Hall of Fame Class of 2001 Announced

01/27/2001

Linebacker Nick Buoniconti, coach Marv Levy, guard Mike Munchak, tackle Jackie Slater, wide receiver Lynn Swann, tackle Ron Yary, and defensive end Jack Youngblood make up the seven-man class of the 2001 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees.Buoniconti, who was best known as the leader of the Miami Dolphins' No-Name Defense, and was a first- or second-team All-AFL/AFC choice ten times during his 14-year career with the Dolphins and Boston Patriots.Levy, who led the Buffalo Bills to four Super Bowl appearances, is the winningest coach in Bills history. From 1988 through 1997, the Bills were first in the AFC in winning percentage and second only to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL.Munchak, who was selected by Houston in the 1st round of 1982 NFL Draft, earned starting left guard spot as a rookie. Equally effective as pass or run blocker, he was named All-Pro four times, All-AFC seven times and selected to play in nine Pro Bowls.Slater, a veteran of 20 NFL seasons, was selected to play in seven Pro Bowls. Twenty-four different quarterbacks and 37 different running backs played behind the durable lineman during his stellar career with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams.Swann, who played nine seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was named All-Pro three times and selected to play in three Pro Bowls. The Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl X, Swann recorded 336 career receptions for 5,462 yards and 51 touchdowns.Yary, a six-time All-Pro choice at right tackle, played in seven consecutive Pro Bowls during his 15-year career with the Minnesota Vikings (1968-1981) and Los Angeles Rams (1982). During that time Yary played in five NFL/NFC Championships and four Super Bowls.Youngblood, an All-America from the University of Florida, excelled for 14 seasons as a defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams. A five-time All-Pro selection, he played in a Rams’ record 201 consecutive games and missed just one game during his 14-year career. The 2001 class will increase to 211 the number of all-time greats permanently honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Formal enshrinement ceremonies will be held in Canton, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, on August 4, 2001. The enshrinement ceremonies are conducted on the front steps of the Hall of Fame and are free and open to the public. The annual AFC-NFC Hall of Fame Game will be played on Monday, August 6, and will be televised nationally on ABC’s Monday Night Football.

Nick Buoniconti

Linebacker. . . 5-11, 220 . . . Notre Dame . . . 1962-1968 Boston Patriots, 1969-1974, 1976 Miami Dolphins . . . 14 seasons, 183 games . . . 13th round pick (102nd player overall) in 1962 AFL Draft . . .All-America as guard and linebacker, 1961 . . . Thought to be too small for pros, but “played bigger than his size” . . . An immediate impact with Pats, helping to capture 1963 AFL Eastern Division title . . . Played in five AFL All-Star games with Patriots and one with Miami after 1969 trade . . . Received most votes in 1966 All-Star balloting . . . Ranks seventh in Patriots history for career interceptions, 24. . . Had three interceptions in one game, Oct. 20, 1968, vs. Bills . . . Was Dolphins Most Valuable Player in 1969 . . . Following AFL-NFL merger was named to two more Pro Bowls, 1973 and 1974 . . . Driving force of Dolphins famed "No Name Defense". . . Inspired teammates with outstanding play and fiery leadership . . . During seven seasons with Dolphins, team made three consecutive Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowls VI, VII, VIII), winning two, including one coming after incredible undefeated season in 1972 . . . Recorded 32 career interceptions. . . Voted to All-Time AFL Team in 1969. . . Born December 15, 1940, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Marv Levy

Coach. . . Coe College, Harvard. . . 1978-1982 Kansas City Chiefs, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills. . . 17 seasons, 255 games. . . Regular season record: 143-112-0. . . Postseason record: 11-8-0. . . Overall record: 154-120-0. . . Ranked 10th in NFL history at the time of his retirement. . . Under Levy, Chiefs improved each season from a 4-12 in 1978 to 9-7 in 1981. . . Left Chiefs following 3-6 strike-shortened season, 1982. . . Set a new standard for NFL head coaches when he took Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls. . . Guided Bills to playoffs in eight of 12 seasons. . . Ranked fifth in postseason victories among all-time NFL head coaches with 100-plus wins. . . Posted back-to-back 13-3 records with the Bills, 1990, 1991. . . NFL Coach of the Year 1988. . . AFC Coach of the Year 1988, 1993, 1995. . . .Began pro coaching career as kicking coach for the Eagles, 1969. . . Rams special teams coach, 1970. . . Redskins special teams coach, 1971-1972. . . Head coach, Montreal Alouettes (CFL), 1973-1977. . . Head coach, Chicago Blitz (USFL), 1984. . . Director of football operations, Montreal Alouettes (CFL), 1985. . . Born August 3, 1925, in Chicago, Illinois.

