Pro Football Hall of Fame President, John Bankert has announced that effective December 31, 2005, after more than 41 years of service, he plans to retire.
Over the course of his distinguished career, Bankert has played a major role in every aspect of the Hall’s operation. He has been a moving force and an integral part of the organization’s numerous accomplishments, including three major building expansions and an expanded and increasingly successful annual enshrinement ceremony.
Bankert’s efforts and organizational leadership skills have resulted in the furtherance of the Hall’s worldwide image as “the premier sports museum.” As executive director and president, Bankert put Hall of Fame operations on a fiscally sound, progressive, and proactive course that is, and will continue to serve as, the roadmap for the Hall of Fame’s future.
Bankert’s long tenure began in 1964, and he is the only fulltime employee to work under each of the Hall’s previous three directors.
“The Board of Trustees offers its heartfelt thanks and salutes John for his four-plus decades of dedicated service to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” stated Board of Trustees Chairman, John Muhlbach, Jr.
Respected throughout the pro football community, Bankert was named the Hall of Fame’s fourth Executive Director in 1996 and President in 2003. A graduate of Malone College, Bankert’s commitment to the Canton/Stark County community, especially in regards to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival, is well documented.
Bankert, who has been on medical leave for the past several months, will continue his leave until his retirement date. Meanwhile plans are being made to engage a search organization to identify candidates to recommend to the Board of Trustees for its consideration as a potential successor as Executive Director.
Read the feature on Bankert written by NFL.com's Vic Carucci in 2003
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