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Joe Gordon, Tony Parisi Receive Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence

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Former Pittsburgh Steelers public relations director Joe Gordon and longtime equipment manager Tony Parisi were announced Monday as winners of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s inaugural Awards of Excellence class.

Hired in 1969, Gordon guided Pittsburgh’s public relations department through some of the franchise’s most successful decades, which included four Super Bowls and ten playoff berths.

Gordon also holds the distinction of working with more Hall of Famers than any other public relations person in league history.

“It’s an unbelievable honor,” Gordon told the Post-Gazette. “It’s just a thrill. I’m so happy to be in that first class.”

As for Parisi, he served 31 years as the Steelers’ equipment manager from 1965 to 1996.

One of Parisi’s many tricks of the trade involved utilizing double-sided carpet tape to ensure jerseys fit tight to prevent opponents from grabbing a hold.

“These 20 outstanding Assistant Coaches, Athletic Trainers, Equipment Managers and Public Relations personnel not only helped to determine results on the field, but they also helped to promote the game’s growth, safety and popularity over several decades of devotion to their teams and to the National Football League,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame President Jim Porter.

The inaugural class also includes assistant coaches Alex Gibbs, Jimmy Raye, Terry Robiskie, Fritz Shurmur and Ernie Zampese; Athletic Trainers George Anderson, Otho Davis, John Omohundro, Jerry Rhea and Fred Zamberletti; equipment managers Sid Brooks, Ed Carroll, Dan “Chief” Simmons and Whitey Zimmerman; and public relations personnel Joe Browne, Charlie Dayton, Jim Saccomano and Gary Wright.

The group will be honored during the Enshrinement Weekend festivities in Canton this August.

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