Mike Ditka recovering after suffering mild heart attack

Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka is recovering after suffering a mild heart attack this week, according to his agent Steve Mandell.

"Mike Ditka had a minor heart attack," Mandell said in a statement obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. "Doctors inserted a pacemaker and he is doing much better. He appreciates the outpouring of support and expects to be home soon."

The Hall of Fame tight end coached the Chicago Bears for 11 seasons (1982-1992), posting a 106-62 mark in that time, which also included a dominant win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. After three seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Ditka finished his coaching career with a combined record of 121-95.

He became the first tight end to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988 for his achievements (427 receptions, 5,812 yards, 43 touchdowns in 12 seasons) earned while playing for the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys from 1961-1972. His bruising style of play, longevity and roots from a childhood spent in a Western Pennsylvania steel town earned him the nickname "Iron Mike," which he carried over into an equally stern coaching career.

The son of one of the greatest players Ditka ever coached, Walter Payton, referenced Ditka's tough reputation in a tweet Saturday:

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content