Saturday, August 13, 2022

Robert Kraft, Amy Trask headline Pro Football Hall of Fame senior, coach, contributor semifinalists for 2023

Robert Kraft is one step closer to achieving his dream of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The New England Patriots‘ longtime owner is one of 54 former players, coaches and contributors who have been named as semifinalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2023. 

The list of semifinalists, as voted on by the Hall of Fame’s seniors committee, includes 25 former players (who have been retired for at least 25 years) and 29 former coaches/contributors. The seniors committee can select up to three senior semifinalists for final consideration for induction in 2023 when they meet on August 16. The coach/contributor committee will meet on August 23 to select one coach or contributor as a finalist for induction next summer. 

Hall of Fame 2023 senior semifinalists 

Players 

  • Ken Anderson
  • Maxie Baughan
  • Mark Clayton
  • Roger Craig
  • LaVern Dilweg
  • Randy Gradishar
  • Lester Hayes
  • Chris Hinton
  • Chuck Howley
  • Cecil Isbell
  • Joe Jacoby
  • Billie “White Shoes” Johnson
  • Mike Kenn
  • Joe Klecko
  • Bob Kuechenberg
  • George Kunz
  • Jim Marshall
  • Clay Matthews Jr.
  • Eddie Meador
  • Stanley Morgan
  • Tommy Nobis
  • Ken Riley
  • Sterling Sharpe
  • Otis Taylor
  • Everson Walls

Coaches/Contributors 

  • K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr.
  • Roone Arledge
  • C.O. Brocato
  • Don Coryell
  • Otho Davis
  • Ralph Hay
  • Mike Holmgren
  • Frank “Bucko” Kilroy
  • Eddie Kotal
  • Robert Kraft
  • Rich McKay
  • John McVay
  • Art Modell
  • Clint Murchison Jr.
  • Buddy Parker
  • Carl Peterson
  • Dan Reeves
  • Lee Remmel
  • Art Rooney Jr.
  • Marty Schottenheimer
  • Jerry Seeman
  • Mike Shanahan
  • Clark Shaughnessy
  • Seymour Siwoff
  • Amy Trask
  • Jim Tunney
  • Jack Vainisi
  • Lloyd Wells
  • John Wooten

One of this year’s contributor semifinalists, Kraft has been one of the NFL‘s most influential figures since becoming the Patriots’ owner in 1994. Along with keeping the Patriots in New England, Kraft — who before owning the Patriots was a longtime season ticket holder — helped broker major TV deals for the NFL that have proven to be highly profitable for the league. Kraft was also instrumental in helping end the 2011 lockout by serving as a bridge between the league’s owners and players. 

Kraft, 81, has also played a hand in helping build arguably the greatest dynasty in league annals. Since his ownership, the Patriots have won six Super Bowls (tying the Steelers for the most all-time) and have appeared in 10 Super Bowls, which is more than any other franchise. 

Another notable contributor is Amy Trask, who spent nearly 30 years with the Raiders that included being the team’s CEO from 1997-2013. The NFL’s first female front office executive, Trask was deeply invested in league matters while playing a role in the NFL’s growth during her time as CEO. 

Among the senior semifinalists is the first quarterback who took the Bengals to the Super Bowl. The league’s MVP that season, Ken Anderson was a deadly accurate passer who led the NFL in completion percentage three times. His play the 1981 AFC Championship Game, better known as the “Freezer Bowl,” is one of the more notable performances in NFL playoff history. 

Other notable semifinalists include Chuck Howley, a former Cowboys linebacker and the only Super Bowl MVP from a losing team. Roger Craig won three Super Bowls for the 49ers while being the first player to record 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. Lester Hayes, a shutdown cornerback for the Raiders, won Defensive Player of the Year in 1980 while helping lead the Raiders to their second Super Bowl. 

Marty Schottenheimer set a NFL record for most successful non-losing seasons (15) to start a head coaching career. Mike Shanahan, a Super Bowl-winning offensive coordinator with the 49ers, won back-to-back Super Bowls as the Broncos head coach. 

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