Dick Stanfel may not have the name recognition as Brett Favre or Tony Dungy, but he is enshrined forever in Canton. Stanfel, who played offensive guard for the Lions and Redskins in the 1950s was immortalised as part of the Class of 2016.
After playing his college football at the University of San Francisco, Stanfel was drafted in 1951 by the Detroit Lions. He played for Detroit from 1952-1955 and then went to Washington and played there until 1958. In that time span, Stanfel was a five time Pro Bowler and a five time First-Team All Pro, a remarkable number considering he played for just 7 years. Stanfel also won two NFL Championships with the Lions in 1952 and 1953, a team that is among the most underrated in NFL history.
Following his playing career, Stanfel stayed with football by becoming a coach. For most of his coaching career Stanfel was an offensive line coach, which he started doing at the college ranks, coaching at Notre Dame and Cal from 1959-1963. From there, he moved on to the NFL where he worked hard to give back and educate future generations, coaching the O-line for over 30 years.
He started coaching the offensive line with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1964, and later coached for the San Francisco 49ers, the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints, where he ended his coaching career in 1998. Stanfel won one Super Bowl in his coaching career, with the Chicago Bears in 1985 where his line cleared the way for fellow Hall of Fame RB Walter Payton.
Since Dick Stanfel died in 2015, he was not able to give a speech on Saturday. However, NFL Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy gave a video tribute about Stanfel. Levy and Stanfel coached together at Cal in the early 60s.
Levy thought Stanfel revolutionized the guard position, saying, “The definition of elite, at a position he revolutionized.”