The University of Pittsburgh unveiled its 2019 Athletics Hall of Fame class. Here’s a list of some of the men who will be honored at the Sept. 21 game at Heinz Field.
By Ed Skirtich
Photo: Jim “Jimbo” Covert, who played offensive tackle for Pitt from 1980 to 1982, will be honored along with 11 others on Sept. 21 at Heinz Field. Courtesy of Pitt Athletics
University students in the sports programs can look back at the great athletic achievements of the past and learn from them. The Pitt Athletic Hall of Fame game will be played on Saturday, Sept. 21, pitting the Panthers up against the University of Central Florida Knights. Here are the short biographies of some of the members of the 2019 Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame:
John Majors, Football Coach
John Majors was hired by Pitt in 1973. He used good communication skills and recruited high school athletes who would listen and cooperate. Majors took the Pitt Panthers, who were [one of the] worst football teams in the NCAA Division I football in 1973 to national champions in 1976 .This was due in part to Majors’ new approach to running the football team, along with the talent of running back Tony Dorsett, a graduate of Hopewell high school. In 1977, the Pitt Panthers won the Sugar Bowl over the Georgia Bulldogs. The score was 27-3. Under the guidance of Majors, Dorsett rushed for 6,082 yards in four seasons. Dorsett’s rushing is the most in NFL history.
Sam Clancy, Men’s Basketball
Former University of Cincinnati men’s basketball coach Gale
Catlett referred to Sam Clancy, as “Superman in shorts.” Clancy played for the Pitt men’s basketball team from 1977 to 1981, grabbed 1,342 rebounds for them, or an average of 11.6 rebounds per game. This is the most rebounds in Pitt men’s basketball history. Clancy and his team mates made two post-season tournaments. Clancy also played on the Pan American USA Basketball team and won a gold medal in 1979. After basketball, Clancy was a coach for both the New Orleans Saints and the Oakland Raiders.
Jim Covert, Football
Jim Covert played offensive tackle for Pitt football from 1980 to 1982, helping the team finish in the Top 10 ranking of college football each season. Quarterback Dan Marino only had three sacks from Covert’s side on offense. With Covert and Marino, Pitt football earned a record of 31-5. From 1980 to 1981, the teams that Covert and Marino played on earned a record of 11-1 with a No. 2 ranking in the AP Poll. In the NFL, Covert continued his legacy with the Chicago Bears. He was drafted to the team in 1983 and paved the way for the Bears to win Super Bowl XX at a score of 46-10 over the New England Patriots. Covert was named to the All-Time Chicago Bears Team and in 2015, Pitt retired his number, No. 75.
Mark May, Football
As a center playing on the offensive line with Jim Covert, Mark May didn’t allow a single sack to quarterback Dan Marino, helping Pitt football to a four-season record of 39-8-1 from 1977 to 1980. His Pitt teams had four NCAA bowl games and three Top Ten finishes. In May’s senior season, he won the Outland Trophy for NCAA Division I football for his play on the offensive line. May played on the offensive line for the Washington Redskins as well, when they defeated the Miami Dolphins 27-17 in Super Bowl XXVII. In addition, May is in the College Football Hall of Fame and his jersey, No. 73, is retired at Pitt.