Donnie Shell is from Whitmire, SC. Shell was a standout defensive back and linebacker at South Carolina State during his collegiate career – 1970-73. As a senior, he was the dominant player at his position in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, earning All-MEAC honors. He was also named to the Associated Press and Pittsburgh Courier All-America teams. At the conclusion of his collegiate career, Shell signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League in 1974.
During an illustrious career with the Steelers, which spanned 13 seasons (1974-1987), he started eleven seasons, earned All-Pro five times and helped Pittsburgh to four Super Bowl Championships. He was selected to the Steelers’ All-Time Team and NFL Silver Anniversary Super Bowl Team.
He played in more than 200 games as a Steeler and made 51 interceptions, making him – at the time — the only strong safety in NFL history to record 40 or more interceptions. Following his pro playing career, he worked for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL as Director of Player Development from 1994 to 2009. He is an inductee of the SC Athletic Hall of Fame (1986), College Football Hall of Fame (1998), and Black College Football Hall of Fame (2015). He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of their Class of 2020 100 years ceremony in August 2021. He is the fourth SC State Bulldog to be selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and third South Carolina-born PFHOF inductee.
Watch this interview below. Very good information from Donnie Shell, provides insight behind our mission with the Business Connect Program. Please pardon the intro commercials, the interview begins around the 1:37 mark.