IRVING, Texas — The University of Iowa and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday that they will jointly honor 2023 College Football Hall of Fame electee Robert Gallery with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute. The Salute will take place this Saturday, Sept. 30, during the Hawkeyes’ home football game against Michigan State, which will kick off at 6:30 p.m. (CT) on NBC.
The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program, which began with the inaugural College Football Hall of Fame Class in 1951, has become a hallowed tradition, and to this day the singular events remain the first of numerous activities in the Hall of Fame experience.
During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each electee returns to his respective school to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will stay on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many Hall of Famers cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and be recognized in front of their home crowd.
The 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 5 at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Click here for more information on the Awards Dinner, including options to purchase tickets online, special travel rates to the event from Delta Air Lines and hotel rates at the ARIA.
“A mountain of a man at 6-7 and 325 pounds, Robert Gallery also possessed exceptional speed and agility, allowing him to completely dominate the left side of play for the Hawkeyes as a major contributor in back-to-back double-digit-win seasons and a Big Ten title. We are thrilled to honor him at Kinnick Stadium as a member of the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class.”NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell
Gallery started his career as a redshirt freshman tight end on a team that had gone 1-10 the previous season during Kirk Ferentz’s first year at Iowa. Gallery played the final six games at right tackle and the Hawkeyes finished the season 3-9. The Iowa-Ferentz transformation began in earnest his sophomore season, and Gallery started all 12 games at left tackle, contributing to an offense that led the Big Ten Conference in scoring with 32.6 points per game. The team finished 7-5 with a 19-16 win over Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl.
During his junior campaign, Gallery started all 13 games at left tackle and was named a First Team All-Big Ten selection. He protected the blind side for quarterback Brad Banks, who passed for an impressive 2,573 yards and 26 touchdowns as the Davey O’Brien winner and Heisman Trophy runner-up. Gallery also opened holes for running backs Fred Russell and Jermelle Lewis, who combined for 1,937 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. The team’s point total ranked seventh in the nation, averaging 37.2 points per game and leading the Big Ten for a second straight season. The team went 11-2, winning the most games in program history and claimed Iowa’s first Big Ten title in 12 years. The Hawkeyes appeared in the Orange Bowl and notched a No. 8 final AP ranking.
His senior season, Gallery again earned First Team Big Ten laurels, adding the Outland Trophy and unanimous First Team All-America honors to his résumé. He led Iowa to another double-digit-win season (10-3) and was named co-captain and co-MVP for the season while also claiming Big Ten Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year honors. Iowa concluded the season with a 37-17 victory against Florida in the Outback Bowl and again finished No. 8 in the final AP Poll, the first back-to-back top 10 finishes for Iowa since the 1950s.
A three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection, Gallery also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for three consecutive seasons. He was inducted into the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017, and he was added to Iowa’s America Needs Farmers Wall of Honor at Kinnick Stadium in 2015, recognizing student-athletes for their tenacity, work ethic and exemplifying the character of American farmers.
Drafted second overall by Oakland in the 2004 NFL Draft, Gallery played 104 career games with the Raiders (2004-10) and Seahawks (2011), starting all but one game.
Gallery currently owns Vintage Trucker LLT, a company that supplies classic American-made cars to pro athletes. He resides in California, returning to his family’s farm in Masonville, Iowa, every fall to help his parents harvest corn and soybeans.
The Masonville, Iowa, native now becomes the 11th Iowa player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame, joining Aubrey Devine (1919-21), Randy Duncan (1956-58), Calvin Jones (1953-55), Alex Karras (1955-57), Nile Kinnick (1937-39), Gordon Locke (1920-22), Chuck Long (1981-85), Duke Slater (1918-21), Larry Station (1982-85) and Andre Tippett (1979-81).
Five former Hawkeye coaches are also in the Hall: Eddie Anderson (1939–1942, 1946–1949), Forest Evashevski (1952–1960), Hayden Fry (1979–1998), Howard Jones (1916–1923) and Slip Madigan (1943–1944).
The 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class includes Eric Berry (Tennessee), Michael Bishop (Kansas State), Reggie Bush (Southern California), Dwight Freeney (Syracuse), Robert Gallery (Iowa), LaMichael James (Oregon), Derrick Johnson (Texas), Bill Kollar (Montana State), Luke Kuechly (Boston College), Jeremy Maclin (Missouri), Terance Mathis (New Mexico), Bryant McKinnie (Miami [FL]), Corey Moore (Virginia Tech), Michael Stonebreaker (Notre Dame), Tim Tebow (Florida), Troy Vincent (Wisconsin), Brian Westbrook (Villanova), DeAngelo Williams (Memphis), and coaches Monte Cater (Lakeland [WI], Shepherd [WV]), Paul Johnson (Georgia Southern, Navy, Georgia Tech), Roy Kramer (Central Michigan) and Mark Richt (Georgia, Miami [FL]).
The accomplishments of the 2023 Class will be forever immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, and each inductee will receive a custom ring created by Jostens, the official and exclusive supplier of NFF rings.
Including the 2023 Hall of Fame Class, only 1,074 players and 230 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.7 million who have played or coached the game during the past 154 years. In other words, less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of the individuals who have played the game have earned this distinction.