By Tim Graham
Jack Butler, the greatest college football player in Western New York history, died this morning from heart failure. He was 85.
Butler had been in and out of the hospital recently because of a staph infection that had plagued him since a gruesome knee injury forced his retirement from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1959.
Butler was an incredible example of overachievement. The Pittsburgh native was a walk-on receiver at St. Bonaventure even though he didn't play a down of prep football. Undrafted in 1951, he received a tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers because St. Bonaventure's athletics director was the brother of Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney.
Butler somehow made the Steelers as a defensive lineman, but because of injuries to other players he eventually became a four-time Pro Bowl defensive back and later a highly respected scout.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last summer.