Donnie Shell

Last updated

Donnie Shell
DonnieShell1984.jpg
Shell at training camp in 1984
No. 31
Position: Safety
Personal information
Born: (1952-08-26) August 26, 1952 (age 71)
Whitmire, South Carolina, U.S.
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Whitmire
College: South Carolina State
Undrafted: 1974
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions:51
INT yards:490
Fumble recoveries:19
Defensive touchdowns:4
Player stats at NFL.com  ·  PFR

Donnie Shell (born August 26, 1952) is an American former professional football player who was a safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) between 1974 and 1987. Shell was a member of the Steelers famed Steel Curtain defense in the 1970s.

Contents

Shell retired as the NFL strong safety career leader in interceptions with 51. He started 11 consecutive seasons for the Steelers and was selected to the Steelers All-Time Team, the College Football Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2020), and to the NFL Silver Anniversary Super Bowl Team.

Early life

Shell grew up in the town of Whitmire, South Carolina. He played on the Whitmire High School football team, where in his senior season as a linebacker, his team did not allow a single touchdown by opponents. Shell played college football for Willie Jeffries at South Carolina State University, where he was teammates with future New York Giants and Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson and earned All-American and all conference honors. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998. [1] Shell was signed undrafted by the Steelers, where he played his entire career, winning four Super Bowls with the Steeler teams of the 1970s.

Shell is a member of Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship Incorporated.

NFL career

Shell was a five-time Pro Bowler between 1978 and 1982, a 4-time All-Pro selection, and was the Steelers team MVP in 1980. He saved several possible six points in Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XIV. He had been in the top 15 in balloting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame once before, in 2002 but with no success. [2] The Professional Football Researchers Association named Shell to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2013. [3]

In 2019, despite not being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he was chosen as a finalist for the NFL’s 100th Anniversary Team [4]

Shell resides in Rock Hill, South Carolina and was the Carolina Panthers Director of Player Development from 1994 to 2009. [5]

He played in 201 games for the Steelers, fourth most in franchise history behind just Ben Roethlisberger (249), Mike Webster (220), and Hines Ward (217). [6]

On January 15, 2020, Shell was announced as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Centennial Class of 2020. He was inducted by Tony Dungy, one of Shell's teammates on the Steelers and later a Hall of Fame coach. [7]

Post-retirement

Shell previously served as Director of Spiritual Life at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. He currently lives in South Carolina and has three children and three grandchildren.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pro Football Hall of Fame</span> Professional sports hall of fame in Canton, Ohio

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame for professional American football, located in Canton, Ohio. Opened on September 7, 1963, the Hall of Fame enshrines exceptional figures in the sport of professional football, including players, coaches, officials, franchise owners, and front-office personnel, almost all of whom made their primary contributions to the game in the National Football League (NFL).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chuck Howley</span> American football player (born 1936)

Charles Louis Howley is an American former football linebacker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 15 seasons, primarily with the Dallas Cowboys. He spent his first two seasons with the Chicago Bears, who selected him seventh overall in the 1958 NFL draft, and played the remainder of his career for the Cowboys. Recognized as an original member of the Doomsday Defense, Howley received six Pro Bowl and five first-team All-Pro selections, while appearing in two consecutive Super Bowls and winning Super Bowl VI. Howley was also named the MVP of Super Bowl V and is the only player on a losing team to receive the award. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2023.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bill Cowher</span> American football player, coach, and analyst (born 1957)

William Laird Cowher is an American sports analyst, former football player and coach. Following a six-year playing career as a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL), he served as a head coach in the NFL for 15 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He began his coaching career as an assistant under Marty Schottenheimer for the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs, serving as the latter's defensive coordinator from 1989 to 1991. In 1992, Cowher was named head coach of the Steelers, whom he led until his retirement following the 2006 season. After retiring, he joined The NFL Today as a studio analyst.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Derrick Brooks</span> American football player and executive (born 1973)

Derrick Dewan Brooks is an American former professional football player who was a linebacker for his entire 14-year career in the National Football League (NFL) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brooks played college football for the Florida State Seminoles, earning consensus All-American honors twice. He was selected by the Buccaneers in the first round of the 1995 NFL draft. An 11-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time first-team All-Pro, Brooks was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2002 en route to winning the franchise's first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXVII. Following his retirement, Brooks served as co-owner and president of the Tampa Bay Storm in the Arena Football League (AFL) from 2011 to 2017. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alan Faneca</span> American football player (born 1976)

