Mike Tilleman

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Mike Tilleman
Date of birth (1944-03-30) March 30, 1944 (age 72)
Place of birth Chinook, Montana
Career information
Status retired
Position(s) Defensive tackle
Height 6 ft 7 in (201 cm)
Weight 272 lb (123 kg)
College Montana
High school Chinook High School
AFL draft 1965 / Round: Red Shirt 5 / Pick: 34
Drafted by Denver Broncos
NFL draft 1965 / Round: 12 / Pick: 163
Drafted by Minnesota Vikings
Career history
As player
1966 Minnesota Vikings
1967–1970 New Orleans Saints
1971–1972 Houston Oilers
1973–1976 Atlanta Falcons
Honors 2nd Team All-Big Sky Conference (1963 & 1964)[1]
#26 on the Sports Illustrated list of the 50 Greatest Montana Sports Figures
Career stats
Games Played 149
Games Started 14
Fumbles Recovered 5

Michael John Tilleman (born March 30, 1944 in Chinook, Montana) is a former American football player. He played defensive tackle in the NFL for 11 seasons (1966–76).


Early life[edit]

Tilleman was born and raised on a ranch near Zurich, Montana by Henry and Irma Tilleman (née D'Hooge). He was a prep star at Chinook High School and attended the University of Montana on scholarship.

Playing career[edit]

Tilleman played for the Grizzlies from 1963 to 1964, where he was a second team All-Big Sky Conference selection in both seasons. After graduating from UM, he bypassed his senior season to sign with the Minnesota Vikings who had selected him with the 163rd pick of the 1965 NFL Draft. He was drafted in earlier rounds by the Kansas City Chiefs but opted for the Vikings because the NFL was a stronger league than the AFL.

He played for four different NFL teams during his pro career: two years for the Minnesota Vikings, he was drafted in the expansion draft by the New Orleans Saints and hence an original Saint, two years for the Houston Oilers bought out his option with the Oilers and was traded for a first-round draft choice by the Atlanta Falcons to get him to Atlanta. He finished his pro career in Atlanta. An offensive lineman once commented that he would rather catch javelins for an hour than to take head slaps from Mike Tilleman.

Personal life[edit]

Mike and his wife Gloria live in Havre, Montana where they run Tilleman Motor Company, a local General Motors dealership. They have three grown children—Craig, Suzanne and Christopher. Mike Tilleman hosts a celebrity Pheasant hunt – Legends for Lights ( www.legendsforlights.com ) where past NFL legends come to Havre, Montana every Fall and all money raised is donate to the Northern Lights Athletic Foundation for the MSU-Northern athletic program providing scholarships and paying for one full-time coaching position.[2]


  1. ^ 2008 Big Sky Conference Football Media Guide, Big Sky Conference, 2008 (accessed online 2009-01-30)
  2. ^ "Alumni Notes". The Montanan (online). Missoula, Montana: University of Montana. 2005. Retrieved August 27, 2011. 

External links[edit]