Bert Rechichar
refer to caption
1952 Bowman football card
No. 15, 44
Position:Defensive back, kicker
Personal information
Born:(1930-07-16)July 16, 1930
Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died:July 19, 2019(2019-07-19) (aged 89)
Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Career information
High school:Rostraver (PA)
NFL Draft:1952 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interception yards:385
Field goals:31/88
Field goal %:35.2%
Longest field goal:56
Player stats at · PFR

Albert Daniel (Bert) Rechichar (July 16, 1930 – July 19, 2019) was an American football defensive back and kicker who played with the National Football League (NFL)'s Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, and Pittsburgh Steelers from 1952 to 1960. He also played for the American Football League (AFL)'s New York Titans in 1961. While playing for the Colts in 1953, Rechichar kicked a 56-yard field goal, setting an NFL record that stood for 17 years as the longest.[1] He was twice selected for the NFL Pro Bowl.

Early years

Born in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, Rechichar was the youngest of ten children.[1] Rechichar played college football at the University of Tennessee[2] and was an outfielder on the baseball team, helping the Volunteers to the 1951 College World Series. He later played in the farm system of the Cleveland Indians, reaching as high as Reading in the Class A Eastern League.[3]

NFL career

Rechichar was the tenth overall pick of the 1952 NFL Draft, selected by the Browns out of Tennessee.[2]

While playing for the Baltimore Colts against the Chicago Bears on September 27, 1953, Rechichar successfully kicked a 56-yard field goal, breaking the previous unofficial record of 55 yards (set by drop kick by Paddy Driscoll in 1924).[4] Rechichar held the NFL record for the longest field goal kick for over seventeen years; his record stood until Tom Dempsey booted a 63-yarder in 1970;[5] His record-setting kick was his first field goal attempt as a professional.[2][4] Sportswriter John Steadman, reporting on the then-record setting field goal, said Rechichar "drove the kick clear over the back line from 56 yards ... while wearing a regular, soft-toed football shoe, not a square-toed kicking shoe."[1] Rechichar also recorded three interceptions that day, including one that he took 36 yards to the end zone.

Personal life and death

Rechichar had two sons and a daughter. He died at age 89 in his hometown of Belle Vernon from various ailments, including Alzheimer's.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Barker, Jeff (July 21, 2019). "Ex-Colt once held record for longest FG". The Baltimore Sun. p. 6 (Sports). Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Steadman, John (November 16, 1997). "Among tough, talented, Rechichar was a natural". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "Bert Rechichar". Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Colts jolt Bears, 13-9, get record 56-yard field goal". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. September 28, 1953. p. 2, part 2.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Dempsey's 63 yard FG jolts Lions". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. November 9, 1970. p. 1, part 2   (note: Since then, at least 12 others have kicked field goals of 60 yards or more, and many others have kicked field goals of 56 yards or longer.)((cite news)): CS1 maint: postscript (link)[permanent dead link]