The No. 72 jersey of Syracuse University all-time sacks leader Tim Green will be retired by the Orange football program at halftime of the team’s Sept. 14 home opener versus Clemson, Syracuse Athletics Director John Wildhack announced Monday.
Green is the first predominantly defensive player in the 129-year history of the program to have his jersey retired and the sixth overall.
Green tallied a school-record 45.5 sacks and 341 career tackles, the most for a Syracuse down lineman, between 1982 and 1985 to help the Orange begin their football resurgence under head coach Dick MacPherson. A member of Syracuse’s All-Century Team, Green posted three of the four highest season sack totals in Orange history. He’s also responsible for three of the top four tackling seasons ever by an SU down lineman.
“I humbly accept this great honor not on behalf of myself but on behalf of Coach Mac, his entire coaching staff, my teammates and of course – George O’Leary,” Green said. “Without them, any success I had on the football field would not have been possible.
“I also want my fellow Syracuse Orange fans to know how much I have enjoyed their kindness and support through the years. This recognition is especially sweet because it comes during another era of rebirth to greatness for the SU football program. I want to thank John Wildhack and the current administration for this incredible tribute.”
During his time on campus, Green also excelled in the classroom. He majored in English and was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist as a senior. He is the only two-time CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American in program history, earning the award in both 1984 and 1985.
“Tim Green is one of the most accomplished student-athletes in the history of Syracuse University. He was one of the most important recruits of the Coach Mac era, a Syracuse native who opted to play for his hometown team and help rebuild our program,” Wildhack said. “Tim’s academic accomplishments are incredibly impressive as well, which speaks volumes about his diverse talents.”
Green, 55, revealed on “60 Minutes” last November that he’s living with a slow-progressing version of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS. Green and his family have started a fundraising effort for ALS research at Massachusetts General Hospital called Tackle ALS. To date, Tackle ALS has generated more than $2.1 million for ALS research.
“Tim’s courage and optimism in dealing with ALS is truly inspiring,” Wildhack said. “It is only fitting that a person of his achievement be celebrated at one of the most-anticipated home games in recent history.”