Former national champion coach Ford visits quarterback club

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hub City Quarterback Club welcomed former Clemson and Arkansas head coach and former national champion Danny Ford today. Ford spoke to those who attended the event, held at Hattiesburg Country Club.

Like many other avid followers of college football, Ford has been closely following the topic of conference realignment, and as of now, he's not sure if what he's seeing is good or bad for the sport.

"I hope I see it, and I hope I live long enough to see if it was a good decision or a bad decision," said Ford, "I hope they're spending a lot of time to think about what they're doing, that it's just not a gut reaction to go out and try to get bigger and better, because it might be a mistake. I couldn't tell you. I'm just hoping and praying that it's the best thing for college football."

Before attending the quarterback club, Ford made a stop at the University of Southern Mississippi and the football team's afternoon practice. Ford like what he saw out of the squad.

"I was glad to see them," said Ford, "I was glad to see the guys out there, listen to those coaches jump around, and hollering at them, and those kids moving around. I said, 'Now I feel like I'm back at a drill sergeant world.'

"It was something."

Ford began his coaching career in the SEC in 1973, when he served as an assistant coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide. From there, he moved to Virginia Tech in 1974, where he served the same role.

Only five years after his coaching career began, in 1977, did he obtain his first head coaching job at Clemson. And it was there he would establish his legend.

Ford lead the tigers to a 12-0 record and 22-15 win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl to claim the 1981 national championship. Clemson witnessed its best years under Ford, winning a total of five Atlantic Coast Conference championships; all of them consecutive until his departure in 1989.

In 1993, Ford began his head coaching stint with the SEC, joining the Arkansas razorbacks. Though he never took the razorbacks to the heights he took the tigers, he did lead Arkansas to a 1995 SEC West conference crown. Ford retired in 1997.