MAC Hall of Famers Revive Football Glory
By Clyde Hughes
Former NFL stars John Offerdahl and Brad Maynard, along with longtime football coach Bill Mallory, were inducted in the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame on May 30 in Cleveland.
At the induction ceremony, Offerdahl described himself as an undersized linebacker from Wisconsin who was lucky enough to get a partial scholarship to Western Michigan because a couple of coaches took a chance on him.
Offerdahl finished his Broncos career as a third-team Associated Press All-American linebacker in 1984 and second-team in 1985, along with being the MAC Defensive Player of the Year. He set conference career record for tackles (694) and is Western Michigan's all-time leader in recovered fumbles (8) and second for forced fumbles (17).
He was the defensive MVP in the Senior Bowl and was drafted in the second round by the Miami Dolphins. Offerdahl won NFL Rookie of Year honors and earned Pro Bowl selections his first five seasons in the league. He retired prior to the start of the 1994 season, following three consecutive years of injuries.
Offerdahl started a successful chain of bagel shops in 1989, which became part of the coast-to-coast Noah Bagel Company. In 1990, the Offerdahls co-founded Offerdahl’s Bagel Gourmet and grew the concept to 10 stores before joining three other bagel entrepreneurs in March of 1995 to form Einstein Bros. Bagels, a national bagel retailer.
He was inducted into the Western Michigan Hall of Fame in 1996.
Maynard served as Ball State punter for four straight seasons (1993-96). He was the first punter in the history of college football to be named an NCAA Division I-A conference most valuable player.
Maynard ranks first in school history for punt yardage and punts in a career, and set the school and conference records for career punt average, earning him consensus All-American honors in both 1995 and 1996 and second team All-American in 1994. Maynard was the nation's No. 1 punter in 1995.
Maynard played 15 seasons in the NFL, splitting time with the New York Giants, Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns. Maynard set NFL records for most punts in a Super Bowl, most punts by a rookie (1997) and most punting yards by a rookie (1997).
Ball State inducted Maynard into the Ball State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
Mallory has the distinction of being named to the Hall of Fame at three different universities — Miami (Ohio) in 1980, Northern Illinois in 1999 and Indiana in 1993. He's also a member of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame (1993) and Miami University's "Cradle of Coaches" Association (1995).
Mallory coached in the MAC twice — with Miami and Northern Illinois — while also coaching in the Big Eight and Big Ten conferences.
As a player, Mallory (1953-56) won three varsity letters at Miami (Ohio) and earned first-team All-MAC honors, serving as team co-captain in 1956. Following graduation in 1957, Mallory served as an assistant coach on the staffs of College Football Hall of Famers Woody Hayes, Doyt Perry and Carm Cozza.
Mallory became Miami's head coach in 1969 and led the team to a 39-12 overall record in five seasons, including a MAC title (11-0) in 1973 and a No. 17 national ranking while beating Florida in the Tangerine Bowl. His .765 winning percentage is seventh-best in Miami football history — topping the winning percentage of Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler and Terry Hoeppner.
Mallory went on to coach at Colorado for five seasons (1974-78), building a 35-21-1 record. He won a Big Eight title in 1976 and led the team to two bowl appearances (1975 and 1976). He then took over the Northern Illinois program in 1980. He had a 25-19 record with the Huskies in four season, including a MAC title in 1983 (10-2 record) and a victory over Cal State Fullerton in the California Bowl.
Mallory then landed at Indiana for 13 seasons, beginning in 1984. After going 0-11 his first season, he produced seven winning seasons and six bowl appearances — All-American Bowl (1986), Peach Bowl (1987, 1990), Liberty Bowl (1988), Copper Bowl (1991) and Independence Bowl (1993).
Mallory finished his coaching career with an overall record of 166-120-4 (.579) in 27 seasons. His teams defeated a dozen Top 25-ranked schools, including both No. 9 Ohio State and No. 11 Michigan in 1987. He was named MAC coach of year while at Miami (1973) and Northern Illinois (1983). He was named Big Ten coach of the year in 1986 and 1987.