The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee met today in San Francisco to hold its annual selection meeting. Eight Heroes of the Game were elected to the Hall of Fame. The Class of 2016 consists of owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr., coach , quarterback , linebacker/defensive end , wide receiver , tackle , quarterback , and guard Dick Stanfel.
Today’s annual selection meeting was held inside the Super Bowl 50 Media Center in downtown San Francisco and capped a year-round selection process. The newly elected Hall of Famers were chosen from a list of 18 finalists who had been determined earlier by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee.
Representatives of the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche tabulated all votes during Saturday’s meeting.
The Class of 2016 will be introduced for the first time as a group during “NFL Honors,” a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally tonight from 9-11 p.m. (ET and PT) on CBS.
The Class of 2016 will be formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 6. The Enshrinement Ceremony is held in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton and caps a spectacular Enshrinement Festival that celebrates the newest enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Owner … Notre Dame … 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers … Purchased 49ers in 1977 with vision to create top-notch organization, on and off field … Known as a "players’ owner,” led franchise to unprecedented winning during tenure … In 1979, hired Bill Walsh as team’s head coach, drafted quarterback Joe Montana, and created atmosphere conducive to winning … Fortunes of franchise changed soon thereafter … In 1981, 49ers finished 13-3 to claim NFC Western Division title and won hard fought playoff battles with New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and capped the year with a thrilling 26-21 victory over Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI … DeBartolo infused team roster with talent that resulted in San Francisco enjoying amazing string of winning seasons … Team averaged 13 wins per season, including playoffs, during a span from 1981 to 1998 (not including strike-shortened 1982 season). During DeBartolo’s ownership team claimed 13 division titles, made 16 playoff appearances, advanced to NFC championship game 10 times, and was first franchise ever to win five Super Bowls (XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV, XXIX) … Franchise posted the best winning percentage in NFL in both the decades of the 1980s and 1990s … Was named NFL Man of the Year by Football News, 1989 as the nation’s top sports executive … DeBartolo was also highly respected inside NFL circles and served on league’s realignment and expansion committees … Born November 6, 1946 in Youngstown, Ohio.
Head Coach … Minnesota … 1996-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2002-08 Indianapolis Colts … 13 seasons … Assistant coach with Pittsburgh Steelers (1981-88), Kansas City Chiefs (1989-1991), and Minnesota Vikings (1992-95) … Took over Bucs team in 1996 that had suffered 12 double-digit loss seasons in previous 13 years ... By second season, team finished 10-6 and earned playoff berth … Two seasons later, in 1999, Bucs posted 11-5 record and clinched franchise’s first divisional title since 1981 … After six seasons in Tampa Bay, that included four trips to the playoffs, Dungy was relieved of his duties, eight days after dismissal was hired by Indianapolis … During Dungy’s seven years as Indy’s head coach, Colts posted 12 or more wins in every season except his first when they finished 10-6 … Indianapolis claimed five divisional titles, advanced to the playoffs every year of Dungy’s tenure … Guided Colts to AFC South Division title (2006) and capped season with win over New England Patriots in AFC championship game and victory over Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI … First African American head coach ever to win a Super Bowl … Overall record as head coach, 148-79-0 … Posted .668 winning percentage in the regular season (139-69-0) ... Born October 6, 1955 in Jackson, Michigan.
Quarterback … 6-2, 225 … Southern Mississippi … 1991 Atlanta Falcons, 1992-2007 Green Bay Packers, 2008 New York Jets, 2009-2010 Minnesota Vikings … 20 seasons, 302 games … Drafted in second round of 1991 draft by Falcons … Traded to Green Bay following rookie season in which he had four pass attempts … Instantly became free-wheeling passer with Packers and threw more than 500 TD passes in 16 seasons … Threw for 3,000 yards in all but his first and last season … Recorded 4,000-yard season six times … Retired as the NFL’s all-time leading passer with 6,300 completions, 10,169 attempts, 71,838 yards and 508 TDs … Threw four or more TD passes in a then-record 23 games … Established playoff records for attempts (791), completions (481), yards (5,855) and consecutive games with a TD pass (20) … Led NFL in TD passes four times including three straight seasons (1995-97) … First-team All-Pro three straight seasons; Second-team All-Pro twice … All-NFC six times … Selected to 11 Pro Bowls … Named NFL’s Most Valuable Player three consecutive times, 1995-97 … Started in five NFC championship games … Threw pair of TD passes, added rushing TD to lead Packers to Super Bowl XXXI victory … Member of NFL’s All-Decade Team of 1990s … Born October 10, 1969 in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Linebacker/Defensive End … 6-3, 247 … Auburn … 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers … 15 seasons, 228 games … Selected by Rams in 5th round (113th player overall) in 1985 draft ... Played primarily on special teams as rookie, only season he didn’t register a sack … Did not have any starts in second season, but played in all 16 games and managed seven sacks … Added 6.5 sacks in 1987 and by fourth season was bona fide pass rusher for Rams, registering career-high 16.5 sacks, including career-best 4.5 sacks in win over 49ers in season finale that clinched playoff spot for Rams … Following year matched his 16.5 sacks total … Had double-digit sack totals 10 times, second in record book at the time … Only time missed recording 10 sacks in any of last eight seasons was 1995 when he had team-leading nine sacks for Steelers … Named to Pro Bowl five times (once with the Rams, twice with Steelers and Panthers) … Selected first-team All-Pro, 1989 with Rams, 1994 with Pittsburgh and 1996 with Carolina… Captured league sack title twice, 1994 and 1996 … A member of NFL’s All-Decade Team of 1990s … Played in six conference championship games and one Super Bowl … Led team in sacks 11 times and amassed 160 total sacks, third all-time at time of retirement … Also had three safeties, 26 opponent fumble recoveries, and five interceptions … Born July 31, 1962 in New York, New York.
