Former Rams head coach Dick Vermeil has been selected as the Coach Finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2022, the Hall of Fame announced Tuesday. The selection of Vermeil, and former Raiders wide receiver Cliff Branch as the Senior Finalist, was made by a panel of Hall of Fame selectors in a virtual meeting.
"I am overwhelmed," Vermeil said upon hearing the news of his Finalist status from President and CEO of the Hall of Fame David Baker, via a video posted by the Hall of Fame to its Twitter account. "I'm not sure I belong there, because I know so many others that do."
Vermeil's "Greatest Show on Turf" Rams won Super Bowl XXIV 23-16 over the Titans, the culmination of a season in which they also went 13-3 and won the NFC West after finishing last in the division the previous year.
He also won Super Bowl XV with the Philadelphia Eagles, and won 120 regular season games overall between his time in Philadelphia, St. Louis and Kansas City, winning 10 or more games in a season six times.
The Coach Committee consists of nine members of the Hall of Fame's Selection Committee and considers coaches whose careers ended at least five years ago. The List of eligible candidates for the 2022 Coach Finalist initially was trimmed to seven names for discussion.
Per the release from the Hall of Fame, to be elected to the Hall of Fame, Branch and Vermeil must receive 80 percent voting support by the entire 49-member Selection Committee when it meets early next year (on a date to be determined) ahead of Super Bowl LVI. The Selection Committee will consider 18 finalists: the Senior (Branch), the Coach (Vermeil), a Contributor (to be named Tuesday, Aug. 31) and 15 Modern-Era Finalists (to be determined from a preliminary list announced in September, trimmed to 25 Semifinalists in November and to 15 Finalists in January).
Current bylaws dictate a class size no smaller than four nor larger than eight. Branch and Vermeil will be voted on for election independent of the other Finalists.