Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Jack Ham

Jack Ham


  • Position: Linebacker
  • School: Penn State
  • High School: Johnstown, PA (Bishop McCort HS), Massanutten Prep (Woodstock, VA)
  • Years: 1968-1970
  • Inducted: 1990
  • Place of Birth: Johnstown, PA
  • Date of Birth: Dec 23, 1948
  • Jersey Number: 33
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 212

Member Biography

Jack Ham was the last player chosen for a Penn State football scholarship in 1967, and he turned out to be one of the greatest players Penn State has ever had. Coach Joe Paterno has summed it up: "Jack Ham's career is a monument to the work ethic. He was not a highly recruited athlete, but his exceptional intelligence and capacity for hard work made him an extraordinary football player. I don't think any of us knew then what an enormous talent we were getting. Jack Ham will always be the consummate Penn Stater." In Ham's three years as a starting linebacker, Penn State had records of 11-0, 11-0, 7-3. In his senior year, 1970, he was co-captain, had 91 tackles and four interceptions, and was All-America. He had 251 career tackles, 143 unassisted. He blocked three punts in 1968, setting a school record that was finally tied in 1989. He played 12 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. When his football life ended, he became a sales representative for a Pennsylvania coal company and a commentator for Mutual Radio Network and station WTAE, Pittsburgh.