The Media Selection committee for the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame announced on May 18th that New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson and retired running back Deuce McCallister have been elected to the Saints Hall of Fame.
Benson purchased the struggling New Orleans Saints in 1985 from John Mecom Jr. The team was struggling so much that the team’s fans wore bags on their heads and were known around the league as the ‘Aints.
Benson quickly changed the culture hiring Jim Finks as general manager and Jim Mora as head coach. The team enjoyed its first winning season two years later and Benson has enjoyed 11 seasons above .500 and one Superbowl.
Benson’s commitment to the community and charity involvement in the city of New Orleans is unquestioned. He has invested in the city through the purchase of the Dominion Tower (now known as Benson Tower), the New Orleans Hornets, and WVUE-TV. Benson also helped raise $2.5 million through the Saints Hurricane Katrina and Gulf Coast Renewal funds.
Retired New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McCallister was drafted in 2001 with the 23rd overall pick in the NFL draft by the Saints. He played for the team for eight seasons from 2001-2008.
McCallister holds the franchise’s all-time rushing career record with 6,096 yards, the all time franchise record in rushing touchdowns with 55 touchdowns, and the all time franchise record in touchdowns with the same number.
The two-time pro bowler also led the team in rushing in 2002-2004 and in 2006. McCallister ranks 5th in franchise history in scoring with 330 points and ranks tenth in receptions with 234 catches.