According to reports, Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka was hospitalized in Florida earlier this week after suffering a heart attack.
Ditka, 79, remained in the hospital as of Friday, is now recovering and reportedly doing well.
“Coach Ditka had a mild heart attack earlier this week. Doctors inserted a pacemaker, and he is doing much better,” Steve Mandell, Dikta’s agent said Saturday. “He appreciates the outpouring of support and expects to be home soon.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Ditka had been playing golf Wednesday and complained of not feeling well. He would then later enter a hospital in Naples, Florida.
Ditka had suffered a heart attack once before back in 1988. It was the same year that he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a player while he was coaching the Chicago Bears. However, famously returned to work just 11 days later.
“Iron Mike” Ditka won super bowls as both a player and coach. He played 12 years in the NFL as a tight end for the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles as well as the Dallas Cowboys. He’s probably best known as the head coach of the Chicago Bears, whose 1985 team is considered to have been one of the best defenses of all-time.
In his 11 years as a coach with the Bears, Ditka led Chicago to the playoffs seven times and coached in the NFC Championship Game on three occasions. His 106 wins with Chicago trail only George Halas (318) for most in franchise history.
After his coaching career ended with the New Orleans Saints in 2000, Ditka became an NFL analyst for NBC before heading to ESPN. He was a member of the Sunday Morning Countdown crew through the 2016 season.