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Don McCauley - November HOF Member of the Month

By Helen Ross - NCSHOF Board of Directors, 11/20/17, 9:00AM EST


Don McCauley arrived at UNC-Chapel Hill in the late 1960s with movie star good looks and a blue-collar mentality.

Don McCauley arrived at UNC-Chapel Hill in the late 1960s with movie star good looks and a blue-collar mentality.                                     

Bill Dooley, the Tar Heels’ head coach, put a lot of faith in McCauley – and the versatile running back didn’t disappoint, leaving Chapel Hill after the 1970 season with 26 school records, including two that weren’t broken until last year.

McCauley, who had power as well as speed, was the first in a long line of 1,000-yard rushers for the Tar Heels. But the durable back also was a stellar receiver and kick returner -- oh, and did we mention he was UNC’s punter, too?

Small wonder, then, that McCauley was a consensus All-American as a senior in 1970 when he rushed for 1,720 yards – breaking O.J. Simpson’s NCAA mark -- and scored 21 touchdowns. He was selected as the ACC Player of the Year for the second straight season, as well.

McCauley finished his career at Carolina with more than 3,000 yards rushing, over 700 receiving and in excess of 1,000 yards on kick returns. He punted 48 time and had a 38.4-yard average.

McCauley went on to play for the Baltimore Colts for 11 seasons, drafted in the first round and retiring in 1982 with more than 5,600 yards and 58 touchdowns on his resume.

In 2001, McCauley took his place in the College Football Hall of Fame. He also was named to the ACC’s Silver Anniversary Team and selected among the league’s top 50 athletes – in any sport.

McCauley had two red-letter games in November during his career.

The first came on Nov. 21, 1970 in Carolina’s annual rivalry game with Duke. McCauley carried the football an astounding 47 times for 279 yards and five touchdowns as the Tar Heels locked up a spot in the Peach Bowl – UNC’s first bowl bid since 1963.

Two years later, this time on Nov. 19, McCauley rushed for 97 yards on 22 carries to spark the Colts to a 20-19 win over Cincinnati. He also caught two passes for 18 yards in the game.

 In celebration of those games, McCauley is the NCSHOF’s November Member of the Month. He was inducted in 2010 and is one of 60 football players in the Hall.

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