Legendary Pittsburgh Steeler and Temple native "Mean Joe" Greene returned to his hometown Tuesday to speak to Temple High School students about his experiences as a player and leader in the NFL and accept a special honor.

Greene, a graduate of Temple's Dunbar High School, delivered an inspirational speech about the importance of teamwork, dedication, education, and leadership as he accepted a Hometown Hall of Famer plaque from the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Ford Motor Company on the school's behalf.

The plaque will remain on permanent display at Temple High School and reads as follows:

Joe Greene

Temple Hometown Hall of Famer

From the football fields of Texas, Joe Greene went on to stardom at North Texas State and was drafted in the first round of the 1969 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, becoming the NFL Rookie of the Year.

He was the first cornerstone that would turn the franchise from perennial losers into four-time Super Bowl champions. As a member of the "Steel Curtain," he was the two time NFL Defensive Payer of the Year. In Super Bowl IX, he became the first player ever to record an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in a single Super Bowl. He went to the Pro Bowl 10 times during his career, and coined the phrase "One for the Thumb" as the Steelers began to win Super Bowls.

His number 75 was retired by the Steelers in 2014.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Ford are proud to recognize Temple, Texas as the official "Hometown" for Joe Greene and we "Celebrate his Excellence Everywhere" by dedicating this plaque to Temple High School, November 10, 2015.

Greene, who helped the Steelers win four AFC titles and four Super Bowls under Coach Chuck Noll's leadership in the 1970's, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. During his speech, he thanked his high school coaches and teammates, and in a post-speech interview said his determination to be a good son and honor his mother was his greatest motivation.

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