PITTSBURGH -- Longtime team broadcaster and former offensive tackle Tunch Ilkin is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Hall of Honor class, the team announced Saturday.
Ilkin, who played for the Steelers from 1980-92, was diagnosed with ALS in December and retired from his role as an analyst with the team broadcast in June to focus on the disease.
"Obviously, we're all thinking and praying for Tunch every day," team president and owner Art Rooney II said. "And so to have him part of the class this year, it makes it even more special."
Offensive lineman Jon Kolb, a close friend of Ilkin, is also a member of the four-man class along with safety Carnell Lake and wide receiver Louis Lipps.
"It's great, they played together and Tunch had such great respect for Jon, still does," Rooney said. "They have a great respect for each other. I'm sure they're happy to be going in there together."
The announcement of the 2021 class kicks off a stretch of celebrations for standout former Steelers. Next week, five Steelers will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
"It's an awful special time in Steeler football history," Rooney said. "Having the announcement this weekend of our Hall of Honor class and obviously the five great Steelers going into Canton next weekend. Little unusual to be able to recognize this many people in this short a period of time. It's going to be a special time, that's for sure."