John Huard had many successes playing for the University of Maine football team from 1963-1966.
But now the Waterville native can add one more accolade: hall of famer.
Huard was one of 14 players elected to the College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday. The induction ceremony will be held Dec. 9 at the National Football Foundation Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
The inductees will also be honored at halftime of the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1, 2015.
Huard — a six-foot, 220-pound linebacker — was twice named a first team All-American for the Black Bears. He was also a two-time All-Yankee Conference selection and was the first player inducted into both the school’s athletic hall of fame and the team’s Ring of Honor at Alfond Stadium in Orono.
He led Maine to its only bowl appearance, a 31-0 loss to East Carolina in the 1965 Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
Huard was a fifth round selection (113th overall) in the 1967 NFL Draft. He played parts of four seasons with the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints between 1967-1971. In 43 career games, Huard had six interceptions. He tore his Achilles during the 1971 season, ending his time in the NFL, but he would play for three more seasons in the Canadian Football League. Huard played for the Montreal Alouettes in 1973 and played the final two seasons of his career with the Toronto Argonauts.
Huard moved on to coaching at the end of his career. He began as an offensive line under Walter Abbott at Maine, but eventually moved on to become a head coach. He won two Vanier Cups (the Canadian college football national championship) with Acadia University in 1979 and 1981. He was hired by J.I. Albrect to coach the expansion Atlantic Schooners of the CFL in 1983. The team soon folded — never having played a game — after not meeting the league’s financial deadlines, including the financing of a stadium. Huard moved on from Acadia to become the special teams coach of the Chicago Blitz of the short-lived United States Football League (USFL).
In 1987, Huard became the head coach at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. In his seven years at Maine Maritime, Huard had a 32-30 record, leading the Mariners to a New England Football Conference championship in his final season. He was twice named the NEFC Coach of the Year.
Huard served as an assistant coach at Kents Hill before finally getting a shot as a head coach in the CFL in 2000. Once again hired by Albrecht, Huard returned to Toronto to coach the Argonauts.
When his football career was over, Huard started Northeast Turf, a South Portland company that has laid down FieldTurf — a popular artificial turf — at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., the home of the New England Patriots, as well as several colleges and high schools throughout New England. He remains president of the company today.
Joining Huard as inductees will be North Carolina cornerback Dre Bly; Purdue defensive tackle Dave Butz; Penn State linebacker Shane Conlan; Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas; Stanford running back Darrin Nelson; UCLA quarterback John Sciarra; McNeese State defensive back Leonard Smith; and Mississippi tight end Wesley Walls.
Two coaches will also be inducted: Mike Bellotti, who led Oregon from 1995-2008, and Jerry Moore, who coached at North Texas, Texas Tech and Appalachian State.