John Stallworth

American football player (born 1952)

American football player
John Stallworth
refer to caption
Stallworth in 2019
No. 82
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1952-07-15) July 15, 1952 (age 71)
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, U.S.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:191 lb (87 kg)
Career information
High school:Tuscaloosa
College:Alabama A&M (1970–1973)
NFL draft:1974 / Round: 4 / Pick: 82
Career history
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (1974–1987)
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:8,723
Receiving Touchdowns:63
Player stats at PFR
Pro Football Hall of Fame

Johnny Lee Stallworth (born July 15, 1952) is an American former professional football wide receiver who played for 14 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played college football for the Alabama A&M Bulldogs, and was the Steelers' fourth-round draft pick in 1974. Stallworth played in six AFC championships, and went to four Super Bowls, winning all four. His career statistics included 537 receptions for 8,723 yards and 63 touchdowns. Stallworth's reception total was a franchise record until being surpassed by Hines Ward in 2005. Stallworth played in three Pro Bowls and was the Steelers' two-time MVP. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

College career

A native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Stallworth was an All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference receiver for Alabama A&M in 1972 and 1973. Stallworth earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Alabama A&M University.

He was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.[1]

Professional career

Stallworth was selected 82nd overall in the fourth round of the 1974 NFL draft, a class of which he was one of four Pittsburgh Steelers picks who would eventually be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[2] Scouts from various NFL teams observed him run the 40-yard dash on a wet track at Alabama A&M University and were disappointed by the results. Steelers assistant personnel director Bill Nunn was the only person to stay an additional day and watched Stallworth run a better time on a dry track. Nunn also had obtained the only college game film of Stallworth that existed through his relationships with HBCU coaches, and it was alleged that he withheld it from other NFL teams.[3] After a rookie year as an understudy, Stallworth became a starter in his second season and held that job for the rest of his 165-game career. Stallworth battled a series of fibula, foot, ankle, knee and hamstring injuries that forced him to miss 44 regular-season games.

Super Bowls

In Super Bowl XIII, Stallworth caught a record-tying 75-yard touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw that was crucial in the 35–31 win over the Dallas Cowboys. He suffered leg cramps later and played sparingly in the second half, finishing with 3 receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

One year later at Super Bowl XIV with the Steelers trailing the Los Angeles Rams 19–17 early in the fourth quarter, Steelers' coach Chuck Noll called for "60-Prevent-Slot-Hook-And-Go," a play the Steelers failed in practice before the big game. With 12 minutes remaining, Bradshaw dropped back and threw it long to Stallworth, who caught it and beat Rod Perry to the end zone for a 73-yard touchdown that paved the way for the Steelers' 31–19 win and their fourth world championship. Sports Illustrated considered the catch notable enough to put Stallworth on the cover of a subsequent issue. Overall, Stallworth recorded three receptions for 121 yards in the game.

Stallworth holds the Super Bowl records for career average per catch (24.4 yards) and single-game average, 40.33 yards in Super Bowl XIV. He has 12 touchdown receptions and a string of 17 straight games with a reception in post-season play.[4] Stallworth also scored on touchdown receptions in eight straight playoff games at one point (1978–1983), an NFL record.

Other highlights

Stallworth led the AFC with a career-high 1,395 yards gained on 80 receptions in 1984, when he was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He helped the Steelers defeat eventual Super Bowl champion San Francisco for that team's only loss of the season, and led the Steelers in a playoff run that featured an upset win over the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional Playoffs at Denver's Mile High Stadium.

Stallworth was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August 2002.

NFL career statistics

Won the Super Bowl
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP Receiving
Rec Yards Avg Lng TD
1974 PIT 13 16 269 16.8 56 1
1975 PIT 11 20 423 21.2 59 4
1976 PIT 8 9 111 12.3 25 2
1977 PIT 14 44 784 17.8 49 7
1978 PIT 16 41 798 19.5 70 9
1979 PIT 16 70 1,183 16.9 65 8
1980 PIT 3 9 197 21.9 50 1
1981 PIT 16 63 1,098 17.4 55 5
1982 PIT 9 27 441 16.3 74 7
1983 PIT 4 8 100 12.5 20 0
1984 PIT 16 80 1,395 17.4 51 11
1985 PIT 16 75 937 12.5 41 5
1986 PIT 11 34 436 13.7 40 1
1987 PIT 12 41 521 12.7 45 2
Career[5] 165 537 8,723 16.2 74 63

Business career

In 1986, he founded Madison Research Corporation (MRC) alongside Samuel Hazelrig. MRC specializes in providing engineering and information technology services to government and commercial clients. Under Stallworth and Hazelrig's leadership, MRC grew to more than 650 employees and $69.5 million in revenues (FY03). MRC manages six regional offices: Huntsville, Alabama (headquarters); Warner Robins, Georgia; Orlando, Florida and Shalimar, Florida; Montgomery, Alabama; Houston, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio. In October 2006 the sale of MRC to Wireless Facilities Inc. was completed, and at that time it was announced that Stallworth would pursue other interests.[6]

Stallworth was announced as becoming part-owner of his former team on March 23, 2009, as part of the Rooney family restructuring ownership of the team.[7]


  1. ^ "All Inductees". Archived from the original on February 2, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  2. ^ John Stallworth (profile) – Black College Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  3. ^ "Assembling the Class of 1974". April 20, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2024.
  4. ^ Rank, Adam (February 10, 2014). "NFL players from historically black colleges". National Football League. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  5. ^ "John Stallworth Stats". NFL site. NFL Player. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  6. ^ Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. - WFI Announces Close On Acquisition of Madison Research Corporation and Secures a New Credit Facility of $85 Million Archived November 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^;_ylt=AnCHXOoh_QSmDb4Q_AypqItDubYF?slug=ap-steelers-ownership&prov=ap&type=lgns[permanent dead link] Retrieved May 8, 2017. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Stallworth.
  • Career statistics and player information from · Pro Football Reference
  • Madison Research Corporation biography
  • John Stallworth player page at Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • PROJECTXYZ, Inc. Advisory Board
  • John Stallworth Foundation
John Stallworth—awards, championships, and honors
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Pittsburgh Steelers 1974 NFL draft selections
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Pittsburgh Steelers 50th season All-Time team
Terry Bradshaw
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John Stallworth
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Pittsburgh Steelers
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Division championships (24)
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two-way players
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