Les “Coach” Richter Formally Inducted Into Pro Football Hall of Fame
Jon Richter (L) and sister Ann (R) unveil the bust of their father and Los Angeles Rams linebacker Les Richter during his induction into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. (Aug. 8, 2011) – Les “Coach” Richter, who was instrumental in the development of Auto Club Speedway, was formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the weekend in Canton, Ohio.
“I think my father is looking down and he knows he’s in the Hall of Fame,” said Richter’s son, Jon, during a video presentation. “I think he’s very honored and happy. It’s a great end to his career. He deserved it.”
The Pro Football Hall of Fame's honor roll now stands at 267 members after the election of the Class of 2011 which included Richter, Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Chris Hanburger, Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders and Shannon Sharpe. The legends of the game were elected to the Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011 and formally enshrined during the Enshrinement ceremony held in Canton's Fawcett Stadium on Saturday.
Richter previously was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as well as the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. During pre-race festivities at Auto Club Speedway’s Auto Club 400 in March, a plaque was unveiled to honor Richter for his “tremendous vision and countless contributions guided the development of this Speedway and the world of motorsports”. The plaque is proudly displayed in the garage area.
Richter, a native of Fresno, Calif., was an All-American linebacker and guard at the University of California Berkeley and played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1954 to 1962 after being acquired from the Dallas Texans for 11 players. The defensive star was picked for the Pro Bowl eight times and was an Associated Press first team All-Pro in 1956.
Richter recently served as vice-president of special projects for International Speedway Corporation, the parent company of Auto Club Speedway. The current trophy for the Auto Club 400 is named the “Richter Trophy” as a lasting tribute to his contributions to Auto Club Speedway and the world of motorsports.
Richter joined the NASCAR family in 1983 after a successful second career as president and general manager of Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway. Richter soon evolved into one of the most important advisors to then-NASCAR Chairman/CEO Bill France Jr. as NASCAR’s popularity expanded. Richter was named NASCAR's Executive Vice President of Competition in 1986 and the Senior Vice President of Operations in 1992.
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