Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015 inductee Jerome Bettis will be honored in his hometown of Detroit on Tuesday, Sept. 29 – kicking off the fall schedule of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Hometown Hall of Famer™ program presented by Ford.
Bettis grew up in Detroit and attended Mackenize High School but that school has closed and replaced by Mackenzie Middle School. Tuesday’s community tribute will take place at Renaissance High School.
Hometown Hall of Famer™ is a national program that honors the hometown roots of the greatest heroes of the game with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.
“This terrific program aligns perfectly with the Hall of Fame’s mission to honor the heroes of the game, preserve its history, promote its values and celebrate excellence everywhere,” said David Baker, Pro Football Hall of Fame president. “Through Ford’s support of this program, Gold Jackets will be able to return home to thank and recognize the communities that gave them the foundation to achieve the highest level of excellence.”
Bettis’ football career went full circle, from his start on youth fields in Detroit to playing the last game of his Hall of Fame career in the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XL victory at Ford Field in downtown Detroit.
“I am so honored to have the Pro Football Hall of Fame present this Hometown honor to the Detroit Public Schools,” Bettis shared. “Even though the school I played for – Mackenzie High – is no longer open, this honor belongs to the city of Detroit and all the proud Detroiters that embrace me every time I return home in the same way that they supported me when I played here.”
Bettis was a star player at Notre Dame before the Los Angeles Rams selected him in the first round of the 1993 NFL draft. After three seasons with the Rams, during which the franchise relocated to St. Louis, Bettis was traded to the Steelers, where he played until his retirement after the 2005 NFL season.
In all, “The Bus” gained 13,662 yards rushing, ranking fifth all-time through eight seasons in which he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark. He led the Rams in rushing all three seasons he played for the team and was the top rusher eight times for the Steelers.