ATLANTA -- Ex-Falcons interim head coach Emmitt Thomas is among 35 finalists on the ballot for the 2013 induction into the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
The list includes 25 players dating back to the mid-1950s, and includes a number of well-known players who went on to notable NFL careers, including Michael Strahan, Richard Dent, Larry Little, John Stallworth and Shannon Sharpe.
Coaches on the list include long-time Tennessee State coach John "Big John" Merritt and William "Billy" Joe. Other notable figures on the list include legendary Grambling president Ralph Waldo Emerson "Prez" Jones and long-time college football announcer Charlie Neal.
The enshrinement ceremony for this year's class will be at the Loews Hotel in Midtown Atlanta on February 16, 2013. Honorary chairmen for the ceremonies will be current Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank.
Thomas helmed the Falcons for three games following the abrupt departure of Bobby Petrino in 2007. He was assistant head coach and defensive backs coach for the Falcons from 2002 through 2009. Since 2010, he's been a defensive backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs. Thomas was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.