Planning to become a dentist, he was recruited by Notre Dame, Penn State, and University of Pittsburgh.
Ditka played for the University of Pittsburgh from 1958 until 1960, where he also became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
Retiring after the 1972 season, Ditka was immediately hired as an assistant coach by Cowboys' head coach Tom Landry.
He is the only Head Coach in the history of the Super Bowl to score a touchdown in a Super Bowl as a player.
In his first season, Ditka had 58 receptions, introducing a new dimension to a tight end position that had previously been dedicated to blocking.
He also scored 12 receiving touchdowns, which was the most by a Bears rookie. He continued to play for the Bears for the next five years, earning a Pro Bowl trip each season. Many of the players from that team, including Ditka, were drafted by assistant coach George Allen, a future Hall of Famer, who was then in charge of the Bears drafts.
Michael Keller Ditka (born Michael Dyczko; October 18, 1939) is a former American football player, coach, and television commentator.
A member of both the College Football (1986) and Pro Football Hall of Fame (1988), he was the 1961 UPI NFL Rookie of Year, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time All-Pro tight end with the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL).