Pro Football Hall of Fame player and Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Ditka joined ESPN as an NFL analyst in 2004. With a combined 26 years of playing (12) and head coaching (14) experience, Ditka serves as a year-round contributor to SportsCenter.
Prior to his current role, Ditka worked as an analyst on Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. He was also a game analyst during ESPN’s Monday Night Football doubleheader games in 2007 and 2008, alongside Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic.
Boasting a career few can match, Ditka is only the second person to win the Super Bowl as a player (Dallas, 1972), assistant coach (Dallas, 1977) and head coach (Chicago, 1986). He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988, the first tight end to receive this honor. The Chicago Bears retired Ditka’s No. 89 in 2013.
After earning All-America honors at the University of Pittsburgh, the tight end enjoyed a stellar 12-year NFL playing career. Drafted in the first round and fifth overall selection of the 1961 NFL Draft by the Bears, he was named NFL Rookie of the Year. He played tight end for the Bears (1961-1966), Philadelphia Eagles (1967-1968) and Dallas Cowboys (1969-1972) and was selected All-Pro six times. He also caught a touchdown in the Cowboys’ Super Bowl VI win against the Miami Dolphins.
After retiring from playing in the NFL, Ditka served as an assistant coach with Dallas, where his teams made it to the playoffs eight times including the 1977 Super Bowl victory. His name has become synonymous with the Chicago Bears where he is known as “Da Coach” or “Iron Mike.” In 1982, he assumed the head job in Chicago, and in 11 years, collected six NFC Central titles, three NFC championship game appearances, and the Super Bowl XX title (1986) for which he was named Coach of the Year. He again earned the honor in 1988 after coaching the Bears to the NFC Championship game. Ditka left Chicago in 1992 with a 106-62 record with the Bears, only to return as head coach of the New Orleans Saints in 1997. He retired from coaching in 2000 with a career record of 121-95.
Ditka previously worked as both an analyst and commentator at CBS and NBC.
In addition to broadcasting, Ditka owns and operates Ditka’s restaurants. He also continues to generously devote himself to varied charitable endeavors, including Misericordia, a residential facility for mentally and physically challenged youths.