Buddy Parker has been named a finalist coach/contributor to the Hall of Fame Class of 2024


  • Lions coach, two-time NFL champion, is advancing to the full 50-person selection committee for consideration at next year’s meeting

Buddy Parker, the two-time NFL championship-winning coach with the Detroit Lions, is a finalist in the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame class selection process.

The Hall of Fame Coaches/Contributors Committee wrapped up a spirited four-plus-hour meeting Tuesday afternoon with Parker emerging from the pool of 12 worthy candidates still being considered as one of the finalists for next year’s class. The Hall of Fame’s full 50-person selection committee will consider Parker’s selection — along with 15 Modern-Era players and three seniors — when it meets to select the entire Class of 2024 early next year.

Parker will be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he receives at least 80% approval on the up or down ballot at that meeting.

In 15 seasons coaching in the National Football League, Parker has compiled a career record of 107-76-9 (. 582 overall winning percentage). Included in this total is a 3-1 record in the postseason.

The Parker Lions won 67% of their games in his six seasons in Detroit, including the 1952 and 1953 NFL Championship Games with back-to-back victories over the mighty Cleveland Browns. The Lions were looking forward to the “three-peat” game in 1954, but the Browns dominated that game, winning 56-10. Parker’s only loss was to a Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown In five meetings as coach of the Lions team.

The Lions also won the 1957 NFL title, largely with the roster Parker built, but he left Detroit for Pittsburgh shortly before the season began. He coached the Steelers from 1957 to 1964, posting four winning seasons and another 500 season in those eight years. In the previous 22 seasons, the Steelers finished with a winning record only three times.

Parker’s supporters called him an innovator on both sides of the ball. With Hall of Fame quarterback Bobby Lane His Lions teams revealed what everyone now calls the two-minute offense. He also developed or modified defensive alignments to play to the strengths of a Hall of Fame linebacker Joe Schmidt and a Hall of Fame defensive back Jack Christiansen And Yale Larry To make one of the best league units of his era.

The other semi-finalists in the field of strong favorites were Tom Coughlin, Mike Holmgren, Frank “Paco” Kilroy, Robert Kraft, Dan Reeves, Art Rooney Jr., Marty Schottenheimer, Mike Shanahan, Clark Shaughnessy, Lloyd Wills and John Wooten.

Separately, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee will meet next week to determine the finalists for election to the Class of 2024. Ken Anderson, Maxie Baughan, Roger Craig, Randy Gradishar, Joe Jacoby, Albert Lewis and Steve McMichael remain under consideration. Eddie Meador, Art Powell, Sterling Sharp, Otis Taylor and Al Wester. Three will advance to the finalist stage.

In 2022, the Hall’s Board of Trustees approved a change to its bylaws governing the selection process. The review combined nominees in the Coach and Contributor categories and allows for one election in the classes of 2023, 2024, and 2025. The number of finalists in the Seniors category has also increased to three over these three selection cycles.

With these changes, the classes of 2023, 2024, and 2025 could have up to nine linebackers each: up to five modern-day players, up to three seniors and one coach or contributor.

 

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