Pro Football HOF honors ex-Buccaneers assistant Kiffin, others

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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

CANTON, Ohio -- The Pro Football Hall of Fame has honored longtime NFL assistant coach Monte Kiffin and more than a dozen others as part of its Awards for Excellence program.

The Hall on Wednesday announced the 15 recipients of the award that goes to assistant coaches, athletic trainers, equipment managers, film and video directors and public relations directors. The award began in 2022.

Kiffin was one of the architects of Tampa Bay's stellar defense that won the Super Bowl in the 2002, teaming with Tony Dungy to build the vaunted "Tampa 2" scheme that led the Buccaneers to great success and was copied by several other teams around the league.

Kiffin spent 13 of his 16 seasons as an NFL defensive coordinator with the Bucs, also having one-year stints as coordinator for Minnesota, New Orleans and Dallas.

The other two assistants honored were Bill McPherson, who was hired by Bill Walsh in San Francisco in 1979 and helped the 49ers win five Super Bowl titles, and former Pittsburgh Steelers receivers coach Lionel Taylor, who helped develop Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth.

The three athletics trainers honored were Steve Antonopulus of the Denver Broncos, Dean Kleinschmidt of the New Orleans Saints and Bill Tessendorf, who worked for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.

The equipment managers honored were Bill Hampton Sr. of the New York Jets, Don Hewitt of the Los Angeles Rams and Dick Romanski of the Las Vegas Raiders.

The film and video directors honored were Tom Atcheson of the Atlanta Falcons, Bob McCartney of the Steelers and Dave Levy of the Bucs.

The PR directors honored were Dan Edwards of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Steelers, Harvey Greene of the Miami Dolphins and Frank Ramos of the Jets.