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|Date of birth:||May 9, 1962|
|Place of birth:||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|NFL Draft:||1985 / Round: 6/ Pick 143|
|Los Angeles Raiders
|Playing stats at|
Rusty Hilger is a former professional National Football League American football player. He played quarterback eight seasons for the Los Angeles Raiders, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks.
Oklahoma State University
||This section may contain original research. (February 2013)|
Rusty Hilger played college football at Oklahoma State University, and is regarded as the most accomplished quarterback in school history. In 1983, the Cowboys finished 8-4 and Hilger was recognized as the Most Valuable Player in the 1983 Bluebonnet Bowl. In 1984, Hilger and the OSU Cowboys would change the course of Oklahoma State football. The Cowboys opened the season with a 45-3 victory over top ranked Arizona State University, earning Hilger Big-8 "Player of the Week" honors. The Cowboys only losses came on the road against #1 ranked Nebraska and #2 ranked Oklahoma to finish with a 10-2 record, the best finish and highest ranking (#5) in school history. The Cowboys final come-from-behind touchdown drive in the Gator Bowl against the University of South Carolina remains as one the most memorable moments.
East-West Shrine Game
Rusty Hilger was selected to play in the 60th Annual East West Shrine Game at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California. Hilger and University of Nevada Las Vegas Quarterback Randall Cunningham were teamed with (1984 National Champion) Head Coach LaVell Edwards of Brigham Young University. For the first time, Hilger's talent would be on display in a pro-style offense under the watchful eyes of NFL owners, coaches, and scouts.
With the 143rd pick of the 1985 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Raiders selected Rusty Hilger. Rusty was the only Raider Rookie QB to ever enter a regular season game, The only Raider Rookie QB to throw a touchdown, and the youngest starting quarterback in Raider franchise history. After two seasons as a Raider, Al Davis named Rusty as the starting quarterback for the 1987 season. Rusty and the Raiders opened the season 2-0 before the 1987 NFL Players Association strike halted play and replacement players took the field. In 1988, Rusty underwent a knee surgery that changed the course of his career and cause his termination from the Raiders. After missing the first 5 games of the 1988 season, the Detroit Lions signed Hilger. Only 6 days after arriving in Detroit, Hilger was forced into action. Hilger entered the Chicago Bears game down 17-0. Like playing in the schoolyard as a kid, Hilger drew plays in the dirt, attempted a career high 43 passes, and tossed a touchdown in the 24-7 loss. By season end, Hilger would receive his most gratifying honor as an NFL player - the "Most Valuable Player" Award. In 1989, the Detroit Lions released Hilger. In 1990, Hilger got a call from former Raider Head Coach Tom Flores. He had been named as the General Manager for the Seattle Seahawks. Hilger signed with the Seahawks, however, he was released prior to the first game. Hilger then got a call from former Raider Offensive Coordinator Larry Kennan, who was now coaching with the Indianapolis Colts. Hilger signed with the Indianapolis Colts and spent the remainder of the season in Indy. At seasons end, Coach Larry Kennan joined former Raider Head Coach Tom Flores in Seattle. Rusty remained under contract with the Colts until being released just days season 1991 opener. Rusty then resigned with the Seattle Seahawks to play the 1991-1992 seasons with Head Coach Tom Flores and Offensive Coordinator Larry Kennan. Hilger retired in 1992 to end to his NFL career.
Post NFL Career
Rusty is currently the Chairman and CEO of Rusty Hilger Ventures Ltd - which oversees design, development, and recruitment of assets for business to business services to include: real estate development, roofing, construction, senior living facilities, oil and gas fracturing filters for silicone sand reduction, and Club Paradise Travel - an internet based travel company featuring next generation booking engine technology - focused in the leisure travel & tourism industry.
Rusty Hilger is a devoted husband, the father of two teenagers, and an ardent philanthropist.