Chiefs Hall of Fame 2000s | Kansas City Chiefs - Chiefs.com
Chiefs Hall of Fame - 2000s
2000: Christian Okoye, Running Back
Unquestionably the most powerful runner ever to wear the Red and Gold … Nicknamed "The Nigerian Nightmare" ... Doled out plenty of punishment during his six seasons with Kansas City and powered his way to the most rushing yards (4,897) in Chiefs history … Also holds team records for career rushing attempts (1,246), attempts in a season (370 in '89), attempts in a game (38) and career 100-yard games (14) ... Became just the second Chief ever to lead the league in rushing, gaining an NFL-best and all-time franchise high 1,480 yards in '89 … His 40 career rushing TDs are just four shy of Marcus Allen's team record, as well … Just the second Chiefs player ever to earn the club's Mack Lee Hill Award ('87), team MVP honors ('89) and be enshrined in the Chiefs Hall of Fame … Was a Pro Bowl pick following the '89 and '91 seasons … Originally came to the United States in '82 to compete in track and field at Azusa Pacific … Joined the Azusa football squad in '84 and after just three seasons of organized football was a second-round draft choice of Kansas City in '87 … Wore number 35 … The name Okoye in Nigerian means "blessed on Sundays" ... Born August 16, 1961 in Enugu, Nigeria.
2001: Derrick Thomas, Linebacker
Pass rusher extraordinaire spent 11 glorious seasons in a Kansas City uniform … Served as the heart and soul of the Chiefs franchise during that span … Known simply as "D.T." ... Was not only a bona fide star in terms of his contributions on the field, but also illuminated countless lives through his charitable efforts … Received the '93 NFL Man of the Year Award, the '95 Byron "Whizzer" White Award and was named former President George Bush's "832nd Point of Light" ... On the field, was one of the most dominant defensive players of his day thanks to his patented sack-and-strip maneuver … Established Chiefs career records for sacks (126.5), safeties (3), fumble recoveries (18) and forced fumbles (45) ... His 126.5 sacks were the fourth-highest total ever by a linebacker at the time of his death … Produced a club-record 20.0 sacks in '90, included an NFL-record seven sacks in a single game … The only player in Chiefs history to see action in three different decades with his final contest coming on January 2, 2000 … Saw duty in 169 games (158) starts and owns a share of another franchise mark with 10 career playoff appearances … Won the Mack Lee Hill Award as a rookie in '89 … Produced nine consecutive Pro Bowl berths from '89-97, the most of any player in Chiefs history … Was the initial two-time winner ('91, 94) of the club's MVP trophy which now bears his name … Born January 1, 1967 in Miami, Florida and died on February 8, 2000 in Miami, Florida following a serious auto accident on January 23, 2000 in Kansas City.
2002: John Alt, Offensive Tackle
Monumental Minnesotan anchored Kansas City's offensive line for 13 seasons from his left tackle post. The stoic standard-bearer by which all future Kansas City left tackles will be judged. Played a prodigious part in the resurgence of the Chiefs franchise in the '90s. Jim Tyrer (180) was the only offensive lineman in team history to play in more games than Alt (179). Started 149 of those games and owns a share of a franchise record by making 10 career playoff appearances, including the '93 AFC Championship Game. Earned back-to-back Pro Bowl trips following the '92 and '93 seasons. An All-Pro pick in '90-91. A prolific pass protector, also helped Kansas City perennially produce some of the best rushing numbers in the '90s. The Chiefs led the NFL in rushing for the first time in team history in '95 and produced five top 10 finishes during his tenure. Wore jersey number 76. Was a first round draft choice out of Iowa in '84, the third offensive lineman selected overall. Born May 30, 1962 in Stuttgart, Germany.
2003: Gary Spani, Linebacker
The all-time leading tackler in Chiefs history with 999 career stops…Played his inside linebacker post with tenacity and toughness for nine stellar seasons…Led the club in tackles for four straight years ('78-81) and posted five 100-tackle campaigns…His single-season record of 157 tackles in '79 stood until 2002…Played in 124 regular season contests (108 starts), averaging an impressive 8.1 tackles per game…Accumulated 9.5 sacks, nine fumble recoveries and scored two TDs…Was voted the Miller/NFL "Man of the Year" in '83 and O'Grady's "Crunchman of the Year" in '84…Helped guide the club to its first playoff berth in 15 years in '86…Joined the Chiefs as a third-round draft choice in '78…Was the first-ever consensus All America performer at Kansas State and is enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame…Wore number 59…Born January 9, 1956 in Satanta, Kansas, making him the only native-born Kansan in the Chiefs Hall of Fame…Has served as a member of the Chiefs front office since '89 and is currently Director of Sales.