Alan Joseph Faneca is an American former professional football player who was a guard in the National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons. He played college football for Louisiana State University (LSU), and earned consensus All-America honors. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 1998 NFL draft, and played professionally for the Steelers, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals of the NFL. A six-time first-team All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowl selection, Faneca won a Super Bowl ring with the Steelers in Super Bowl XL, defeating the Seattle Seahawks. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021 and on May 10, 2021, he was introduced as the head football coach of Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Jack Raphael Ham Jr. is an American former professional football player who was a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1971 to 1982. He is considered one of the greatest outside linebackers in the history of the NFL. Ham was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1990. He played college football for the Penn State Nittany Lions. In mid-2019 the newsletter of the PSU Alumni Association rated Ham first among the 100 greatest athletes, considering all sports and all previous football players, in University history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bobby Bell</span> American football player (born 1940)

Bobby Lee Bell Sr. is an American former professional football linebacker and defensive end who played for the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL). He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, and was a member of the Chiefs' team that won Super Bowl IV against the Minnesota Vikings.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Randy Gradishar</span> American football player (born 1952)

Randy Charles Gradishar is an American former professional football player who was a linebacker in the 1970s and 1980s for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). A native of Ohio, Gradishar was a one-time consensus and one-time unanimous All-American for the Ohio State Buckeyes, before playing ten seasons for Denver, where he was the centerpiece of their "Orange Crush Defense". In 2024, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Thomas Henry Nobis Jr., nicknamed "Mr. Falcon", was an American football linebacker who played for 11 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Texas Longhorns, where he played as a linebacker and guard, and won the Maxwell Award in 1965. He was the first overall selection in the 1966 NFL draft.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kevin Greene</span> American football player and coach (1962–2020)

Kevin Darwin Greene was an American professional football player who was a defensive end and linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers, and San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1985 through 1999. He had 160 sacks in his career, which ranks third among NFL career sack leaders, and he was voted to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harry Carson</span> American football player (born 1953)

Harry Donald Carson is an American former professional football player who spent his entire career as a linebacker for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). Carson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cliff Harris</span> American football player (born 1948)

Clifford Allen Harris is an American former professional football player who was a safety for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL) for ten seasons. A Pro Football Hall of Famer, he appeared in five Super Bowls and was selected to six consecutive Pro Bowls. Harris retired from football at 31 to focus on his work within the oil business.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Russ Grimm</span> American football player and coach (born 1959)

Russell Scott Grimm is an American former professional football player who was a guard for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). He has also served as an assistant coach for the Redskins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, and Tennessee Titans. As a professional, Grimm had multiple selections to both the All-Pro and Pro Bowl teams, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. Grimm played 11 seasons for the Redskins and was a first-team selection to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Brazile</span> American football player (born 1953)

Robert Lorenzo Brazile Jr. is an American former professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL). Nicknamed "Dr. Doom", Brazile played from 1975 to 1984 for the Houston Oilers and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.

Lorenzo Levon Kirkland is an American former football player who was a linebacker for 11 years in the National Football League (NFL), primarily for the Pittsburgh Steelers. A two-time All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowl selection with the Steelers, he was named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.

Maxie Callaway Baughan Jr. was an American professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, and the Washington Redskins. Baughan played college football for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

The 1974 NFL draft took place at the Americana Hotel in New York City, New York, on January 29–30, 1974. Each of the 26 NFL teams were granted 17 selections for a total of 442 picks.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Phil Villapiano</span> American football player (born 1949)

Philip James Villapiano is an American former professional football player who was a linebacker for 13 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Bowling Green Falcons.

The National Football League 100th Anniversary All-Time Team was voted on by a panel consisting of media members, former players and league personnel in 2019 to honor the greatest players of the first 100 years of the National Football League (NFL). Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald, and Adam Vinatieri were the only active players when the team was revealed, while Bill Belichick was the only active head coach to be selected. Tom Brady was the last active player after his retirement following the 2022 NFL season. Johnny Unitas, Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, Don Hutson, Chuck Bednarik, Gino Marchetti, and Dick "Night Train" Lane are also part of the NFL 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

References

  1. Shell inducted into Division II HOF Archived November 26, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved in 2006-07-25.
  2. Pro Football Hall of Fame yearly finalists Retrieved in 2006-07-25.
  3. "Professional Researchers Association Hall of Very Good Class of 2013". Archived from the original on January 4, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  4. "Defensive back finalists announced for NFL All-Time Team".
  5. "Donnie Shell Announces His Retirement". 18 February 2009.
  6. "Ward has milestones within his reach".
  7. "Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Class revealed".