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Mike Ditka
Florida / Illinois

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Pro Football Hall of Famer, Mike Ditka is one of the most popular and recognizable sports personalities in America. As a player, coach, television commentator, motivational speaker and restaurateur, he has done it all and with remarkable success.

A 1960 All-American senior at the University of Pittsburgh, Ditka began his professional football career in 1961 when he was drafted in the first round (fifth overall) by the Chicago Bears. He made an immediate impact on the team, catching 56 passes and winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Ditka also earned Pro Bowl honors for each of the six seasons he played with the Bears before being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1967. After spending two years with the Eagles, Ditka was traded to the Dallas Cowboys, where he played four seasons and caught a touchdown pass in the Cowboys' victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI.

Following the 1972 season, Ditka retired from his career as a player and was soon hired by Cowboys' legendary head coach, Tom Landry as an offensive assistant and special teams coach. In Ditka's nine coaching seasons with the Cowboys, his teams were in the playoffs eight times and won Super Bowl XII.

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He returned to the Bears' organization as head coach in 1982 and led the team to six NFC Central titles, three NFC title games and a Super Bowl victory during his ten-year tenure. He was named Coach of the Year in 1985 and again in 1988, the same year he became the first tight end inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ditka is one of only two men to have won a Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach and head coach.

After leaving the Bears in 1992, Ditka began his broadcasting career with NBC, serving as an analyst on "NFL Live" and as a color commentator for many other NBC broadcasts. Four years later, he briefly returned to coaching when he took over as head coach for the New Orleans Saints. Ditka's most notable moment in his two seasons with the Saints came in 1998 when used all of the team's draft picks to acquire Heisman Trophy winner, Ricky Williams. Today, he is a successful restaurateur in Chicago and can be heard and seen throughout the football season on ESPN. In 2004, he became a minority owner of the Chicago Rush, a popular Arena Football team.

Ditka continues to be actively involved in numerous charitable endeavors, including Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Sports Teams Organized for Prevention of Drug Abuse and the "Say No to Drugs" campaign. In 1989, he established The Mike Ditka Foundation, which raises money for Misericordia, a residential facility for developmentally disabled youth, and for the pediatric AIDS program at Children's Memorial Hospital.

Ditka also raises funds for Misericordia through his annual golf tournament, The Mike Ditka Hall of Fame Golf Outing, which also benefits Pro Football Hall of Fame members who are in need of financial and medical assistance. He also continues to assist his alma mater by sponsoring the Mike Ditka Endowed Scholarship Fund at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, Ditka frequently travels the continent as a motivational speaker and an ambassador to the sport of football.

  • ACE - Attitude, Character & Enthusiasm - Mike Ditka delivers a powerful presentation that highlights the key characteristics people need to achieve their personal and professional goals. With his first-hand experience, clear illustrations and humorous anecdotes, he shows why he is considered one of the best motivational speakers in all of the NFL. In this presentation, he shares the lessons learned in a life of commitment and attention to the fundamentals - and resulting victory.
In Life, First You Kick Ass Ditka: An Autobiography
In Life, First You Kick Ass:
Reflections on the 1985 Bears and Wisdom from Da Coach
Ditka: An Autobiography

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