WV State alum heading to NFL Hall of Fame
Bill Nunn elected Saturday
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - West Virginia State University alumnus Bill Nunn was announced as one of the eight members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021 at the 10th Annual NFL Honors ceremony on Saturday. Nunn was a three-year captain of the West Virginia State basketball team, including the undefeated 1948 squad, before he gave up a chance to play for the Harlem Globetrotters to embark on a career path that would reveal the promise of HBCU football players to the National Football League.
Nunn returned to his native Pittsburgh after graduating from West Virginia State University to work with his father at the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the leading African-American weekly newspapers in the United States at the time. He was a sports writer and editor for the Courier and went on to succeed his father as the managing editor of the paper. He covered athletes from Historically Black Colleges and Universities during his tenure in journalism and gained a knowledgebase that would prove to be invaluable as a scout for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Nunn joined the Pittsburgh Steelers’ scouting staff in 1967 on a part-time basis after urging team representatives to consider underrepresented prospects from HBCUs. Two years later, he earned a full-time position with the Steelers as an Assistant Personnel Director under then Head Coach Chuck Knoll. Nunn remained in that role until 1987 when he was appointed a Senior Scout for the Steelers organization and continued to provide his insight for another 27 years. The players that Nunn was responsible for scouting and drafting included the likes of L.C. Greenwood, Mel Blount, Ernie Holmes, John Stallworth, Donnie Shell and Jack Lambert. With Nunn’s contributions to the Steelers’ personnel accruement, Pittsburgh captured four Super Bowl titles in six years in the 1970s.
He will be posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a Contributor for his scouting skill that directly led to the most successful era in franchise history. Nunn was elected into the West Virginia State Hall of Fame in 1990 and was a part of the inaugural class inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2010. He becomes the second Yellow Jacket to be enshrined in a major professional sport’s Hall of Fame after Earl Lloyd entered the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.The Class of 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend in Canton, Ohio will take place Aug. 6-9.
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