West Virginia sports legend Chuck Howley is among three Seniors moving on to the final step in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s selection process for the Class of 2023.
Howley, along with Joe Klecko and Ken Riley, beat a group of 12 Seniors (or players whose careers ended no later than 1996) under consideration as Finalists for the 2023 class. That group of 12 was selected from an even bigger group of 127 former players.
Howley played in the NFL from 1958 to 1973, spending 13 of those seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. At Super Bowl V in 1971, he became the only player in history to earn the game’s MVP award from the losing side.
The Wheeling native finished his career with six Pro Bowl appearances and five First-Team All-Pro seasons.
While Howley’s career in the professional ranks could earn him a spot in Canton, Ohio, his exploits in Morgantown before going pro put him in the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1991. A competitor in track, swimming, gymnastics, wrestling and football, Howley is the only Mountaineer in history to win letters in five different sports.
Howley’s greatest exploits at West Virginia, of course, came on the football field. He played center for Coach Art “Pappy” Lewis, helping the Mountaineers go 21-8-1 record and a historic victory over Penn State in 1955. He was named an All-American in 1957, then was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 1958 NFL Draft.
The Hall of Fame’s full Selection Committee will consider the three Seniors for election, along with 15 Modern-Era Players and a Coach/Contributor, when it meets in January. A Senior must receiver at least 80 percent approval for induction.