Former MSU receiver Kirk Gibson named to College Football Hall of Fame
The National Football Foundation, or NFF, and College Hall of Fame announced Monday the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class. The list includes the names of 10 First Team All-America players and three coaches. Among the nominees is former MSU wide receiver Kirk Gibson.
Gibson finished his All-American career as MSU’s all-time leading receiver with 2,347 yards. He previously held the records of most career receptions with 112 and touchdown receptions with 24.
Although those records have been broken, he still ranks in the top five in career receptions and touchdown receptions.
Gibson was a First Team All-American as a senior in 1978 and helped lead the Spartans to a No. 12 national ranking. Because of his efforts that season, he was named the Outstanding Offensive End by the New York Downtown Athletic Club.
That same year, Gibson recorded 42 receptions for a team-high 806 yards and was ahead of all Big Ten players in receptions with 31 and receiving yards with 613 in conference play.
A three time All-Conference selection, Gibson helped guide MSU to a share of the Big Ten title in 1978.
Gibson led the Spartans in receiving in his final three years at MSU and received numerous awards, including the MSU Outstanding Underclassman Award in 1976 and the MSU President’s Award in 1978.
Despite being drafted in the seventh round of the 1979 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, Gibson decided to pursue a professional baseball career instead.
After being drafted by the Detroit Tigers, Gibson played for four teams in his 17-year MLB career. A pinnacle of his baseball career was when he won two World Series titles: with the Tigers in 1984 and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988.
After Gibson retired from the game in 1995, he went on to serve as a MLB coach. From 2010-14, Gibson held the role of manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In 2015, tragedy struck and Gibson was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He then established the Kirk Gibson Foundation, which raises money and awareness for research on neurological disorders.
Gibson’s induction to the College Football Hall of Fame makes him the ninth Spartan to be inducted. The nominees will be inducted on Dec. 5 at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City.