Young, who had built contenders in Miami and Baltimore, was handpicked by then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle to run the Giants in 1979. He was the driving force behind the Giants' resurgence back to league prominence in the 80's. Young built the Giants from the ground up. He made QB Phil Simms of Moorehead State his first draft choice. After selecting North Carolina LB Lawrence Taylor in 1981, the team qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1963. The Giants would go on to win Super Bowls XXI and XXV.
Young moved up to the league office after leaving the Giants in 1997. He was named NFL Executive of the Year five times. He passed away in 2001.
Young's coach during his early tenure was Bill Parcells, who took over when Ray Perkins left for Alabama in 1982. Parcells would go on to become the franchise's most colorful coach. His regular season winning percentage (.610) is the best in team history. He was 8-3 in the postseason, including 2-0 in the Super Bowl.
More from the AP...
Kansas City Chiefs guard Will Shields is the only first-year eligible player to make the list. Parcells also is considered a first-year candidate under new requirements that were put in place in 2008, after he had been a nominee in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
Among other semifinalists for the Class of 2012 are running backs Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, wide receivers Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.
In addition to Parcells, the other semifinalist coach is Don Coryell, who led the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers.
Defensive semifinalists include DBs Steve Atwater, Donnie Shell and Aeneas Williams, DEs/LBs Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene and Charles Haley, LBs Clay Matthews and Karl Mecklenburg and DT Cortez Kennedy.
The others are running backs Roger Craig and Terrell Davis, center Dermontti Dawson, tackle Willie Roaf and special teams/WR Steve Tasker
Four previously eligible candidates made it to the semifinals for the first time: Atwater, Matthews, Mecklenburg and contributor Ron Wolf, who worked for the Raiders, Buccaneers, Jets and Packers.