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National Champion Football Team Inducted into ASU Hall of Honor

The 1978 ASU Rams football team that won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Championship was the lone inductee into the ASU Athletics Hall of Honor during the hall’s second 2015 induction ceremony in October. 

1978 Results
ASU Opponent
42 Central State (Okla.) 13
40 Eastern New Mexico 0
42 Sam Houston State 13
14 East Central Oklahoma 7
15 S.F. Austin State* 3
33 Abilene Christian* 8
38 Howard Payne* 22
21 Texas A&I* 19
29 Southwest Texas State* 6
44 Sam Houston State* 17
35 East Texas State* 14
32 Oregon College† 0
35 Western State (Colo.)† 3
34 Elon (N.C.)‡ 14

ASU went 14-0 in 1978 and defeated Elon College, 34-14, in the NAIA championship game to secure the first football national championship in school history. The Rams also won their first Lone Star Conference football title by going 7-0, including a tough victory over Texas A&I, 21-19. ASU held a 21-7 lead with 14:36 left to play in the fourth quarter before the Javelinas scored the final two touchdowns of the game. But the Rams defense foiled two-point conversion attempts after both late touchdowns to seal the victory.

The 14 wins are still the most in a single season in ASU history, and the 1978 team is the only Rams team to go undefeated. By winning the conference, the Rams also clinched their first-ever slot in the NAIA Playoffs.

Two players from the 1978 Rams, Jerry Aldridge and Clayton Weishuhn, along with three coaches, Jim Hess, Jerry Vandergriff and Mike Martin, had already been individually inducted into the Hall of Honor.

ASU’s 1978 coaching staff included Head Coach Hess; assistant coaches Vandergriff, Martin, Harold Mayo and Si Southall; graduate assistants Howard Wells, Tim Clarke and Lynn Leonard; and head athletic trainer Randy Matthews.

The October ceremony marked the second time an entire team has been inducted into the Hall of Honor as the 1957 Rams basketball team that won the NJCAA National Championship was inducted during the 2015 spring ceremony. It was also the first fall induction as the ceremony has transitioned from its previous spring schedule to be conducted in conjunction with a home football game from now on.