2004: Joe Delaney, Running Back
Electrifying runner whose promising career was tragically cut short after just two NFL seasons … Unassuming and humble off the field, was simply amazing once he stepped between the stripes … Burst onto the NFL scene as the AFC Rookie of the Year in '81 when he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl and was named Chiefs MVP after establishing a then-franchise record with 1,121 rushing yards … Helped propel the '81 Chiefs to a 9-7 record, the club's first winning season since '73 ... After coming off the bench to record 101 rushing yards in his initial NFL action at New England (10/4/81), ran for 106 yards and registered 104 receiving yards in his initial pro start vs. Oakland (10/11/81) ... His 193-yard outing vs. Houston (11/15/81) remains the third-highest single-game rushing output in franchise history … In just 23 career games, amassed 329 carries for 1,501 yards with three TDs, as well as 33 receptions for 299 yards … Joined the Chiefs as a second-round draft choice out of Northwestern Louisiana where was a part of the school's NCAA Division I champion 4x100 meter relay team ... Born October 30, 1958 in Henderson, Texas … Drowned on June 29, 1983 attempting to save the lives of three youngsters in Monroe, Louisiana and was buried on July 4, 1983 in Haughton, Louisiana … Posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizen's Medal by Ronald Reagan on July 13, 1983 … Received the NCAA Award of Valor in '84 and was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in '97.
2005: Jack Steadman, Executive
Jack Steadman begins his 46th season as a pro football executive in 2005, serving as the Chiefs Vice Chairman of the Board. The only individual other than Lamar Hunt who has been involved with the Texans/Chiefs franchise every year since its inception in '60, Steadman was recognized for his contributions to the franchise with his induction into the Chiefs Hall of Fame earlier this year. "Jack's contributions to the American Football League, Arrowhead Stadium and the Chiefs franchise have helped positively define the sport in Mid-America," Hunt remarked. Steadman can look with pride at a list of accomplishments the organization has achieved since moving from Dallas for the beginning of the '63 season in the old AFL. It was Steadman who conceived the idea of building the dual Harry S Truman Sports Complex, which houses Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadiums. The complex is recognized as the finest of its kind in the world. Steadman was promoted from General Manager to Executive V.P. and General Manager in '66; in August of '76 he was named President of the Chiefs; and in '89 was named Chairman of the Board. He enters his initial season as the club's Vice Chairman of the Board in 2005. After establishing himself as an innovative, successful business man with the Chiefs, Steadman later joined Hunt in the development of Worlds of Fun, a 165-acre family entertainment complex which opened in '73. In '82, HME Entertainment, Inc., completed the 60-acre family water recreation park, Oceans of Fun. In '95, Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun were sold to Cedar Fair. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Chiefs and Hunt Midwest Enterprises, Inc., which owns Hunt Midwest Mining, a limestone rock mining company, and Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development Company, an underground and surface real estate development firm in the Kansas City International Foreign-Trade Zone, he also serves as the Chairman of the NFL Employees Benefit Committee and NFL Investment Committee. Steadman is a tireless worker and organizer in many civic and service projects. He is past Chairman, President and Campaign Chairman of the Heart of America United Way and past President of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. He is a past Chairman and Board Member of the Private Industry Council as well as the Full Employment Council. He serves as a director of the American Royal Association and the Starlight Theatre Association. Steadman also serves as an Advisory Trustee for Midwest Research Institute and is a past member of the Civic Council Board of Directors. In '88 he was honored by the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City as the "Kansas Citian of the Year." Personal Steadman, who was born September 14, 1928, grew up in Warrenville, Ill., and in Dallas. He attended Baylor University and received his B.A. in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University. Steadman and his wife Judy reside in Mission Hills, Kansas.
