Ron Kostelnik
No. 77, 65
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born:(1940-01-14)January 14, 1940
Colver, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died:January 29, 1993(1993-01-29) (aged 53)
Scott County, Kentucky, U.S.
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school:Central Cambria (PA)
NFL draft:1961 / Round: 2 / Pick: 26
AFL draft:1961 / Round: 14 / Pick: 108
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at · PFR

Ronald Michael Kostelnik (January 14, 1940 - January 29, 1993) was an American professional football player who was a defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers and one with the Baltimore Colts.[1] He played college football for the Cincinnati Bearcats. He won two Super Bowls with the Packers and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.[2]

Early years

Born in Colver, Pennsylvania, Kostelnik was the son of a Polish American miner.[3] He graduated from Central Cambria High School in 1957 and played college football at the University of Cincinnati.

Playing career

Kostelnik was selected in the second round of the 1961 NFL draft, 26th overall, by the Packers. For his first several seasons, he backed up veteran Dave Hanner, then became a starter in 1964.[4] Alongside Willie Davis, Henry Jordan, and Lionel Aldridge, Kostelnik was the unheralded member of the Green Bay defensive line. Teammate Jerry Kramer said of him: "There aren't statistics for steady dependable guys who plug up the middle and allow other guys to excel. But that's what Ron did."[1]

In his eight seasons in Green Bay, the Packers won five NFL championships and the first two Super Bowls. He was traded in August 1969 to the Baltimore Colts,[5][6] then retired after the season.

After football

With a bachelor's and master's degree in education from Cincinnati, Kostelnik planned to be a school administrator. He began working for Mainline Industrial Distributors Inc. of Appleton in sales in the off-season in 1965, became president in 1970,[7][8] and later was its chief executive officer.[1][9]


While returning to Wisconsin from a Florida vacation with his wife Peggy in 1993, Kostelnik suffered a fatal heart attack and lost control of his car on Interstate 75 in Scott County, Kentucky.[10][11][12] He was age 53 and was survived by his wife, three daughters, and a son.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Hendricks, Martin (November 20, 2012). "Kostelnik got the job done without a fuss". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  2. ^ Christl, Cliff. "Ron Kostelnik". Archived from the original on May 23, 2023. Retrieved September 20, 2023.
  3. ^ Irwin, Mrs. James B. (August 11, 1968). "Sports: minorities' friend". Milwaukee Journal. p. 2, part 4.
  4. ^ "Ron Kostelnik finds home as defensive Pacer tackle". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. October 7, 1965. p. 26.
  5. ^ Lea, Bud (August 20, 1969). "Colts get Kostelnik". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
  6. ^ Lea, Bud (November 6, 1969). "Ron restless as a reserve". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
  7. ^ Stafford, Roger A. (March 19, 1973). "Kostelnik quarterback now". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 9, part 2.
  8. ^ Kenney, Ray (September 20, 1984). "From lineman to Mainline". Milwaukee Journal. p. 12, part 3.
  9. ^ Savage, Mark (June 29, 1991). "New position". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1D.
  10. ^ "Ron Kostelnik, tackle For Packers, dies at 53". New York Times. Associated Press. February 1, 1993. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  11. ^ "Ex-Packer Kostelnik dies at 53". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. January 30, 1993. p. 1B.
  12. ^ a b "Ex-Packer Kostelnik, 53, killed in car crash". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. January 30, 1993. p. A9.