clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

#66 Days Until Pitt Football: Sal Sunseri

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If you spend any time on Twitter, you no doubt have seen people posting certain Pitt players wearing uniform numbers that correspond with the number of days left until the football season kicks off. Jim did it last year and this year, Pat Narduzzi has been doing it.

I know we have a lot of younger readers here and also some folks that may not have spent their entire lives following Pitt sports. For that reason, I thought it would be cool to not only do the countdown here, but also give a brief writeup on the player to potentially help fans connect a little more with some of the all-time greats.

Quick disclaimer - this isn't necessarily about picking the best player for each number. Not only is that disputable in many instances, but it's not really the point of the exercise. So don't be offended if your favorite player doesn't make the list here. I'll probably mirror Narduzzi's list for the most part but may go off the board in a few instances.

These will also be brief, folks. It's the offseason and we all use this time to wind down a bit. These won't be theses or anything, but we'll cobble together a few facts for each guy.

Finally, feel free to add on to a player's accomplishments in the comments section. Some I'll leave out due to space/time and some I may not even know about. But this will be a good learning exercise for all of us.

Continuing our countdown today is linebacker Sal Sunseri.

Ask Pittsburghers who they think of when they think about #66 and the answer will almost always be Mario Lemieux. But when it comes to the Panthers, another well-known player to wear it was Sal Sunseri.

Sunseri had a major impact on the university. He started his career as a walk-on, but became a three-year starter at linebacker. In his final season, he was named as a team captain and First-Team All-American in 1981. He went on to star in the Senior Bowl, winning MVP honors, before being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1982 in the tenth round.

Like Brzoza, yesterday's featured player, Sunseri suffered an injury in the preseason, which effectively ended his career. But his impact on the game didn't end there. He went on to serve as a Pitt assistant coach for eight years and has also held numerous coaching positions in college and the NFL. Currently, he's the linebackers coach for the Oakland Raiders and Sunseri was also the father of recent Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.