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Mike Ditka

Football ∙ Aliquippa

 

 

 

 

It is not true that Mike Ditka was a one man football team at Aliquippa High School in the 1950s. But it certainly seemed that way as the powerful athlete played fullback, halfback, linebacker, and end. Just to keep busy, he also excelled in baseball and basketball. Then he went on to Pitt and settled down to earn All American honors as a tight end. During Mike's senior year (1960), he was co-captain of the Panthers and was a unanimous All American, placing sixth in the balloting for the Heisman Trophy, and unusual honor for a lineman. After the season, he played in the East-West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and for the 1961 College All Stars team against the Philadelphia Eagles. Mike was drafted by the Chicago Bears and earned Rookie of the Year honors by catching 56 passes for 1076 yards and 12 touchdowns. He played in five straight Pro Bowl games and in 1963 was a member of the Bears team that beat the New York Giants for the NFL title, 14-10. In 1967, he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and in 1972 to the Dallas Cowboys. He caught a touchdown pass for the Cowboys when they whipped Miami in the 1972 Super Bowl game, 24-3. After his playing days, Mike went on to coach the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints, winning a Super Bowl with the Bears in 1985. He followed coaching with a stint as a commentator for ESPN. Mike was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988.