Here's one way to make Hall open doors to more head coaches

By Clark Judge

Talk of Fame Network

A talk-radio host the other day asked me about Don Coryell's chances of making the Hall of Fame, and I told him the truth-- which is that they're not all that promising. That provoked him to ask why head coaches didn't have their own category or weren't included with contributors.

It's a good question. I wish I had an answer.

The truth is that when head coaches are up against players for Hall-of-Fame consideration, the player almost always has the advantage, and the envelope, please: Over the past 11 years there have been two head coaches named to the Hall -- Bill Parcells and John Madden. Over the same period, there have been 62 players.

Coaches won't get their own category -- nor should they -- but grouping them with contributors (i.e., everyone but head coaches and players) makes sense. It not only would give them more of a fighting chance; it would make that category more equitable with the seniors.

As it is now, there's a huge backlog of senior candidates -- with 73 all-decade players waiting for the call, 60 of whom have never been discussed by the Hall's board of selectors. There is not a bottleneck of 60 contributors.

Yet for three of the next five years, we'll have two contributors and one senior nominated, which doesn't seem right -- unless, of course, you include former coaches like Coryell, Tony Dungy, Jimmy Johnson and Tom Flores with the contributors. That would enlarge the pool of candidates, making it stronger, deeper and more competitive -- and isn't that the idea of the Hall? To induct the most deserving candidates?

My point: If there's already a glut of players waiting to get in, and head coaches have trouble competing with them, why not thin the queue by shifting a portion of the field to another category? The Hall did that with contributors. It should do it with head coaches, too.

Photo courtesy of the L.A. Chargers
Photo courtesy of the L.A. Chargers