Two former Pitt Panthers were permanently enshrined in greatness as Chris Doleman ('81-'84) and Curtis Martin ('91-'94) entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday.
Doleman and Martin become the seventh and eighth former Panthers to enter the hall.
CANTON, Ohio -- The Pro Football Hall of Fame is undergoing a major renovation, which is expected to be completed by August 2013. If any more players from the University of Pittsburgh are enshrined, the hall might consider building a new wing for Panthers as well.
More after the jump.
Doleman's first mention of Pitt drew cheers from a decidedly Pittsburgh crowd, also there to see Steelers Dermontti Dawson and Jack Butler:
"Thank you. I like that. Hail to Pitt.
"I was blessed with great coaching by remarkable men," Doleman continued. "Jackie Sherrill, Foge Fazio, Joe Moore . . . they challenged me every day. They brought out the very best in me, things that I never even knew I had inside me. They were also there to let me know I wasn't the only linebacker on the team . . . the University of Pittsburgh set a standard that is second to none."
Doleman really praised Pitt to reporters before the ceremony and hit on the history and tradition:
"The university recruited great talent and high-quality people," Doleman said Friday, prior to the Gold Jacket presentation at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "I’m looking forward to them getting back to that, but we do have some guys in the pipeline with Darrelle Revis and Larry Fitzgerald. Our inductions should be a great recruiting tool for Pitt.
"Secondly, considering the things that happened at Penn State, I wish they would use their alumni, particularly some of these Hall of Famers, to show these young kids (at Penn State) who are able to transfer that Pitt would be a good move for them. Hopefully, Pitt is somewhere in the mix.
"We need the growth and development to build back the program to a level where people will consider Pitt a dominant program."
There's some great quotes by Bill Hillgrove in that Trib piece worth checking out too.
Martin was more reserved in his appreciation of Pitt - understandably overshadowed by his incredible personal story - but did speak about his time in college as well. Ken Gorman did a good piece on Martin's single season playing high school football at Allderdice.
Pitt sent Mendy Nestor to Canton and she did a great job covering the event on Pitt's new Livewire blog. Lots of great content over there including and getting in some Pitt questions at the players' press conferences.
And what a video this is:
(Panthers Hall of Fame Inductees (via PittLiveWire))
There are now eight Panthers in the Hall. How does that stack up?
- Southern Cal (11)
- Notre Dame (10)
- Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Michigan (8)
- Alabama, Syracuse (7)
Not bad company at all. Hail.