PITTSBURGH — Tony Dungy, the first Black head coach elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, began both his playing and coaching careers with the Steelers.
So, it seems only fitting the Steelers also will be represented in the Hall of Fame by the man who helped pave the way for so many minority players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to find success in the NFL.
That is one of the many legacies former Steelers Assistant Personnel Director Bill Nunn Jr. left behind when he died in 2014.
“That would have meant everything to him,” Nunn’s daughter, Lynell, a former U.S. attorney said Sunday, a day after the world was informed her father would be entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer as a contributor to the game. “It always was instilled in us looking for diversity, appreciating diversity, trying to change things for the better. To be the first African American contributor in the Hall of Fame is just a wonderful honor.
“Before when he was at the (Pittsburgh) Courier, my grandfather was managing editor. He instilled in my dad his values and my dad instilled it in us that diversity mattered, giving everybody a chance. And he instilled in the people that he scouted and the players that ended up with the Steelers that the Rooneys would always give them a chance. Dan (Rooney) and the Chief (Art Rooney) gave my dad a chance. It was just that fact for him to be the first African American I know would have been very, very meaningful to him as it is to all of us.”
Nunn, former Steelers guard Alan Faneca, quarterback Peyton Manning, safety John Lynch, wide receivers Calvin Johnson and Drew Pearson, defensive back Charles Woodson and coach Tom Flores were announced Saturday night as the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
They’ll be inducted Aug. 5-9 into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, with the 2020 Centennial Class that also includes former Steelers safeties Troy Polamalu and Donnie Shell, along with head coach Bill Cowher.
It will be a special weekend for the Steelers, who will kick things off by playing the Cowboys Aug. 5 in the Hall of Fame game.