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Donnie Shell
S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame

Donnie Shell

A member of the famed Pittsburgh Steelers Steel Curtain defense that shut down NFL offenses in the late 1970s, Donnie won four Super Bowls, was selected to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl five times and retired as the NFL strong safety career leader with 51 interceptions. He started 11 consecutive years for the Steelers and was selected to the Steelers All-Time Team and to the NFL Silver Anniversary Super Bowl Team. Since 1994, Donnie has coordinated all of the Panthers player programs, including financial education, family assistance, career internships and continuing education, all designed to help players succeed following their on-field football careers. Indicative of his efforts, Donnie earned the Best Player Programs award from the NFL in 1998 and 1999 and garnered the Most Outstanding Player Programs honor from the NFC in 2000. In 2002, the NFL Player Development Department created the Winston/Shell Award in honor of Donnie for being one of the pioneers in player development and always having one of the most creative programs in the NFL. This award is presented annually to the club that has the most creative program. A 1974 graduate of South Carolina State with a degree in physical education and a minor in biology, Donnie went on to earn a masters degree in guidance and counseling in 1977. He is a member of the MEAC Hall of Fame, the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame and the College Football Foundation Hall of Fame. In 2001, he also was one of 15 finalists for induction into the NFL Hall of Fame. Donnie and his wife, Paulette, have three children, April, Dawn and Donnie, and live in Rock Hill, SC.

South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame