Pro Football Hall of Fame’s latest round of inductees will be announced on Wednesday, when the 13-man contingent joining Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson in Canton, Ohio, will be revealed.
The so-called “Centennial Slate” will comprise 15 members in total, with 10 slots reserved for members of the Seniors category—former NFL players who have been eligible for election for over 20 years but have not been voted in yet—three contributors and two coaches.
The Hall of Fame assembled a special 25-man strong Blue-Ribbon Panel to determine the 15 inductees. The panel included 13 members from the Hall of Fame’s traditional pool of 48 voters, while the remaining 12 comprised Hall of Famers, coaches—including Bill Belichick—football executives and football historians.
A list of almost 300 candidates was whittled down to 38 finalists last month, which was voted on by the Blue-Ribbon Panel.
The 15 man on the Centennial Slate will be joined by the five modern-era enshrinees, who will be announced during the NFL Honors ceremony on the weekend of Super Bowl LIV.
While the five modern-day inductees will receive their gold jackets in August as is tradition, the 15 members of the Centennial Class will be inducted in a separate ceremony.
The identity of the two coaches on the 15-man list is no longer a mystery after Cowher and Johnson became the 327th and 328th member of the Hall of Fame.
The former, who won Super Bowl XL as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, received the news on Saturday during the NFL Pregame show on NFL Network ahead of the AFC Divisional round matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans.
Cowher, who is now a NFL Network analyst, received the news in the studio directly from Hall of Fame’s president and CEO David Baker.
The 62-year was one of the eight coaches among the 38 finalists and is the second Steelers coach to be inducted in the Hall of Fame, following in the footsteps of his predecessor Chuck Noll.
“I’ve been so blessed,” he said when he received the news.
“For those eight candidates, every one of you deserves to be there. Football is a total team sport. I had some great players, great coaches, the best organization in football. I’ve lived a blessed life.”
Just like Cowher, Johnson, who led the Dallas Cowboys to back-to-back Super Bowls in 1992 and 1993, was also surprised by Baker over the weekend.
The Hall of Fame’s president and CEO broke the news to the FOX analyst at halftime of the NFC Divisional Round matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night.
“The only thing I can think of is all the assistant coaches that worked for me, all the great players that played for me, they’re the reason I’m here,” Johnson said as he struggled to hold back the tears.
“This is so special to me because when you put in the work that we put in, it’s nice to know people appreciate it.”
Here’s all you need to know ahead of Wednesday.
When is the Hall of Fame announcement?
The 15 inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be revealed on Wednesday, January 15 on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football.
The show begins at 7 a.m. ET and runs until 10 a.m. ET.
How to watch the Hall of Fame announcement
Good Morning Football is broadcast exclusively on NFL Network, with a live stream available via NFL Network online and on connected devices.
How does the Hall of Fame work?
The 15-man class of 2019 will include 10 members of the Seniors category—former NFL players who have been eligible for election for over 20 years but have not been voted in yet—three contributors and two coaches.
The identity of the latter pair is already known, as Jimmy Johnson and Bill Cowher received news of their induction live on TV last week.
The 15 members of the Centennial Slate will be joined by the five modern-era enshrinees, who will be announced during the NFL Honors ceremony on the weekend of Super Bowl LIV.