NEW ORLEANS- During halftime of AVITAE ArenaBowl XXV in New Orleans, Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz announced the 2012 AFL Hall of Fame Class. The group consisting of four players, a coach and an at-large candidate will forever be enshrined in Arena Football League history.
The 2012 AFL Hall of Fame Class includes: QB SHERDRICK BONNER, the Greatest Quarterback in AFL History according to the Silver Anniversary Committee in 2012; HC MIKE DAILEY, a two-time ArenaBowl champion coach (XIII, XIX);QB CLINT DOLEZEL, a three-time All-Arena selection and a passing leader of the AFL for four years; WR/DB RANDY GATEWOOD, a six-time All-Arena selection and three-time All-Ironman selection; current Iowa Barnstormers HC MIKE HOHENSEE, who won ArenaBowl XX as a Head Coach and owns the third spot in AFL history for most regular season wins (142), FOUNDING PARTNER WILLIAM NIRO, one of the original founders of the AFL; and DB CLEVAN THOMAS, a five-time All-Arena selection, 2002 Rookie of the Year and two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
The AFL Office received ballots from the Hall of Fame Advisory Board, which consisted of a rich list of journalists and executives with a long-time involvement in the game, on Wednesday, June 20.
Each member selected ten candidates based on AFL contribution in the categories of players, coaches, administrators, officials and “at-large.”
In order to be nominated for the 2012 Hall of Fame Class, candidates must meet four criteria. If a player was active before 1989, he must have played for two seasons. For players after 1989, three seasons of service are required. All players must be retired for three complete seasons. Coaches must have been active for a minimum of five seasons and need not be retired.
Fans and current Hall of Fame members voted on the finalists beginning throughout the months of June and July. Votes were then turned into the Hall of Fame Operating Board of Directors, who officially selected the 2012 AFL Hall of Fame Class.
Inductions will be held during the Arena Football League’s 2013 opening weekend.