Tom Coughlin makes cut for Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration

Published Jul. 27, 2023, 2:39 p.m.
The Associated Press
Versatile running back Roger Craig, and two-time Super Bowl-winning coaches Tom Coughlin and Mike Shanahan advanced to the next stage of consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The selection committees cut down the list of candidates from 31 seniors and 29 coaches and contributors to 12 in each category in results announced Thursday.
The 12-person committees for each group will meet next month to pick up to three senior candidates among players who last played no later 1998, and one coach and contributor. The finalists will be part of the Hall’s class of 2024 if they are supported by at least 80% of voters next January.
Coughlin, a native of Waterloo, New York, played for Syracuse under Ben Schwartzwalder and shared a backfield with teammates Floyd Little and Larry Csonka. Coughlin later returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach under Frank Maloney.
Craig was a key part of San Francisco’s dynasty in the 1980s with his ability as a physical runner and as a receiver out of the backfield. Craig was the first player ever to have 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season in 1985, and led the NFL with 2,036 yards from scrimmage in 1988 when he helped the 49ers win the Super Bowl.
Craig was also part of the title-winning teams in San Francisco in the 1984 and 1989 seasons. His 410 yards from scrimmage in those Super Bowl wins are the third- most ever behind only Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Franco Harris.
Among the other senior candidates are former league MVP Ken Anderson, 1978 Defensive Player of the Year Randy Gradishar and AFL star receivers Otis Taylor and Art Powell.
The other remaining semifinalists are Maxie Baughan, Joe Jacoby, Albert Lewis, Steve McMichael, Eddie Meador, Sterling Sharpe and Al Wistert.
Anderson was a four-time Pro Bowler for Cincinnati and won the MVP in 1981 when he helped the Bengals reach their first Super Bowl before losing to San Francisco. When Anderson retired after the 1986 season he ranked sixth all time with 32,838 yards passing and 13th with 197 TD passes.
Gradishar was a key part to Denver’s “Orange Crush” defense in the 1970s, making the Pro Bowl seven times in 10 seasons and being selected as an All-Pro in 1977 and ‘78.
Taylor and Powell were among the top receivers in the pass-happy AFL. Powell’s 81 touchdowns rank second best in AFL history behind Don Maynard, and his 8,015 yards receiving were third behind only Maynard and Hall of Famer Lance Alworth.
Taylor, who died in March at age 80, was an All-Pro twice and led the AFL in TD catches in 1967 and the NFL in yards receiving in 1971.
Shanahan won back-to-back titles for Denver in the 1997 and ‘98 seasons and Coughlin won two championships with the Giants in the 2007 and 2011 seasons to earn advancement to the next stage.
Of the 14 coaches to win multiple Super Bowls, nine are in the Hall of Fame, two more are active, with Shanahan, Coughlin and George Seifert the only ones not to get into the Hall.
Mike Holmgren, who won a Super Bowl for Green Bay in the 1996 season and lost two more trips with the Packers and Seahawks, also advanced.
The other semifinalists in the coach and contributor category are Frank “Bucko” Kilroy, Robert Kraft, Buddy Parker, Dan Reeves, Art Rooney Jr., Marty Schottenheimer, Clark Shaughnessy, Lloyd Wells and John Wooten.
The Class of 2024 will be formally enshrined next summer in Canton, Ohio.

Latest Player Notes

How Wisconsin athletes are benefiting from a unique NIL deal with Madison's Exact Sciences

Feb 17, 2024MJ Hammill entered what can be a scary time of an athlete’s life in mid-December.She went into the volleyball ...

Mike Griffith: Texas is Georgia's primary focus this offseason

February 16, 2024The Georgia Bulldogs face three SEC contenders on the road next season in Alabama, Texas and Ole Miss. According ...

Navigating a season that could see Texas play Georgia more than once

February 17, 2024The Texas Longhorns and Georgia Bulldogs will play in Austin on Oct. 19. It may not be the only time they ...

After some key departures from the team, Dykes got busy in the portal this offseason.

5:11 PM on Feb 16, 2024Biggest unanswered question: Who will emerge as the clear WR1?Before last season, Williams was the ...

How Louisville football coach Jeff Brohm balances transfer portal, high school recruiting

Louisville Courier JournalCollege football used to buzz on the first Wednesday in February, but Louisville football's office ...

Bob Asmussen | Illinois defense counting on linebackers to plug the gaps

College Football Reporter/ColumnistCHAMPAIGN — A new linebacker coach is in place at Illinois, and Archie McDaniel said he ...

Where Alabama’s quarterback group stands before spring practice

Alabama football’s offense is going to look different this season. Kalen DeBoer has replaced the retired Nick Saban as head ...

Why did AJ McCarron return to the St. Louis Battlehawks?

When AJ McCarron joined the resurrected XFL last year, the former Alabama All-American hadn’t played since suffering a knee ...

Colorado football self-reported 11 minor NCAA violations from Deion Sanders’ first year with Buffs

1/26/2024The Colorado football program has self-reported 11 minor NCAA violations since the hiring of head coach Deion Sanders ...

What Steve Young said about today’s NFL quarterbacks

By Jackson Payne Steve Young may have enjoyed a Hall of Fame career in the NFL, but that doesn’t stop him from feeling just ...
See More Player Notes