Cornerback Dick LeBeau, perhaps better known as the Steelers defensive coordinator, and running back Floyd Little have been named by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee as finalists for election into the Hall of Fame with the Class of 2010.
LeBeau and Little will join 15 still-to-be-named modern-era candidates on the list of finalists from which the Class of 2010 will be selected. The Hall of Fame selection meeting will be held on February 6, 2010, the day before Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida. To be elected, the former standouts must each receive the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists. The Hall’s Board of Selectors can elect a maximum of two senior candidates and five modern-era candidates for a class no smaller than four or larger than seven during next February’s meeting.
LeBeau was originally drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round of the 1959 draft. After being cut by the Browns, he was signed by Detroit where he starred for 14 seasons at cornerback for the Lions. He intercepted 62 passes which he returned for 762 yards and 3 TDs. His interception total ranked third all-time in NFL history at the time of his retirement following the 1972 season. Today, it remains a Lions team record and is tied for 7th among all-time NFL interceptors.
His single finest season came in 1970 when he intercepted a NFC-leading nine interceptions for 96 yards. LeBeau currently serves as the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator and is entering his 37th year of coaching. As a player he was voted to three Pro Bowls. He received his Pro Bowl nods in 1965, 1966, and 1967.
This likely means that LeBeau will finally get his due and be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Every finalist for the past several years who has been selected by the senior committee has gained induction.