Elvin Bethea

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Elvin Bethea
No. 65
Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1946-03-01) March 1, 1946 (age 68)
Place of birth: Trenton, New Jersey
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
College: North Carolina A&T
Debuted in 1968 for the Houston Oilers
Last played in 1983 for the Houston Oilers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Sacks 105
Tackles 691 (1974–1983)
Touchdowns 1
Stats at NFL.com

Elvin Lamont Bethea (born March 1, 1946 in Trenton, New Jersey) is a former American football defensive end who played his entire career with the Houston Oilers. He played for North Carolina A&T State University and was the first person from that school to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Career[edit]

Bethea played high school football and track at Trenton Central High School.[1] He set the New Jersey state record in the shot put in 1964 - 66 feet 4.5 inches - which stood until 1997.[2] He won the shot put and discus competitions at the Golden West Invitational track meet in 1964. [3]

During his career in Houston, Bethea played in 210 games, including a stretch of 135 consecutive. He played at defensive end and guard in the 1968 season and didn’t miss a game until breaking his arm in a game against the Oakland Raiders in 1977. He led the team in sacks six times, finishing his career with 105 unofficial sacks.[4]

His career high was in 1973 with 16 sacks, which still ranks as the best in Oilers/Tennessee Titans history, a feat made more remarkable by the Oilers' 1-13 record.[5] In 1976 Bethea recorded 14½ sacks, yet was not voted to the Pro Bowl. In a game against the San Diego Chargers in 1976, he recorded four sacks (his career high) and had one fumble recovery.

He also had 14½ sacks in 1969. Other notable seasons in terms of sacks were: 1970 and 1971 with 10½ sacks in each, 1975 with 10 and 1978 with 8. He played in the AFC Championship game in 1978 and 1979.

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1975 Bethea was named All-pro by "College and Pro Football Newsweeky", the only time Bethea was a First-team All-Pro in his 16-year career. He was Second-team All-Pro in 1969, 1973, 1978 and 1979 to go with his 8 Pro Bowl selections.

Bethea was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003. He was officially inducted during the Enshrinement Ceremony on August 3, 2003,[6] where his college coach and presenter, Hornsby Howell, unveiled the bust of Bethea,[7] which was sculpted by Scott Myers.

In 2005 Bethea was inducted to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame [8]

Book[edit]

Bethea is the author of Smash-Mouth: My Football Journey from Trenton to Canton.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]