The Haggar Gold Jacket Report is a weekly update on recent news surrounding the very select group of men who’ve earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end LEE ROY SELMON played his entire nine-year NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was the franchise’s first-ever draft pick and then in 1995 became the team’s first member enshrined into the Hall of Fame.
Since 1993, Selmon worked in high-profile fundraising roles for the University of South Florida and also served three years as the school’s athletic director. During his time there he became the catalyst for the university’s burgeoning football program. Sadly, Lee Roy passed away suddenly on Sept. 4, 2011.
Late last month his widow Claybra, his children Lee Roy Jr., Brandy and Christopher, and his older brother Lucious, were on hand at the public ceremony to rename the school's main athletic facility the Lee Roy Selmon Athletics Center.
The crowd of approximately 300 people and most of USF's athletic teams watched as the school assured that Selmon’s legacy will be forever remembered.
"Lee Roy had a magical way of interacting with our student-athletes,'' USF athletic director Doug Woolard said.” He knew what it took to be a big-time college athlete or a professional athlete. He knew the importance of academics. He was the quintessential role model, so when Lee Roy came to the university, people associated USF with that kind of credibility.''
USF’s President Judy Genshaft added, "We had entered a new era for the university and Lee Roy was at the center of it all. But he never lost sight of individuals. He always believed, first and foremost, that athletics were the vehicle that gave students an opportunity to attend college. He always cared about the students first. Someone like that can never be forgotten.''
The USF athletic department has also started a program that will rotate a number 63 jersey through their various athletic teams in honor of Selmon. The tradition was started after his passing by head baseball coach Lelo Prado. "He lives inside all of us. You don't want to do anything to let down Mr. Selmon.''
Hall of Fame quarterback FRAN TARKENTON launched his new talk radio show on SiriusXM, channel 104. The live weekly, call-in show features interviews with high-profile figures from the worlds of business, politics, entertainment and sports every Monday from 6:00 - 9:00 pm ET.
"I'm a longtime advocate of entrepreneurship and creative thinking, and I'm a huge fan of talk radio, so this opportunity is a big thrill for me," said Tarkenton who was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 1986. "I'm looking forward to connecting with SiriusXM listeners around the country about everything happening in the world of politics, business and sports, the fascinating convergence in these areas and more."
"During his football career, Fran was a compelling, national figure who played at the top level of his game," said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM. "The passion, creativity and leadership that made him a Hall of Famer and successful entrepreneur will serve him well in his new role as SiriusXM radio host."
Legendary head coach and Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end MIKE DITKA returns home to Aliquippa, Pa. on Monday, March 12 to accept the 2012 Dapper Dan Charities Lifetime Achievement award. The ceremony will take place at the 76th Dapper Dan Dinner & Sports Auction at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and honor Ditka’s many achievements on and off the football field.
Ditka, in 1988, became the first tight end enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Despite his travels and success he has never forgotten his roots. He made that clear during a visit to Aliquippa High School, his alma mater over the summer.
"This is who I am. My identity is Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, and Pittsburgh, and I'm proud of that. I wouldn't be the person I am if I hadn't come from Aliquippa. If I wouldn't have had the parents I had, or the high school coach, or the discipline within the community, I wouldn't be me,” Ditka explained.
"I had a lot of opportunities in life, but I did something with the opportunities, and I tried to tell these kids that they're going to have opportunities," he continued. "Sometimes you get an opportunity in life, and it's either a stepping stone or an obstacle ... make something of it."
"He's truly an Aliquippa guy," said Aliquippa football coach Mike Zmijanac. "And that's one of the things that we preach to our kids … don't forget where you're from … he obviously hasn't forgotten that."
Speaking of Hall of Famers returning home, Class of 2003 running back MARCUS ALLEN returned to his San Diego alma mater Lincoln High School on Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2012 to be honored as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company’s Hometown Hall of Famer™ program.
The ceremony took place in the school’s auditorium in front of more than 400 students, former teammates, coaches and family. Allen was presented with the historic “Hometown Hall of Famer™” plaque by his mother Gwen Allen, who introduced him. The plaque will live permanently within the halls of Lincoln High and serve as inspiration to students that they too can achieve Hall of Fame status in whatever field they choose.
"Anywhere I go, I always mention Lincoln High … It gave me the strength and gave me the courage," Allen said. "I didn't learn it anyplace else, I learned it right here."
Links Related to this story:
: Marcus Allen
, Mike Ditka
, Lee Roy Selmon
, Fran Tarkenton
More: Allen honored as part of Hometown Hall of Famer ™ program | Tampa Bay Buccaneers team history | Video: Selmon passes away at 56
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