU to the championship in 1975 where they took home runner-up honors in both seasons.

Feix served his alma mater as an All-American athlete, assistant football coach, head football coach, assistant director of alumni affairs, director of alumni affairs and director of athletics almost continuously from his arrival on campus as a freshman athlete in 1949 until his retirement in 1990.

He spent 27 years as a member of the coaching staff on The Hill, the last 16 of those (1968-83) as head football coach. Feix passed away in October 2014.