Chicago Bears to retire former head coach Mike Ditka`s No. 89 - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Chicago Bears to retire former head coach Mike Ditka`s No. 89

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Bears will retire former head coach Mike Ditka's No. 89. The Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end's number will be officially retired during halftime at the Bears' Monday Night Football game Dec. 9.

"Mike Ditka embodies the spirit of everything the Bears are about," Chairman George H. McCaskey said in a release. "He's an icon. The last time we won the championship Mike Ditka was our coach and the last time we won before that Mike Ditka was a player. The organization knew it was the right thing to do."

The Bears have the most retired numbers in the NFL. The team intends to end their pattern of retiring numbers for a time with Ditka's. McCaskey said Ditka revolutionized the tight end position and willed the team to victory in the 1985 Super Bowl, so there was no number more appropriate than 89.

"It's a tremendous honor," Ditka said. "It's something that I didn't anticipate or expect, but it's a great honor. When you think of all the great Bears players who have had their jerseys retired, I can't say that there's any greater honor. I'm very humbled by it and very thankful that George [McCaskey] made the decision to go ahead and do that because it's really great.

Ditka said playing for the Bears was unbelievably fun, and he would have been very happy with that memory and experience alone. But he is tremendously honored.

"When you mention [Gale] Sayers and [Dick] Butkus and some of the guys who have had their jerseys retired, it's an unbelievable group of men and great players in the NFL and for the Chicago Bears," Ditka said in the release.

Ditka played for Chicago from 1961-1966 and coached from 1982-1992. He is part of a select number of NFL greats to win a title with the same team as both a player (1963) and head coach (1985).

According to a release from the Bears, Ditka's No. 89 is the 14th jersey number to be retired by the Chicago Bears joining, No. 3 (Bronko Nagurski), 5 (George McAfee), 7 (George Halas), 28 (Willie Galimore), 34 (Walter Payton), 40 (Gale Sayers), 41 (Brian Piccolo), 42 (Sid Luckman), 51 (Dick Butkus), 56 (Bill Hewitt), 61 (Bill George), 66 (Clyde "Bulldog" Turner) and 77 (Harold "Red" Grange).

Follow Us!

Share Your Sports Photos & Video

Submit Your Sports Photos

Share Your Photos & Video

  • SportsMore>>

  • Chicago faces rematch with dominate Las Vegas in LLWS

    Chicago faces rematch with dominate Las Vegas in LLWS

    Saturday, August 23 2014 3:39 PM EDT2014-08-23 19:39:51 GMT
    While Las Vegas manager Aston Cave was giving a pep talk to his West Region champ Mountain Ridge team before practice on Friday, a freight train rumbled past a few hundred feet away.
    While Las Vegas manager Aston Cave was giving a pep talk to his West Region champ Mountain Ridge team before practice on Friday, a freight train rumbled past a few hundred feet away.
  • Mayor: Jackie Robinson West 'pride of Chicago'

    Mayor: Jackie Robinson West 'pride of Chicago'

    Saturday, August 23 2014 3:30 PM EDT2014-08-23 19:30:26 GMT
    The success that a baseball team from Chicago's South Side has had at the Little League World Series is giving the whole city something to cheer about.
    The success that a baseball team from Chicago's South Side has had at the Little League World Series is giving the whole city something to cheer about.
  • Rose in 12-man roster for U.S. basketball team

    Rose in 12-man roster for U.S. basketball team

    Saturday, August 23 2014 10:42 AM EDT2014-08-23 14:42:47 GMT
    The U.S. national basketball team has kept Derrick Rose and cut Damian Lillard and three others, getting its roster down to 12 before the FIBA World Cup of Basketball.
    The U.S. national basketball team has kept Derrick Rose and cut Damian Lillard and three others, getting its roster down to 12 before the FIBA World Cup of Basketball.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices