NEW ORLEANS (7/26/05) - Former North Texas All-American and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Greene was named the All-Time Sun Belt Football Player, joining current Mean Green head coach Darrell Dickey as the All-Time Sun Belt Football Coach as a part of the conference's 30-year anniversary celebration.
The All-Time Sun Belt Football Team, selected by a conference media panel, is comprised of current and former players of Sun Belt schools. Along with Greene and Dickey, other North Texas players selected to the honor include All-American Abner Haynes and two-time conference Player of the Year Brandon Kennedy.
Greene revolutionized the way defensive lineman played the game both here at North Texas and for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was a 10-time Pro Bowl selection, helping the Steelers win four Super Bowls in his career. Greene was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984 and the NFL Hall of Fame in 1987.
The only Coach of the Year the Sun Belt has ever known, Dickey has led the Mean Green to four consecutive conference titles and New Orleans Bowl appearances. He has amassed the second longest conference winning streak in the nation, and has produced more all-conference performers than any other team in the Sun Belt.
The first athlete to break the color barrier at North Texas, Haynes is regarded as one of the best all-around football players in school history. Haynes led the team in scoring, rushing, receiving, punt returns and all purpose yardage from 1958-60, as well as kick returns and interceptions in 1958. He was a first team All-America selection in 1959, leading the Mean Green to the Sun Bowl. Haynes later took the Dallas Texas to an AFL title in 1960 and had his number retired by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1988.
The school record holder for tackles for loss, Brandon Kennedy was one of the most feared defenders in Sun Belt. Currently with the Detroit Lions, Kennedy used a combination of speed and strength to lead the Mean Green to three straight conference titles and bowl bids. Kennedy was named first team All-Sun Belt three years running and was the league's Most Valuable Player in his junior and senior seasons.