Former Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Former Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett was selected today for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Tippett will join the Hall of Fame's Class of 2008 at an induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, on August 2.
"This is by far the proudest moment of my professional football career," said Tippett. "I will be joining the greats of the game and I am deeply honored. This recognition does not only belong to me, but also to my family, the Patriots organization, my teammates and especially the fans."
Tippett played 11 seasons for the Patriots from 1982-93. He is the second player to earn induction to the Hall of Fame after spending his entire career with the Patriots. Guard John Hannah, who spent his entire 13-year career with New England from 1973-85, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991. Hall of Fame cornerback Mike Haynes and Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti are the other Hall of Famers to have worn a Patriots uniform. Haynes and Buoniconti each spent the first seven seasons of their 14-year careers with the club.
Tippett was selected to five Pro Bowls, earning All-Star honors in each season from 1984-88. He played in 151 career games with 139 starts and holds the Patriots franchise record with 100.0 career sacks. He owns the three of the top four single-season sack performances in Patriots history (18.5 in 1984, 16.5 in 1985 and 12.5 in 1987). From 1984-85, Tippett recorded 35.0 sacks, a total that stands as the highest two-season sack total by a linebacker in NFL history. He achieved his record sack totals despite playing his career as a strong-side linebacker (opposite the opposing tight end), a position from which few other players have excelled in the pass rush to the extent that Tippett did. He was named to the NFL's 1980s All-Decade Team and was named the NFL's linebacker of the year by the NFL Players Association for three straight seasons from 1985-87. He was a member of the Patriots' 1985 AFC Championship squad and was enshrined in the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1999.
Tippett was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 1982 NFL Draft (41st overall) following a standout career at the University of Iowa. After playing in nine games as a rookie in 1982, he broke into the starting lineup in 1983 and led the team with 8.5 sacks. In 1984, he earned the first of five straight Pro Bowl honors and set a franchise record with 18.5 sacks while starting all 16 games. The following season, he was a key leader on New England's AFC Championship team and led the AFC with 16.5 sacks while earning AFC Defensive Player of the Year honors from UPI. In 1986, he recorded 9.5 sacks and was named to the Associated Press All-Pro second team despite missing five games due to injury. He led the AFC with 12.5 sacks in 1987, a total that ranked second in the NFL and helped him earn All-NFL First Team honors from the Associated Press. He was named to his fifth straight Pro Bowl in 1988 and earned All-AFC honors from Pro Football Weekly. After missing the 1989 season due to injury, he returned to start 13 games in 1990. In 1991, he started all 16 games while recording 8.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries. After leading the team with seven sacks in 1992, he closed out his career in 1993 by starting all 16 games and recording 8.5 sacks, including a fourth-quarter sack of Miami's Scott Mitchell in the season finale to finish his career with 100 sacks.
Tippett, a native of Newark, N.J., has worked in the Patriots' front office since his 1994 retirement and currently serves as the team's executive director of community affairs.