Legendary Jeannette coach Joe Mucci among national high school hall of fame nominees

Thursday, September 14, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Legendary Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic coach Joe Mucci is among 50 nominees — players, coaches and teams included — for the second National High School Football Hall of Fame class.

Another former Jayhawks headliner, the late John Crowell, was enshrined this year in the inaugural class.

Lamont “Showboat” Robinson, a Jeannette graduate, is the founder of the national Hall of Fame. Crowell is his grandfather.

A number of other former WPIAL standouts also are nominated. They include Joe Namath (Beaver Falls), Dan Marino (Central Catholic), Tony Dorsett (Hopewell), Charlie Batch (Steel Valley) and Cookie Gilchrist (Har-Brack).

The unpresuming Mucci, who died in 2020, was 183-49-4 overall, with 150 wins coming at Jeannette, where he coached for 18 seasons and led the Jayhawks to WPIAL titles in 1971, ’81 and ’83.

He would have marveled at the elite company he joins just as a nominee and probably would have been greatly humbled.

There is a unique mix of professional talent, including NBA star LeBron James and former MLB MVP and batting champion Joe Mauer.

Many forget or aren’t aware that James was a terrific wide receiver at St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio) before he carved out a decorated basketball career that saw him become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

Only high school accomplishments are recognized by the Hall committee.

Another former NBA All-Star, Allen Iverson, is also nominated. He was an elusive quarterback at Bethel High School in Hampton, Va., and had offers to play in college.

Mauer also played quarterback, at Cretin-Derham Hall (Minn.).

Other big-name nominees include Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Jerome Bettis, Tim Couch, Cris Carter, Eric Dickerson and Randy Moss.

The initial class featured 23 former prep stars who were enshrined at McKinley High School in Ohio. First-year inductees included Jim Brown, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Cooper Manning, Paul Brown, Don Nehlen, Chris Spielman, Lomas Brown and others.

Fifteen inductees will be selected from the nominees and announced Dec. 1.

The enshrinement ceremony weekend will be May 31-June 2.

HOF ballot

Here are the 50 nominees for the 2024 National High School Football Hall of Fame class:


DT Harvey Armstong, Kashmere HS (Houston, Texas)

QB Charlie Batch, Steel Valley HS (Munhall)

RB Jerome Bettis, Mackenzie HS (Detroit, Mich.)

LB Dick Butkus, Chicago Vocational (Chicago, Ill.)

WR Cris Carter, Middletown HS (Middletown, Ohio)

QB Tim Couch, Leslie County HS (Hyden, Ky.)

LB Tom Cousineau, St. Edwards HS (Lakewood, Ohio)

RB Ernie Davis, Elmira Free Academy (Elmira, N.Y.)

QB Len Dawson, Alliance HS (Alliance, Ohio)

RB Eric Dickerson, Sealy HS (Sealy, Texas)

OT Dan Dierdorf, Glenwood HS (Canton, Ohio)

RB Tony Dorsett, Hopewell HS (Aliquippa)

QB Chuck Ealey, Notre Dame HS (Portsmouth, Ohio)

RB Cookie Gilchrist, Har-Brack HS (Natrona Heights)

WR Ted Ginn, Jr., Glenville HS (Cleveland, Ohio)

RB Ken Hall, Sugar Land HS (Sugar Land, Texas)

QB Allen Iverson, Bethel HS (Hampton, Va.)

RB Bo Jackson, McAdory HS (McCalla, Ala.)

WR LeBron James, St. Vincent/St. Mary HS (Akron, Ohio)

RB Jerry Jones, North Little Rock HS (Little Rock, Ark.)

QB Dan Marino, Central Catholic HS (Pittsburgh)

LB Clay Matthews, Jr., New Trier HS (Palo Alto, Calif.)

QB Joe Mauer, Cretin-Derham Hall HS (St. Paul, Minn.)

WR Randy Moss, DuPont HS (Belle, W.Va.)

QB Joe Namath, Beaver Falls HS (Beaver Falls)

OT Orlando Pace, Sandusky HS (Sandusky, Ohio)

DT Alan Page, Central Catholic HS (Canton, Ohio)

RB Barry Sanders, Wichita North HS (Wichita, Kan.)

DB Deion Sanders, North Fort HS (Fort Myers, Fla.)

RB Don Shula, Harvey HS (Painesville, Ohio)

RB Billy Sims, Hooks HS (Hooks, Texas)

RB Emmitt Smith, Escambia HS (Pensacola, Fla.)

RB Robert Smith, Euclid HS (Euclid, Ohio)

QB Steve Spurrier, Science Hill HS (Johnson City, Tenn.)

RB Herschel Walker, Johnson County HS (Wrightsville, Ga.)

WR Paul Warfield, Warren Harding HS (Warren, Ohio)

QB Doug Williams, Chaneyville HS (Zachary, La.)

DB Rod Woodson, Snider HS (Fort Wayne, Ind.)

QB Vince Young, Madison HS (Houston, Texas)


George Curry (Berwick)

John T, Curtis, Jr., (New Orleans, La.)

Chuck Kyle (St. Ignatius, Ohio)

Frank Lenti (Mt. Carmel, Ill.)

John McKissick (Summerville, S.C.)

Joe Mucci (Jeannette)

Reno Saccocia (Steubenville, Ohio)

Lee Tressel (Massillon, Ohio)


Massillon Washington, Ohio, 1940

Valdosta, Ga., 1980

Canton McKinley, Ohio, 1997

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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