Pro Football Hall of Fame Tackle Willie Roaf returned to his alma mater Pine Bluff High School in Pine Bluff, Ark. and was presented with his “Hometown Hall of Famers™” plaque on Wednesday Feb. 27, 2013. The atmosphere was electric inside the school gymnasium as the passionate student body cheered Roaf as he emerged from an oversized inflatable Pine Bluff High School football helmet to greet the crowd.
Roaf’s father, Dr. Clifton Roaf, served as the event’s plaque presenter and delivered a captivating speech that ended with, “In the 1930’s, Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Huston walked these halls and today, 75 years later, the community of Pine Bluff has produced a second Hall of Famer in Willie Roaf. That tells you what this school and community is all about, excellence.”
The Class of 2012 Enshrinee was visibly excited to be home as he delivered a message to students that encouraged them to always strive to be better. “Make your family proud, make Pine Bluff proud and above all make yourself proud,” said Roaf.
After the ceremony concluded, Roaf spent time signing autographs and taking photos with students who were lined up to meet the Pine Bluff High School legend.
“Allstate is privileged to help honor the legacy of Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Roaf,” said Allstate representative Robert Emmich. “The hometown pride that the audience displayed here today was sensational and Allstate is honored to be a part of it.”
Additional speakers at today’s event included Pine Bluff School Board Superintendent Dr. Linda Watson, who served as the event emcee, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises President and CEO George Veras and Marion Glover, Roaf’s former high school football coach.
“Willie Roaf is a hometown hero and a terrific example to these students of what they can achieve in life,” said Veras. “The Pro Football Hall of Fame now lives in the halls of Pine Bluff High School with the addition of Roaf’s ‘Hometown Hall of Famers™’ plaque.”
In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Willie Roaf “Hometown Hall of Famers™” road sign will be on display in Pine Bluff.
A Louisiana Tech University alumnus, Roaf was a first-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints in the 1993 NFL Draft. He quickly earned All-Rookie honors and went on to play 189 career games during his 13 seasons with the Saints and Kansas City Chiefs. Roaf was an 11-time Pro Bowl selection and was named the NFC Offensive Lineman of the Year in both 1994 and 1995 by the NFLPA. He was named first-team All-Pro seven times, All-NFC six times and All-AFC three times. He is a member of both NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s and the 2000s.
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