Program will honor LeBeau
For The Madison Press
CANTON — Pro football legend Dick LeBeau will be recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company in London on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
It will be part of “Hometown Hall of Famers,” a national program honoring the hometown roots of the sport’s greatest coaches, players, and contributors with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.
“Hometown Hall of Famers has been warmly embraced by communities and Hall of Famers alike,” said George Veras, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises president and CEO. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Allstate to bring the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities across the country and congratulate Dick LeBeau and London High School on bringing a piece of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to London.”
Widely considered to be one of the greatest defensive backs in Detroit Lions history, LeBeau will be presented with his “Hometown Hall of Famer” plaque during a special ceremony at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the school’s gymnasium, where the plaque will hang permanently to serve as an inspiration for the school’s students and athletes.
The presentation will be made by Bob LeBeau, former London High School quarterback and brother of Dick LeBeau.
“To be part of a program that brings the prestige and tradition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities like London is an honor for Allstate, our agents and employees,” said Lisa Cochrane, Allstate’s senior vice president of marketing.
The ceremony will be attended by London High School students, faculty, staff, alumni and LeBeau’s family members and close friends. London High School Principal Chad Eisler will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Dick LeBeau “Hometown Hall of Famers” road sign will be on display in London.
A football and basketball standout at London High School in the 1950s, LeBeau went on to play under the tutelage of legendary head coach Woody Hayes at the Ohio State University where he was a key member of the Buckeyes’ 1957 National championship team. Although selected in the fifth round of the 1959 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, LeBeau was cut during his rookie training camp. He then signed with the Detroit Lions and eventually earned a place in the team’s starting lineup for the final six games of his rookie year.
LeBeau quickly established himself as a proficient player against the run. In a 185-game career that spanned 14 seasons with the Lions, LeBeau recorded 62 picks which he returned for 762 yards and three touchdowns. Starting in 1960, he had a string of 12 straight seasons with three or more interceptions. In 1970, he intercepted an NFC-leading nine interceptions for 96 yards. At the time of his retirement, LeBeau’s total interceptions ranked first in Lions’ history and third all-time in NFL history. LeBeau was selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls and earned All-NFL second-team accolades four times.
Following his retirement in 1972, LeBeau started his coaching career. He has served as head coach for the Cincinnati Bengals, an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, and is currently the defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
LeBeau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
Fans can visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame website for more information on the “Hometown Hall of Famers” program, and can view event videos at www.youtube.com/allstate.