Canton, OH (SportsNetwork.com) – Former NFL general managers Bill Polian and
Ron Wolf have been selected as finalists for the 2015 Pro Football Hall of
Fame class under the newly-created contributors category.
The two Super Bowl-winning executives will have their candidacies reviewed by
the Hall of Fame’s Contributor Selection Committee on Jan. 31. They will need
to receive 80 percent of votes cast to receive enshrinement.
Polian was the architect of the AFC powerhouse Buffalo Bills teams of the
early 1990s that went to four straight Super Bowls, then later helped the
Indianapolis Colts to a pair of conference titles and a victory in Super Bowl
XLI during a 15-year run as GM and team president from 1997-2011.
In between, he served as the first GM as the expansion Carolina Panthers in
1994 and quickly assembled a team that reached the NFC Championship Game in
its second season of existence.
“It’s an incredible honor that I never envisioned ever happening,” said Polian
when he learned of becoming a finalist.
Wolf is best known for reestablishing the Green Bay Packers back to prominence
in the 1990s, an era highlighted by back-to-back Super Bowl appearances during
the 1997 and 1998 seasons that included a win over New England in Super Bowl
XXXI. The Packers compiled a 92-52 record during Wolf’s nine-year term as GM
from 1992-2000 and went to the playoffs six straight times during that period.
Prior to joining Green Bay, Wolf worked two stints in the Raiders’ front
office beginning in 1963 and was a part of another Super Bowl title during the
“I realize that none of this would be possible without an awful lot of support
from a lot of other people,” said Wolf in a statement.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced in August it would be adding a
contributor category that would be separate from the candidate list of ex-
players and coaches. The decision was made to address the lack of Hall of Fame
members that were former commissioners, owners and general managers.
Over the HOF’s last 49 years of voting, only nine people who fall under the
contributor label have received induction.
The Hall of Fame announced a preliminary list of 113 nominees for its 2015
class in September, with that group to be reduced to 25 semifinalists in
November before 15 finalists will be voted upon in January.