INDIANAPOLIS — George Young is finally getting his due.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame today announced that Young, a former Baltimore Colts assistant coach and scout who later built Super Bowl-winning rosters as general manager of the New York Giants, has been elected to its Class of 2020 as part of its special Centennial Slate.
In celebration of the National Football League's 100th season in 2019, the Pro Football Hall of Fame amended its rules to increase the number of Seniors, Contributors and Coaches for a special Centennial Class that is 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.
What started as almost 300 Centennial Slate candidates was whittled down on Dec. 20 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.
Today, the PFHOF announced its full 15-person Centennial Slate for the Class of 2020: coaches Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson; contributors Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue and Young; and Senior players Harold Carmichael, Jim Covert, Bobby Dillon, Cliff Harris, Winston Hill, Alex Karras, Donnie Shell, Duke Slater, Mac Speedie and Ed Sprinkle.
Young got his start in the NFL with the Colts in 1968, when he began scouting college prospects for then-head coach Don Shula; he eventually rose to the position of Director of Player Personnel. 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 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.
Young could be one of multiple people with Colts ties to enter the Hall of Fame this year. Running back Edgerrin James and wide receiver Reggie Wayne on Jan. 2 were each named Modern Era finalists for the Class of 2020.
The five Modern Era selections will be revealed will be revealed Feb. 1, the night before Super Bowl LIV. The Centennial Class of 2020 will be formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 8.