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Anthony Muñoz honored in Ontario, Calif.
The “Hometown Hall of Famer™" program traveled to Ontario, Calif. to recognize legendary offensive tackle and Pro Football Hall of Famer
. Chaffey High School’s athletes, faculty and staff, in addition to Muñoz’s family, friends and former teammates, watched attentively as their school became an extension of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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Emcee Dave Masterson kicked off the event by recognizing special guests from the Chaffey Joint Union High School District before welcoming to the stage the Chaffey ROTC Color Guard and Chaffey High School Choir for the presentation of colors and the national anthem. A number of special guests spoke during the ceremony, including Superintendent Mat Holton, Chaffey High School principal Dawn Buboltz, and Ontario Mayor Paul Leon, each reinforcing the great honor of the day’s events and issuing a proclamation in honor of Muñoz.
The Chaffey High School student body also played a major role during the ceremony, with additional performances from the cheerleading and dance squads.
Jim Semon, Anthony’s longtime friend, former baseball coach, and namesake of the Anthony Muñoz Foundation’s “Jim Semon Impact Award,” presented the “Hometown Hall of Famer™” plaque to Muñoz, sharing memories of Anthony’s time in Ontario. "I've known Anthony since he was a little boy," said Semon. "He had a huge smile on his face back then when he was on the field doing what he loved, and still has that same, big smile today."
Muñoz took the stage to resounding applause and first thanked his mother, brother, sister and wife of 35 years for their endless love and support through the good times and the bad. Muñoz shared, "I do not believe in self-made men. I believe it takes a team. The bigger the team, the bigger the impact."
In addition to the plaque, a commemorative “Hometown Hall of Famer™” road sign will be on display in Ontario, including one sign located near the school on a road now renamed Anthony Muñoz Via Privado.
“I hope you are as pleased and honored as I am that Anthony chose Ontario, California and Chaffey High School as the permanent home for his ‘Hometown Hall of Famer’ plaque,” said Brock Richards, program director for Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises.
Muñoz was drafted 3rd overall in the
1980 NFL Draft
. Despite concerns about his durability, he quickly proved that he was capable of elite success in the NFL and started 164 of 168 games from 1980-1990. Over the course of his career, Muñoz only missed three games due to injury.
An exceptional straight-on blocker, Muñoz was agile, quick, and strong, due in great part to his tireless off-field conditioning and work ethic. He was named All-Pro for 11 consecutive years between 1981 and 1991, NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year in 1981, 1987, and 1988, and the NFL Players Association Lineman of the Year in 1981, 1985, 1988, and 1989. Muñoz spent his entire career in Cincinnati and propelled the Bengals to three AFC Central Division titles and two AFC championships.
“On behalf of Allstate and all our agents in the Ontario area, I am privileged to help honor the legacy of Pro Football Hall of Fame member Anthony Muñoz and recognize Chaffey High School with a hometown plaque and commemorative road sign here today,” said Peter Barrios, Allstate Insurance Company.
Barrios closed his speech with a familiar Trojans cheer that resonated throughout the crowd, "Fight On!"
Muñoz was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998, becoming the only longtime member of the Cincinnati Bengals to be enshrined.
Watch ceremony highlights>>>
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