Joe D returns home

Hall of Famers Published on : 10/1/2012
The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company honored Hall of Fame guard Joe DeLamielleure as part of the Hometown Hall of Famer ™ program on Thursday, Sept. 27 in Center Line, Mich. The crowd lined up outside the Michigan Math & Science Academy to honor DeLamielleure in a ceremony attended by the student body, faculty and staff, community members including Center Line mayor David Hanselman, and members of DeLamielleure’s family.

{GALLERY}While Joe D’s alma mater St. Clement High School closed in 2005, the Academy is housed in the same building and many remnants of the St. Clement era were on display throughout campus. DeLamielleure’s former coach from St. Clement, Al Baumgart, presented the plaque, recalling how DeLamielleure set himself apart through hard work and dedication.

“It’s ironic that Allstate is a sponsor of this event – the good hands people – because I feel like I have always been in good hands with my family,” Joe remarked. He continued to thank the many members of his family and friends who sat in the audience and reflected on how his humble beginnings led to a remarkable career.

In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Joe DeLamielleure Hometown Hall of Famer™ road sign will be on display in Center Line.

“Like Joe DeLamielleure and his fellow Hall of Famers, we at Allstate know and understand the value of hometown pride, which we can see here today at the Michigan Math & Science Academy. That is why we are a part of this program,” said John Ivkov, an Allstate agent in Sterling Heights, Mich.

Brock Richards, program director for Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises, encouraged the students by saying “Just like Joe DeLamielleure, you too, can become a Hall of Famer in whatever profession you choose to pursue.”

Mayor Hanselman took the stage to share some of his memories of DeLamielleure. He closed the event by presenting a proclamation from the city of honoring Joe for his accomplishments.

A standout football player in high school, DeLamielleure went on to be an All-American and three-time All-Big Ten performer at Michigan State, before being selected by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft.

After overcoming a medical test scare that showed he had an irregular heartbeat, DeLamielleure won All-Rookie honors. That season, DeLamielleure and his offensive line mates known as the “Electric Company” paved the way for O.J. Simpson who became the NFL’s first 2,000-yard rusher.

DeLamielleure went on to become one of the most honored lineman in NFL history, earning first-team All-Pro and All-AFC six times, named to six Pro Bowls and the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s.

Watch ceremony highlights>>>