Five Steelers To Be Inducted In Team's Hall Of Honor

The Steelers announced Alan Faneca, Rocky Bleier and three others as members of this year's class

Shelby Cassesse
July 28, 2018 - 4:16 pm
Alan Faneca, Bob Pompeani, Art Rooney II, Rocky Bleier

LATROBE (93.7 The Fan) - The Steelers announced the five newest members of their Hall of Honor Saturday.

The Class of 2018 is guard Alan Faneca, running back Rocky Bleier, wide receiver Buddy Dial, scout Bill Nunn and Steelers Vice President and former team Personnel Director Arthur J. Rooney Jr. 

Fans were able to send their nominees to the Hall of Honor Selection Committee which includes Steelers President Art Rooney II, Joe Gordon, Bob Labriola, Andrew Stockey and Tony Quatrini. From there, the committee made their selections based on those players, coaches and front office personnel who were integral in creating and sustaining the franchise's success. 

Rooney said sifting through the nominees wasn't an easy task. 

"We actually started out saying we were going to keep the number to four and just couldn't do it, so we wound up with five," he said Saturday afternoon. "I don't know how many names were on the original list, but there were a lot of names. A lot of names actually came from way back in Steelers history, which I was happy to see that we had fans that still remembered the Frank Varrichione's and names like that. It was a fun process to try and start with that list and then narrow it down."

Faneca, still awaiting his selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, played with the Steelers for 10 years, including the 2005 Super Bowl win. He was a six-time first-team All-Pro in Pittsburgh and was voted to nine Pro Bowls during his 13-year NFL career.

"It's special," Faneca said of his Hall of Honor selection. "Besides my love for the Steelers organization, when you look at it as a whole with the whole NFL, the storied franchise that it is in the NFL, to be a part of an elite group of guys that are recognized is hard to put into words, but it is an incredible honor that you feel the weight of."

Still ninth on the team's all-time rushing list, Bleier finished his career with the Steelers with 3,855 yards rushing. Although known as a blocker for Franco Harris, Bleier also made two touchdown receptions in the playoffs, including one in Super Bowl XIII. He is also a veteran of the Vietnam War, and was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart after being wounded in combat. 

"That relationship is really applicable to the ownership, to the kind of family that the Rooney family has been," Bleier said about his long-term connection with the Steelers organization. "Staying in touch with their players, to call upon their former players, to be a part of this community, to be also a part of what the Steeler organization in history has been all about. So, for us who lived here and made Pittsburgh their home, it's a wonderful relationship."

Buddy Dial played for the Steelers from 1959 to 1963. He totaled 4,723 receiving yards and 42 touchdowns on 228 receptions, and was the first Steeler to have a 1,000-yard receiving season, which he did twice. He averaged 20.6 yards per catch, the highest in team history. 

This year's class also put an emphasis on recruiting. Rooney Jr. was the team's Personnel Director from 1965 to 1986 until becoming the Vice President in 1987. Alongside Chuck Noll, Rooney Jr. helped to recruit nine Hall of Fame players in 1969, and 11 more from then until 1974. 

Of this year's class, Nunn has the longest term of service with the Steelers. He was the team's Senior Scout from 1968 to 2014. Prior to his time with the team, he was a sports journalist with the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the most influential African American publications in the country. His ties to the Historically Black Colleges helped the Steelers to add many players that became integral to the 1970's Super Bowl teams. 

Rooney II said it was important to recognize some of the team's top scouters.

"Our scouting department, I think, deservedly has been looked at as one of the top in the league for many years. Those people point to the Class of '74, the only class that produced four Hall of Famers. We're excited about recognizing those guys with this class." 

The newly announced members will join last year's inaugural class of 27 during an induction ceremony on Friday, September 28 at Heinz Field.