To be inducted into a Hall of Fame is to be recognized for an extraordinary contribution. To be a member of the inaugural class of a Hall of Fame is the ultimate.
The Black College Football Hall of Fame announced its inaugural class of inductees, and among the 13 is Bill Nunn.
Nunn never played college football – instead he was a basketball player on a par with Chuck Cooper – and he is always quick to tell people he is no coach, but his contributions during a lifetime split between being the sports editor of the Pittsburgh Courier and a crucial member of the Steelers player personnel department were as important as those of the dozen men who share this honor with him.
Joining Nunn in this inaugural class are Buck Buchanan, a defensive end at Grambling State from 1959-63; Willie Gallimore, a running back from Florida A&M from 1953-56; David "Deacon" Jones, a defensive end at South Carolina State from 1958-60; Willie Lanier, a linebacker at Morgan State from 1963-67; Walter Payton, a running back at Jackson State from 1971-74; Jerry Rice, a wide receiver at Mississippi Valley State from 1981-84; Ben Stevenson, a running back at Tuskegee from 1923-30; Paul "Tank" Younger, a running back at Grambling State from 1945-48; Alonzo "Jake" Gaither, a coach at Florida A&M from 1945-69; and Eddie Robinson, a coach at Grambling State from 1941-97.
As the sports editor, and later the managing editor of the Pittsburgh Courier, once the country's preeminent African-American newspaper with a national circulation of almost 200,000, Nunn wrote about many of the men who will be inducted alongside him, and as a member of the Steelers player personnel department he scouted some of the rest of them.
In conjunction with Black History Month, the induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta. Former NFL coach Jon Gruden will serve as master of ceremonies, with Falcons owner Arthur Blank and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young as the honorary chairmen.