The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Thursday that it has reached the semifinalist stage in the Senior and Coach/Contributor categories for the class of 2023.
The New England Patriots are represented among the 54 candidates by team owner Robert Kraft, former general manager and vice president Frank “Bucko” Kilroy, and franchise all-time receiving yardage leader Stanley Morgan.
Kraft, 81, has served as owner, chairman and CEO of the Patriots since 1994 and through six Super Bowl victories. A season-ticket holder dating back to 1971, Kraft received the NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award in 2006 and the Pro Football Writers of America’s George Halas Award in 2012.
Kilroy, who died in 2007 at the age of 86, worked as a scout for three organizations before joining the Patriots as director of player personnel. A two-time NFL champion, three-time Pro Bowler and lineman on the 1940s All-Decade team, Kilroy held the title of general manager for New England from 1979 to 1982 and vice president from 1983 to 1993. He earned three Super Bowl rings as a consultant.
Morgan, 67, was selected by New England in the first round of the 1977 draft. The Tennessee product went on to spend 13 seasons with the organization. A two-time second-team All-Pro, four-time Pro Bowler and member of the Patriots Hall of Fame, Morgan led the league with 12 receiving touchdowns in 1979 and qualified for the career record with 19.2 yards per reception. After 180 games, 534 catches and 10,352 yards, the wideout played his final campaign with the Indianapolis Colts.
A respective dozen from both Pro Football Hall of Fame sections will advance to the finalists round, with the results set to be announced on July 27.
Canton’s Seniors Committee with then meet on Aug. 16 to select up to three individuals for final consideration as part of the 2023 class. The Coach/Contributor Committee will follow on Aug. 23 to select one individual for final consideration.