Learn to Shoot

Meet BCFHOF Founders

Thursday, September 1 - 6:30 PM

These African American pioneers & founders of the Black College Football Hall of Fame, along with historian Joe Horrigan discuss their contributions to the game. Q & A and book signing will follow.

The Black College Football Hall Of Fame was founded in 2009 by two legendary NFL quarterbacks and African American pioneers, James Harris and Doug Williams. There have been 96 Inductees since inception, including Mel Blount, James Harris, Willie Lanier, Art Shell and Doug Williams, who serve as Trustees. Under their leadership, the BCFHOF has continued to grow, providing a meaningful platform to share the history and stories of the greatest HBCU football players, coaches and contributors.

In 2019 at the first inaugural BCFHOF Classic, Alabama A&M President Andrew Hugine Jr., Morehouse College President David Thomas, BCFHOF Co-Founder James Harris and long-time Hall of Fame Executive Joe Horrigan officially opened the exhibit with a commemorative ribbon cutting ceremony. The PFHOF and BCFHOF look to continue to grow this gallery in the future as this partnership grows.

The 2022 Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic Weekend returns to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this September.?The four-day schedule culminates on Sunday, September 4 when the Central State University Marauders meet the Winston-Salem State University Rams at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium for the Classic Game.

Kick off the celebration on September 1 with the Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books Author Series featuring Black College Football Hall of Fame founders James Harris and Doug Williams along with football historian Joe Horrigan. Adrian Allison, Pro Football Hall of Fame Chief Relationship Officer, will facilitate this panel discussion.

James Harris, a star quarterback at Grambling State University, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the eighth round of the 1969 combined AFL-NFL Draft. As a rookie he became the NFL’s first African American to start full-time at quarterback. Later, while with the Los Angeles Rams, he became the first African American quarterback to be named to the Pro Bowl (1975) and to start and win a NFL playoff game. Harris played with the Bills (1969-1971), the Rams (1973-76) and the San Diego Chargers (1977-79).
Doug Williams, who also excelled at Grambling, was taken in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As a member of the Washington Redskins, he made history as the first African American quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl. His then-record 340 yards passing and 4 TDs in Super Bowl XXII earned him Most Valuable Player honors, also a first. Williams played with the Buccaneers (1978-1982) and the Redskins (1986-89) and two seasons with the USFL Oklahoma/Arizona Wranglers (1984-85).   
As the BCFHOF has now found a permanent home in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, included within the partnership is the Black College Football Hall of Fame Gallery.

Joe Horrigan began his long career at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977 as the museum curator-researcher and ended his time there as the Executive Director, administering the Hall of Fame’s annual enshrine selection process.  Joe is retired after forty-two years with the organization and is regarded as the foremost historian on professional football.  He has authored and co-authored as well as editing several books on the subject including NFL Century, The One-Hundred-Year Rise of America’s Greatest Sports League.? 

Adrian Allison is Chief Relationship Officer for Pro Football Hall of Fame. Among Allison’s several leadership responsibilities in this post, he directs the Hall of Fame’s implementation of the long-term agreement between the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Black College Football Hall of Fame signed in 2020. He is the first executive-level employee at the Hall tasked specifically with developing and growing this important relationship.

Joe Horrigan's books will be available for purchase:

NFL Century: The One-Hundred-Year Rise of America's Greatest Sports League and 

Pro Football Hall of Fame 50th Anniversary Book: Where Greatness Lives


605 Market Ave N
Canton, OH 44702
Event Type
Senior Citizen


Stark Library

Date / Time

Thursday, September 1, 2022
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM


(330) 452-0665
More Info: