The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee met in San Francisco Saturday for its annual selection meeting – which only means one thing. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016 has been announced!
Eight heroes of the game were elected to the Hall of Fame: owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr., coach Tony Dungy, quarterback Brett Favre, linebacker/defensive end Kevin Greene, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, tackle Orlando Pace, quarterback Ken Stabler, and guard Dick Stanfel.
Learn more about the Hall of Famers below!
Edward DeBartolo, Jr.
Edward DeBartolo, Jr. owned the San Francisco 49ers from 1977 to 1998. Known as a “players’ owner,” DeBartolo led the franchise to unprecedented winning. The team averaged 13 wins per season, including playoffs, won five Super Bowls and 13 divisional titles, went to the playoffs 16 times and made the NFC Championship game 10 times. He also owns the record for the most wins over a 10-year span in NFL history.
DeBartolo set the tone for the San Francisco 49ers, as he always pursued excellence and showed immense generosity that resonated throughout the team. One of his best moves while owner was hiring Hall of Famer Bill Walsh, who was the architect of the dynasty and built the 49ers into an outstanding organization. Under DeBartolo, the 49ers also went on to draft a legion of Hall of Famers: Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott and Charles Haley.
Tony Dungy served as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996-2001 and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2002-2008. He helped lead the struggling Buccaneers to be a playoff contender with one of the best defenses in the league. He also became the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl when the Colts defeated the Bears in Super Bowl XLI.
Dungy set a new NFL record in 2008 for most consecutive playoff appearances by a head coach. He also became the third person in NFL history to win a Super Bowl title as both a player and a head coach. Not to mention, he was the first NFL head coach to defeat all 32 NFL teams. Plus, he was the youngest assistant coach in NFL history and youngest coordinator, as well. Talk about accomplishments! Following the 2008 season, Dungy chose to retire after spending 31 seasons coaching.
Brett Favre is probably the most talked about member of the Pro Football HOF Class of 2016...and for good reason! The 11-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro selection dominated as quarterback in the NFL. Favre was drafted in the second round by the Atlanta Falcons in the 1991 NFL Draft. However, he is most known for his success with the Green Bay Packers, where he played for 16 seasons and became the first NFL player to win three consecutive NFL most valuable player awards. He helped the Packers appear in two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXI.
Favre retired after his 2010 season with the Minnesota Vikings with virtually every major NFL career passing record. Although a couple have since been surpassed by Peyton Manning, his records included passing yards (71,838), pass completions (6,300), pass attempts (10,169), and passing touchdowns (508). However, the record he is most proud of is his consecutive start streak of 297 regular-season games.
Kevin Greene was drafted in the 5th round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He spent eight years with the Rams from 1985-1993 then moved on to play with the Steelers from 1993-1995, the Panthers in 1996, 1998 and 1999, and the 49ers in 1997.
This two-time All-Pro selection and five-time Pro Bowler had 160 career sacks, the most for any player who was primarily a linebacker. His total sits third in NFL history behind Bruce Smith and Reggie White, both of which are Hall of Famers. Greene was also a linebacker on the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-Decade team for the 1990s.
Greene’s sack numbers are clearly impressive. From 1986 until 1992, he averaged more than 10 sacks per year then gathered 12.5 in 1993, 14 in 1994 and 14.5 in 1996. His career peaked in 1998, when he recorded 15 sacks and a career-high two interceptions. He retired after his 1999 season and later went on to serve as the outside linebackers coach for the Green Bay Packers from 2009-2013.
Marvin Harrison was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1st round of the 1996 NFL Draft. This 8-time Pro Bowler and 6-time All-Pro has finally earned his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after landing as a finalist on the ballot for the third year in a row.
During his career, Harrison had 1,102 receptions for 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns to go with 59 career 100-yard games. He is the NFL’s all-time leader for receptions in a single season with 143 catches. He was also selected to the All-Decade team of the 2000s.
At many times, it seemed like he was in a league of his own. Many players saw Harrison as a highly dangerous player – he was quick, unstoppable and one of the most difficult wide receivers to cover.
Orlando Pace was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the 1st round of the 1997 NFL Draft. Pace protected Kurt Warner’s blind side and led the Rams to finish in the top 10 of total offense seven times and lead the league in total yards, passing yards and points in three straight seasons from 1999-2001.
This 7-time Pro Bowler and 5-time All-Pro selection was one of the most dominate left tackles in NFL history for an offense that finished in the top five in passing yards for eight consecutive seasons. His accomplishments landed him on the second team of the NFL’s All-Decade team in the 2000s. He played 12 of his 13 NFL seasons with the Rams and finished with the Chicago Bears in 2009.
Ken Stabler was previously a finalist for the Hall of Fame three times and has now earned his place as a senior candidate. Stabler was drafted in the second round of the 1986 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders where he played from 1970-79 before moving to the Houston Oilers and the New Orleans Saints.
For the 1974 season, he won the league’s Most Valuable Player Award, and after the 1976 season, he led the Raiders to the team’s first Super Bowl victory. During his 15-season career, he compiled a .661 win percentage.
While his career totals are relatively modest when compared to today’ standards, Stabler, also known as “Snake,” nevertheless dominated with the Raiders and the Oilers and was the perfect quarterback for the Raiders, according to his coach John Madden. He twice led the NFL in touchdown passes in 1974 and 1976 and was voted to four Pro Bowls and the NFL’s All-Decade team in the 1970s.
Sadly, Ken Stabler will not be able to see his success be rewarded as he passed away in 2015 from complications resulting from colon cancer.
Dick Stanfel was selected by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 1951 NFL Draft. He was an elite guard who, as his teammate Hall of Famer Joe Schmidt put it, could run and was a great blocker and great pass protector. During his seven seasons with the Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins, he was named to five Pro Bowls and selected to the 1950s All-Decade Team after leading the Lions to back-to-back titles in 1952-53.
Following his playing career, Stanfel served as the Bears offensive line coach from 1981 to 1992 and helped the franchise lead the NFL in rushing four straight seasons and win Super Bowl XX.
Unfortunately, Stanfel did not live to see his NFL career be rewarded with an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He passed away last June at the age of 87.
Attend the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend
What a group of Hall of Famers! Now that the Class of 2016 has been announced, you can start planning your trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend in Canton this August. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of history and witness these heroes be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. With an Official Ticket Package from Pro Football Hall of Fame Experiences, you can be there to celebrate the Class of 2016!