||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (January 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Date of birth||May 4, 1959|
|Place of birth||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|NFL draft||1982 / Round: 2 / Pick: 34|
|Career highlights and awards|
Rohn Taylor Stark (born May 4, 1959, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States), who grew up in Fifty Lakes, Minnesota, is a former American football punter who played 16 seasons in the National Football League, 13 of those with the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts. He was selected to four Pro Bowls in his stay with the Colts and then played in Super Bowl XXX as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He was the last former Baltimore Colt to retire from the NFL. (Not counting John Elway, who infamously spurned the Colts after they selected him number one overall in the 1983 NFL Draft before being traded to the Denver Broncos a week later.) Stark is also the only player to play for the Baltimore Colts and against the Baltimore Ravens. No player ever played for the Baltimore Colts and for the Baltimore Ravens.
Stark graduated from Pine River High School in Pine River, Minnesota. Rohn was Mr. Pine River High, starring in football, basketball and track (and even taking time out from track practice to pinch-hit for the baseball team). In football, he played both defense and offense and handled the punting and place kicking duties.
Air Force Academy
After high school graduation, Stark headed for the Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs. He had always been interested in flying—his father, Bud Stark, is a TWA pilot—and had received a conditional appointment to the academy. Eventually, Air Force doctors discovered that Stark has a slight curvature of the spine and could never fly in this man's Air Force; it would be too dangerous for him to use an ejection seat. So, he returned home in January 1978. What Stark didn't know was that his prep-school trigonometry professor and football coach, John Crowe, had sent game films of him to Florida State, where Crowe had been an All-America defensive back in 1958. Stark got a call from a Seminole coach in February. "I had barely heard of Florida State", he says, "but I went down and liked what I saw." He enrolled for the spring semester and competed in the high jump for FSU.
From the official Florida State Seminoles website: "One of the greatest all-around athletes ever to wear the garnet and gold of Florida State, Stark starred as a punter and decathlete for the Seminoles. After his four-year career as FSU's punter was over, Stark had virtually every record including most career punts, highest season average (46.0) and highest career average (42.7). He earned first team All-America honors in 1980 and 1981 and was a team captain as a senior." At the end of his college football career, Stark was probably the best college punter since Ray Guy played for Southern Mississippi in the early '70s. "The spring of his senior year, he cemented his spot as one of FSU's all-time greats, winning All-America honors as a decathlete as well. In 1986, he was inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame, in Football and Track/Field." He seriously considered participation in the 1984 Olympics.
Stark kicked left-footed. To returners, that means the ball is spinning the "wrong" way and is a little harder to handle; FSU opponents had fumbled about one of Stark's punts per game in his three-year career. And there was one more thing that scouts drooled over: Stark had never had a punt blocked. In his 16 seasons in the NFL, he only had 7 blocked punts.
After retiring from the NFL, Stark and his family made their home in Maui, where he works in real estate.
- N. Brooks Clark (1981-09-14). "FSU Punter Rohn Stark has set his-sights on the NFL and – 09.14.81 – SI Vault". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- "Rohn Stark Bio – Florida State University Official Athletic Site". Seminoles.com. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- "Rohn Stark". Nolefan.org. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- "Broker Information for Rohn Stark". Luxury Homes. Retrieved 2014-02-07.