Wide Receiver … 6-0, 181 … Syracuse … 1996-2008 Indianapolis Colts … 13 seasons, 190 games … Selected in 1st round (19th player overall) in 1996 … Colts obtained pick in trade with Falcons in exchange for QB Jeff George … Earned All-Rookie honors and led the Colts in receptions (64), receiving yards (836) and total touchdowns (8) … Had three-TD game against the Chiefs as a rookie … Matched that three-touchdown effort eight more times during career ... Breakout season in 1999 … Teamed with QB Peyton Manning, he racked up 115 receptions for league-leading 1,663 yards and 12 TDs … Had remarkable string of eight straight years with 1,000-plus yards receiving, 10 or more touchdowns … Best season may have been 2002 when he shattered NFL single-season record for receptions (143) and had career-high 1,722 yards and 11 TDs ... In 2004 tied career-high for touchdowns in season with 15 (he set the mark in 2001) ... Major factor in Colts’ march to Super Bowl XLI where team defeated Chicago Bears 29-17 … Member of NFL’s All-Decade Team of 2000s, retired following 2008 season with 1,102 career receptions, 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns ... Eight-time Pro Bowl selection … Finished second to Jerry Rice in league annals in career receptions, most consecutive games with a reception (190) and most career 100-yard games (59) ... Yardage total ranked him fourth all-time and career TDs (128) ninth on all-time list at time of his retirement ... A six-time All-Pro, eight-time All-AFC selection ... Born August 25, 1972 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Tackle … 6-7, 320 … Ohio State …1997-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Chicago Bears … 13 seasons, 169 games … Selected by St. Louis in the first round (first player overall) of 1997 NFL Draft … Passed up senior year at Ohio State to enter NFL Draft … First offensive lineman selected first overall since 1968 … A mainstay on the Rams offensive line … Started all 16 games seven times during his 13-season career … Started 165 of 169 games played … Blocked for three straight NFL MVPs (QB Kurt Warner, 1999, 2001 and RB Marshall Faulk in 2000) … Anchored Rams offensive line that threw for more gross yards than any other team during his 12 seasons with team (50,770 in 12 seasons) … Rams’ offenses threw for more than 3,000 yards in each of his 12 seasons with team … Seven times a Rams QB eclipsed the 3,000-yard passing mark, including three surpassing 4,000-yards under his protection … Also blocked for seven 1,000-yard rushers … A seven-time Pro Bowl selection 2000-06) … A five-time All-Pro selection (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004) … In 2001, capped off regular season Pro Bowl play by leading team to Super Bowl appearance … In 2000 anchored offensive line that helped offense produce most passing yards in NFL history … Born November 4, 1975 in Sandusky, Ohio.
Quarterback … 6-3, 215 … Alabama … 1970-79 Oakland Raiders, 1980-81 Houston Oilers, 1982-84 New Orleans Saints … 15 seasons, 184 games … Left-handed passer known for his exciting and flamboyant style … Drafted in 2nd round of the 1968 draft by Raiders … Joined team in 1970 and guided Oakland to winning records in each of his 9 seasons as a starter including five straight division crowns … Traded to Houston and led Oilers to 11-5 mark, 1980 … Compiled impressive .661 winning percentage … Totaled 27,938 yards and 194 touchdowns … Career completion percentage (59.85) ranked second all-time at retirement … Led Raiders to AFC title game each season from 1973-77 … First quarterback since AFL-NFL merger to lead team to five consecutive conference championships … Registered league-leading and career-best 103.4 passer rating, 1976 … Guided Raiders to victory over Steelers in ’76 AFC Championship Game and then win over Vikings in Super Bowl XI … Twice led NFL in TD passes (1974 and 1976) … All-Pro and NFL’s MVP, 1974 and 1976 … All-AFC three times (1973-74, 1976) … Voted to four Pro Bowls … Named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s … Born on December 25, 1945 in Foley, Alabama … Died July 8, 2015 at age of 69.
