Team owner Virginia McCackey is a first-time semifinalist as a Contributor, and iconic defensive lineman Steve “Mongo” McMichael is a first-time semifinalist from the Senior Committee.
Mongo is one of the most colorful personalities that has ever played in Chicago, and his statistical accomplishments are still near the top of the Bears leaderboards. He’s second all-time in games played (191), second in sacks (92.5), third in tackles (814), sixth in forced fumbles (12), and seventh in fumble recoveries (16).
There are only two other defensive linemen on the Senior Committee’s list, Jim Marshall and Al Wistert.
McCaskey became the principal owner of the Bears in 1983 upon the death of her father, Hall of Famer George Halas. She celebrated her 100th birthday this past January 5, and here’s what our resident historian, Jack M Silverstein, wrote about her; She’s seen a century: Reflections on Bears football on Virginia McCaskey’s 100th birthday.
Also named as a semifinalist was Clark Shaughnessy, a long-time assistant coach in the NFL, including with the Bears from 1951 to 1962.
The next step in the process for the semifinalists will be a cut down to 12 in each category, and here’s how the Hall of Fame spelled it out.
Selection bylaws stipulate that both the Seniors Committee and Coach/Contributor Committee vote for 25 Semifinalists but also allows for additional candidates to proceed in the process in the case of a tie vote for the 25th position. That occurred in both fields this year.
The respective selection committees now will consider the candidates and vote to send 12 Seniors and 12 Coach/Contributors through to the next stage. The results of those reduction votes will be announced July 27.
Coach/Contributor Committee members will meet Aug. 15 to select one Coach or Contributor for final consideration for the Class of 2024.
The Seniors Committee will meet Aug. 22 and may select up to three Seniors for final consideration as members of the Class of 2024. Expansion of the Seniors pool for election to the Hall was approved in 2022 for the Classes of 2023, 2024 and 2025.