Tennessee\’s newly elected Hall of Fame member Chip Kell starts out a weekend of honors culminating in his induction into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in New York City.
Honors begin on Friday night in Atlanta at the SEC Legends dinner at the Hyatt Regency on the eve of the SEC Championship Game.
Kell, who is representing the University of Tennessee, will be among the 12 honorees recognized at the dinner and presented on the field before the title tilt at the Georgia Dome on Saturday.
The former standout offensive lineman will fly to New York after the game for the 49th Annual Awards Dinner for the Hall of Fame in the Grand Ballroom at The Waldorf-Astoria on Tuesday.
The powerful lineman will be the 21st former Vol to earn admission to the Hall of Fame. The Decatur, Ga., native ranks as one of the Vols\’ best road-pavers in school history, and Kell is the most recent UT lineman to earn the Jacobs Award for the best blocker in the SEC twice.
Kell also was a two-time All-America and was an All-SEC selection in each of his three seasons at UT. He helped lead the Vols to 28 wins during his career, which he capped with a 34-13 blowout win over Air Force in the 1971 Sugar Bowl.
He anchored a crew that opened holes allowing running back Curt Watson to pace the Vols attack for three seasons — including an 807-yard campaign in 1969. The following season the Vols rushed for 2,365 yards, the highest output in 19 years for UT. The offensive line also was integral in turning the Vols offense into a dynamic group that also set a school record for passing yards (1,996).
\”Chip Kell was one of the most powerful athletes I ever coached,\” Doug Dickey, Kell\’s coach for his first two campaigns, said earlier this year. \”He was way ahead of his time in development by use of weight training, and he became a true leader on the football team.\”
Kell led the Vols to an SEC championship in 1969 and helped them finish No. 4 in the nation the following year. UT lost just five games during Kell\’s three years — none of which came on Shields-Watkins Field.
He was drafted in the 17th round by the San Diego Chargers in the 1971 NFL Draft, and Kell played for two seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL before starting his coaching career.
Former Vols honored as SEC Football Legends
1994 – Bob Johnson
1995 – Doug Atkins
1996 – Condredge Holloway
1997 – John Michels
1998 – Richmond Flowers
1999 – Steve Kiner
2000 – Steve DeLong
2001 – Stanley Morgan
2002 – Johnny Majors
2003 – Reggie White
2004 – Frank Emanuel
2005 – Larry Seivers
2006 – Chip Kell