Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jack “Hydroplane” Deloplaine turns 68 years old on Thursday.
Deloplaine, born April 21, 1954 in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, was the Steelers’ sixth-round draft pick in 1976 and the first player ever to ben drafted out of then-NAIA Salem College in West Virginia.
Deloplaine endeared himself to fans and earned his nickname with a strong rookie preseason, including several games running in wet conditions. He was unable to build off a strong rookies season in 1976 after a knee injury slowed him down.
But Deloplaine stuck around as a special teamer and was part of the team’s Super Bowl winning squads in 1978 and 1979. In total, Deloplaine played in 40 NFL games and rushed 37 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
After his career, Deloplaine stayed in Pittsburgh, working as a prison guard. He also coached at North Catholic high school.
In 1988, Deloplaine was inducted into the Salem University Hall of Fame and is the namesake of the school’s Jack Deloplaine Leadership Award, given annually to an athlete to represents his spirit and leadership. He now lives in South Carolina. In 1995, he was named to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.