Individuals from five groups -- with the addition of Film/Video Directors this year -- who have propelled the success of individual teams and the sport of professional football have been identified for Awards of Excellence under a program the Pro Football Hall of Fame launched last year to recognize significant contributors to the game.
"This year's group of 17 Assistant Coaches, Athletic Trainers, Equipment Managers, Film/Video Directors and Public Relations personnel have impacted their Clubs and the game of professional football positively, and this program is a way to recognize that," Hall of Fame President Jim Porter said. "Each recipient has dedicated decades of time to creating meaningful change for their respective field, their teams and the National Football League."
Receiving Awards of Excellence for 2023 are:
Assistant coaches: Sherman Lewis, Tom Moore and Dante Scarnecchia.
Athletic trainers: J. Lindsy McLean, Bob Reese and Lamar "Bubba" Tyer.
Equipment managers: William T. "Buck" Buchanan, Robert "Bob" Noel and Bill Simmons.
Film/Video directors: Mike Dougherty, Milan "Mickey" Dukich, Thom Fermstad, Henry Kunttu and Al Treml.
Public relations personnel: Greg Aiello, Kevin Byrne and Budd Thalman.
Winners were announced Wednesday afternoon on "The SiriusXM Blitz" program with hosts Bruce Murray and Mark Dominik. Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy joined the broadcast and spoke about his relationships with members of the new class, particularly assistant coaches Lewis and Moore.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame will recognize the 17 recipients in Canton with an evening reception June 28 and an awards luncheon June 29 emceed by Hall of Famer Dan Fouts.
The five groups presenting the Awards of Excellence created their own selection committees and set their own criteria for choosing their class members. The Hall of Fame did not participate in any nominating or voting.
Assistant coaches, athletic trainers, equipment managers and public relations personnel also were part of the Awards of Excellence program in 2022, each selecting five to that inaugural class. Those groups each named three to the Class of 2023. The category for Film/Video Directors was added this year, with its inaugural group composed of five members.