NEPA Sports Nation

NATION NOSTALGIA: Munchak part of Pro Football Hall of Fame

Mike Munchak has now been a Professional Football Hall of Fame member for more than two decades.

Wednesday marked the 20th anniversary of Munchak’s induction in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 4, 2001.

The Scranton Central and Penn State graduate was selected for the Hall of Fame based on his play in the National Football League as an All-Pro guard for the Houston Oilers, but he now has spent more time as an NFL coach than as a Hall of Famer and more than twice as much time coaching in the league as he did playing.

Munchak and Sean Farrell gave Penn State one of the best guard combinations in college football history before both were taken in the first round of the 1982 NFL Draft. The Oilers made Munchak the eighth selection overall and the first offensive lineman.

After playing fullback and defensive end at Scranton Central, Munchak converted from defensive line prospect to the position that made him famous early in his days at Penn State. He started in 1979, missed 1980 because of knee surgery and became an All-American with his performance on the 1981 team that finished 10-2, including a 26-10 win over USC in the Fiesta Bowl.

Munchak’s play in the NFL lived up to his draft billing and is what landed him in the Hall of Fame.

In his third season, Munchak earned the first of his nine Pro Bowl invitations. He led the Oilers to American Football Conference Central Division titles in 1991 and 1993, capping a run of seven straight playoff appearances.

Again, Munchak became part of a highly regarded guard tandem, pairing with close friend Bruce Matthews throughout most of his NFL career.

A member of the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1980s, Munchak was first- or second-team All-Pro in 10 of his 12 seasons.

Munchak successfully battled past knee problems throughout his career to play in 159 regular-season games, all but three as a starter. After retiring, he moved right into coaching, staying with the franchise that eventually moved to Tennessee in 1997, then was renamed in the Titans in 1999.

Now entering his 28th season as an NFL coach, Munchak spent three seasons as head coach of the Titans (2011-13), going 22-26. The 61-year-old has spent more than two decades as a line coach, developing a reputation as one of, if not, the best in the league in that role.

After serving as offensive line coach of the Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers, Munchak is going into his third season serving in that capacity, assisting Dunmore graduate Vic Fangio on his Denver Broncos staff.

Munchak’s induction into the Hall of Fame was as part of a class that included Lynn Swann, Nick Buoniconti, Jack Youngblood, Ron Yary, Jackie Slater and coach Marv Levy.

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