Presenting Dawson at his induction will be Steve Parker, Associate Dean for Academic and Career Services and Associate Professor for Kinesiology and Health Promotion at UK. Parker may have moved into the Kentucky administration, but Dawson has him to thank for the start to his decorated career as an offensive lineman at UK and eventually with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
When Dawson was a teenager, Parker was a football coach at his high school that wouldn't take no for an answer. John Harris, a sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, has the story:
Steve Parker, the young coach at Bryan Station High School in Lexington, Ky., wanted to meet Dawson and convince him to come out for the team. Parker had heard all about Dawson, a big kid who would be a natural fit despite limited playing experience.
Dawson, however, let it be known he was a track star in the shot put and discus who had no interest in football.
Parker wouldn't be denied. He convinced Dawson to come out for the team.
Dawson, in turn, became arguably the greatest center in the history of pro football.
Dawson never forgot who gave him his start. He selected Parker to present him at the Hall of Fame ceremony on Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.
"He was instrumental in getting me to play,'' Dawson said Monday. "I thought it was only fitting for him to present me.''
Link: Dawson's coach also gets Hall call