Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Mike Ditka

Mike Ditka as a player

Mike Ditka (born October 18, 1939) is a former NFL player, coach, and television commentator best known for his 11-year stint as head coach of the Chicago Bears. He is one of only two men to have won a Super Bowl as a player, assistant coach, and head coach.

Table of contents
1 Player
2 Coach
3 Broadcaster
4 Philosophy
5 External Links


After an All-American senior season at Pitt in 1961, Ditka was drafted to play tight end by the Bears. His presence ws immediately felt. In his first season, Ditka had 56 receptions, introducing a new dimension to a tight end position that had previously been dedicated to blocking. His success earned him NFL Rookie of the Year honors. He continued to play for the Bears for the next five years, earning a Pro Bowl trip each season. He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1967, where he spent two seasons, before being shipped off to the Dallas Cowboys in 1969. He spent four seasons with the Cowboys, highlighted by a touchdown reception in the Cowboys' 24-3 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI.

In 1988, his fearsome blocking and 427 career receptions earned him the honor of being the first tight-end ever inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


Retiring after the 1972 season, Ditka was immediately hired as an assistant coach by Cowboys' head coach Tom Landry. Ditka spent nine seasons as an assistant coach with the Cowboys. During his tenure, the Cowboys made the playoffs eight times, won six division titles and three NFC Championships, including the one preceding their Super Bowl victory in 1977.

In 1982, Ditka left the Cowboys to become head coach of the luckless Bears. Reversing the Bears' pitiful record of only two winning seasons in the previous nineteen, Ditka led the Bears to six NFC Central titles and three tripd to the NFC Championship. Ditka's coaching career hit its pinnacle in 1986 with a 42-10 trouncing of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. Football commentators widely regard the Bears defense in 1986 as one of the best ever.

He was awarded Coach of the Year honors in 1985 and 1988 by The Sporting News, the Associated Press, and pro football writers.

He left the Bears in 1992. Four years later, he returned to coach the New Orleans Saints. Over a total of 14 seasons as a head coach, Ditka amassed a record of 127-101-0.


After leaving the Bears in 1992, Ditka took a broadcasting job with NBC, working as an analyst on NFL Live and as a color commentator for many other NBC broadcasts. Ditka has appeared in countless commericals and has done guest spots and cameos on shows from L.A. Law to Saturday Night Live.


Ditka is known in the sports world for his gritty approach to winning and a fiery temper. Mike leads by his code word ACE: Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm.

Documented Ditka witticisms include:

External Links