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Two Former 49ers Staff Earn Pro Football Hall of Fame 'Award of Excellence'

Former 49ers assistant coach Sherman Lewis and athletic trainer J. Lindsy McLean were named Award of Excellence recipients, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Per the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Award of Excellence is a program that was launched in 2022 in an effort to recognize individuals from various groups that have propelled the success of teams and the sport of professional football. In 2023, recipients were selected from five groups, including assistant coaches, athletic trainers, equipment managers, film/video directors and public relations professionals.

Lewis and McLean were among the 17 honorees that make up the Award of Excellence class for 2023 and will be celebrated in Canton at the end of June.

"Each recipient has dedicated decades of time to creating meaningful change for their respective field, their teams and the National Football League," Hall of Fame President Jim Porter said.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame does not nominate or participate in recipient voting. Instead, winners are chosen by selection committees from the five groups represented.

Here's a snapshot of Lewis and McLean's careers that earned them a spot in the 2023 Award of Excellence class from the PFHF staff:

Sherman Lewis

"Lewis began his 34-year coaching career as an assistant coach for his alma mater, Michigan State, from 1969 through 1982. He then made the jump to the NFL under San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh, winning three Super Bowls between 1983-1991. In 1992, he became the offensive coordinator for Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Holmgren. Following seven seasons in Green Bay, Lewis went on to be the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions and was an offensive assistant for the Washington Redskins in 2009."

J. Lindsy McLean

"McLean spent over 40 years as an athletic trainer, both at the collegiate and professional level. While working for the University of Michigan, McLean was named the first chair of the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification, where he was instrumental in developing certification standards for the profession. He became the head athletic trainer for the San Francisco 49ers in 1979, a position he held for 24 years, and was a part of five Super Bowl-winning teams. In 1988, he was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame. The 49ers staff was named the Ed Block NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year in 2001 and given the Tim Kerin Award for Athletic Training Excellence in 2007."

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