CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Dedication To Community (D2C) announced the addition of pioneer and innovator in player development and 2020 member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Donnie Shell as executive adviser to its sports division.
Shell will join Sports Division National Director Lamonte Winston in efforts to grow relationships between teams, athletes, law enforcement and community of all ages and sizes.
Shell, a five-time All-Pro selection as part of the legendary "Steel Curtain" defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers, left an imprint on player development in professional sports during a 15-year post-playing career with the Carolina Panthers.
He is presently serving as vice chairman of the board of trustees at South Carolina State University, where he is a member of the hall of fame for his years as a Bulldog player.
"Bringing one of the most respected voices and leaders on and off the field to D2C is an honor and a privilege, as Donnie's trailblazing work, not just with athletes but with community leaders, is unparalleled," D2C Founder M. Quentin Williams said. "Pairing him with Lamonte and others who have built a reputation for excellence well beyond a field or a court is a dream come true for us as a service provider, and that combination is already paying dividends with action and engagement, which is needed much more than talk, not just now but well into the future."
"We are at a critical point in our culture where we must increase and amplify the good work done by athletes in the community, and D2C's mission, especially tied to the inclusive listening and interaction with law enforcement, is essential to the process," Shell said. "I am eager and excited to work again with Lamonte Winston and the rest of the team Q. Williams is building to proactively build relationships that may be damaged, and there is no better way than by having teams and athletes of all walks of life be part of this program."
Shell led the Steelers in tackles in both 1982 and 1984, and was the leading tackler in the Steelers secondary for six consecutive years (1981-1986). His 51 career interceptions rank him third in Steelers' history, behind Hall of Famer Mel Blount (57) and Jack Butler (52), and his 19 opponent fumble recoveries are just behind Hall of Famer Jack Ham (21) as a second-best performance by a Steeler. Shell is tied for second most seasons played behind only Hall of Fame center Mike Webster.
After wrapping up his playing days, Shell served as the director of the Panthers' player development program from 1994 to 2009 and is seen as a pioneer in the player development field. In both 1998 and 1999 he earned the "Best Player Programs" award from the NFL before taking home the "Most Outstanding Player Programs" honor in 2000.
His programs emphasized setting players up for success following their on-field careers by assisting them with financial education, family assistance, career internships and continuing education. In 2002, the NFL Player Development Department honored Shell by creating the Winston/Shell Award (with Lamonte Winston), which has been presented annually to the club with the most creative player development program.
Upon retiring from the Panthers front office, Shell became the director of the Spiritual Life Center for Johnson C. Smith University from 2010 to 2015. He and his wife Paulette are active in a variety of civic and cultural organizations including The Mel Blount Youth, John Stallworth Scholarship Foundation and The Donnie Shell Scholarship Foundation, which partners with the Presidential Promise Scholarship Program to provide scholarships for students who attend South Carolina State whose parents cannot afford to pay for their college tuition.
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