Ex-Steelers Pro Bowler, NCAA wrestling champ Carlton Haselrig dies

July 22 (UPI) -- Carlton Haselrig, a former Pro Bowl offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers and NCAA wrestling champion, died Wednesday. He was 54.

Haselrig, who wrestled at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, died of natural causes, according to the school. He had been in declining health in recent years.


Haselrig -- who won 122 consecutive matches at one point -- is the only wrestler in NCAA history to win six individual national championships. He captured the Division II heavyweight division titles in 1987-89 and won the Division I championship each year in that same span.

His dominance led to the formation of the "Haselrig Rule," which prevents lower division wrestlers from competing at the Division I level.

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Haselrig, who didn't play a single snap of college football due to injuries, spent five years in the NFL after the Steelers selected him in the 12th round of the 1990 draft. He was a Pro Bowler and All-Pro in 1992 with Pittsburgh and had a one-year stint with the New York Jets in 1995, but his career was cut short due to a battle with alcohol and substance abuse.

He later attempted a career in mixed martial arts in the late 2000s, posting a 3-2 record before retiring.

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Haselrig, born in Johnstown, Pa., was inducted into the Pitt-Johnstown Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009. He also is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Haselrig is survived by his wife, Michelle, and nine children.

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