American Football Association (AFA) announces Hall of Fame

“Woody” Strode

This year we are especially honored to posthumously induct another trailblazer, Woodrow Wilson Woolwine “Woody” Strode

The American Football Association Hall of Fame Selection Committee has completed its annual task of reviewing the personal profiles of qualified individuals nominated for induction into the Semi-Pro/Minor League Football Hall of Fame in as “class of 2015”. Information submitted by HOF alumni and subsequent review by the selection committee resulted in the selection of 16 individuals for enshrinement this year.

This year we are especially honored to posthumously induct another pioneer, Woodrow Wilson Woolwine “Woody” Strode (July 25, 1914 – December 31, 1994). “Woody” Strode was born in Los Angeles, California. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Southeast Los Angeles and college at UCLA, where he was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He was a decathlete and football star who became a popular and pioneering African-American film actor. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Spartacus in 1960. He served in the United States Army during World War II.

Strode, Kenny Washington, and Jackie Robinson played on the 1939 UCLA Bruins football team, where they were three of four backfielders. Strode and fellow UCLA alumnus Kenny Washington were two of the first African Americans to play in major college programs and later in the modern National Football League, playing for the Los Angeles Rams in 1946. All three had played in the semi-professional Pacific Coast Professional. Football League at the start of the decade.

This year’s group of AFA Hall of Fame members will be enshrined as the “Class of 2015” at the 35th Annual AFA Semi-Pro/Minor Football Hall of Fame Induction Dinner at Pro Football Hall of Fame, 2121 George Halas Drive NW, Canton, Ohio 44708. The initiation dinner will be part of a 2-day event for the AFA National Association, which will run from Thursday, June 25 to Friday, June 26. This is our third year at this location and this year’s event promises to be even better.

Scheduled events:

  • Sports & Celebrity Memorabilia Auction
  • Annual AFA HoF Legends – meet the new inductees “Huddle Alumni Cocktail – 7pm Thursday June 25
  • Visits to the Pro Football Hall of Fame at your leisure
  • 35th Annual AFA Minor/Professional Football Hall of Fame Induction Dinner – Dinner at 7 p.m. (cocktails at 6 p.m.) on Friday, June 26.

The American Football Association is proud to present the names of those who will be inducted into the AFA Minor/Semi-Professional Football Hall of Fame as the “Class of 2015” (names in parentheses indicate sponsors of new inductees):

Pioneer Category:

“Woody” Strode – Los Angeles, CA (Keith Ballard)

Officials Category:

Joe Friers – Ballston Spa, NY (Bill Higgins)

Coaches Category:

Dale Glossenger – Denton, North Carolina (John Burns, Jim Nugent)

Phil Pompeo – SeaTac, WA (Wes Fischer)

Pedro Trevino – Racine, WI (Jordan Kopac. Chris Pivovar)

Player category:

Jack Ball – Villa Pack, IL (Fred Robinson, Pat Sharpe)

Chris Hughes – Scott Depot, West Virginia (Steve Moser)

John Brennan – Charlestown, MA (Larry DeVoe)

Bobby Hitz – Chicago, Illinois (Gary Thomas, Neal Anderson, Larry Schmidt, Ben Ward, Roman Strzala, Jerry Schropp)

Jack Zusy – Burton, Ohio (Dennis McElligott)

Doug Black – Watertown, New York (George Ashcraft)

Joseph Brumfield – Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (Charles E. Johnson, Chad Fauson)

John Speidel – Lowell, MA (John Zafaris, Dave Bonsell, Brent Bordenkircher)

Walter Thiel – Oak Park, Illinois (Simeon Hendrickson, James Kulton, Gene Larsen, Ron Hansen)

Charles Mitchum – Waterford, NY (Dave Fleck, Tom Manny, Mike Galeo)

Mike Malatino – Johnstown, NY (Bob Bean, Rick Sager)

The consecration of this year’s class of 16 new Hall of Famers will see the association’s total number of inductees over 34 years increase from 709 members to 725 members. Since the inaugural consecration in 1981 (including the Class of 2015), the AFA has recognized 427 players; 106 coaches; 87 frames; 31 civil servants; 25 pioneers; 20 media/historians; 13 trainers/equipment men; 6 associated with youth football; 5 involved in international semi-pro; 4 from female level; and even 1 ‘super fan’.

Tickets are $100 each for the 2015 AFA Minor/Semi-Professional Football Hall of Fame Induction Dinner. If you would like to order tickets for the dinner, please email amerfoot(AT)aol.com for an order form. The deadline for ticket orders is June 6.

As part of our fundraising event, we are soliciting sponsors. Sponsors and donors will be recognized during our Hall of Fame live webcast, will be listed in our souvenir program, and will be featured on our event banner. Simply click on one of the links below:

Hall of Fame Banquet Sponsorship

Hall of Fame Banquet Donation

AFA Hall of Fame Online Auction Fundraiser (click here)

AFA raffle (click here)

List of AFA 2015 sponsors (click here)

Media Archive 2014:

2014 Hall of Fame Induction Dinner Brochure

2014 Hall of Fame Photos

2014 AFA Hall of Fame Video

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