New England Patriots

Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft acknowledges the fans before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

  • On Wednesday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach/contributor committee announced its list of finalists for the Hall’s Class of 2023. Included in that group are two Patriots – team owner Robert Kraft and longtime GM and scout Frank ‘Bucko’ Kilroy.

    Kraft, who had been a season ticket holder of the team since 1971, purchased the team in 1994 after buying the stadium a few years prior. Under his ownership the Patriots have won six Super Bowls and made 10 trips to the NFL’s biggest stage.

    In his time as an owner, Kraft has also been a major player in league-wide politics. In 2011, he played a key role in ending a lockout that began threatening the season.

  • Kilroy played in the NFL in the 1940’s and 50’s, but is best known for his post-playing career as a front office executive and scout. After spending time with Philadelphia, Washington, and Dallas he joined the Patriots in 1971. He’d spend the rest of his life with the organization, in roles including director of player personnel, general manager, and scout. On top of that, he’s credited as being one of the founders of the NFL Combine, one of the most important events of the pre-draft process.

    The coach/contributor committee is a group of representatives from the Pro Football Hall of Fame who suggest candidates that may not appear on the main ballots. They’ll now choose one representative from the current 12-person finalist group (which also includes Roone Arledge, Don Coryell, Mike Holmgren, Art Modell, Buddy Parker, Dan Reeves, Art Rooney Jr., Mike Shanahan, Clark Shaughnessy and John Wooten) to pass on to the full selection committee for the Class of 2023. That decision will be made Aug. 23.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.