The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Ford Motor Company paid tribute to Gold Jacket at his high school alma mater on Tuesday afternoon as part of the Hometown Hall of Famer™ program. An audience of 1,200 people packed the auditorium at Temple (Texas) High School for the event. The crowd included students, teachers, the marching band, cheerleaders, and the Wildcat football team. In addition, Greene was joined by his mother, sister and daughter.
Hometown Hall of Famer™ is a national program that honors the hometown roots of the greatest heroes of the game with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.
“The plaque is for Temple and that is so wonderful,” commented Greene who was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
Greene brought one of the Temple football players, Ryan Bing, on stage with him during the presentation and shared, “If you put forth the effort, luck usually follows effort and you can probably do anything that you would like to do.”
Friday’s event was the 94th Hometown Hall of Famer™ ceremony. Greene, 1968 consensus All-America at North Texas State, was the
Pittsburgh Steelers’ No. 1 pick in the 1969 draft. The 6-4, 275-pounder was
a cornerstone of Coach Chuck Noll's program that produced four AFC titles and four Super Bowl victories in the 1970s.
Playing at left defensive tackle in the Pittsburgh’s “Steel Curtain” defense, Greene was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1969 when he received the first of his 10 Pro Bowl invitations. Greene was armed with speed, quickness, strength and great determination and, at the peak of his career, could dominate a game almost single-handedly. His durability was demonstrated by the fact he played in 181 of a possible 190 regular-season games.
Greene was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1972 and 1974 and named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s.
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