CANTON, Ohio (WKBN) – Champion native Randy Gradishar is among the 54 seniors, coaches, and contributors to move one step closer to election as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
Gradishar, a 1970 graduate of Champion High School was the centerpiece of the Broncos’ “Orange Crush Defense.” He played all ten seasons at linebacker in Denver, reaching the Pro Bowl seven times.
He is joined by former Browns linebacker Clay Matthews and former Browns’ head coach, the late Marty Schottenheimer, who also made the cut.
Also moving on to the next round of consideration was former Browns and Ravens owner Art Modell along with Pittsburgh Steelers’ Vice President Art Rooney, who has been employed with the Steelers since 1961.
Former Browns cornerback Everson Walls likewise made the list.
The Hall’s 12-person Seniors Committee trimmed a list of eligible nominees to 25 Semifinalists who advance to the next round of consideration.
They are: 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 and Everson Walls.
Each Semifinalist played his last game in professional football no later than the 1996 season.
Separately, the Hall’s 12-person Coach/Contributor Committee reduced the list of nominated candidates to 29 Semifinalists who advance to the next round of consideration.
They are: 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 and John Wooten.
The respective selection committees now will consider the candidates and vote to send 12 Seniors and 12 Coaches/Contributors through to the finalists’ stage. The results of those reduction votes will be announced on July 27.
The Seniors Committee will meet on Aug. 16 to select up to three Seniors for final consideration as members of the Class of 2023.
Coach/Contributor Committee members will meet on Aug. 23 to select one Coach or Contributor for final consideration for the Class of 2023.