Fred Biletnikoff

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Fred Biletnikoff
No. 14, 25
Wide Receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1943-02-23) February 23, 1943 (age 71)
Place of birth: Erie, Pennsylvania
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school: Erie (PA) Technical Memorial
College: Florida State
NFL Draft: 1965 / Round: 3 / Pick: 39
Debuted in 1965 for the Oakland Raiders
Last played in 1978 for the Oakland Raiders
Coaching debut in 1980 for the Montreal Alouettes
Last coached in 2006 for the Oakland Raiders
Career history

As coach:

Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions 589
Receiving Yards 8,974
Touchdowns 76
Stats at NFL.com

Frederick S. "Fred" Biletnikoff (born February 23, 1943) is a former professional football player and a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame. He was a wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders for fourteen seasons and later an assistant coach with the team. Biletnikoff retired as an NFL player after the 1978 season, then played one additional season in the Canadian Football League for the Montreal Alouettes in 1980.

Early years[edit]

Born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, Biletnikoff was the son of Russian emigrants who arrived in the U.S. during the Russian Civil War. In Erie, Fred Biletnikoff attended what was then Technical Memorial High School, now Central Tech, whose athletic field now bears his name.

Turning down other notable offers, Biletnikoff chose Florida State University in Tallahassee, where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

Playing career[edit]

Biletnikoff was the first consensus All-American to play for the Seminoles. After graduating from FSU, he was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 1965 AFL Draft (11th overall) and by the Detroit Lions in the third round of the 1965 NFL Draft, the 39th overall selection. Biletnikoff signed with the Raiders, where he played for fourteen seasons. After a year off, he played one season in the Canadian Football League, with the Montreal Alouettes in 1980.

In high school, he excelled in football, basketball, baseball, and track, earning first team recognition his senior year on Pennsylvania's all-state football and basketball teams. He was later honored along with other high school football greats Tony Dorsett, Joe Montana, and Mike Ditka to Pennsylvania's all-time first team.

At Florida State, Biletnikoff missed several games his first varsity season in 1962 (as a sophomore—freshmen were not eligible until the early 1970s) with a broken foot. He played on both sides of the ball his junior season (1963), leading the team in receptions and interceptions and taking an interception 99 yards for a touchdown (off a pass thrown by George Mira of Miami), a record which stood until 1995 when another NFL Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders, broke it by one yard.

Biletnikoff's NFL career total of 589 receptions and record 10 straight seasons of 40 or more receptions is even more impressive when it is taken in account that he played most of his career when teams' emphasized running over passing and 13 of his seasons were played in 14 game regular seasons. He played in the second AFL-NFL World Championship game (Super Bowl II) and in Super Bowl XI, in which he was named MVP. In 1969, he was selected to the Sporting News AFL All-League Team. He also played in three American Football League title games, two American Football League All-Star games, five AFC Championships, and four AFC–NFC Pro Bowls.

Coaching career[edit]

Biletnikoff began his career in coaching soon after his retirement from playing. He served on the coaching staff of the Orange Glen High School (1982), Palomar College (1983), Diablo Valley College (1984), Oakland Invaders (1985), Arizona Wranglers (1986) and Calgary Stampeders (1987–88).

In January 2007, Biletnikoff retired as the wide receivers coach for the Oakland Raiders, which had been his role for 18 seasons starting in 1989. His retirement ended an 18-year coaching career with the Raiders.

Honors[edit]

Biletnikoff was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988 and was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991. The Fred Biletnikoff Award, awarded annually to the best wide receiver in college football since 1994, was named in his honor. In 1999, Biletnikoff was ranked number 94 on The Sporting News' list of the "100 Greatest Football Players".

Personal life[edit]

Biletnikoff's daughter Tracey was murdered on February 15th, 1999, which led him to start the Tracey Biletnikoff Foundation.

His son Fred Biletnikoff, Jr., is the former offensive coordinator/assistant head coach of the Spokane Shock of the Arena Football League, and was the last head coach of the now defunct Central Valley Coyotes.

Fred's younger brother Bob was a starting quarterback for the University of Miami in the mid-1960s.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bob Biletnikoff lead's Florida's back selection". Ocala Star-Banner. Associated Press. November 10, 1964. p. 10. 

External links[edit]