CANTON, Ohio, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Bill Parcells is a finalist for the Pro Football of Fame -- at least for now.
Parcells, who coached the New York Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1986 and 1990 and guided the New England Patriots to the Super Bowl in 1996, was one of 15 finalists for the Hall of Fame
Quarterback Jim Kelly, Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell and punter Ray Guy were among the other finalists for the Class of 2002, which will be announced Feb. 2 in New Orleans.
Hall of Fame rules require that a coach be retired in order to be inducted, and various reports claim that Parcells will soon end his sabbatical and be named the coach of the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers, replacing the fired Tony Dungy.
Parcells said he would never coach again after resigning as coach of the New York Jets following the 1999 season, but all indications are that he plans to return.
A total of 71 former players, coaches and contributors were on the preliminary list that was pared to 15 on Thursday.
Kelly, the only candidate in his first year of eligibility, led the Buffalo Bills to four Super Bowl appearances, losing each time. He also played two seasons with the Houston Gamblers of the USFL.
Modell has owned the old Cleveland Browns franchise since 1961 and moved the team to Baltimore in 1996. He also has been a key
member of various league committees.
Guy played for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders from 1973-86 and could become the first Hall of Famer to play exclusively as a punter.
Three members of the Pittsburgh Steelers' 1970s dynasty -- defensive end L.C. Greenwood, safety Donnie Shell and wide receiver John Stallworth -- also are finalists.
The rest of the finalists are linebacker Harry Carson, tight end Dave Casper, defensive end Dan Hampton, cornerback Lester Hayes, guard Bob Kuechenberg and receivers James Lofton and Art Monk.
To be considered for Hall of Fame election, a nominated player must have been retired at least five years. For a non-player, there is no mandatory retirement period, but a coach must be retired before he may be considered. A contributor, who has made outstanding contributions to pro football in capacities
other than playing or coaching, may still be active in his football career.
Former NFL coach George Allen is the candidate of the Seniors Committee, which reviews the qualification of those players, coaches and contributors whose careers primarily took place more than 25 years ago.
The Class of 2002 will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting, which will be held the day before Super Bowl XXXVI.
Rules stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year.