HARRISONBURG, Va., Jan. 11, 2013 - Former James
Madison University football All-American Charles Haley was announced as one of 15 finalists for selection to the Pro Football Hall
of Fame, the organization announced. This is Haley’s third consecutive
year on the final ballot in his eighth year of eligibility.
Haley was a four-year letterwinner for the Dukes from 1982-1985, earning Associated Press All-American honors twice during his career. As a senior, Haley was named the Richmond Touchdown Club’s Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team Associated Press I-AA All-American. He is JMU’s all-time leader in total tackles with 506 and led the Dukes in tackles twice in his career, recording 143 in 1983 and following it up with 147 in 1984. Haley had a career-high 22 tackles at Shippensburg during the 1983 season, currently tied for the eighth-highest single-game total in Madison history. A three-time JMU Defensive MVP, he was also the JMU Male Athlete of the Year in 1985-86. Haley graduated from JMU in 1987, and in 1999, the Athletic Department named the Defensive MVP award after Haley.
Haley became the first player in JMU history selected in the National Football League Draft when he was taken in the fourth round in 1986 by the San Francisco 49ers. He immediately had an impact, playing in 16 games his rookie season and recording 12.0 sacks. He played 12 seasons in the NFL, seven with the 49ers in two different stints and five with the Dallas Cowboys. He earned five Super Bowl rings (two in San Francisco and three in Dallas), the only player in NFL history to have played on five Super Bowl Champion teams. A five-time Pro-Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro selection, Haley finished his career with 100.5 career sacks, including a career-high 16 in 1990, his first year to be honored as an All-Pro. He was also a two-time NFC Defensive Player of the Year and played on 10 division champions in his 12-year career.
A native of Gladys, Va., Haley was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and into the College Football Hall of Fame last summer.
"Charles Haley was an outstanding football player," former JMU Head Football Coach Challace McMillin, who recruited and coached Haley for the Dukes, said. "After his first practice at JMU, it was very obvious that Charles would be starting as a freshman. As time went on, it also became obvious that Charles was not only an outstanding talent but that he had a tremendous work ethic. He was one of the most competitive athletes I ever coached and he had a tremendous attitude. He has stayed in touch with me since he left JMU and I had the privilege of watching him play during his pro career. I think he was one of the best ever at his position. The fact that he is the only NFL player to have five Super Bowls Rings says that he deserves to be in the NFL Hall of Fame."
In the past two years, Haley did an interview with the Dallas Morning News
about his career and the battle he faces daily with being diagnosed as bipolar.
The Hall of Fame committee consists of 32 votes of writers from the NFL cities, 11 at-large members and one from the Pro Football Writers of America. That group will meet in February 2013 prior to the Super Bowl to select between four and seven people from the 17 nominees to be enshrined in the 2013 class. Each candidate must receive at least 80 percent approval votes from the Committee to be enshrined.