August 22, 1966|
|Died:||June 23, 1992
|High school:||Thibodaux (LA)|
|NFL Draft:||1988 / Round: 5 / Pick: 111|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Eric Thomas Andolsek (August 22, 1966 – June 23, 1992) was an American football offensive lineman in the National Football League (NFL) with the Detroit Lions. He played college football at Louisiana State University.
Andolsek was born and raised in Thibodaux, Louisiana. He was a star offensive and defensive player at Thibodaux High School from 1981 to 1983. From high school, he went to LSU as an offensive linemen. He played at LSU from 1984 to 1987. Andolsek was named a Freshman All-American by Football News in 1984. He was also a member of the All-SEC team in 1986 and 1987, and was named a third-team All-American by Football News in 1986. LSU named Andolsek a team captain during the 1986 and 1987 seasons. He was later named to the Athlon Sports All-Time LSU team.
Andolsek would be selected by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round of the 1988 NFL Draft. He saw some action his rookie season, and would become a starter at left guard in his second season. For the next three years, Andolsek would remain a starter for the Lions, blocking for future Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders.
In his final season, the Lions finished 12-4 and would make it all the way to the NFC Championship Game. However, the championship game was Andolsek's last football game.
During the off-season, Andolsek was working in the yard of his Thibodaux home when a semi-trailer truck ran off the highway in front of his house and struck and killed him. An investigation found the driver had taken his eyes off the road.
In 1989, Andolsek's LSU offensive line teammate, Ralph Norwood, was killed in an automobile accident during his rookie season with the Atlanta Falcons. During the 1991 season, Detroit Lions offensive line teammate Mike Utley was paralyzed during a football game. Two days after Andolsek's death, Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jerome Brown was killed in an automobile accident. And two years after Andolsek's death, linebacker Toby Caston was also killed in an automobile accident. Caston was Andolsek's teammate at both LSU and with the Detroit Lions.
Andolsek's number has been retired by Thibodaux High School. In addition, LSU has named its outstanding senior in spring practice the Eric Andolsek Award, a recreational facility in Thibodaux bears his name, and the Detroit Lions have named its outstanding offensive lineman award after him. His family has also created a charitable foundation in his honor.
- Lambert, Michael. "Multiple LSU players continue legacies established by college football bloodlines". Daily Reveille, October 14, 2010. Retrieved on April 26, 2015.
- NFL.com. "NFL Draft History: 1988". Retrieved on April 26, 2015.
- "Lion Lineman Hit by Truck in Yard, Killed". latimes.com.
- Argus-Press. "Driver sentenced in death of Andolsek". November 11, 1992, p. 9. Retrieved on April 26, 2015.
- Daily Comet. "Annual fishing tourney honoring Andolsek is Saturday in Bayou Black". March 20, 2002. Retrieved on April 26, 2015.