24 finalists named for Class of 2023 in Seniors, Coach/Contributor categories
Seniors Committee to meet Aug. 16 and will send 3 to full Hall of Fame Selection Committee for possible election
Coach/Contributor Committee to meet Aug. 23 with 1 to advance
CANTON, Ohio – In separate elections announced Wednesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee and its Coach/Contributor Committee have reduced their respective lists for consideration for the Class of 2023 to 12 Finalists each.
In the Seniors category, the Finalists are: Ken Anderson, Maxie Baughan, Randy Gradishar, Chuck Howley, Cecil Isbell, Joe Klecko, Bob Kuechenberg, Eddie Meador, Tommy Nobis, Ken Riley, Sterling Sharpe and Everson Walls.
Each Senior Finalist played his last game in professional football no later than the 1997 season.
The 12-person Seniors Committee will meet Aug. 16, and each committee member will discuss one Finalist in detail. The committee’s final vote will send three Seniors to the full 49-person Selection Committee for consideration at its annual meeting in early 2023; each of those three could be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame at that meeting.
Expansion of the Seniors pool to three for possible election to the Hall was approved earlier this year for the Classes of 2023, 2024 and 2025.
In the Coach/Contributor category, the Finalists are: Roone Arledge, Don Coryell, Mike Holmgren, Frank “Bucko” Kilroy, Robert Kraft, Art Modell, Buddy Parker, Dan Reeves, Art Rooney Jr., Mike Shanahan, Clark Shaughnessy and John Wooten.
On Aug. 23, the 12-person Coach/Contributor Committee will meet to discuss the Finalists. The process will mirror the Seniors Committee’s; however, only one Coach/Contributor Finalist will advance to the full Selection Committee for consideration as a member of the Class of 2023.
The Classes of 2023, 2024 and 2025 could be as large as nine enshrinees: up to five Modern-Era Players, up to three Seniors and one Coach/Contributor.
Here are short bios on each of the Finalists:
Ken Anderson (Quarterback, 1971-1986): A four-time pro-bowler who started at quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1971-1986. Was named MVP of the League in 1981 and led the NFL in passing yards twice (1974, 1975.)
Maxie Baughan (Linebacker, 1960-1970, 1974): A nine-time Pro-Bowler, Baughan played linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles (1960-65), the Los Angeles Rams (1966-1970) and the Washington Redskins (1974).
Randy Gradishar (Linebacker, 1974-1983): Centerpiece of the “Orange Crush Defense,” Gradishar played all 10 seasons as linebacker for the Denver Broncos, seven of which were Pro Bowl-caliber years.
Chuck Howley (Linebacker, 1958-59, 1961-1973): Being the only player on a losing team to win Super Bowl MVP (Super Bowl VI), Howley received six Pro Bowl selections and five first-team All-Pro selections while playing for the Chicago Bears (1958-59) and the Dallas Cowboys (1961-1973).
Cecil Isbell (Tailback/Defensive Back/Halfback, 1938-1942): Of Isbell’s five playing years with the Green Bay Packers (1938-1942), he had four Pro Bowl appearances.
Joe Klecko (Defensive End/Defensive Tackle/Nose Tackle, 1977-1988): A member of the famed “New York Sack Exchange,” this defensive powerhouse had four Pro Bowl selections and two first-team All-Pro honors in his 12-year NFL career, all spent with the New York Jets.
Bob Kuechenberg (Guard/Tackle/Center, 1970-1983): A member of the Miami Dolphins Hall of Fame and a six-time Pro Bowler, Kuechenberg spent the entirety of his 14-year career as a member of the Dolphins.
Eddie Meador (Cornerback, 1959-1970): Meador played his entire career with the Los Angeles Rams, where he earned selection to two first-team All-Pro teams and six Pro Bowls. He is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1960s. He finished his career with 46 interceptions, which remains a Rams franchise record.
Tommy Nobis (Linebacker, 1966-1976): Nobis was the first player the expansion Atlanta Falcons drafted and played his entire career in Atlanta. He won NFL Rookie of the Year, played in five Pro Bowls, selected first-team All-Pro (1967) and is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1960s.
Ken Riley (Cornerback, 1969-1983): Riley played his entire career with the Cincinnati Bengals and recorded 65 career interceptions, more than any other player not already in the Hall of Fame and the most by a player who saw action exclusively at cornerback. He was named first-team All-Pro in his final season.
Sterling Sharpe (Wide Receiver, 1988-1994): Sharpe made five Pro Bowls and three first-team All-Pro teams during his seven-year career with the Green Bay Packers. His 18 touchdown receptions in his final season is still good for third best all-time.
Everson Walls (Cornerback, 1981-1993): Playing most of his career with the Dallas Cowboys, Walls made three first-team All-Pro teams, four Pro Bowls and led the NFL in interceptions three times while in Dallas. He finished his career with the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns and helped New York to victory in Super Bowl XXV.
Roone Arledge: Television industry executive and producer whose creativity, leadership and technical innovations revolutionized the presentation of both news and sports.
Don Coryell: An innovative coach whose “Air Coryell” offense produced some of the most dynamic passing attacks in NFL history. Posted a career record of 114-89-1 in 14 seasons.
Mike Holmgren: Head coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1992-98 and the Seattle Seahawks from 1999-2008, posting a career record of 174-122-0 in his 17 seasons.
Frank “Bucko” Kilroy: Worked in player personnel and scouting for the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. He was the Patriots’ general manager from 1979 to 1982 and vice president from 1983 to 1993.
Robert Kraft: Owner, Chairman and CEO of the New England Patriots since 1994. His teams have won six Super Bowls.
Art Modell: Owner of the Cleveland Browns from 1961-1995 and Baltimore Ravens from 1996- 2011. Credited with helping League achieve dramatic increases in television revenue.
Buddy Parker: Head coach of the Chicago Cardinals (1949), Detroit Lions (1951-56) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (1957-1964). Won two NFL titles with Lions and posted 107-76-9 overall record in 15 seasons.
Dan Reeves: Head coach of the Denver Broncos (1981-1992), New York Giants (1993-96) and the Atlanta Falcons (1997-2003). In 23 seasons, posted an overall record of 201-174-2.
Art Rooney Jr.: Employed with the Steelers since 1961, from 1964 through 1986, worked in the Steelers’ Scouting Department. Currently a Steelers vice president and member of the Board of Directors.
Mike Shanahan: Head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders (1988-89), Denver Broncos (1995- 2008) and the Washington Redskins (2010-13). In 20 seasons, posted an overall record of 178-144-0 with victories in two Super Bowls.
Clark Shaughnessy: Head coach of the Los Angeles Rams from 1948-49 (14-7-3 record) and longtime assistant coach for the Washington Redskins from 1944-47 and Chicago Bears from 1951-1962. Credited with modernizing the T formation.
John Wooten: Director of Pro Scouting for the Dallas Cowboys from 1975 to 1991. Created Player Development programs for the NFL in 1991. Vice President/Player Personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 and Assistant Director, Pro/College Scouting for the Baltimore Ravens until his retirement in 2002. In 2003, Wooten became chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a position he held until 2019.
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