Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Buddy Parker has been selected as the coach and contributor finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024, the Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday.
Parker was one of two individuals with Steelers connections that were nominated as semifinalists for the coach and contributor category, along with former personnel director and vice president Art Rooney Jr.
Parker was the Steelers head coach from 1957-64, compiling a 51-47-6 record, but failing to reach the postseason in his eight seasons. He had greater success earlier in his career, as both a player and a coach.
Born Raymond Parker on Dec. 16, 1913 in Slaton, Texas near Lubbock, Parker grew up in Kemp, Texas, southeast of Dallas. After graduating from Kemp High School, Parker matriculated to North Texas State, where he spent one season in 1931, and then to Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport for three seasons.
He won an NFL title as a fullback, linebacker and defensive back with the Detroit Lions as a rookie in 1935. His playing career ended in 1943, and he got started in coaching in 1949 with a one-year stint as co-coach of the Chicago Cardinals.
Parker had his greatest coach success back with the Lions from 1951-56, when he went 47-23-2 in six seasons, wining two NFL titles and playing in a third championship game. Parker is one of two former NFL coaches to win multiple championships and not be enshrined in Canton, Ohio. Parker retired from football after being fired by the Steelers in 1964 and work in real estate later in life. Parker in 1982 after following complications from surgery.
Parker is one of five former head coaches with multiple NFL titles that are eligible for Hall of Fame selection that have not been chosen, along with Lou Saban, George Seifert, Tom Coughlin and Mike Shanahan. He is one of 43 NFL coaches to win 100 games.
He was also nominated for selection as a coaching finalist or semifinalist in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Coughlin, Rooney, Shanahan, Mike Holmgren, Frank Kilroy, Robert Kraft, Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer, Clark Shaugnessy, Lloyd Wells and John Wooten were the other coach/contributor semifinalists.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2024 will contain as many as nine enshrines, with one coach/contributor, three seniors and five modern-era players eligible for selection. The entire Hall of Fame Selection Committee will now consider Parker for next year’s class when it meets near the Super Bowl.
The modern era nominees have not been released. Two Steelers, wide receiver Hines Ward and outside linebacker James Harrison, were semifinalists last yar.