|Born:||February 13, 1940
Greensburg, Pennsylvania, United States
|Died:||September 27, 2004
State College, Pennsylvania, United States
|Position(s)||Defensive end, Linebacker|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||235 lb (107 kg)|
|High school||Greensburg-Salem (PA)|
|AFL draft||1962 / Round: 5 / Pick: 7|
|Drafted by||San Diego Chargers|
|NFL draft||1962 / Round: 3 / Pick: 29|
|Drafted by||Washington Redskins|
|1962–1964||San Diego Chargers|
|1966||San Diego Chargers|
|1968||San Diego Chargers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Years of service||1966–1967|
Although drafted in the third-round by the National Football League's Washington Redskins, the 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m), 235 lb., Mitinger chose instead to sign with the San Diego Chargers of the upstart American Football League.
He was named the 1962 Chargers' team Rookie of the Year.
He played 42 games at linebacker for the Chargers for seven seasons (1962–1964, 1966, 1968), including their 51–10 rout of the Boston Patriots at Balboa Stadium in the 1963 AFL championship, the high point of the team's 44-year history.
Mitinger's pro career was interrupted by a stint in the United States Army from 1966 to 1967. Stationed at West Point, New York, he coached the Army freshman football team. In 1968, he returned to the Chargers for his final season.
At Penn State, Mitinger was a two-way All-American player—the consummate 60-minute man, playing tight end and defensive end for Nittany Lions head coach, Rip Engle. He was part of the Penn State team that upset No. 10-ranked Alabama in the 1959 Liberty Bowl—the school's first bowl victory.
Mitinger was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at Penn State, class of 1962.
Mitinger attended Greensburg-Salem High School in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
In 1966, Mitinger earned a law degree at the University of San Diego, which he attended in the AFL off-season. He was an attorney for the AFL Players Association in 1968 and 1969. In 1970, he returned to State College, Pennsylvania where he practiced law for 30 years, starting his own law firm in 1984. He was also an instructor of business and real estate law at Penn State University from 1971 to 1994.
Mitinger lost his AFL championship ring while attending law school. In 1999, a Chula Vista, California man discovered the ring in his deceased mother's jewelry box and placed an ad on eBay, seeking to contact Mitinger. His mother had been a member of the law school's maintenance staff and had found the ring in the drain of the school's swimming pool. The appearance of the ring on the auction site led to the eventual return of the ring. "It renews my faith in humanity", Mitinger told The San Diego Union-Tribune.