Willie Jeffries, head coach of the 2nd Annual Medal of Honor Bowl's American Team, has announced that NFL Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea will assist him as the linebackers coach.
Set for 2:30 pm on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at The Citadel's Johnson Hagood Stadium, the Medal of Honor Bowl is a premier all-star game the features the nation's top draft-eligible college football players as projected for the NFL Draft. The game, which will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network, honors the Medal of Honor recipients and the game's beneficiaries, the Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, disabled veterans and wounded warriors.
During his Hall of Fame career where he played for the Houston Oilers from 1968-83, Bethea played in 210 games, including a stretch of 135 consecutive. He played defensive end and guard in the 1968 season and didn't miss a game until breaking his arm in a contest against the Oakland Raiders in 1977. He led the team in sacks six times, finishing his career with 105 unofficial sacks.
His career high was in 1973 with 16 sacks, which still ranks as the best in Oilers/Tennessee Titans history, a feat made more remarkable by the Oilers' 1-13 record. He also had 14½ sacks in 1969. Other notable seasons in terms of sacks were: 1970 and 1971 with 10½ sacks in each, 1975 with 10 and 1978 with eight. He played in the AFC Championship game in 1978 and 1979.
In 1975 Bethea, a native of Trenton, NJ, was named All-Pro by College and Pro Football Newsweekly, the only time Bethea was a first-team All-Pro in his 16-year career. He was second-team All-Pro in 1969, 1973, 1978 and 1979 to go with his eight Pro Bowl selections.
A former standout at North Carolina A&T University where he was coached by then-assistant Willie Jeffries, Bethea was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003, and was officially inducted during the Enshrinement Ceremony on August 3, 2003. In 2005 Bethea was inducted to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. The Houston Oilers also retired his No. 65 jersey.