INDIANAPOLIS — George Young, a former offensive coordinator, assistant coach and scout with the Baltimore Colts, has been announced as a Centennial Slate Finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020.
In celebration of the National Football League’s 100th season in 2019, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has amended its rules to increase the number of Seniors, Contributors and Coaches for a special Centennial Class that will be comprised of 20 members in 2020 — five Modern-Era players, 10 Seniors (a player retired for more than 25 seasons), three Contributors (individual other than a player or coach) and two coaches.
Almost 300 Centennial Slate candidates this week was whittled down to eight Coaches, 10 Contributors and 20 Seniors finalists by a special Blue-Ribbon panel “comprised of many members of the overall Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, Hall of Famers, coaches, football executives and several leading historians,” according to the PFHOF.
Young, who is listed under the Contributors category, got his start in the NFL with the Colts in 1968, when he began scouting college prospects for then-head coach Don Shula. Three years later, Young was named the Colts’ offensive line coach three games into the 1970 season; about three months later, Baltimore would top the Dallas Cowboys, 16-13, to claim the world championship in Super Bowl V.
Young was promoted to be the Colts’ offensive coordinator in 1973, a position he would hold for two seasons until he rejoined his friend Shula, then the Miami Dolphins’ head coach, as his director of pro personnel.
In 1979, Young was named the general manager of the New York Giants, a once-proud franchise that had not made an postseason appearance in 15 years up to that point. Young would go on to construct rosters in New York that would make eight postseason appearances, win four NFC titles and two Super Bowl titles. He was named the NFL’s Executive of the Year five times, and signed or drafted 23 total Pro Bowlers, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan, as well as quarterback Phil Simms; he also hired Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells.
After resigning from the Giants in 1998, Young joined the NFL as its Senior Vice President of Football Operations. He passed away in 2001 at the age of 71.
The list of Centennial Class finalists will be debated in a meeting in early January; the PFHOF’s Blue-Ribbon Panel will then elect the 15-member Centennial Slate, and those new enshrines will be revealed “in the days following the vote.”
The entire 20-person Class of 2020 will be formally enshrined on Saturday, Aug. 8, in Canton.