Coach to Join 14 Modern-Era Candidates as Finalist for Class of 2003
Hank Stram, the former head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints, has been selected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Seniors Committee as a finalist for election into the Hall of Fame with the Class of 2003.
As the Seniors Committee nominee, Stram will join 14 still-to-be-named Modern-Era candidates on the list of finalists from which the Class of 2003 will be selected. The Hall of Fame selection meeting will be held on January 25, 2003, the day before Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego, CA. To be elected, Stram must receive the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists
. The Hall's 39-member Board of Selectors will elect between four and seven new members during next January's meeting.
Stram was an assistant coach at the University of Miami in 1959 when Lamar Hunt hired him as the first head coach of the Dallas Texans (the Texans moved to Kansas City in 1963 and were renamed the Chiefs) of the new American Football League. The young coach was an immediate winner in Dallas and won the 1962 AFL championship. He led Kansas City to two Super Bowl appearances, losing to Green Bay in Super Bowl I and defeating Minnesota in Super Bowl IV. Stram was the only coach in AFL history to take his team to two Super Bowls. His 23-7 Super Bowl IV victory over the Vikings gave credibility to the entire AFL. During the 10-year history of the AFL, Stram's Texans/Chiefs won more games than any other AFL team and more championships than any other coach (1962, 1966, 1969). He also led the 1971 Chiefs to an AFC Western Division championship.
Back to news
An innovative coach, Stram developed or utilized such things as the "moving pocket," which used the talents of his quarterback Len Dawson. He devised a two-tight end offense that provided an extra blocker to help protect his passer. On defense, he made famous his "stack defense," with linebackers stacked behind down linemen. An excellent evaluator and developer of talent, five players from the Stram-coached Chiefs are members of the Hall of Fame, including Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, Dawson, Willie Lanier, and Jan Stenerud.
During his 17 seasons as coach of the Texans/Chiefs (1960-1974) and the New Orleans Saints (1976-1977) Stram compiled an impressive 131-97-10 regular-season record and was 5-3 in the post-season. He was named American Football League Coach of the Year in 1968.
Senior Candidates by Year