Mark van Eeghen
refer to caption
van Eeghen with the Raiders in 1979
No. 30, 34
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1952-04-19) April 19, 1952 (age 70)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:223 lb (101 kg)
Career information
High school:Cranston (RI) West
NFL Draft:1974 / Round: 3 / Pick: 75
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing attempts:1,652
Rushing yards:6,651
Player stats at · PFR

Mark van Eeghen (born April 19, 1952)[1] is a former American football running back who played ten years in the National Football League, including making two Super Bowl appearances. He played eight seasons for the Oakland Raiders (1974–1981) and then two with the New England Patriots (1982–1983). Van Eeghen rushed for over 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons from 1976-1978.[2]

Student athlete

Prior to his professional career, he played high school football at Cranston High School West, from which he graduated in 1970, after earning all-state football honors as a senior.[3] He then played at Colgate University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1974.[3] While at Colgate, he set the school's single-season rushing record in 1973 with 1,089 yards.[3] In his three college seasons, van Eeghen rushed for 2,591 yards and 27 touchdowns, while also catching 31 passes for 361 yards and 2 scores.[4] van Eeghen was inducted into Colgate's Hall of Fame in 1980.[5]


Van Eeghen took over as Raider fullback from Marv Hubbard, also a Colgate alumnus.

Playing for Oakland in Super Bowl XV, he was the game's leading rusher with 75 yards on 18 carries.[6] He also won a championship ring with the Raiders in Super Bowl XI, and was the team's second leading rusher with 73 yards. He left the Raiders in 1982 as their all-time leading rusher with 5,907 yards.

His most noteworthy game as a Patriot was the infamous Snowplow Game. Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan only attempted five passes due to the snow and ice leaving the ground attack as the only offensive option. Van Eeghen rushed the ball 22 times for 100 yards in the 3-0 Patriots win.

Van Eeghen finished his 10 NFL seasons with 6,651 rushing yards, 174 receptions for 1,583 receiving yards, and 41 touchdowns (37 rushing and 4 receiving).


In 2002, van Eeghen was inducted into the Rhode Island Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame in recognition of his career.[3] This reflected that he was voted fourth on a list of the top 50 Greatest Sports Figures by Sports Illustrated.[3]


Van Eeghen has three daughters, including Amber (born 1980), who joined the cheerleading squad of his last team, the Patriots.[2] Amber took part in two overseas tours with the Patriot cheerleaders to perform for U.S. troops in Japan, South Korea, Hawaii, Portugal, Turkey, Iceland, Germany and England. She went to the University of Rhode Island, where she became captain of the "Ramettes" cheerleaders. She is currently married to former New England Patriots Pro Bowl center Dan Koppen.[7]


  1. ^ "34 Mark Van Eeghen FB". New England Patriots. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2006-06-02.
  2. ^ a b Goode, Jon (2004-02-14). "A Patriots cheerleader: Catching up with Mark Van Eeghen". The Boston Globe (through The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2006-06-02.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Scholar Athlete Hall of Fame". Institute for International Sport. Archived from the original on April 8, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-02.
  4. ^ "Mark van Eeghen College Stats".
  5. ^ "Mark van Eeghen (1980) - HALL OF HONOR".
  6. ^ "Super Bowl Recaps: Super Bowl XV - Oakland 27, Philadelphia 10". Retrieved 2006-06-30.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Amber van Eeghen". New England Patriots. Archived from the original on 2006-05-24. Retrieved 2006-06-02.