Les Richter, who served as a senior executive for NASCAR following his All-Pro NFL career, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it was announced tonight.
Richter, affectionately known as “Coach” throughout the motorsports industry, passed away last June at the age of 79. He came to NASCAR 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.
"On behalf of all of NASCAR, I'd like to congratulate the Les Richter family on his selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Les lived a wonderful life and had a remarkable career that transcended two of our country's major sports. He played a key role in the growth of NASCAR, particularly on the West Coast and his accomplishments on the football field are legendary. This is a most fitting tribute to a great man."
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.
He previously was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as well as the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
Richter’s last job in motorsports was as vice president of special projects for Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., a track he helped come into existence and then become established as a big time sports facility.
CREDIT: NASCAR PR