The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.
Navigation: Home > Athletes > Pete Retzlaff

Pete Retzlaff



Ellendale (N.D.) High School. 1953 SDSU grad. In 11 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles (1956-66), he played in five Pro Bowls and set Eagle records for most passes caught in a season (66) and career (452) and most receiving yards in a career (7,412). He scored 47 touchdowns. Tied with Baltimore's Raymond Berry for most receptions in NFL in1958 with 56. Received Bert Bell Award as NFL MVP by the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia in 1965. His uniform number 44 was retired. President of the NFL Players Association. Was general manager of the Eagles from 1969-72. Oddly, though he starred as a receiver in the pros, he never caught a pass at SDSU, where as a fullback he set an SDSU single-season rushing record with 1,016 yards in 1951. Retzlaff set 16 SDSU records in track and football. He set SDSU, NCC and NAIA records in the shot put and discus and twice won NAIA titles in those events. In 1953 he set NAIA marks in the shot put (50 feet, 8 1/2 inches) and discus (164-11 3/4), leading SDSU to the NAIA title. A member of the NAIA Hall of Fame (for track) and Helms Foundation Hall of Fame (for football). Was drafted in the 22nd round by the Detroit Lions but returned to SDSU to work on the athletic staff before entering the military in 1954. After his release from the service in 1956, Retzlaff returned to Detroit that fall and his contract was sold to the Eagles.
















« Back to Athletes