April 2, 1947 |
|Common Draft||1969 / Round 1 / Pick 15|
|AFL Houston Oilers
NFL Houston Oilers
NFL Cincinnati Bengals
|College Football Hall of Fame, 90048|
Ronald David "Ron" Pritchard (born April 2, 1947) is a former American football linebacker and professional wrestler. Pritchard played nine seasons with the Houston Oilers and the Cincinnati Bengals, first in the American Football League, then in the National Football League.
Early life and college football
Pritchard was born in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in Antioch, California. He attended Antioch High School, where he played for the American football team as a linebacker. In his senior year, Pritchard was an All-County, All-League, All-Metropolitan, All-Northern California and an Honorable Mention All-America selection. He was also the East Bay Football Player of the Year.
He went on to attend Arizona State University, where he continued to play football, and in 1968 played in the College All-Star game, the Hula Bowl, the Senior Bowl, and the East-West Shrine Game. He was picked as the East-West Shrine Game's top defensive player. In 2003 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. While in Phoenix, Arizona, Pritchard worked as a bouncer with Wayne Coleman, who later wrestled as Susperstar Billy Graham.
American Football League
Professional wrestling career
Pritchard began wrestling following his first year with the Oilers, when he was visiting his friend Bob Lueck, a football player and wrestler, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and was introduced to Stu Hart. Hart trained Pritchard and a week later, Pritchard wrestled his first match against Hart. Pritchard only wrestled during the off-season from football, and wrestled all over the United States, including in San Francisco for Roy Shire and Detroit for The Sheik. He wrestled against people including Ray Stevens, Pat Patterson and Superstar Billy Graham. In 1981, Pritchard wrestled his last matches for a Christian wrestling promotion in Arizona.
Following his retirement from football and wrestling, Pritchard worked as the athletic director for a Christian school for five years, and now coaches football at Valley Christian High School in Chandler.
Pritchard had a knee replacement surgery, and requires surgery for his shoulder. After offering to donate his kidney to Coleman, Pritchard underwent an MRI which discovered a cancerous tumour on his kidney.
- Oliver, greg (December 8, 2011). "How the NFL's Ron Pritchard stumbled into wrestling". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved December 28, 2011.