Guard … 6-3, 236 … San Francisco … 1952-55 Detroit Lions, 1956-58 Washington Redskins … Seven seasons, 73 games … Selected by Detroit in 2nd round (19th player overall) of 1951 draft … Anchor of dominant Lions team of that era … Suffered knee injury while preparing to play in the College All-Star game before joining the Lions … Injury sidelined him for entire 1951 season … Took the field following year, quickly established himself as team leader … Lions advanced to the NFL championship game in first three seasons Stanfel played … Won back-to-back world titles 1952-53 … Teammates recognized his outstanding play, naming him team’s Most Valuable Player in 1953 championship season … An honor rarely bestowed to an offensive lineman … After four seasons in Detroit, was traded to Washington Redskins as part of blockbuster four-team deal … In Washington, was reunited with college coach and mentor Joe Kuharich … Played three seasons in Washington and continued to be regarded among NFL’s elite players … While still at the top of game, retired at age 31 to pursue coaching career … Followed Kuharich to Notre Dame as an assistant coach before embarking on lengthy NFL coaching career … Earned first-team All-Pro honors in five of seven seasons including all three years with the Redskins … Voted to four Pro Bowls … Named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of 1950s … Born July 20, 1927 in San Francisco, California … Died June 22, 2015, at the age of 87.
The first order of business for the Selection Committee at today’s meeting was to discuss and debate the merits of the Senior Finalists, Stabler and Stanfel. Both were required to receive at least an 80 percent positive vote to earn election. Next, the career of DeBartolo, Jr., this year’s Contributor Finalist, was reviewed. Like all other Finalists, the Contributor Finalist needs a minimum 80 percent positive vote to be elected.
The Selection Committee then presented and reviewed the 15 Modern-Era Finalists that included two cut downs in the process. The first cut of finalists was from 15 to 10. The five eliminated from consideration at that point were Morten Andersen, Steve Atwater, Alan Faneca, Edgerrin James and Terrell Owens. After one last round of discussion, the final 10 finalists were reduced to five. Removed at that point were Don Coryell, Terrell Davis, Joe Jacoby, John Lynch and Kurt Warner.
The five remaining finalists – Dungy, Favre, Greene, Harrison, and Pace – were then voted on individually and received the necessary 80 percent positive vote from the Selection Committee to be elected.
HALL OF FAME ENSHRINEMENT WEEKEND
DeBartolo, Jr., Dungy, Favre, Greene, Harrison, Pace, Stabler and Stanfel will be formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016. The Enshrinement Ceremony takes place at the new Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton and will be televised nationally by NFL Network and ESPN.
Three major events complementing the Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL/Hall of Fame Game on Sunday, Aug. 7 (teams not yet announced) are the nationally televised Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner (Thursday, August 4) on NFL Network, the Concert for Legends, this year featuring Tim McGraw (Friday, August 5) and the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable (Sunday, August 7). It is at the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner where each member of the Class of 2016 will be presented his Hall of Fame Gold Jacket. At the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable, the Class of 2016 will be featured center stage as they share memories of the game and their personal feelings about being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
More than 100 Gold Jackets (living Hall of Famers) return to the Hall of Fame each year to be a part of the Enshrinement Ceremony celebration. Nowhere else are fans able to see and interact with as many Hall of Famers in one place at one time as in Canton during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week.
The Concert for Legends, Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL/Hall of Fame Game will be held inside the brand new Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The venue’s new north stands and fan plaza will be completed in time for the 2016 Enshrinement Week. The second phase of the stadium’s reconstruction will be completed in 2017. Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, a world-class sports and entertainment complex, is one component of the $476 million Hall of Fame Village project that began in September 2015.
TICKETS & PACKAGES
Tickets to the Enshrinement Weekend events are available at ProFootballHOF.com/tickets and by calling 844-4-HOFTIX. Tickets to the Concert for Legends, featuring music icon Tim McGraw, are on sale now. Tickets to the Enshrinement Ceremony and NFL/Hall of Fame Game go on sale Saturday, February 13 at 10 am.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame also offers Official Fan Packages that provide fans with VIP experiences, premium seats, and parties with Hall of Famers during the 2016 Enshrinement Week. Official Fan Packages are on sale now at HOFExperiences.com.