NFF College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015: Bob Breunig
ASN will profile all 17 new members in advance of the Dec. 8 NFF awards dinner in New York City.
Arizona State’s Bob Breunig is part of one of the strongest linebacker classes in College Football Hall of Fame history in 2015. He just never knew if he would make the jump from the ballot to an actual induction class after all these years.
“Brian (Bosworth) and I had kind of been occupying that ‘double b’ spot on the ballot for a few years,” Breunig said. “I (was) making peace with that. Just even being on the ballot was a great honor looking at these guys … Trev Alberts, Brian Bosworth, Zach Thomas … these are great, great linebackers. (It is) such a privilege to be a part of that class and that group.”
Breunig is by far the oldest of this stellar group of linebackers, having played collegiately in the early 1970s before being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1975 along with another College Hall of Famer, Maryland’s Randy White. Bosworth starred at OU in the 1980s, and Alberts at Nebraska and Thomas at Texas Tech in the 1990s.
But like his linebacker class counterparts, Breunig was a tackling machine, finishing his collegiate career as Arizona State’s all-time leading total tackle leader (353) and in unassisted tackles (206). He also collected the single- season top spot in tackles at the time with 145 in 1974.
“I spoke at the Arizona State football banquet this year, and it occurred to me, man, it has been 40 years since my senior year,” Breunig said. “It also occurred to me when Frank Kush walked into my high school cafeteria in 1971 and came over to my table and said, ‘Hey, I am Frank Kush, I would like to give you a scholarship to Arizona State.’ I didn’t know we were going to play in three Fiesta Bowls and be a nationally ranked team and play with all these great teammates and get the kind of recognition I have enjoyed.”
The two-time WAC Defensive Player of the Year was elected to the Arizona State Sports Hall of Fame in 1999, and he became a member of ASU Football Ring of Honor in 2012. Breunig had a 10-year professional career with the Dallas Cowboys when he was a starter for nine seasons, made three Pro Bowls and played in three Super Bowls.
Breunig, who graduated from ASU with a degree in business marketing in 1977, has run his own successful real estate company for several decades, served on numerous charitable boards and led his own Christian foundation. A father of four with four grandchildren, Breunig has been married to his wife Mary for 39 years.
“It reminds me, too, this just doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” Breunig said of his selection to the Hall. “The Good Lord has to give you a body that works, has to give you a body that is strong enough, fast enough, big enough and durable enough, frankly to do that. I am very grateful and to my teammates, too. There are 100 guys I would like to share this with.”
Above: Bob Bruenig finishing his career as Arizona State’s all-time leading tackles leader. (Courtesy Sun Devil Athletics)