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Panthers former PR director recognized by Pro Football Hall of Fame

Charlie Dayton is among the first recipients of the Award of Excellence.

CANTON, Ohio — Ahead of former Carolina Panthers linebacker Sam Mills' enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, another Panthers great was recognized in Canton, Ohio.

Former team public relations director Charlie Dayton was honored earlier this summer as one of the first recipients of the Hall of Fame's Awards of Excellence.

Dayton was one of 20 in a group that included fellow PR personnel, assistant coaches, equipment managers and athletic trainers.

The hall recognized Dayton and the others not just for helping determine results on the field, but for "promoting the game's growth, safety and popularity."

Dayton spent 40 years in the league, starting with the expansion of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976.

He then went to work for the then-Washington Redskins and then found himself helping another new franchise: The Carolina Panthers.

Dayton said he wouldn't believe it if all those years ago you told him he'd be recognized at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"I would've have thought they were crazy," he said. "I was just shocked. There are so many good people in this business. I was very appreciative and felt very fortunate."

Dayton did not talk much about himself during a recent interview but was thrilled to talk about Sam Mills.

He's excited to be honored the same summer as the Panthers playing great, saying "he was just an extraordinary person in every aspect."

Contact Nick Carboni at ncarboni@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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