Carl Eller, a Pro Football Hall of Famer from Winston-Salem, will be honored Tuesday (March 5) at Atkins Academic & Technology High School.
Eller, one of the most honored defensive players of his time, was a standout on the gridiron when he attended the original Atkins on Cameron Avenue in the late 1950s. He went on to play at the University of Minnesota before being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 1964. Before retiring in 1979, Eller would also wear the uniform of the Seattle Seahawks.
His football accolades are vast and include six Pro Bowl and four Super Bowl appearances. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Pro Football Hall in 2004. Several years ago, Eller was also honored at the original Atkins for his contributions to the former school’s athletic heritage.
Tuesday’s program will be attended by current Atkins staff, faculty, students, alumni and Eller’s friends and family. It is not open to the public. Atkins Principal Joe Childers will emcee the ceremony, during which a “Hometown Hall of Famer” plaque honoring Eller will be unveiled.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company started the Hometown Hall of Famers program to honor the local roots of some of the sport’s greatest coaches, players and contributors.
The plaque will permanently hang at the school to serve as an inspiration for students and athletes. Hessie Smith, one of Eller’s former high school teammates, will assist with the unveiling. Organizers say a commemorative Eller road sign will also be erected in the city.