CHICAGO – The Arena Football League will honor the AFL Hall of Fame Class of 2011 with a Hall of Fame Weekend celebration in Orlando, Florida to kick off the 25th season of Arena Football, the League Office announced today. “During ArenaBowl XXIV, we named ten of the most decorated players, coaches and executives to the 2011 AFL Hall of Fame Class,” AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said. “Each of those members will be officially inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame on Thursday evening.”
The celebration will include a Hall of Fame reception and induction, and will culminate in the kickoff of the League’s 25th season and the first NFL Network “NET10 Arena Football Friday” broadcast of the year on Friday, March 9, as the Orlando Predators host the Pittsburgh Power in the “Hall of Fame Game.”
The Hall of Fame Induction will be held Thursday, March 8, and is open to the public. The event will be held at The Abbey at 100 S. Eola Drive at 7:00 pm ET.
The 2011 Hall of Fame Class includes: San Jose SaberCats HEAD COACH DARREN ARBET, two-time Coach of the Year (2000, 2002) and owner of three ArenaBowl titles with San Jose (2002, 2004, 2007); two-time ArenaBowl Champion with the Tampa Bay Storm and three-time First Team All-Arena (1990-92), OL/DL SYLVESTER BEMBERY; WR EDDIE BROWN, ranked the Greatest Player in AFL History by the AFL Historical Committee, and three-time Offensive Player of the Year (1994, 1996, 1999); WR/LB HUNKIE COOPER, two-time Ironman of the Year award winner (1999-00) and AFL MVP (1993); OL/DL SAM HERNANDEZ, the AFL’s all-time sack leader with 59; OS GEORGE LaFRANCE, five-time ArenaBowl Champion (Detroit, 3; Tampa Bay, 2), two-time MVP (1989, 1991) and two-time Offensive Player of the Year (1989, 1991); Chicago Rush PRESIDENT/GM GENE NUDO, AFL Founders Award Winner (2002) and three-time League Executive of the Year (1997, 1999, 2000) with Arizona; WR/LB STEVIE THOMAS, four-time ArenaBowl Champion with the Storm who recorded 7,892 receiving yards and 111 tackles in his 10-year career; WR/DB BARRY WAGNER, ranked as the second Greatest Player in
AFL History by the AFL Historical Committee and six-time Ironman of the Year winner (1992-97); and QB KURT WARNER, AFL Founders Award winner (2006), finishing his AFL career with 10,465 passing yards and 183 touchdowns. The 2012 “Hall of Fame Game” will be the first of its kind since the year 2000, when the Iowa Barnstormers defeated the Tampa Bay Storm 52-34, retiring Kurt Warner’s No. 13 jersey at halftime. Additionally, the 2011 AFL Hall of Fame Class will be recognized during NFL Network’s “NET10 Arena Football Friday” broadcast. Coverage will begin at 8:00 pm ET on NFL Network on Friday, March 9.