Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka is recovering after suffering a heart attack earlier this week, according to his agent.
“Coach Ditka had a mild heart attack earlier this week. Doctors inserted a pacemaker, and he is doing much better,” Ditka’s longtime agent, Steve Mandell, said Saturday. “He appreciates the outpouring of support and expects to be home soon.”
Ditka, 79, has been recuperating in a Florida hospital, according to multiple reports.
A Super Bowl champion as both a player and coach, Ditka is probably best known for his 11 seasons as coach of the Chicago Bears. His 1985 team, which is considered to have one of the best defenses ever, dominated the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX.
Ditka led the Bears to the playoffs seven times and coached in the NFC Championship Game on three occasions. His 106 wins with Chicago trail only George Halas (318) for most in franchise history.
In a tweet, the Bears wished Ditka a speedy recovery.
A fan favorite, “Iron Mike” Ditka was known for his trademark mustache and fiery temper. After his coaching career, he worked as an analyst first at NBC and then for ESPN. He was a member of Sunday Morning Countdown through the 2016 season.
Ditka played tight end for the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys over a 12-year career and coached the Bears and New Orleans Saints. He caught a touchdown pass during Dallas’ Super Bowl VI victory and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1988.