Born in Detroit, Michigan on February 16, 1972, Jerome Bettis is one of the most notable running backs in NFL history. Bettis spent the first three seasons of his career with the Rams (1993-95) before spending 10 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1996-2005). Jerome Bettis is the National Football League’s eighth all-time leading rusher, with a career that saw him run for 13,662 yards and 91 touchdowns during his 13- years while catching 200 passes for 1,449 yards and three touchdowns.
The Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back joined ESPN as an NFL analyst in September 2013 where he regularly appeared on NFL Live and SportsCenter. He has also contributed to ESPN Radio. Jerome enjoyed a wonderful career as an ESPN analyst, appearing on various shows throughout the years, including NFL LIVE, Super Bowl XLV edition of Sunday NFL Countdown, Sports Center, and First Take. Bettis also previously worked as an analyst for NBC Sports and the NFL Network. The six-time Pro Bowl running back currently serves as the host of his self-titled sports program, The Jerome Bettis Show on NBC affiliate WPXI.
The six-time Pro Bowl running back, affectionately nicknamed “The Bus,” capped his legendary career off by helping the Steelers win Super Bowl XL in his hometown of Detroit. After reaching the pinnacle of any football career and with the Lombardi Trophy hoisted overhead, Bettis announced his retirement from professional football in February 2006.
Jerome Bettis would go on to be named a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015 and was enshrined in Canton, Ohio, in August of 2015. Though Pittsburgh has not officially retired his No. 36, it is understood that no Steelers player will ever wear it again, joining the list of other unofficial retired numbers, including legends Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, and Hines Ward.
Highly respected throughout the league, Bettis was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1996 and he was acknowledged by the league with the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2001. He entered the NFL as the 10th overall pick of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams.
Bettis was a three-year standout at the University of Notre Dame, where he finished his career with 1,912 rushing yards under legendary coach Lou Holtz. After leaving Notre Dame one year shy of his graduation, Bettis made a promise to himself and his mother that he would return to the University to complete his bachelor’s degree. Bettis kept that promise, graduating from the Mendoza College of Business with Notre Dame University Class of 2022 with a degree in Business Administration.
While his time within the NFL will be remembered and admired, Bettis notes that his most impactful work is done through his community engagement, events, and initiatives, including his foundation The Bus Stops Here. Through the Foundation Bettis has developed several camps and programs in the City of Detroit and Pittsburgh. Programs like the Innovation Huddle which is an after-school coding program dedicated to educating Middle School students on how to develop and run a small business using technology, and the Asthma and Sports Camp, a program developed out of Bettis’ own experience as an athlete who suffers from Asthma. Through the foundation, Bettis continues to pay it forward, calling attention to the importance of education, advocacy, and encouragement for at-risk kids.