Mike Munchak

Guard. . .6-3, 281. . .Penn State. . .1982-1993 Houston Oilers. . .12 seasons, 159 games. . .Selected by Houston in the 1st round (8th player overall) of 1982 NFL Draft. . .Former Penn State standout was the first offensive lineman taken in the draft. . .Earned starting left guard spot as a rookie. . .Devastating blocker, Munchak was key to an offensive line that kept the Oilers at or near the top of NFL’s offensive statistical categories. . .Behind Munchak-led line, Oilers led NFL in total offense in 1990 and passing offense in 1990 and 1991. . .Team finished second in points scored in 1990 and total offense in 1991. . .Equally effective as pass or run blocker, team finished 4th in NFL in 1993 in both average gain per rushing play (4.4) and average gain per offensive play (5.3). . .In 1988, Munchak led line that gave up just 24 quarterback sacks, third best in NFL. . .Following season, offensive line held opponents to no sacks allowed six times. . .Named All-Pro four times, All-AFC seven times and selected to play in nine Pro Bowls. . .Born March 5, 1960 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Jackie Slater

Tackle. . . 6-4, 277. . . Jackson State. . . 1976-1995 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams. . . 20 playing seasons, 259 games. . . Selected in 3rd round (86th player overall) of 1976 NFL Draft. . . Retired tied for third most seasons played in NFL history. . . His 259 regular-season games played was most by offensive lineman at the time of his retirement. . . Mainstay of Rams’ offensive line, was first- or second-team All-Pro choice five seasons and first- or second-team All-NFC choice seven times. . . Known for work ethic and leadership skills, earned seven Pro Bowl berths (1984, 1986-1991). . . A powerful drive blocker, 24 different quarterbacks and 37 different running backs played behind Slater during career. . . Blocked for seven different 1,000-yard rushers. . . Played in 107 games in which runner gained 100-plus yards. . . Twenty-seven times Rams’ quarterbacks passed for 300-plus yards in a game with Slater as blocker. . . In 1983, Rams offensive line allowed league-low 23 sacks while Eric Dickerson also rushed for rookie record 1,808 yards. . . .Veteran of 18 playoff games, was USA Today Lineman of the Year three times. . . Born May 27, 1954 in Jackson, Mississippi.

Lynn Swann

Wide Receiver. . . 5-11, 180. . .Southern California. . .1974-1982 Pittsburgh Steelers. . .Nine seasons, 115 games. . .All-America at USC. . .No. 1 draft pick (21st overall), 1974. . .Used primarily on punt returns as rookie. . .Saw limited action as wide receiver in late-season and his TD catch against Oakland in AFC championship proved to be game-winner. . . Became a regular wide receiver his second season and responded with 49 catches for 781 yards and league-high 11 touchdowns. . .Finished season by winning MVP honors in Super Bowl X with superlative 161 yards gained on four receptions. . . Included was a 64-yard game-winning catch. . .Career record: 336 receptions for 5,462 yards, 51 touchdowns. . . 364 career reception yards ranked first in Super Bowl record book when he retired. . .Had 41 punt returns for 577 yards, one touchdown and 14.1-yard average as rookie. . . Scored 318 points on 53 touchdowns. . . All-Pro, 1975, 1977, 1978, All-AFC three times. . .In three Pro Bowls,1976, 1978, 1979. . . Born March 7, 1952, in Alcoa, Tennessee.

Ron Yary

Tackle. . .6-5, 255. . . Cerritos Junior College, Southern California. . .1968-1981 Minnesota Vikings, 1982 Los Angeles Rams. . .15 seasons, 207 games. . .Vikings used bonus pick acquired in Fran Tarkenton trade with New York Giants to select Yary first in 1968 draft . . .Two-year consensus All-America at USC. . .1967 winner of Outland Trophy, Knute Rockne Award that goes to the nation’s top college lineman. . .Possessed speed, agility, intelligence, aggressiveness, hard-work ethic. . .Durable, missed only two games with injuries (broken ankle, 1980). . . Continued to play with broken foot same year. . .Military duty forced him to miss first three games, 1969. . .Took over as regular right tackle in mid-season, 1969. . . All-Pro, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976 . . . All-NFC eight straight years, 1970-1977. . . Played in seven Pro Bowls, 1972-1978. . . Starting right tackle in Super Bowls IV, VIII, IX, XI and 1969, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977 NFL/NFC championships. . . Traded to Rams for 10th-round draft pick, 1982. . . Played eight games in final season with Rams. . . Born July 16, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois.

Jack Youngblood

defensive end. . .6-4, 247. . .florida. . .1971-1984 los angeles rams. . .14 seasons, 202 games. . .all-america at florida, 1970. . .20th player selected, first round, 1971 draft. . .backed up superstar deacon jones at defensive left end as rookie, became full-time regular in third season. . .rugged, determined, durable. . .a dominant defender, perennial rams’ sack leader. . .played 201 consecutive games, a rams record. . .missed only one game in 14 years. . .rams defensive captain. . .Had one sack, one forced fumble, one blocked PAT, touchdown interception of 47 yards in 1975 playoff vs. St. Louis. . . Fractured left fibula in 1979 first-round playoff game, was fitted with plastic brace, played every defensive down in NFC title game, Super Bowl XIV. . . Played in five NFC championship games. . .All-Pro in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979. . .All-NFC seven times. . . Played in seven straight Pro Bowls, 1974-1980. . . Recovered 10 opponents’ fumbles. . .Three-time winner of Dan Reeves Award presented to Rams’ MVP. . . Born January 26, 1950, in Jacksonville, Florida.

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