The National Quarterback Club (NQBC) announced today that Drew Bledsoe and Rich Gannon will be inducted into the National Quarterback Hall of Fame at the 2019 NQBC Awards Dinner and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on January 17, 2020. NQBC will also celebrate Arizonan Bill Shover with the Legacy Recognition Award™ and will name the National Quarterback of the Year in professional, college, and high school ranks. The reception will begin at 5 p.m. at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, with the awards dinner commencing at 6:30 p.m.
“With continued support from sponsors, athletes, and fans, the tradition will continue in Scottsdale, Ariz. for the second consecutive year,” said Don Kile, NQBC president. “These awards represent a veritable timeline of football history honoring great quarterbacks and great men in American football history.” Since 1985, the annual awards dinner has been hosted in great sports cities such as Washington DC, Miami, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Green Bay, Denver, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Houston.
About the Class of 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees
In 1993, following a record-setting three years at Washington State University, Drew Bledsoe decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. He was the first overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft and was selected by the New England Patriots. Bledsoe played 14 seasons in the National Football League, logging nine seasons with 3,000 or more yards passing.
Under his tenure as the Patriot’s starting quarterback, the franchise would end a seven-year postseason drought, qualifying for the playoffs four times, and making an appearance in Super Bowl XXXI. While with the Patriots, Bledsoe was also named to three Pro Bowls and became the youngest quarterback to play in the NFL’s all-star game. While with the Buffalo Bills, Bledsoe would be named to a fourth Pro Bowl in 2002.
Bledsoe is recognized for leading the resurrection of the Patriots franchise, including a highlight performance coming off the bench following a near life-ending injury to lead the team to victory in the 2001 AFC Championship game en route to the Patriot’s first Super Bowl win. When Bledsoe retired in April 2007, he left the NFL ranked 5th, all time, in pass attempts (6,717) and completions (3,839), 7th in passing yards (44,611), and 13th in touchdown passes (251). He started 193 of the 194 games played and still holds the NFL record for completions in a single non-overtime game with the 45 completions.
Drew Bledsoe attended Walla Walla High School and was a letterman in football, basketball and track, earning All-State honors in football.
At Washington State, Bledsoe earned the starting job near the end of the 1990 season as a true freshman, and quickly became the face of the Cougars offense. He was named Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 1992 while establishing WSU records in single-game passing yards (476), single-season pass completions (241), and single-season passing yards (3,946). In his three years at Washington State, he amassed 7,373 yards, 532 completions and 66 touchdowns.
After leaving the Patriots, Bledsoe posted record seasons with the Bills and the Cowboys, Bledsoe would return to New England as a visiting player three times between 2002 and 2006. As a measure of his extreme popularity in New England, the Patriots fans would rise and cheer Bledsoe each time he took the field.
Rich Gannon played 17 years in the NFL including six seasons with the Oakland Raiders beginning in 1999. He excelled in Oakland and was selected to the Pro Bowl following his first year as a Raider. Gannon would make four straight Pro Bowl appearances, which included two consecutive Pro Bowl MVP honors in 2001 and 2002 – a feat that no other NFL player has ever achieved.
In 2000, 2001, and 2002, Gannon was named National Quarterback of the Year by the National Quarterback Club, and AFC Player of the Year by the NFL.
In 2002, Gannon was named NFL MVP throwing for 4,689 yards and 26 touchdowns and recording a career-high 97.2 passer rating, which helped the Raiders advance to Super Bowel XXXVII. He led the league in 2002 with 418 completions on 618 attempts and 26 TDs.
Rich Gannon grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and attended St. Joseph’s Preparatory School where he would earn three varsity letters each in football and All-City honors. He would also earn multiple varsity letters in crew and basketball.
Gannon was a three-year starter at the University of Delaware. As a sophomore, Coach Tubby Raymond plugged Gannon into the famed Winged-T offense with a play book based entirely on Gannon’s mobility. Rich Gannon made the offense explosive during his first year as a quarterback winning the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division I-AA Rookie of the Year award. Gannon set 21 school records, logging 7,432 of total offense, including 5,927 passing yards with 462 completions on 845 attempts.
His career included stints with the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs before joining the Raiders. He retired in 2005 after his seventeen years in the NFL yielded 28,743 yards passing and 180 TDs.
Upon his retirement, Gannon joined CBS Sports as an NFL game analyst in 2005
For more information about the National Quarterback Club, the awards dinner and Hall of Fame induction ceremony visit www.nationalqbclub.com. A limited number of media credentials can be reserved by emailing email@example.com.
About the Legacy Recognition Award™
The Legacy Recognition Award™ is a national award presented annually to a person who stands fast in his or her community to meet the needs of the community. The award is not exclusive to football quarterbacks, players or coaches, but the characteristics of great leadership are present in recipients of the award since its inception in 1985. Previous recipients include names like Ross Perot (1986), General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. (1992), Warrick Dunn (2005), and Jim Kelly and Ken Stabler (2018). In each of these cases, the men that their communities have come to know and love and the works of their leadership, dedication and generosity are sincere and inspirational. The Legacy Recognition Award™ is not just a celebration of good works in the past but a call to action for hope and confidence for future generations unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of what has been provided.
About the National Quarterback Club
The National Quarterback Club is guided by a comprehensive mission, a clear vision, and consistent values. Through its various award programs, the club recognizes outstanding athletes for their qualities and achievements on and off the playing field, and serve as a model for comprehensive excellence in athletic achievement, academic success, and greater social affinity. In 1985, the National Quarterback Club began a tradition of hosting annual fundraising events to honor the National Quarterback of the Year in professional, collegiate and high school ranks. Annual awards dinners have been hosted in great sports cities such as Washington D.C., Miami, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Green Bay, Denver, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Houston and Scottsdale, Ariz.