Capital One named the 2013 Academic All-America Hall of Fame class yesterday, and three of the five inductees are former football players, including Coast Guard's Bruce Melnick and Arizona State's Pat Tillman.
Melnick earned Academic All-America honors as a senior at the Coast Guard Academy, leading the Bears to an 8-2 record before embarking on a 20-year career as a Coast Guard pilot and astronaut. Melnick served as mission specialist on the shuttle Discovery in 1990, and as engineer on shuttle Endeavor's maiden voyage in 1992, logging more than 300 hours in space. Melnick earned two Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medals and two Distinguished Flying Crosses amongst other awards.
Tillman capped an impressive career at Arizona State with Academic All-America honors as a senior. He also earned all Pac 10 honors twice and lead the undefeated Sun Devils to the 1997 Rose Bowl. After graduating early from ASU Tillman was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals, quickly becoming a starting safety, breaking the team record for tackles in a season, and getting heavily involved with Arizona charities. Tillman left football to enlist in the Army with his brother after the September 11th terrorist attacks and served as a Ranger in Afghanistan, where he was killed in action in 2004. He earned a Silver State and a Purple Heart amongst other awards.
Double Coverage salutes Commander Bruce Melnick, Specialist Pat Tillman, and the thousands of other college football players that have gone on to serve in the military as we head into the Memorial Day break. You can view the full biographies all five honorees HERE. Here's some video of Tillman and Melnick in action to take you into your weekend...
PAT TILLMAN, ARIZONA STATE:
BRUCE MELNICK, U.S. COAST GUARD ACADEMY: