VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) – Everyone in the “Steel City” knows his name. For 10 years, Alan Faneca helped anchor a dominant offensive line for the Pittsburgh Steelers. A nine-time Pro Bowl selection, Faneca made a crucial block that sprung Willie Parker for a 75-yard touchdown run against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.
Beginning in August, everyone will know Faneca as “Pro Football Hall of Fam-er.”
At Cox High School, the football team simply knows Faneca as “coach.”
“At the beginning…(Players) would be like ‘I googled you, coach. Can I get an autograph?'” said Faneca, who’s now in his second season as a Falcons assistant.
It’s been ten years since the last time Faneca put on a pair of shoulder pads. Most of his player were just starting grade school when Faneca retired from the NFL after 14 seasons. Only a few days before the Tampa Bay Buccanners beat the Kansas Cith Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, Faneca received that knock on the door every player dreams of; the call to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
“(I was) just speechless,” said Faneca, who finally received the nod in his sixth year as a finalist.
His wife, Julie, is from Virginia Beach. Along with their three kids, the two moved back to the area three years ago.
Faneca, naturally, is coaching the Falcons’ offensive line. “I think they look up to him,” said Cox head coach Bill Stachowski. “Very few miss practice. I think that’s another attractive thing about having a Hall of Fam-er on your staff. Kids want to get coached by him, and they listen to him.”
This Summer, Cox players will listen from Virginia Beach as Faneca delivers his Hall of Fame speech.
“It’s going to be pretty cool to know he’s part of our staff,” said Stachowski.