Former New Orleans Saints interim head coach and offensive line coach Dick Stanfel has been nominated as a finalist for election into the Pro Football Hall Fame Class of 2012 by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Seniors Committee.
The 84-year old Stanfel was the offensive line coach of the Saints from 1976-1980. He took over as interim head coach of the Saints in 1980 after Dick Nolan was dismissed by owner John Mecom following an 0-12 start and a 27-7 Monday night loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Stanfel coached the Saints to a 1-3 record the rest of the way, including a 21-20 victory over the New York Jets at Shea Stadium to avoid a winless season.
Stanfel returned to the Saints as offensive line coach in 1997 and 1998 under Mike Ditka.
As a player, the 6'3, 236-pound Stanfel played for the Detroit Lions from 1952-1955 and the Washington Redskins from 1956-1958.
He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection (1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958), was voted to the NFL 1950's All-Decade Team and was voted one of the 70 greatest Redskins in franchise history. He played in 73 NFL games. He was a second-round draft choice of the Lions in 1951 out of San Francisco and was regarded as one of the top guards in the league.
The Lions won NFL championships in 1952 and 1953. He was voted as the Lions' Most Valuable Player in 1954. He was traded to Washington in 1956. Stanfel was a nominee of the Seniors Committee in 1993.
Cornerback Jack Butler, who played nine seasons (1951-1959) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was also nominated. Butler earned Pro Bowl honors for four consecutive seasons (1956-1959) and was named first-team All-NFL in the final four years of his illustrious career. Butler amassed 52 interceptions, including four for touchdowns. He collected a career-high 10 interceptions in 1957.
Stanfel and Butler will join 15 modern-era Hall of Fame candidates on the list of finalists for the class of 2012. The Hall of Fame selection committee will meet on February 4, 2012, one day prior to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. The 15 modern-era candidates are yet to be named.
The Selection Committee can elect a maximum of two senior candidates and five modern-era candidates for a class which can be no smaller than four or larger than seven inductees.
After the selection is made, the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class will be formally inducted during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in Canton, Ohio next August.
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