As a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame Selection Committee, we didn't take long to recognize former head coach Jim Mora. His name wasn't on the initial ballot that was submitted a few weeks ago. However, since he's no longer involved with another NFL team after leaving the Indianapolis Colts at the end of the 2001 season, one of the Selection Committee members verbally nominated Mora.
Once the voting took place, he was quickly elected along with former defensive lineman Frank Warren. The two will officially inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in November along with former Saints trainer Dean Kleinschmidt who will receive the Joe Gemelli "Fleur De Lis" award.
Mora served as head coach of the Saints from 1986-1996 (10 1/2 seasons), compiling 93 wins and 74 losses (a 56 % winning percentage). In 1987, he guided the Saints to their first winning season ever and first playoff appearance. He was named NFL Coach of the Year. Mora would lead the Saints to the playoffs again in 1990 before leading the Saints to its first-ever NFC West Division title in 1991. He also led New Orleans to the playoffs in 1991 and 1992. His only regret, he never won a playoff game.
At Tuesday's luncheon at Impastato's Restaurant in Metairie, Mora said, "I was known as a very good defensive coach in New Orleans, but not so good as an offensive coach. When I went to Indianapolis I was known a very good offensive coach and a poor defensive coach. If only I could have combined the Saints defense and Colts offense. You know what? I think I might have won a playoff game."
Mora said he had many highs and a few lows in New Orleans, but the highs outweigh lows. He said his best days in football were spend with the New Orleans Saints. He said Jim Finks was a great influence in his success along with Saints owner Tom Benson.
Don't look for Mora to return to the sidelines. Mora said, "I'm 66-years-old. I don't think many teams would be interested in hiring me at that age. And I really don't have a burning desire to coach again."