Steelers Spotlight: Mike Wagner
Mike Wagner was the thinking man’s player on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 1970s team. He was considered to be an overachiever by many and proved to be an essential teammate. Wagner was a special player who helped build a winning team.
Wagner was born in Waukegan, Illinois and graduated from Carmel High School. He began playing college football at Western Illinois University, where he earned All-American status in 1969. Wagner took pride in the team’s 1969 Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship. It was a huge win for a small smaller program. Wagner was later inducted into the Western Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in 1976.
After graduating from college, Wagner was selected by the Steelers in the 1971 NFL draft. He was initially selected as a wide receiver, but adapted to the team’s needs and switched to safety. Wagner quickly became a promising and dependable player for the Steelers. He tied for the NFL lead with eight receptions in 1973. Wagner also appeared in the 1875 and 1976 Pro Bowls and won four Super Bowls. He recorded 16 interceptions, 12 fumble recoveries, and 5 forced fumbles at the end of his career. After 10 seasons with the Steelers, Wagner decided to retire in January of 1981.
After his retirement, Wagner became a defensive backs coach at Pine-Richland High School. He was also interviewed for an NFL documentary series about the 1975 Steelers team that won the Super Bowl. Wagner is currently involved in corporate finance and investment banking. He was a reliable teammate during his football playing days and continues to be involved in the Pittsburgh community. Wagner has said to be a proud Pittsburgh Steelers player and member of the city of champions.