NCAA Wrestling Legend & NFL Pro-Bowler Carlton Haselrig Dies At 54

NCAA Wrestling Legend & NFL Pro-Bowler Carlton Haselrig Dies At 54

Six-time NCAA wrestling champion and NFL Pro-Bowler Carlton Haselrig is dead at age 54.

Jul 22, 2020 by Andrew Spey
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Six-time NCAA wrestling champion and NFL Pro-Bowler Carlton Haselrig died this morning at age 54. Haselrig competed for Pitt-Johnston, winning Division II and Division I titles from 1987, 1988, and 1989. Haselrig's success prompted the NCAA to create a rule disallowing wrestlers from Division II or III from accepting bids to the Division I tournament.

Haselrig was the last heavyweight to win three consecutive titles before Kyle Snyder matched the feat in 2018. 

As reported by the Tribune-Democrat, Haselrig collapsed at home at 8:15 this morning and was pronounced dead at 9:19 am. 

Haselrig grew up in Johnston where he was a PIAA state champ. After his legendary collegiate career, the Steelers took a chance and drafted him in the 12th round of the 1989 draft, despite Haselrig having never played football while at UPJ. Haselrig played five seasons in the NFL, four with the Steelers, and was named to the AFL Pro Bowl in 1992. 

Haselrig was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2016. 

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Haselrig was an immensely popular figure in the wrestling community, especially amongst those from Johnstown and Western Pennsylvania. Mike Mastrovich at the Tribune-Democrat has more about 'Cambria County's Greatest Athlete' here. Below are a few of the reactions to the tragic news from twitter.