2006: Neil Smith, Defensive End
Was one of the bedrocks upon which the Chiefs defensive dominance of the '90s was built … Paired with LB Derrick Thomas to forge one of the most feared pass rushing duos in NFL history … Served as a foundation for a franchise-record string of six straight postseason appearances from '90-96, making nine playoff starts over that span … Possessed an imposing seven-foot wingspan that helped wreck havoc on opponents and allowed him to make a myriad of momentum-changing plays … Accumulated 86.5 sacks and 29 forced fumbles in Kansas City - totals that both rank second in Chiefs history behind only Thomas - in addition to blocking five FGs … Will forever be intrinsically linked with his "little buddy" Thomas, but his individual accomplishments clearly stand on their own merit … Registered double-digit sacks for four straight seasons from '92-95, leading the team or tying for the team lead with Thomas each of those years … Voted team MVP following the '92 campaign when he had 14.5 sacks and followed up that performance with a career-high 15.0 sacks in '93 … Played in 138 regular season games for Kansas City, accumulating 546 tackles (403 solo), three INTs with one TD, 13 fumble recoveries with one TD and 22 passes defensed … Departed Kansas City following the '96 campaign and won a pair of Super Bowl rings with Denver, but it was in Kansas City where his legacy as one of the NFL's most dominant defensive performers of the '90s was clearly solidified ... The Chiefs traded up with Detroit to select Smith with the second overall pick in the '88 NFL Draft … Was an All-America performer at the University of Nebraska … Born April 10, 1966 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
2007: Albert Lewis, Cornerback
Vaunted cover man was a lynchpin for the league's most decorated secondary unit for over a decade … Picked off 20 passes during his first four professional campaigns before opponents finally decided it wasn't a good idea to test him … Four-time Pro Bowl cornerback concluded his Chiefs tenure with 38 career interceptions, the fifth-highest total in franchise history … In addition to his exemplary coverage skills, possessed tremendous speed off the edge and owned an uncanny ability to stretch out his body on special teams … Utilized those rare traits to become the most adept kick blocker in franchise history, swatting down a team-record 10 punts, four of which were returned by the Chiefs for a TD … Named Kansas City's MVP following the '86 season when he accounted for 69 tackles (61 solo), four INTs, two fumble recoveries, a sack and a blocked punt … Also earned a spot on the Chiefs 25-Year All-Time Team in '87 … Helped lead the club to five playoff berths and was a member of the '93 squad that reached the AFC Championship Game … Saw duty in 150 games (128 starts) for the Red and Gold, accumulating 555 tackles (450 solo), 38 INTs, 11 fumble recoveries and 4.5 sacks … Spent the final five years of his professional career with "another" AFC West squad, but it was in a Chiefs uniform where he built his reputation as one of the most respected cornerbacks of his era … Joined the club as a third-round selection in the '83 NFL Draft out of Grambling … Born October 6, 1960 in Mansfield, Louisiana.
2008: Curley Culp, Defensive Tackle
An anchor of the Chiefs defensive line for seven seasons … Heralded as one of the quickest defensive linemen in the league … Starting defensive tackle on Kansas City's Super Bowl IV squad … A member of the Chiefs 25-Year All-Time Team … Played in AFL All-Star Game following the '69 campaign and the Pro Bowl after the '71 campaign … Named AP Defensive Player of the Week for outstanding games in both '69 and '73 … Clamed the unofficial sack crown for the Chiefs with 9.0 QB takedowns in '73 … Owned five fumble recoveries while in a Kansas City uniform … Appeared in 82 games for the Chiefs after joining the club in a trade with Denver … Originally entered pro football as a second round pick of the Broncos in '68 … Was traded to Houston in '74 and played eight more seasons with Houston ('74-80) and Detroit ('80-81), earning four Pro Bowl berths during his tenure with the Oilers … Earned All-America honors from The Sporting News and Time as a collegiate at Arizona State … Was the NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion in '68 and was named to the '68 U.S. Olympic wrestling team … Born March 10, 1946 in Yuma, Arizona.
2009: Nick Lowery, Kicker
Nick Lowery is a former American football placekicker for the New England Patriots (1978), the Kansas City Chiefs (1980-1993), and New York Jets (1994-1996). Lowery was selected to the Pro Bowl three times and when he retired was ranked first in field goal percentage and also had the most field goals in NFL history. He is currently tenth on the National Football League's list of all-time scoring leaders, and is the Chiefs' all-time leading scorer, with 1,466 points in his 14 seasons with the club. Nick grew up in Washington, DC and attended St. Albans School where he was a star football player. He attended Dartmouth College. He has an MPA from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the first pro athlete to graduate from there. In 2009 Lowery was inducted into the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame. Lowery was all-pro 7 times during his career, and set several NFL records during his career: most field goals all-time (384), most accurate all-time (from 1984-1997 Lowery held the all-time accuracy mark for 10 of those 12 years), most 50-yard field goals most games with 2 or more 50 yarders longest field goal in the first quarter (58 yards, tied with Greg Zuerlein), Lowery also held the record for best PAT percentage since the goal posts were moved back 10 yards and PAT's became 20 yarders, not 10 yarders. Lowery received the NFL Players Association's most prestigious humanitarian award, the Byron Whizzer White Award, in 1993. Lowery kicked more than 15 game-winners during his career, including in 2 playoff games vs. the Raiders in 1992 and Steelers in 1994, and also kicked the game-winning points in all 3 Pro Bowls in 1982, 1991 and 1993. 2007 NFL Hall of Fame nominee.