Ernest Alfred Stautner
(April 20, 1925 â€“ February
16, 2006) was a German
-born American football
player and coach
who starred as a defensive tackle
with the Pittsburgh Steelers
Cham, Bavaria in Germany, Stautner's family immigrated to Albany, New
York when he was three years old. He served in the
United States Marine
Corps before attending Boston College, where he was a four-year starter as an offensive and defensive tackle.
earned a bachelor's degree
After being selected in the second round of the 1950 NFL Draft
, Stautner played his entire
career with the Steelers from 1950 to 1963. Despite being small
even for his day at 6-1 and 235 pounds, he distinguished himself as
one of the best defensive linemen
of his era as he became the cornerstone of the Steelers bruising
defense. Stautner was selected to nine Pro
in his fourteen-year career and only missed six games. He
also made all-NFL in 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959. He retired as the
career leader in safeties with 3 and ranked third in fumble
recoveries with 23. He also saw spot service at offensive
was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on September 13, 1969, his first year of
Stautner is the only player to ever have his
number (70) officially retired by the Steelers.
From 1966 to 1988, he was an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys
, and served as the team's
1973 to 1988. He was instrumental in the development of players
such as Randy White and Ed "Too Tall" Jones. Stautner stayed on
with the Cowboys from 1988 to 1989 as a scout
and then coached the Dallas Texans
, an Arena Football League
team, from 1990
to 1991. Stautner was the defensive line coach for the Denver Broncos
from 1991 to 1994. While with
the Broncos, he coached under both Dan
and Wade Phillips
to 1997, he returned to Germany to become
head coach of the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe.
He would guide the team to two
consecutive World Bowls
winning in 1995.
Stautner was elected to the Steelers 50th anniversary team in 1982.
Stautner was elected posthumously by the Pittsburgh Steeler fans to
the Steelers 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in November 2007.
died at a Carbondale,
Colorado nursing home at age 80 from complications of
is buried in Texas. He is survived by his wife, Jill Stautner of
Colorado, daughters Tere Stautner of Texas and Carol Stautner
Hinds, grandchildren Zachary Hinds, Alexander Hinds and Rachel
Hinds of Colorado and grandchildren Danielle Stautner, Jodie
Stautner and Joseph Stautner of Texas. He was predeceased by his
son, Joseph Stautner.
Former Steelers claim that Stautner once had his finger so badly
broken, it was pointingthe opposite direction. Stautner just simply
grabbed it and ripped it into place. He is said to have been